This week, I set aside an hour and half and two bags of microwave popcorn at home to preview The Lion King 3D.
In my mind, taking a hand-drawn, critically acclaimed Disney animation and transforming it into a 3D film seemed rather unnecessary. I was both sceptical and quite unexcited at the prospect.
I have long considered that animation changed forever, for the better, with the release of titles such as the Toy Story saga.
Digitally produced animation has been my preference since its introduction because of the visual depth it can offer. But this is Disney, and it has set so many standards in the business of animation and story-telling, so I relented and put on some 3D glasses.
What I experienced during the 90 minutes that followed was far beyond my expectations.
I had thought that the addition of 3D effects to layered cells of hand drawn animation wouldn’t work well, but to my surprise it really delivered visually.
In fact I would go so far as saying that all classic animations should be given the treatment (I can imagine that Japanese animation classics like Akira would work well.)
A select number of scenes were much more immersive and it was very difficult to tell it was a hand drawn movie at all, because the camera angle forced you through the flow of the scene so effectively.
In a nutshell, the results were pretty stunning. But I must confess I particularly liked what some may consider a limitation (that is, the clear layering of 2D cells).
I’m looking forward to the next hand-drawn Disney titles that get a 3D makeover.
Sky is showing on the Lion King 3D the 3rd and 18th of December.