I went to see The Lion King in 3D yesterday. I have yet to see a feature film that actually benefits from being 3D, so my expectations weren’t great for this one. However I wanted to see what the effect of turning hand-drawn animation 3D was before I judged it.
I’m afraid to say that I wasn’t impressed. While in other films I have found 3D to be of no benefit, in this particular case I found it to actually take away from the experience. So why should that be? Well I have pondered this and have decided that it defeats everything that a drawing tries to achieve.
A drawing is by nature totally flat. The skill of a good draughtsman is in creating a flat picture that sparks a sense of dimension in the viewer. If the picture is made 3D, then it feels like it walks all over this illusion.
Now in every single other 3D film I’ve seen, I found that after ten minutes or so I forget that I’m watching a 3D film. With The Lion King I found that I was constantly aware of the 3D effect, distracting me from paying attention to the story. I found that in many scenes the characters looked CG, just with a renderer that put a sketchy edge on things; something that removed a lot of the hand-drawn charm for me.
I do wish that Disney would just re-release these films in their original form. I’m sure tons of people would still go and see them without any added gimmick. More 3D re-releases are coming our way over the next couple of years, but I shall be attending the 2D presentations as with the live-action and CG movies.
[Scar drawing by Andreas Deja]