Saturday, November 26, 2005

DDDisney's perfect 3-D technology

I went down to the new MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora) for the grand opening this afternoon. My report on the museum will have to wait, though, because the crowd was so big that the staff closed the line about an hour and a half before closing time. Since I was in the neighborhood with a couple of hours, I walked a block over to the Metreon and saw a movie, Disney's new digital 3-D animated feature Chicken Little.

The 3-D experience was literally flawless. Every single 3-D film I've seen until today has had some artifacts that break the 3-D illusion. Some object that's meant to leap out of the screen into the audience splits in two, or a ghost image pops up in the wrong place, or you just get a headache from trying to cross your eyes for an hour and a half. The sensation of being able to reach into the depth of the movie screen has been fleeting at best. Chicken Little uses polarized lenses, avoiding the psychedelic after-effects of red/blue glasses. The entire film is in impressively realistic 3-D.

Unfortunately, the film itself was quite disappointing. It's a children's film, but it's too scary for small children. Just down the row from me, a child wailed repeatedly, "Mommy, I want to go home!" Killer robots from outer space blasting buildings and people into oblivion isn't the stuff I usually associate with G-rated movies. On the other end of the spectrum, though, both the story line and the dialog were simplistic and hackneyed, agonizingly predictable, and peppered with as many offensive stereotypes as genuine laughs. The voice talent did their best with the script they were given, and several of the names were among my favorites, but it takes more than acting to turn a lump of coal into a diamond.

In 2003, I saw the Disney animated feature Brother Bear, which was a disappointment from beginning to end. Last year, I didn't even bother with The Incredibles because the buzz was so negative. Does anyone at Disney know how to tell a story??