To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Strange World Ticket

The crew of Strange World stands on the bridge of their ship.
(Image credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Just when you thought the To 3D or Not To 3D train was going to be waiting in the station until December, along comes a new Disney release to keep the engine warm. Fans of this third dimensionally enhanced format might have something to celebrate, as the animated adventure Strange World is actually showing in 3D, despite the lack of advertisement! But do the adventures of the family Clade make for an exciting visual spectacle?

Is this fresh tale of discovery worth the extra 3D ticket money, or are you better off investing in some Pando crops for the winter? We’re about to find out, but before we do, don’t forget that you can check out our official Strange World review of the film before doing so. Now let’s slip on those special glasses, and take this family-friendly voyage into uncharted territory! 


It used to be that the fit score was one of the easiest factors to either pass or fail in the To 3D test. That assumption was tested and called into question earlier this month, as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s 3D evaluation proved that there are actually cases where the fit score can be split. With Strange World, things feel like they’ve swung back into normal, as the film is a definitive fit for this format.

Taking its cues from ‘50s style sci-fi adventures, as well as throwing in a dash of Disney magic, the Clades journey into the center of Avalonia has a lot to potentially offer in 3D. In play are fantastic environments, new forms of life, and a sense of scale that could look amazing when done right. But does Strange World get it right, and if so how well does the final product look?


The major advantage a computer animated film such as this carries is the fact that when you’re making a CGI film, you can naturally create a 3D version in the process. Unlike converting a live-action film into 3D through image manipulation, you can bake something like Strange World to include a premium format from the word go. Which is probably how and why the finished product is so likeable.

Disney has certainly been doing well with their animated 3D movies, as Lightyear previously aced the format with flying colors this summer. With a couple fields taking point deductions for some minor drawbacks, Strange World isn’t a perfect third dimensional thrill. That being said, it comes so close that it needs to be applauded. 


Before the Window is usually a field that benefits movies where tons of weapons and explosions come into play. If you land those effects, you’ve made it most of the way to perfection. Strange World plays with those very effects, and projects quite a bit into the audience’s lap, so to speak. 

However, what lands this segment’s perfect score are the touches that go the extra mile. The Clade family’s hairstyles are a good example of how Before the Window can truly enhance a 3D presentation. With the unique hairstyles of Searcher and Ethan are intriguing characteristic of both characters, the texture of their locks is perceivable when watching Strange World in 3D. 

There’s even pieces of the action where characters point out towards the screen, and it’s as projectile as Jaeger Clade’s trusty flamethrower! Even better, the flames that come from that weapon, and the various creatures of this universe, add even more atmospheric effects that are positively eye-popping.


Flipping to the other side of the window, going Beyond allows us to take a look at the depth of the picture being drawn by a 3D movie. In any movie, this factor has potential to show the world in films like Strange World with even greater detail. That’s putting it mildly, as Avalonia is a vast landscape of picture depth. 

Honestly, it kind of matches the whole “journey to the center” thing the movie has going for it. Landscapes see limitless depth, with characters properly separated from each other, as well as their surroundings. Something as simple as Searcher opening his door in the morning leads to fantastic examples of the spatial prowess at work, as you can look out of his house into forever.

There’s even a huge plot reveal that, in broadening the scope of Strange World’s story, actually broadens is visual spectrum at the same time. It’s quite possibly one of the most impressive 3D shots in the film, and potentially of the year. All I’ll say is if you keep your eye open, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture.


Alas, we come to the segment of Strange World’s 3D presentation that takes the greatest hit. If you were expecting the brightness to be a bit of a problem, you are indeed correct. As usual, an important caveat applies as it’s not totally the fault of the team adjusting the brightness of the film itself when such a factor fails. Depending on how well your theater maintains their projectors during 3D showings, your mileage will vary on the brightness factor.

In terms of the screening observed for Strange World’s 3D evaluation, the brightness was a stronger variant of the usual grey you’d expect from watching a movie through tinted glasses. The picture overall is still watchable, and the beautiful detail of that world isn’t lost in the shuffle with a heavy dimming effect in play. But when you slip your glasses off, you can see how much crisper this movie could look if the brightness was properly calibrated. 


Speaking of taking your glasses off, it’s time to admit that you still slip your shades up from time to time during a 3D movie. It’s hard not to, as looking at the blur is part of the fun when taking in this format’s splendor. However, it also hints towards how good a 3D presentation for a film like Strange World turns out to be. Typically, great amounts of blur mean a pretty extensive amount of work has been put into making that 3D image really pop. 

Looking at the blur in this screening, that formula checks out, as there’s a wide array of blur levels present throughout the entire picture. Strange World even has fantastic examples of characters and objects acting as 2D anchor points, while trailing off into deeper levels of blurriness the further your eye wanders into the picture. Matching the eye-popping thrills before and beyond the window, the blurriness of Strange World signals a very strong overall 3D product.


In our final field of 3D evaluation, we take a look at what the overall product does to the health of a typical audience member. Third dimensionally enhanced presentations have had a history of causing nausea and eye strain in the past, so it’s always important to keep tabs on how movies like Strange World fare in that respect. Thankfully, there’s only a minor point deduction when it comes to how this film physically effects its viewers. 

Some sequences of fast moving creatures flowing like a current have a bit of a wonky effect, as the eye finds it hard to pick which piece of the action to focus on. It’s a problem restricted to select moments, but it’s noticeable and persistent enough that it needs to be noted. Other than that, there’s no horrific levels of eye strain that cause the audience to feel tired or frustrated with watching Strange World in 3D; which is good because it’s a terrific option for seeing this exciting adventure romp!


The work that Walt Disney Animation Studios has done on Strange World is something beautiful to behold. Delivering a 3D presentation that is as exciting as the material it’s portraying on the screen, the movie is even more of an adventure worth taking when doing so in the third dimension. Though times may be scarce, and the advertising for the format’s inclusion is non-existent, Strange World is worth putting the extra effort into seeking out. 

Now we can bid farewell until Avatar: The Way of Water potentially revives the 3D format with its blockbuster release. Judging by the slate of trailers that were shown enhanced by the format, there’s definitely some 3D thrills to look forward to in 2023’s new movie releases. Until next time, please remember to recycle your glasses in the bin at the door, and make sure that you aren’t tracking any rogue Splats out of the theater on your way home.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.