To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Zootopia Movie Ticket

Animated features are basically required to be released in 3D now. What’s more, Disney is so into making their movies 3D that they even did it with The Finest Hours, where it really wasn’t necessary. There was never a question whether Zootopia would get a 3D release. Of course it was going to, it’s a Disney animated movie.

Zootopia is a fantastic movie. You should see it as soon as humanly possible, but that’s not the question here. The question is, when you go to see it, should you spend the extra cash to see it in 3D? To answer that, we break the 3D presentation down into different categories and see how Zootopia stacks up in each one.

Fit Score


The spectacle of 3D animation is nearly always a worthwhile endeavor for the theaters. However, what makes Zootopia standout is two-fold. First off, the 3D really shows off the size and scope of Zootopia as a city. It feels huge and immersive, especially from the perspective of our smaller characters. Secondly, while action sequences are not a big part of the movie, what’s there is good and is done well.

Planning & Effort Score


As stated, Zootopia was certainly planned as a 3D movie from its inception. To that end, it’s clear that a gread deal of effort was put in to make the movie work well for 3D, and to make the 3D work well for the movie. The 3D feels incredibly natural, like it’s the only way they could have done it, and places you right there in the scenes.

Before The Window Score


If you’ve ever seen a 3D presentation at a Disney Park, you know they don’t hesitate to throw things off the screen at you all the time. It’s done in a way that feels organic and not like a gimmick. I’m still waiting for the day they trust their feature animators to do the same thing. Still, they do use the front of the frame well, even if they refuse to move beyond it.

Beyond The Window Score


Zootopia is a story about a huge city, and does it ever look fantastic in 3D. As a character runs down a street toward the camera that same road continues on behind the character, full of other creatures, and surrounded by tall buildings and everything else that makes up a cityscape. There’s an entire world beyond the movie screen that you wish you could walk into and explore.

Brightness Score


Generally speaking, brightness is never an issue for an animated movie, and Zootopia is no exception. The added layer of glasses does not dim the image to any noticeable degree. Even when the scene shifts to something in the dark, or a scene takes place at night, each character and image is still clear and distinct, and the action is crisp.

Glasses Off Score


Here’s a fun trick, in the middle of a 3D movie, lower your glasses. The harder the image is to make out, the more layers are being used to create the three dimensional image. While not every scene in Zootopia is impossible to watch without your glasses, much of it actually is. There’s a lot going on in the background of many scenes, so you’ll want those glasses on to see it all.

Audience Health Score


3D has become old hat for Disney, and Zootopia just shows off how good they are at it. They know how to make a movie that will let you enjoy the experience without forcing your eyes to work too hard to get there. Nearly everybody should be able to watch the movie without worry, and not just the image.


3D Fit


P & E


Before The Window


Beyond The Window




Glasses Off Test


Audience Health


Total Score


Final Verdict: Zootopia is great, and you’ll likely enjoy it under any circumstances, but if you want to treat yourself, see it 3D. The extra dimension brings the city to life in a way that you just won’t see completely otherwise. Disney has created a world that we won’t soon forget and you can be part of it. Zootopia is a pleasure, and so is its 3D presentation.

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Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.