To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Despicable Me 3 Ticket

A despairing Gru and smiling Dru

When done right, a Despicable Me film can be enjoyed by the entire family. If you're the one paying for the whole family to go and see Gru, Lucy, and their beloved Minions wreak havoc, then it can cost quite the hefty amount, though. So with Despicable Me 3 due out this week, and available to watch in all of its glory in 3D no less, the big question is whether or not you should spend even more money on the extra dimension for the family to enjoy. Or if you should just stick to the regular 2D format instead.

Thankfully CinemaBlend has you covered. If you're after the normal review for Despicable Me 3, you can find that here. But if you want to know whether to 3D or not to 3D, then you should take a gander below to find out.

Animated films are always well suited for 3D treatment. Especially when they're as wacky as the Despicable Me franchise, which provides plenty of opportunities for things to explode out of the screen, while, like its predecessors, Despicable Me 3 is also blindingly bright, too. The one concern when it comes to 3D is that the audience for Despicable Me 3 is skewered much younger than usual, even for an animated film. It is the main reason why Steve Carell uses that insufferable accent. This means that the 3D might be kept to a minimum as not to scar and nauseate the younglings.

There's no doubt that Illumination spent some time discussing how to incorporate 3D. There are a number of shots and sequences that appear to have been specifically designed in order to get the best out of the 3D. But at the same time, when they occur, these moments aren't actually that impressive. Instead, they seem to have been deployed with some restraint. Mrs. Lovejoy will be ecstatic, because my guess is that, for once, someone really did think of the children.

There are only one or two moments when you can see something coming through the screen towards your face. One of these includes a shot early on of a yo-yo spiraling out of the screen, which was obviously designed to get the best out of the 3D. On another occasion, glitter falls from a roof and briefly comes at you, too. But that's about it, and neither of those moments are particularly spellbinding.

There's always plenty of depth-of-field to appreciate in Despicable Me 3, which actually does an impressive job of adding gravitas and spectacle to the film with its Beyond The Window. The opening sequence, which sees Trey Parker's villain breaking onto a ship, utilizes it extremely well when they're on the water. So much so it will briefly give those of you with a weaker disposition sea legs. There are various other instances, too. But, as has become a running theme with Despicable Me 3's use of 3D, it's never truly eye-catching. Still, it serves its purpose.

There's plenty of color to Despicable Me 3, and the yellow of the Minions sparkles when they're on screen, as does the pink of the villain's every-expanding bubble gum, which engulfs anything that it comes into contact with. But while there's a constant brightness to Despicable Me 3, it is all just one note. Plus, its use of Hollywood for its finale means that the color palette actually gets danker as it progresses. A bit more nuance could have made it shine even more. It is yet another missed opportunity, and probably the most egregious, as the entire point of Despicable Me is to make it feel more like a cartoon than its animated peers.

If you take off your glasses when you're watching a 3D film you can see the layers of technology in flow. Of course, without the glasses, it is just a blurry messy. But this provides you with the opportunity to see how much effort has actually been put into the 3D. To be fair to Despicable Me 3 there was always a healthy amount of blurring whenever I took my glasses off, which proves that 3D was there. But that only makes you wonder why it was so underwhelming.

Those of you that are considering taking your children to see Despicable Me 3 in 3D will be relieved to hear that it won't make them feel sick. Granted, I am a 31-year-old man, so I'd like to think that I have a stronger stomach than most of your offspring. But the 3D is so restrained in Despicable Me 3, and clearly designed to appease younger viewers, that they should be fine. Probably best not to load them up on candy or soda or put them on a tilt-a-whirl immediately before the screening, though.

You definitely shouldn't pay the extra coinage to go and see Despicable Me 3. Firstly, because it is ghastly. Secondly, because there's not enough 3D to justify the extra expenditure. I am slightly torn in this recommendation, though, because it's quite clear that those overseeing Despicable Me 3's 3D were particularly lenient because of its younger viewers. But then that just makes me think, 'Why even bother adding 3D at all?'

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Gregory Wakeman