To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Smallfoot Ticket

Smallfoot Migo outside of the karaoke bar

If you're a parent or animation enthusiast, you've undoubtedly been aware of the fact the existence of the Smallfoot movie is, in fact, real. With the kids film set to entertain children and adults alike this weekend, it's a good time to take your family to the movies. But is it a good idea to see Smallfoot with the help of a pair of 3D glasses?

I recently geared up to decide whether or not this visual bestiary is worthy of the 3D approach, asking the ultimate question: to 3D or not to 3D? Those looking to see CinemaBlend's opinion of the film will want to trek over to our official review. However, if you're looking to find the right information determining whether or not you're justified throwing some extra 3D money at Smallfoot, then keep it here as we delve into 3D fit, before the window and more.

Animated movies are usually a pretty good fit for the 3D medium and Smallfoot has a lot going for it in that respect. With an adventure story that sees a lot of action shown on the screen, and quite a few moments that lend themselves perfectly to 3D, it's not a total waste of the extra conversion effort. And yet, this film could have easily been told in 2D and still gotten across the message. It's an interesting visual approach that adds to the story, but just slightly.

For the most part, Smallfoot's 3D seems decently planned out. Certain action and comedy sequences definitely take advantage of the third dimensional enhancements, and the action is pretty clear to see throughout the film. Still, the crucial factor of depth to the film's 3D picture is greatly curbed in execution, which is drawn into sharper contrast when compared to the film's work with projecting items out of the screen. Between the depth and the slight ding on the brightness score, better planning and effort could have made this film better.

Snowballs, flying yetis, and even tranquilizer darts area are a part of the visual tricks that Smallfoot throws at its audience throughout its running time. Even atmospheric effects like snowflakes help send a bit of the arctic temperatures in the yeti village into the audience, as there is quite a bit of visual panache in the department of what shoots out before the window. If the 3D presentation of a film can make you flinch, it's a pretty good sign that it's doing its job right in this department.

With the right 3D conversion, a movie can look like it's an endless sea of imagery. That's what's called the "beyond the window" factor, and unfortunately, it's one of Smallfoot's weaknesses. While there's perfect spatial reasoning between characters and their surroundings, there's undoubtedly a limit to just how deep the picture goes. If you let your eye wander into the background, you can see that after a couple layers, it all just kind of goes flat. It's a real shame too, as Smallfoot has multiple sequences where such a lack of depth is extremely noticeable.

The Brightness factor and 3D presentations are almost a perfect pair of arch-enemies. While there's an eye-popping factor to a proper third dimensional image, there's the risk of the brightness being dampened by the 3D glasses you're required to wear. In terms of Smallfoot's presentation, that washed-out coloring isn't a total deal-breaker, but it certainly is noticeable when you take your glasses off. Your mileage may further vary with this factor though, as your local theater may not always keep their projectors properly calibrated or maintained between 2D and 3D shows; yet, even with a pretty bright showing, Smallfoot was a bit darker than it should have been.

While taking off your glasses to compare the brightness level of the picture to what you're given through the 3D glasses, you'll also notice that the picture is a bit blurry. Depending on how blurry that image is, the picture in front of you should have specific levels of depth and projection playing out when you put those glasses back on. With Smallfoot, there's quite a bit of blur that you'll see in the film's picture, with only slight moments of 2D presentation making themselves a part of the picture.

There's one thing you can count on Smallfoot to do in its 3D presentation, and it's not making you sick! While there's certainly a lot of action and adventure in the film's events, it never gets to a point where the action is hard to watch. Sometimes, when the 3D presentation of a film is a bit too busy, the visual quality can lead the audience to feel a bit of eye strain or nausea. Thankfully, with as much as there is going on in Smallfoot, it never gets to a point where your eyes are tired or your stomach is disturbed.

Smallfoot is a perfectly decent 3D experience, but not a particularly impressive or vital one to experience. While there are some great sight gags sprinkled through the film's happenings, it's never executed to a point that makes this movie a 3D must-see. Not to mention, the limited 3D showing schedule that seems to be plaguing this film makes it a bit harder to track down a ticket, if you were dead set on seeing it in this format. If the stars align, it's OK enough to make for a good matinee. Otherwise, 2D may be your best bet.

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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.