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Six years have passed since Disney first brought the world of Arendelle to life, thanks to the studio’s hugely successful franchise starter Frozen. A couple of memorable songs, some animated shorts and some rivals to the throne later, we’ve got Frozen II breaking the ice and bringing audiences from a very familiar world into the unknown.
Of course, what we always knew was the moment this movie arrived, it’d have a 3D version for fans to feast there eyes upon, prompting us to ask the age old question: to 3D, or not to 3D? If you’re curious how we felt about Frozen II as a movie, head over to our official review for that rundown. If you simply want to see if this long-awaited sequel is worth the extra 3D money, or if you’re better off buying a pair of royal gloves, then this is the place to be.
If a movie like Frozen II is ever a bad fit for a 3D conversion, then it’s probably the end of the medium as we know it. Between action sequences, musical numbers, and a good amount of new locales being explored throughout the film’s chain of events, there’s a lot of visual splendor to explore. Provided, of course, the actual conversion effort holds up.
The planning and effort behind Frozen II’s 3D version is a solid effort, which audiences can easily watch for the most part. With the exception of two key metrics, the rest of the film’s efforts hold up pretty well, giving the audience beautiful sights to behold. Though, unfortunately, the brightness in the screening observed for this evaluation was very murky, and in terms of “Before The Window” thrills, there’s not a consistent enough level to excite the eye.
When it comes to Frozen II, you’d expect quite a bit to be flying out at the audience. In a series that has environmental elements that sometimes fill the screen with objects like ice crystals and flying boulders, there’s a hope those assets will catch the eye by breaking the barrier between the audience and the film. There are limited films that do manage to deliver this effect, and even then it’s at an inconsistent enough clip that you have to wait for a big set-piece or song for it to really kick in. Though whenever Olaf is facing the audience, his carrot nose does provide a bit of 3D magic in this regard; still, you have to look really hard for that magic.
The depths drawn to Arendelle and the magical lands that Frozen II’s plot roams across are a prime example of what a solid understanding of spatial reasoning looks like in a 3D movie. Characters and their environments are clearly defined, making the action easy to follow. However, the most impressive showcases of depth have to be the new locales in the film, as everything from floating ice crystals to deep, dark caves have a good amount of detail to show off.
Chances are, if you have a problem with a film’s levels of 3D brightness, it may not totally be the fault of the conversion effort. Rather, the theater you’re watching a film like Frozen II at may not have properly calibrated their projection rig before or between their 3D showings on schedule. While your mileage may vary in this respect, the showing of Frozen II observed for the purposes of this write-up was really washed out. For a film that’s supposed to be a colorful family-friendly affair, a good portion of this film takes place in dark or overcast scenarios, and the brightness of the projection does not make up for it at all.
If your eyes start to feel a little strained in a 3D movie, you may be tempted to remove your glasses and stare at the blurry image that’s on the screen. At least, that image should be blurry, as the 3D effect is drawn by manipulating the image show on the screen into two plains of vision that unite once you put those tinted glasses on. In the case of Frozen II, there’s a healthy amount of blur on display, with the occasional 2D anchor to keep the picture grounded. A couple of sequences here and there may feel a bit subdued in this respect, but the majority of the film keeps a good blur on, especially in the background elements.
As far as the action of Frozen II is concerned, there’s no problem with how the audience is shown the events on screen. There’s no scenes that wonk out the eyes, and even the fast moving illusions of light that Elsa confronts during a key musical number manage to be fleet of foot, but still visible to the eye. Unfortunately, the greatest deduction when it comes to audience health in this film is, of course, the brightness factor, which did lead to parts of this movie being hard to watch.
Frozen II is OK in 3D. If your family really wants to see this one on the big screen in 3D, it's not completely broken, but lacks some key components needed to be outstanding. Your best bet may be to check out another premium format experience, with better picture or sound quality. But if you're going to see Frozen II with the 3D option invoked, you should go to a theater you trust to keep their equipment properly calibrated.
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