The current era has moved into a new dimension with a series of 3D movies launched every year. Nowadays, almost every action or sci-fi movie produced in Hollywood is created using 3D technology. With the technology getting advanced today and the trend being a hit among the audience worldwide, we are seeing a list of some top quality 3D movies produced in a single year.
Although it seems like that 3D movies are garnering many accolades since the last decade, it will be surprising to many of you to know the fact that the 3D process has been around for more than 100 years now. Yes, you read it right. In the 1890s, William Friese-Greene patented this technology, which then required two films to be projected on the screen at the same time and a viewer was supposed to enjoy the 3D effect using a stereoscope.
However, the First ever 3D Film released to the audience was The Power of Love, that was premiered at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel in 1922. But, the 3D technology didn’t get the much-needed attention until the ‘50s with some good number of 3D movies like Man in the Dark, House of Wax, It Came from Outer Space, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.
In spite of a good number of releases in the ‘50s, the trend went down due to various different reasons. Eventually, the 3D culture experienced a boost with the entry of IMAX 3-D, which dominated the industry for over two decades. However, its list of success was limited to short films centered around animals, water exploration or space adventures. Although IMAX 3-D tried to revive the dying trend, the real resurgence of 3D movies was seen after the success of James Cameron’s Avatar released in 2009, which set new standards for 3D cinema.
Since then, there has been no turning back for 3D cinema till date. There are a number of 3D films released every year following the success of Avatar and we are experiencing a completely new genre of cinema altogether.
Table of Contents
List of Best 3D Movies of All Time
Ocean Wonderland (2003)
Ocean Wonderland is a 2003 3D documentary film about a middle-aged turtle who experiences an adventurous journey while moving to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Bahamas. Directed by Jean-Jacques Mantello, Ocean Wonderland is a marvelous voyage under the sea experiencing the lives of different sea creatures while exploring the vast beauty of the huge world under the big ocean. Ocean Wonderland has some great Pop out 3D effects.
Avatar is a 2009 epic sci-fi movie that actually set a new standard for 3D cinema worldwide. Directed by James Cameron, the film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver in the lead roles. The movie is about humans exploration onto an inhabitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system called Pandora and their interactions as well as encounters with the local tribe of Pandora, known as Na’vi. At the time of its release, the movie broke all the major box office records and became the top grosser movie of all time surpassing Titanic. A sequel to this spectacular movie is scheduled for a release in late 2017.
Under the Sea (2009)
Under the Sea is a 2009 3D documentary film directed by Howard Hall. Under the narration of Jim Carrey, this 3D documentary takes you on an adventure ride to explore the depth of large sea around the parts of New Guinea and Southern Australia. With the amazing the technology and great pop out 3D Effects, the film will offer an experience where you will come face-to-face with beautiful and mysterious sea creatures while unveiling new depths of the oceans and discovering the effect of global climate change on Earth’s ecosystems.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Resident Evil: Afterlife is the fourth installment of Resident Evil Film Series based on the Video Game of the same name. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the Resident Evil: Afterlife is the first movie of the series to be shot in 3D. Starring Milla Jovovich in the lead role as Alice, the movie follows Alice’s mission to rescue the remaining survivors in Los Angeles after the T-virus outbreak while taking a fight against the head of the Umbrella Corporation. Owing to the popularity of the franchise and the effect of 3D, the film went on to become the highest grosser in the series.
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures (2010)
Directed and co-written by Ben Stassen, A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures is a 2010 animated film. The movie is centered around a Turtle and his 50-year life experiencing the changes of life caused by global warming. After its success, a sequel to the film was released in 2012.
Final Destination 5 (2011)
The fifth and the most recent installment of the Final Destination film series, Final Destination 5 is an American horror movie written by Eric Heisserer and directed by Steven Quale. Set on the similar story lines of the previous movies, Final Destination 5 revolves around the characters portrayed by Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Miles Fischer, Arien Escarpeta, Tony Todd and David Koechner. The film was shot in 3D and was an instant hit among the audience because of the USP of the franchise that follows the concept of portraying Death as the prime villain in all the movies of the series.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
Following the success of Journey to the Center of the Earth, producer Beau Flynn brings us yet another 3D fantasy adventure film titled as Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. While the first movie of the series was about exploring the center of the Earth, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, just as the title suggests, is a mystifying ride to a secret island. Directed by Brad Peyton, the film stars Dwayne “Rock” Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, Kristin Davis and Luis Guzman in pivotal roles. Just like the previous movie, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is also based on a Jules Verne novel, The Mysterious Island. In spite of mixed reviews from film critics, the movie made a solid business at the box office surpassing its predecessor. It has been confirmed that a third part of the series will be produced soon under the direction of Brad Peyton.
A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise (2012)
A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise is a 2012 3D animated film, which also happens to be the 2nd film of Sammy’s Adventure film series. Directed by Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen, this animated film also revolves around Sammy, a tortoise, and his family. The film is about Sammy’s escape from an aquarium after being captured by a fishing trawler. Similar to its prequel, A Turtle’s Tale 2: Sammy’s Escape from Paradise also lets us explore the beautiful life of the sea creatures under the sea.
Life of Pi (2012)
Based on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name, Life of Pi is a 2012 3D adventure film directed by Ang Lee. Comprising an overall cast of mostly the Indians, the film is centered around an Indian family, who owns a zoo and are set out on a voyage to Canada with the hopes of starting a new life there. However, things take a drastic twist when their ship is hit by a thunderstorm and the main lead of the movie Pi played by Suraj Patel survives the storm using a life boat. But, he is not the lone survivor on the lifeboat. The way he comes up with other things on the lifeboat forms an interesting survival story with some spectacular visuals beautifully displayed in the middle of the sea.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man is a 2012 superhero film based on Spider-man, a highly famous character from the Marvel Universe. After a hit run of three films starring Tobey Maguire as Spider-man, Columbia Pictures decided to reboot the franchise with the same production team but, this time, starring Andrew Garfield in the titular role. Directed by Marc Webb, the first film of the series is also centered around the Peter Parker’s journey of becoming The Amazing Spider-Man after being bitten by a genetically modified spider in a lab at OsCorp and developing new superhuman abilities. A sequel to the series was released in 2014 under the direction of Marc Webb with most of the stars reprising their roles from the 1st movie.
Pacific Rim (2013)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim is a 2013 sci-fi film starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Max Martini and Ron Perlman. The film is centered around the fight between humans on Earth and Kaijus, monster creatures emerged out of an interdimensional portal from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The film is special because of its enormous fighting sequences between monster giants, known as Kaijus and robotic giants used by humans, known as Jaegers, displayed gigantically in 3D format. Following the success of the film, a sequel is scheduled soon.
Monsters University (2013)
Monsters University is a 3D computer-animated film produced under the banner of Pixar Animation Studios. Directed by Dan Scanlon, the film features a University of monsters and follows the life of two young monsters named Mike and Sulley, who are rivals initially but slowly become best friends in the movie. Following the success of Monsters Inc, Disney was highly interested in its sequel and after facing so many hurdles, they were able to finally release the 2nd movie of the series in 2013.
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 3D animated film produced under the banner of Illumination Entertainment for Universal Pictures. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, the film is the 2nd installment of the series featuring yet another crime adventure saga of the supervillain Gru and his minions. Owing to its great screenplay and world-class animation technology, the film not only won the hearts of critics but also fared pretty well at the Box Office. Owing to the great success of the Despicable Me series, a spin-off or better say prequel film, Minions was released recently that centered around the life of highly famous little yellow henchmen before they met their master Gru. Another sequel to the series is also slated for a release in 2017.
Gravity is a 2013 science fiction film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in the lead roles as astronauts. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the film is about space exploration, which gets disastrous when the both the characters of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are stranded on the outer space after a mid-orbit destruction of their space shuttle. The film is highly centered around their struggle to return back to Earth. With key elements such as space exploration and 3D visuals, the movie went on to become a Box Office success as well as it also won the hearts of critics. The movie was the highlight of the 86th Academy Awards with a whopping tally of 7 Oscars to its name that night.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
A sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 sci-fi movie directed by Matt Reeves starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russel and Judy Geer. Set after 10 years of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the movie is centered on a group of people in San Francisco, who have survived the plague, but fighting its aftermath struggle whereas Ceasar leads a community of intelligent apes in the nearby jungle. The quality of 3D visuals of the movie can be anticipated from the fact that the movie won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects that year.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
After the success of the first film of the trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was produced and released in 2014 as the 2nd 3D computer-animated adventure film directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. Produced under the banner of DreamWorks Animation, the franchise is loosely based on the British book series of the same name written by Cressida Cowell. Set in the world of Vikings and Dragons, the movie circles around a young kind Viking who instead of killing, befriends a dragon and the story takes an interesting twist starting a new adventure ride. The last film of the trilogy is scheduled to release in 2018.