ADVERTISEMENT

It seems that Disney's "The Lion King" just couldn't wait to be king of the movies once again with its rerelease into theaters. This time around, it has been released in 3-D. Seems like a great idea since 3-D technology is being considered the future of entertainment and is already a huge hit in the movie industry.

Despite the fact that it was originally made using 2-D animation and not CGI graphics, the 3-D effects for "The Lion King" are surprisingly fantastic. The 3-D creates a completely new feel to the movie and adds to the richness of the colors and animation. It brings out the backgrounds and characters even more to immerse the audience in the environment of the Pridelands. It even gives an emotional lift to some scenes, especially the epic battle between Simba and Scar. I rate the original "Lion King" in standard viewing 4 out of 4 stars. But if possible, I would make this new release in 3-D 4 1/2 stars for going above and beyond and adding a new experience to the animated classic.

It is true that 3-D technology adds a lot to the entertainment experience, but can it sometimes be overwhelming and overused?

The technology can be compared to Technicolor when it became popular in the 1930s and '40s. When a movie was filmed in color then, it was considered a better experience than a movie in black and white, just like 3-D is viewed today. Technicolor had a slow start because it was expensive, but soon enough all movies were filmed in color. Same with television, only television had a later start, and people had to buy new televisions to watch programs in color.

Not all movies are in 3-D yet, but over the past four years, the number of 3-D movies has significantly increased. In addition, 3-D televisions are now being sold. They haven't become very popular yet since they are expensive and not many 3-D movies have been released on Blu-ray. It's also rare for a TV program to be released in 3-D. Some people just don't like how 3-D programs look in their living room. But it seems as if history will repeat itself with the possibility of all movies and television in 3-D.

Plenty of people seem to love this new innovation, but for some, 3-D's immersion into modern culture may seem a little overwhelming and unnecessary. Does 3-D bring a new experience to everything, or does it have its place in only a few situations?

Three-dimensional technology in movies is impressive, but it is beginning to get overused. The 3-D experience definitely depends on what it's used for. People tend to like it better in colorful and even otherworldly movies such as "Avatar," "Disney's A Christmas Carol," "How to Train Your Dragon," "Tron: Legacy," "Despicable Me" and the newer Disney/Pixar movies. Movies like "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Captain America" seemed like there was too much going on to really take in the 3-D effect. And then there are movies where it just seemed unnecessary -- "Yogi Bear," "Dolphin Tale" and "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore."

It definitely has its place, but more in movies that make the audience feel like it's part of the world of the movie, not just to have things pop out.

Two other factors that can be annoying about 3-D is that it can cause headaches, and it can't be viewed on a large scale without 3-D glasses. The technology to see 3-D without the use of special glasses has been developed, but only for smaller sized systems such as the HTC EVO 3-D cellphone and Nintendo 3DS game system.

Is 3-D bad? Not entirely. But it definitely needs to work out its little problems before it becomes a bigger part of modern entertainment. Maybe someday when this technology is perfected and made to please a larger crowd, we can tell our children about how when we were growing up, modern 3-D technology was just becoming popular and how we used to have to watch movies in 2-D when we were their age. Then they can ask us, "What's 2-D?" By then, 2-D may be as much a thing of a past to them just as much as black and white movies are to us.

***

David Caya is a senior at Akron High School.