We reveal the biggest and best 3D movies coming to screens this year, from animation to sci-fi and beyond.
2012 was a phenomenal year for 3D movies, with the likes of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Avengers Assemble and Brave all making a big impact on the box office. And the movie industry has certainly not fallen out of love with stereoscopic 3D yet, with plenty of great new releases coming our way. Here we take a look at some of the most exciting 3D movies you can look foward to in 2013, including full details and sneak-peek trailers. Which ones will you be watching?
We're yet to see a trailer from this 3D movie but the all-star cast is enough for us to get excited. Starring Liam Neeson and Steve Buschemi, Khuma tells the story of a half-striped zebra who after being rejected by his superstitious herd, embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes but finds the courage and self-acceptance to save all the animals of the Great Karoo.
This is the first dip into the silver screen for many of the artists on board for the film. It's so refreshing to see such a stellar cast rubbing shoulders with 3D movie newbies. We have no doubt that they'll impress.
For more information, head to the Khumba website.
02. World War Z
Now, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months we have no doubt that you've come across the hype surrounding Brad Pitt's latest movie - World War Z. Based on the best-selling book by Max Brooks, movie and special effects fans alike are more than eager to feast their eyes on one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
The Moving Picture Company and Cinesite are taking care of all of the special effects. Many of the team members have worked on the likes of Harry Potter as well as the latest James Bond installment. We might not be safe from the zombies but at least we're in safe animation hands.
For more information, head to the World War Z website.
03. Texas Chainsaw 3D
Okay, okay, we know the plot for this film won't receive any Oscars but that's not what we're looking at here. As creatives, it's the craft, care and attention to detail within the special effects that we notice, and this reboot of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre has some serious credability when it comes to 3D animation.
Jacques Godbout worked as the visual effects supervisor on the film and yes, he worked on the iconic 1981 release of Scanners. 3D artist Ryan Markley worked on the delicious blockbusters The Expendables and Drive Angry.
For more information head to the Texas Chainsaw 3D website.
04. Seventh Son
Only a few teasing stills have been released for Seventh Son but we're just excited to see Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges reunited on screen! What's more, Game of Thrones' very own Kit Harington will be joining the ranks. The film is an 18th century adventure story centred on Thomas, who is apprenticed to a Spook to learn to fight evil spirits.
Alex Burdett is working as the special effects supervisor and after his efforts on the gruesome Saving Private Ryan as well as Tron Legacy, we have no doubt he'll deliver on the 3D front.
For more information, head to the Seventh Son website.
05. Dorothy's Return
This cute 3D animated movie returns to the land of Oz where Dorothy Gale decides to head back to the magical land in order to help her friends. The mighty Patrick Stewart and Dan Aykroyd are among the ranks when it comes to voice actors, with Lea Michele as Dorothy.
Soumitra Gokhale is working as the lead animator and has worked on a number of Madagascar and Shrek spin-offs, so this movie should be a breeze for her. Hopefully, this is a movie that's not just for the kids!
For more information, head to the Dorothy's Return website.
06. Smurfs 2
The sequel to 2011's The Smurfs, Smurfs 2 is based on the comic book series created by the Belgian comics artist Peyo. Whilst the storyline is strictly family-friendly, the 3D animation work is seriously impressive. Directed by Raja Gosnell (Scooby-Doo, Mrs. Doubtfire), Sony Pictures Imageworks are taking on most of the special effects.
Rob Engle worked as the 3D visual effects supervisor and rightly so, as he has previously worked on the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man, Pirates of the Carribean and The Chronicles of Narnia. The film stars Hank Azaria, Sofia Vergara and Christina Ricci and is set for release later on this year.
For more information, head to the Smurfs 2 website.
07. 300: Rise of an Empire
After the success of 2007's 300, relatively unknown director Noam Murro takes the reigns for the film's sequel - 300: Rise of an Empire. The original film quickly became a cult classic when it came to special effects so we have high hopes for film number 2. Starring Lena Heady of Game of Thrones fame as well as Eva Green, 300: Rise of an Empire looks set to focus on the ladies.
Unsurprisingly, the film boasts a huge list of technical and speical effects teams. Special effects senior technician comes in the form of Nikolay Furtunkov, who has previously worked on The Expendables films. We certainly can't wait to see what this sequel will bring.
For more information, head to 300: Rise of an Empire on IMDB.
08. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Another sequel here that will have fans of the Percy Jackson books every excited indeed. The first film released back in 2010 proved popular with special effect critics, so we can't wait to see what the sequel comes up with. It continues the adventures of Percy Jackson and his friends and is based on the book The Sea of Monsters.
Logan Lerman returns to play the part of Percy and will be joined by fantasy heroes Sean Bean, Anthony Stewart Head and Nathan Fillion. Lead 3D matte artist Juan Jesús García has a heap of experience after working on the Harry Potter films, Kingdom of Heaven and Troy. He's the perfect choice to lead the 3D extravaganza that Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will no doubt deliver.
For more information, head to the Percy Jackson website.
Planes is the sequel to Pixar's 2006 release Cars although the renowned animation studio hasn't actually had any part of it. Instead, it has been produced by DisneyToon Studios and was initially set to be released as a direct-to-video film. However, Disney seems to have changed their minds as the film is now going to be theatrically released by Walt Disney Pictures in August.
The effects are in great hands in the form of Nickie Huai, who worked on the award-winning Avatar as well as the Ice Age movies and Night At The Museum 2. It might be yet another sequel but we're sure this will be a fun-filled one.
For more information, head to the Planes website.
10. Storm Surfers 3D
Telling the story of best friends and professional surfing legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones, Storm Surfers 3D is all about that elusive rush of adrenaline and the hunt for the ultimate wave. This looks set to be a 3D event to get excited about, as we witness these incredible waves in the most realistic fashion.
The incredible cinematography was taken care of by Dave Maguire and we have a feeling that he'll be working on lots of projects in the future if Storm Surfers 3D is anything to go by. Kirstin-Marie Cetinich worked on the special effects and proves that you don't need to be part of a huge studio to produce great results.
For more information, head to the Storm Surfers 3D website.
11. Oz: The Great and Powerful
Have you ever wondered how the Wizard came to be in Oz? Well, wonder no more as Spiderman and Drag Me To Hell director Sam Raimi takes on the prequel to one of the most beloved stories of a generation.
The film will benefit from a star studded cast, including James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. The trailer doesn't give away too much but it's clear that the visual effects, cinematography and costumes are going to play a key role. The colours are simply breathtaking and it's interesting to see a new take on the environment of Oz.
3D scanning is being taken care of by Frederick George Stuhrberg, who's already worked on the hugely successful Twilight Saga as well as Avengers Assemble, Iron Man 2 and X-Men: First Class.
Sony Pictutes Imageworks is in charge of the technical aspects including lighting and production and Luma Pictures are responsible for the digital and CGI factors. Both companies are hugely respected in the film industry, so this looks set to be a belter of a 3D movie.
For more information, visit the Oz: The Great and Powerful website.
12. Monsters University
In recent times, Pixar has been known to indulge a little too much in the whole prequels and sequels thing. Some have faired better than others - so once the prequel to the hugely successful Monsters Inc. was announced, there were some yelps of joy and some groans of disappointment.
However, when the teaser trailer was released everyone was very much in the same boat: this looks to be one of Pixar's funniest films. Monsters Inc. was a feat for Pixar in itself; released in 2001, it was the first time the animators tackled fur and hair in the form of Sully and boy, did they nail that one!
It's exciting to see what the animators will bring to the table this time not to mention Dan Scanlan, for whom Monsters University will be his first major directorial role. Happily, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Billy Crystal are all back to reprise their roles.
Michael Stocker is acting as directing animator and is certainly the perfect choice if his past successes on The Incredibles and Toy Story 3 are anything to go by. We can't wait for this one! (In the meatime, check out the brilliant spoof website.)
For more information, visit the Monsters University Facebook page.
A look at this trailer and you may think two things: one, it looks like yet another reincarnation of FernGully. And two, the graphics look incredible! Whichever one you go with, there's no denying the extensive work that the animators and CGI teams have put into this new animation from Twentieth Century Fox.
Starring Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson and Colin Farrell, Epic tells the story of a teenage girl transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to help save their world.
Jonas Avrin is the animation technical director and with his extensive experience in the games (Grand Theft Auto, Assassins Creed) and movie industry (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ice Age) he seems like a fine choice.
Materials technical director Audry Bagley is a newcomer in the animation world, having only been working since 2010.
For more information, visit the Epic website.
14. G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation
The G.I. Joe films may not be winning any Oscars for acting abilities or storyline but the high quality of the CGI and 3D work is undeniable. Although the release of G.I. Joe 2 has been pushed back a few times, there'll be plenty of excitement once it arrives.
In this sequel, the G.I. Joes find that not only are they fighting their mortal enemy Cobra, they're also forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardise their very existence.
For more information, visit the G.I. Joe: Retaliation website.
15. The Great Gatsby
Another novel turned movie, and many fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel will be trepidacious about this 2012 adaptation. Movie fans, however, will be excited that arty director Baz Luhrmann - the man behind Moulin Rouge and the Leonardo diCaprio version of Romeo & Juliet and reboot - is the man in charge. His decision to revive the story in 3D has caused some controversy but after seeing the trailer, we feel showcasing 1920s New York in this way will really resonate with cinema audiences.
The Great Gatsby tells to story of Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire), a Midwesterner who becomes fascinated with the lavish lifestyle of his neighbour Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). He's soon drawn into Gatsby's circle and begins to witness the tragedy and obsession that taints Gatsby's seemingly perfect life.
Arthur Spink Jr. is one hand as the special effects supervisor, after previously working on the Matrix trilogy and the likes of Superman returns and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Lawrence Andrews, who was responsible for the awesome effects in Sucker Punch, is in charge of the visual effects lay out.
For more information, visit The Great Gatsby Facebook page.
16. The Croods
Hotly tipped by us back since last October, this Dreamworks animation follows the story of a prehistoric family who are forced to explore beyond the world of their small cave.
Voices are provided by Nicholas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone, with the animation in the capable hands of Jamaal Bradley and Dave Hardin, who've worked on such movies as Puss in Boots, I Am Legend and Alice in Wonderland. We're excited by the scintillating use of colour, and it looks like this quirky film is set to kickstart a year to remember for DreamWorks.
For more information, visit The Croods official website.
Another promising DreamWorks release, Turbo is a supercharged animated comedy about a snail with a need for speed who dreams of competing against the greatest Indianapolis 500 racers.
It's the first feature-length animation for director David Soren, who took charge of the short Merry Madagascar, and he'll work alongside screenwriter Robert Siegel of The Wrestler fame. Ryan Reynolds will voice the lead alongside a cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti and Maya Rudolph from Bridesmaids.
For more information, visit the Turbo official website.
18. Star Trek: Into Darkness
It's the sci-fi event of the year: director JJ Abrams is back with the second in a series of Star Trek movies, with Benedict Cumberbatch as villain John Harrison joining the returning cast from the 2009 reboot.
Reports suggest this film will be more emotionally charged than its gung-ho predecessor but with Daniel Mindel back on cinematography duties we're expecting some impressive special effects once more.
Note, though, that the movie was not filmed in native 3D but shot in 2D and converted in post-production, so we're not altogether sure what it's going to look like through those polarised light filters. Either way, sci-fi fans will be watching with a careful eye as director Abrams has been signed up for those forthcoming Star Wars sequels too.
For more information, visit the Star Trek: Into Darkness website.
19. 47 Ronin
Adapted from the classic tale of a group of samurai in 18th-century Japan who avenge the murder of their master, this live action movie marks a return to the multiplex for Keanu Reeves, who'll star alongside an all Asian-born cast.
Cinematography-wise, it's expected to be in similar vein to The Matrix and with Ridley Scott's protégé Carl Erik Rinsch at the helm we're hoping it will be an epic 3D experience.
For more information, visit the 47 Ronin website.
20. Man of Steel
Superhero fans will rejoice: not only is Man of Steel the return of Superman to the big screen, it's also the return of Batman franchise reviver Christopher Nolan. Fans of the director know his work is characterised by a striving for realism, and with the likes of Joe Letteri working on the movie and the addition of a third dimension we really do expect to believe a man can fly.
For more information, visit the Man of Steel website.
Based loosely around the original story of the Snow Queen, this movie has been in Disney’s pipeline for a while. It was initially destined to be hand-drawn along the lines of other films such as The Princess and the Frog, but is now being created as a 3D CGI animation. With Chris Buck as director and John Lasseter as producer we can be pretty sure this film will features some top notch quality animation and we trust the 3D will add an extra layer of Disney magic.
For more information, visit the Frozen website.
22. Despicable Me 2
2013 sees a sequel to the quirky 2010 animated kids' comedy about supervillain Gru. The stellar cast has been added to, with Al Pacino playing Gru’s new nemesis and Steve Coogan in an as-yet unannounced role. As with the first film, we're expecting this to be one with something for both the kids and their parents to enjoy.
For more information, visit the Despicable Me 2 website.
23. Justin and the Knights of Valour
It's good to see a bit of competition in the world of 3D animation. One of the few films on our list not to coming from a big Hollywood studio, Justin and the Knights of Valour is the creation of Kandor Graphics, a small studio in Grenada, Spain, which has only produced one other movie to date. Set in a magical world, it's a tale about friendship, honour and courage that's filled with adventure and action. We're hoping it's as good as the industry buzz suggests.
For more information, visit the Justin and the Knights of Valour official website.
24. Jack the Giant Slayer
Why reboot one fairy tale when you can have two? The latest Warner Bros 3D animation is based on a mashup of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and the lesser-known Cornish tale of 'Jack the Giant Killer'. Director Bryan Singer passed up 'X-Men First Class' for this, so we reckon it's going to be pretty special. A cast including Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Bill Nighy will star, with Dominic Tuohy taking charge of motion-capture.
For more information, visit the Jack and the Giant Slayer website.
25. Escape from Planet Earth
This sci-fi actioner from upstart film company Rainmaker Entertainment is based around the notion of an alien becoming trapped on Earth and sending a SOS call to his friends. The cast will include Brendan Fraser, Sara Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba, but the special effects team promise to be the real stars. Apparently, they've invented a whole new system of cloud computing in the process of making this film by combining the servers of several animation companies based around rendering.
For more information, visit the Escape from Planet Earth website.
26. The Wolverine
Can't get enough of the X-Men? This movie offers the chance to look back into a chapter of the never-before-seen past of one of the superhero series' most engaging characters. Expect a different tone to previous X-Men outings in this prequel, which focuses on Wolverine's past adventures in Japan, which have only been alluded to in the movies so far.
Focusing on themes such as Wolverine's immortality, isolation and self-loathing, and with Darren Aronofsky, director of Black Swan, at the helm, this is being described as more of a reboot than a prequel, looks like it could turn out to be the thinking man's superhero movie.
For more information, visit the Wolverine website.
27. Iron Man 3
The hype for the third Iron Man movie has been as supercharged as Tony Stark's suit. With the latest, extended trailer being screened during Sunday's Super Bowl, fans of the sardonic, wisecracking superhero have been getting super-excited at the prospect of Robert Downey Jr taking on a new psychotic villain, the Mandarin, played by Sir Ben Kingsley.
Directed by Shane Black, the film boasts creative production team including two-time Oscar-winning director of photography John Toll, and Marvel stalwart editors Jeffrey Ford and Peter S. Elliot - so we're expecting this threequel to more than live up to expectations.
For more information, visit the Iron Man 3 website.
28. Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was that rare thing; a comic animation with a brain, and one that made parents laugh as much as their kids. The bizarre tale, of Flint Lockwood and his machine that makes it rain food, is developed further in this sequel which sees the machine produce menacing food-animal hybrids.
If you’re a fan of terrible puns then get ready to meet the "apple pie thons", "tacodiles" and "shrimpanzees".
For more information, visit the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 website.
29. Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Rocky and Bullwinkle's time-traveling dog and his "pet boy", are headed for the big screen in this new Dreamworks CG movie, which has just been pushed back from a November release to March 2014.
With Ty Burrell (Phil on Modern Family) voicing Mr. Peabody it’s safe to assume this one's going to tickle a few funny bones, while it'll be interesting to see what the addition of 3D CGI brings to the classic 2D characters.
For more information, visit the Mr Peabody and Sherman Wiki page.
30. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Tolkein lovers were shocked when director Peter Jackson announced he was splitting his big screen adaptation of The Hobbit into three parts. But last year's first instalment, An Unexpected Journey, won over most critics with its blend of action, humour and engaging characters.
Frame rate debate
The cinematography was more controversial, though, with the decision to up the frame rate to 48fps dividing viewers into two camps. Some felt it made the characters too much like cardboard cut-outs against a computer generated landscape, while others praised the fast-cut 3D effect as more immediate and realistic.
Whatever side of the fence you're on, there's Benedict Cumberbatch to add spice to number two in the series as not one but two villains.
For more information, visit the wiki website.
31. Upside Down
Already released in Russia, this French-Canadian romantic science fiction movie promises something different for anyone who's overdosed on big-budget blockbuster fare.
Written and directed by Juan Diego Solanas and starring Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst, the movie is about a man searching an alternate universe for a long-lost love from his youth. If you like the idea of a movie that takes the ideas behind Inception and runs with them, then check this out - it sounds like it's going to look amazing in 3D.
For more information, visit the official website.
32. Thor: The Dark Worlds
Following the massive success of Avengers Assemble in 2012, another Thor movie was inevitable, and sci-fi fans will be pleased to see Chris Hemsworth joined by everyone from Star Wars' Natalie Portman to Chuck's Zachary Levi and Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston. Alan Taylor takes over from Kenneth Branagh as director in what's expected to be a special effects-heavy epic.
For more information, visit the official website.
Directed by Mexican maestro Alfonso Cuarón, who directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as surviving astronauts in a damaged space station. It's another movie being converted to 3D in post-prod, but at least there'll be an Imax version for those who want to see the two maturing sex symbols in all their enormo-vision glory.
34. Spiders 3D
If 3D movies were invented for anything, it was watching giant spiders terrorising New York City in full steroscope. We've been told to expect multiple large spiders and one really big spider. The running time will be just 89 minutes, so we're definitely expecting this one to be short on plot and big on action.
35. Pacific Rim
A sci-fi action movie by Guillermo del Toro... and it's in 3D. What more could you want? Well, how about soldiers piloting giant robots that battle against invading giant monsters from under the sea? You got it. Visual effects by Industrial Light and Magic? Done. The movie, which del Toro says will be "a beautiful poem to giant monsters" will appear in both 3D and IMAX 3D versions. For more information, visit the official website.
- Words: Alex Williamson, Sammy Maine, Tom May
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Did our best 3D movies list feature your favourites? What 3D movies did you enjoy most in 2012? Let us know in the comments below!