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!