The 33 greatest 3D movies of 2013

21. 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.

22. 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, a decision that you can debate for yourselves. The cast includes Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Bill Nighy, with Dominic Tuohy taking charge of motion-capture.

23. 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 includes 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.

24. The Wolverine

Will this be the X-Men movie to wow the arthouse crowd?

Will this be the X-Men movie to wow the arthouse crowd?

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 described as more of a reboot than a prequel, and could be described as the thinking man's superhero movie.

25. Iron Man 3

The hype for the third Iron Man movie was as supercharged as Tony Stark's suit. With the extended trailer being screened during 2013's Super Bowl, fans of the sardonic, wisecracking superhero were 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 this threequel more than lived up to expectations.

26. 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".

27. 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.

28. 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 the first instalment, An Unexpected Journey, won over most critics with its blend of action, humour and engaging characters.

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.

29. Upside Down

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.

30. 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 a special effects-heavy epic.

31. Gravity

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 that was converted to 3D in post-prod, but it is generally agreed that it is a truly groundbreaking example of 3D cinema - plus there was an Imax version for those who wanted to see the two maturing sex symbols in all their enormo-vision glory.

32. Spiders 3D

If 3D movies were invented for anything, it was watching giant spiders terrorising New York City in full steroscope. We were told to expect multiple large spiders and one really big spider - and with a running time of just 89 minutes, you can probably imagine that this one is short on plot and big on action.

33. 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. Del Toro says the movie is "a beautiful poem to giant monsters".

Words: Alex Williamson and the Creative Bloq team

Alex Williamson is an art and design student in London, who blogs about design, art and illustration. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of seven full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Abi Le Guilcher, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.