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The top 10 3D movies you must own

After a faltering start, the 3D bandwagon is finally beginning to roll.

According to industry data muncher GFK, 100,000 3D TVs were sold during the first three months of 2011 – the same as the total number of 3D ready TVs shipped during the whole of 2010.

The software biz is also ramping up its support, with more top movies being released in the 3D Blu-ray format than ever before.

So what titles should you be watching on your new fangled three dimensional telly? Read on for our in-depth guide to the top 10 best 3D Blu-ray movies you must own…

10. Bolt (Walt Disney Home Entertainment)

No seriously, this underperforming CG animation is no dog. The story of a pampered TV pooch transported to the back-end of beyond, heralded Disney’s return to form under the guidance of Pixar legend John Lasseter.


This 10th placed spot was also hotly contented by Disney’s more recent Tangled and Universal’s Despicable Me, but Bolt barked louder because it uses its 3D more effectively.

The opening sequence is as bombastic as anything Michael Bay might produce, and makes perfect in-your-face fodder. Throw in a smart script and top notch animation, and you’ve a 3D Blu-ray well worth taking walkies.

9. Step Up 3D (Universal Pictures)

Exuberant and infectious, Step Up 3D (the sequel to Step Up 2quelle surprise) is a visually inventive urban dance movie that revolves around a group of rival New York street performers working their way through a Strictly Come 3Dancing tournament.

Step up 3d

While it will never win awards for plot originality, spectacular cinematography makes this a must-see movie for goggle-wearing foot-tappers eager for something other than child-friendly animation or science-fantasy.

8. The Green Hornet (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Seth Rogan’s action comedy, which reinvents a superhero last seen in a short-lived sixties’ TV show, met with a cool reception when released theatrically. However, if you’re looking for high-octane vehicle stunts and fast-moving demo sequences to kung-fu your eyeballs, then The Green Hornet really doesn’t disappoint.

The green hornet

Director Michel Gondry does a sterling job with the dimensionalised martial arts sequences. The film was shot flat and was converted in post production, but as the storyboards reveal, it was always intended to be seen in 3D. So don’t feel bad about it.

7. A Christmas Carol (Walt Disney Home Entertainment)

Robert Zemeckis’ mocap reworking of Dickens’ classic yarn is a 3D tour de force, and arguably the best implementation yet of the director’s beloved rotoscoping technique. When Jim Carrey’s 3D chin juts from the screen, you could almost reach out and stroke it.

A christmas carol

While this Xmas story is familiar to all, there’re plenty of fresh and original visual treatments that warrant donning 3D goggles for: the opening flight over London through driving snow is eye-watering, while the assorted ghosts loom threateningly out of the screen. Worth treating your mince pies too.

6. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

This charming and inventive 3D animation is a visual feast. Based on a best selling children’s story, it’s an offbeat tale about the denizens of a seaside town who find an alternative to their long-standing Sardine diet, courtesy of a scientist who discovers how to make food fall from the skies.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

You might imagine this scenario would give rise to plenty of ‘outy’ falling food FX, but in truth the movie uses its 3D rather sparingly, more as a light dressing than full-on gravy. So while not an obvious 3D demo movie it earns its place in our rankings simply for looking sumptuous and being consistently entertaining.

5. Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney Home Entertainment)

While critically lauded as a masterpiece when released theatrically, we feel obliged to restrict this admittedly entertaining blockbuster to a mid-way ranking in our 3D BD Top Ten. This is in part petty vengeance for robbing superior 3D flick How To Train Your Dragon of an Oscar, but also because it teases rather than celebrates 3D.

Toy story 3

Still, few will leave this particular Full HD 3D Blu-ray feeling unsatisfied. The toys are shipped off to a day care centre when Andy leaves for college – giving rise to gags and thrills in equal measure. And those 3D spex prove mighty useful for hiding manly tears when the adventure reaches its inevitable, emotionally-charged conclusion. We’re welling up just thinking about it again…

4. Alice in Wonderland (Walt Disney Home Entertainment)

Tim Burton’s visually arresting mash-up of Through the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland could prove be a controversial high-ranking addition to our Top Ten list of 3D goodness.

Alice in wonderland

Shot in 2D then converted after the fact, it’s easy to argue that it’s better enjoyed flat. However while Clash of the Titans infamously made a hash of its faux 3D treatment; Alice is a good deal more successful.

Key sequences have clearly been staged for 3D from the outset and the results are undeniably spectacular. The pursuit of the Bandersnatch provides a knockout 3D demo, and the final climatic battle sequence between Alice and the Jaberwocky dragon shows off the Full HD 3D Blu-ray format to a tee.

3. Avatar (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Bizarrely, you still can’t go buy a copy of the world’s most popular movie on 3D Blu-ray, as the title remains mired in an exclusive licensing deal between Fox and Panasonic. The only way to get a copy is to buy a TV hardware bundle from Panasonic or get scalped on eBay.


To be honest, it’s probably worth paying over the odds for. This is one heck of a memorable 3D experience. The film pops with dimensional highlights: when Jake Sully wakes from his cryo-stasis and is pulled into a weightless corridor stretching back hundreds of metres you can’t help but drop your jaw – and that’s just for openers. We think is one 3D adventure you’ll want to go on time and again.

2. Resident Evil: Afterlife (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

For fans Paul WS Anderson’s fast-moving zombie franchise, buying this fourth 3D dimensional outing is a no-brainer. Even if you’ve not caught previous installments, the madcap mix of mutants and zombies make this a must-own 3D disc.

Resident evil

Shot with the Fusion camera system developed by James Cameron for Avatar, it’s peppered with amazing stereoscopic sequences, from the rain-soden pre credit sting to a mesmerizing water-drenched battle between a big beastie and Heroes star Ali Larter.

While other 3D movies pull back from delivering out of the screen effects, RE:Afterlife shows no such reticence. If Milla Jovovich can lob something sharp out of the screen, that’s exactly what she does.

1. TRON: Legacy 3D Blu-ray (Walt Disney Home Entertainment)

This belated sequel to 1982′s special effects groundbreaker is a 3D movie making truimph. Shot using the James Cameron Fusion camera system, it’s both visually audacious and endlessly spectacular. If you’re looking to show off your new 3D screen, TRON: Legacy provides the ultimate eye candy.

Tron legacy

Indeed, we would argue that the movie looks even better on a 3D TV than it did in the cinema – this is because it plays a good deal brighter, with the benefit that you can more easily appreciate the astounding CG and the extraordinary creation that is CLU – the younger Jeff Bridges.

The movie isn’t just about ‘outy’ moments. Director Joe Kosinski uses his twin-lens cameras to emphasise depth and height. Combine that with a holographic multichannel soundtrack and you have the best reason yet to buy into the 3D revolution.

The top 10 3D movies you must own