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Confession: I don’t hate 3-D…

Mary Claire O'Donnell | Monday, January 30, 2012

I never saw “Avatar.” I know, cue gasps of shock and looks of disbelief. I’ve been dealing with it since 2009 when the subject of those weird blue people, James Cameron and his possible Oscar win were on everyone’s mind. But I thought the movie looked like “Pocahontas,” which I really only enjoyed because of the soundtrack, so I wasn’t going to spend upwards of $15 to see another version of the same movie.

Everyone kept telling me that I had to see it because of the 3-D animation, but the only thing I could think of when I thought of 3-D were those shows at theme parks where giant bees would coming flying at your face in the name of entertainment. That’s not really my cup of tea, so I was more than content to let others ooh and aah over the movie.

And so 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” was my first exposure to the new 3-D animation. I was underwhelmed, both by the movie and the animation. And that’s really how I felt about every movie I saw in 3-D — the animation was just never really impressive. And I had to shell out about $5 extra to see the movie. Not worth it.

But then I went to see the 3-D re-release of “Beauty and the Beast” in theaters. And my opinion changed. Every moment I had memorized since my days as a tow-headed, squeaky-voiced toddler were made even more magical by the subtle 3-D enhancements and big screen projection. When Belle and the Beast danced in the ballroom, I was there with them, spinning around with my own prince charming.

The effects were noticeable, but not obnoxious. Part of the improvement may have come from the digital remastering of the film — and the fact that I was seeing the movie on the big screen for the first time in 20 years. But either way, I was totally won over to the idea of 3-D and re-releasing old movies in the new animation.

With this new, positive outlook, I can’t wait to see what other movies will hit the theaters. I’ve already got the re-release of “Titanic,” April 6, and “Finding Nemo,” Sept. 14, down on my calendar. I will, however, be skipping the Feb. 10 re-release of “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” Jar-Jar Binx was tough to stomach in 2-D, so I can only imagine how annoying he would be in 3-D. But hopefully George Lucas will follow with the rest of the series soon.

So, sorry — I’ll still probably never see “Avatar.” But I’m ready to experience the movies that defined my childhood and adolescence return to the big screen in 3-D.

Contact Mary Claire O’Donnell at modonne5@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.