3D hasn't taken the home-theater world by storm, but a lot of new TVs are 3D-enabled, and plenty of people have an interest in 3D content. Alas, 3D Blu-rays are pricey, usually costing close to $30, so they're not exactly an impulse purchase. And that's why it's good to know which ones are truly top-notch and worth adding to your collection. Or at least worth considering adding.
We can't say that there are a whole of must-have 3D Blu-rays. And, for better or worse, many of the best 3D discs are animated movies.
Feel free to agree or disagree with our choices in the comments section. Also, if you think we missed any worthy titles, please let us know (we haven't checked out every 3D Blu-ray on the market and we know we've left a few off the list that probably should be there). We'll be updating the list as new discs come out.
Some people are more blown away by "Gravity" than others, but there's no denying it's one of those movies that not only not looks great in 3D, with excellent depth and good pop-out effects, but also one where the 3D enhances the viewing experience.
Much has already been said about how much attention James Cameron paid to the 3D aspect of "Avatar" and the 3D version really wowed audiences when they saw it in theaters. Like "Gravity," it was one of those films that was better in 3D than 2D. We can't say it's one of those movies you want to watch over and over, but it's still one of the most impressive live-action 3D movies.
See more info and pricing for "Avatar."
"Life of Pi" is a beautifully filmed movie that has some really nice 3D effects that enhance the viewing experience (rather than detract from it). Its crisp video looks great in 2D but has that little extra wow in 3D.
See more info and pricing for "Life of Pi."
"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" is a really great-looking film that features a constant stream of impressive 3D effects, some of which will induce an involuntarily "wow." The movie itself (story, characters) may not be quite up to the level as some of the other animated titles on the list, but it's definitely a disc to show off your 3D TV.
This is one of our reference 3D Blu-rays. Director Martin Scorsese paid careful attention to the 3D, and the movie has great depth in a lot of its scenes. The film isn't as kid-friendly as many of the animated titles on the list, but adults seem to like it just fine.
"Pacific Rim" received some negative buzz when it first launched in the US, and although it has its share of silly moments and bad dialogue (what giant monster movie doesn't?), it features pristine, reference-quality video, and the 3D helps create a better perception of the massive size of the monsters. The picture's dark in a lot of scenes, but the movie looks better (shadow details are better) on Blu-ray than in the theater. Of course, it helps to have a higher-end large-screen 3D TV or preferably, a projector.
"How to Train your Dragon" has gotten a lot of props for its 3D version (no shocker, a bunch animated dragons flying around do lend themselves well to 3D). It's also an entertaining flick with good humor and replay value.
"Despicable Me 2" may have lost out to "Frozen" in the Oscar race for Best Animated Film, but it's a fun flick that has great colors, really deep 3D, and amusing characters. Good replay value, particularly if you have kids.
"Wreck-It Ralph" doesn't necessarily offer the deepest 3D effects compared with some of the animated titles on this list, but it's an entertaining movie and overall the 3D is well-done and satisfying.
See more info and pricing for "Wreck-It Ralph."
"Rise of the Guardians" is truly a visual feast, with eye-popping colors, highly detailed animated characters, and really deep 3D effects. Don't confuse this with "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole." This "Guardians" is from DreamWorks. The other one is from Warner Bros. Both are excellent 3D titles.
The original "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" offered impressive 3D visuals, and the sequel arguably looks even better, with great color, deep 3D, and some nice pop-out moments. Better yet, some people like the second film better.