Toy Story writers dismiss 3D as gimmick

Like Star Wars' Anthony Daniels (C3PO) before them, the original screenwriters of Toy Story, and wordsmiths behind Activision's forthcoming game/toy hybrid Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, have dismissed 3D as being a gimmick.

Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow have a string of other family movie hits to their names, including both Garfield films and Cheaper by the Dozen, but are unconvinced that 3D will be anything more than a fad.

"I'm not a big fan of 3D," Sokolow told Pocket-lint during an exclusive one-to-one briefing. "I don't enjoy the process.

"Half the time I feel a little cheated in some weird way."

It's a sentiment shared by his writing partner: "I'm old enough to know 3D the first time around," said Cohen. "And it seemed like a passing fancy then. It came and went."

Sokolow was also keen to point out that the reason 3D may not take over cinema the way that the studios would like lies with the overall quality of the movies that adopt it: "There are some directors that use 3D fantastically, beautifully, but most don't. Most use it as a gimmick," he said.

Cohen delved further, "The audience adapts to any technological thing quickly but what keeps them in their seat is the quality of the storytelling. Nobody is going to the theatre to watch a bad movie just because they get to wear the glasses. A bad movie in 3D is just a little bit worse than the same movie in 2D."

And he adds that even good movies may not benefit from being released in three-dimensions: "When Pixar, a year and a half ago, put out Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D, they actually didn't do that well."

That is why, in terms of new entertainment technologies, the screenwriting duo have turned to videogames like Skylanders rather than 3D movies.

"The videogames sector, when we look back 10 years from now, will feel like what Hollywood must have felt like in the 1920s. They went through these rudimentary silent films to complex epic productions in the space of 10 years," said Sokolow.

The Cohen and Sokolow-plotted Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure will be out on 14 October for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. It comes with a game, an electronic Portal of Power and a starter pack of figures which, when placed on the accessory, appear on the screen as a playable character. Other figures will be available to buy separately.

You can find out more at www.skylanders.com.

Do you agree with Sokolow and Cohen? Is 3D doomed to fail again? Let us know in the comments below...