The New York Times has a nice, comprehensive article on the production of the latest 3D digital animation from DreamWorks (complete article here).
Is it necessary for us to say that, for once, we agree with Jeffrey Katzenberg, who says "because of advances in digital technology. . .3-D was no longer just a gimmick for reaching out and tickling (or scaring) the audience from time to time. . .The eye naturally sees in 3-D, so adding depth to the images on screen delivers a more immersive and realistic experience."
Katzenberg also maintains this can "result in a dazzling new visual language." Well, duh. Stereographers have known this for over a 100 years now. But we'll cut him some slack. The technology to deliver this in animation format to a mass audience has only recently been perfected and made cost-effective for feature length films.
What I see as the great upside to this is that a new generation of kids is being offered a quality 3D experience at the movies. They will grow up expecting this as just another option in the story-telling palette of mass media. This can mean 3D as a mass medium for the first time since the early 1950's — without the eye strain and mechanical synchronization problems of the last go-round. And that future is one to look forward to for all 3D enthusiasts.