Inspirational Showcase of Three-Dimensional (3D) Movie Posters

Over the past decade there has been a tremendous increase in the amount of three-dimensional available to view both at the cinema and from the comfort of your own homes, ranging from anaglyphic films (they’re the ones where you had to wear a pair of groovy red and blue glasses) to the latest RealD 3D technology which is what is currently being used in most cinemas.

In this post we will be taking a look at a number of movie posters of films that were released in 3D (please note that most of these were also available in 2D); we will be pointing out trends used throughout all of the posters, and how different posters advertise the 3D films in different ways. We also want to know which one you think most successfully advertises the film as a 3D production, so get discussing the comments area!

Spy Kids 3D: Game Over (2003)

Spy Kids 3D

Several techniques are used in this poster to make it appear more three-dimensional, with the most noticeable being the actresses arm which is well out of proportion making it seem as if it is coming out of the poster. A couple of other little additions to make this poster more suitable for a 3D movie is the 3D anaglyph glasses the actor is wearing, and also how the poster reads “COMING AT YOU JULY 25TH” instead of “COMING TO A CINEMA NEAR YOU JULY 25TH”.

The Polar Express (2004)

The Polar Express

The Polar Express is a 3D movie, but makes no effort whatsoever in the poster to show this – there’s no “3D effects” that have been applied, neither is there even a tagline to say the movie is available in 3D!

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D (2005)

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D

This film was directed by the same people that directed Spy Kids 3D, and therefore uses very similar techniques in not only their movie but their advertisement poster, too. Again, the most noticeable technique used here is the actors arm being out of proportion to make it appear as if it is coming out from the poster. Other techniques are elements of the design coming out from the purple frame used in the background of the design, and 3D typography.

Aliens of the Deep (2005)

Aliens of the Deep

Aliens of the Deep doesn’t make a huge effort to make their poster seem three-dimensional; however they have made it clear the the film is available in IMAX 3D theatres.

Chicken Little (2005)

Chicken Little

The creators of this Chicken Little poster used their imagination and had the main character of the movie sitting in a movie theatre with a bucket of popcorn wearing his very own 3D glasses; a superb way to represent that the film can be viewed in Digital 3D.

The Ant Bully (2006)

The Ant Bully

The Ant Bully is another animated movie that could be viewed in 3D but decided not to mention this on one of their biggest and most used advertisement posters. There is absolutely no mention of the film being available in 3D, either.

Deep Sea 3D (2006)

Deep Sea 3D

This poster makes it clear the the film is three-dimensional, not just because the title includes “3D” but also because it is clear that the film is produced by IMAX, a huge three-dimensional movie production company. The artwork also appears to be coming out from the poster due to proportions and clever placement.

Monster House (2006)

Monster House

Clever shapes and angles are used in this poster to give it that 3D look – the poster has been designed as if it was a photo taken from a low level, making the house appear larger at the bottom and smaller at the top, in between the archway of trees on either side, topped off with 3D style typography and realistic shadowing effects. To make it even more clear that the movie is available in 3D, the “3D” text at the bottom of the poster is emphasized using the same style of writing as is used in the main title.

Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)

Night of the Living Dead 3D

Night of the Living Dead 3D made an attempt to make their poster look 3D but didn’t do the greatest of jobs; the piece of what looks like a human body part (who knows?) is meant to look as if it is coming out of the poster but in general it just doesn’t work as well as others we have already seen in this showcase.

Open Season (2006)

Open Season

Yet another poster that doesn’t let the audience know that the film is also available in digital 3D as well as the standard 2D. It does however make a great impression with incredible character rendering with realistic shadows and highlights.

Superman Returns (2006)

Superman Returns

Superman Returns makes it super obvious that the film is available in 3D by clearly stating that it is “IN IMAX 3D”. To top it all off the infamous Superman logo/badge has some incredible glass-like, shiny shadows and highlights applied to it, making it look 3D, as well as the simple typography having simple black drop shadows to give it that little more oomph that is required!

Beowulf (2007)


This Beowulf poster makes a great effort using just photography to represent that the film is available in 3D. Using a great depth of field (a high aperture to photography newbies) the focus is primarily on the actors face, therefore blurring out the sword, hand and shoulder; something that would happen in real life if you had a sword in your face but decide you want to focus elsewhere. This however isn’t really enough to suggest the film is actually in 3D, and therefore is backed up with a tagline stating it is also available in IMAX 3D and Digital 3D.

Meet The Robinsons (2007)

Meet The Robinsons

Other than good rendering effects, nothing in this poster actually backs up that it is available in 3D, therefore the big red typography at the bottom stating it is in Disney Digital 3-D at selected cinemas is an absolute must!

Scar (2007)


Being a horror film, Scar 3D is quite a hard poster to pull off with 3D effects being quite a grungy and dark film. A large “3D” is displayed in a nice area of whitespace that makes it super clear that it is a 3D film – there is also a good use of a drop shadow beneath the movie title however that does help inform viewers that the film is three-dimensional.

Bolt (2008)


Bolt is yet another animated film available in 3D but doesn’t mention anywhere on the poster that this is the case; neither does it use effects or techniques in the artwork to suggest it is a 3D movie.

Fly Me To The Moon (2008)

Fly Me To The Moon

Fly Me To The Moon uses simple techniques to make the poster look more three dimensional; such as typography with a 3D effect (the main movie title), as well as placing the characters at different sizes throughout the poster to make them appear to be in the foreground, mid-ground and background. As well as these techniques, the short-term for three dimensional – “3D” – has been used twice in the poster.

Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008)

Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus

Disney released a couple of these types of “movies” featuring their pop stars. The idea behind them is to bring a concert to the movie theatre and using 3D technology to make them seem like real life. The poster however doesn’t use many techniques to make it clear to viewers that the film is 3D – instead they just use text to inform the user that it has been captured in Disney Digital 3-D.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D (2008)

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Journey to the Center of the Earth is one of the most impressive posters here when it comes to trying to reproduce a three-dimensional look without actually using any real 3D technology. The different levels of layers (i.e. the teeth, plants, characters, background) as well as the great light streaks throughout the design really make the poster pop – exactly what is needed!

Avatar (2009)


Avatar is the biggest three-dimensional movie to date. In fact, it’s one of the biggest movies to date, having earned billions of dollars in the box office alone. The poster itself is rather beautiful, although doesn’t use any kind of effects to really show that it is 3D. It does however clearly say “Experience it in IMAX 3D” in a clean white typeface against a black background, making it super easy to spot.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

A Christmas Carol

The remake of A Christmas Carol is a very “traditional” poster using fine art as well as digital art. The film, despite not looking like it, is available in 3D, but once again is only mentioned in type at the bottom of the poster.

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs in 3D (2009)

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs in 3D

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs is probably one of the other biggest 3D movies to date, and was primarily advertised as a 3D movie (although a 2D version was also available). The designers of the poster tried really hard to give it a 3D effect, giving a low perspective on the main character (as if the camera is placed on the ground), looking up into the sky with the raining meatballs, which have also had motion blurs applied as if they were coming straight at you. The typography has also had a three-dimensional effect applied to it which makes it look like it is floating in the sky.

Coraline (2009)


Coraline is yet another that doesn’t make use of many effects to give it that 3D look – it is however an incredible poster, with lots of empty space, awesome colors and all in all, some incredible lighting effects. The poster does still mention that the film is available in RealD 3D in select cinemas.

The Final Destination (2009)

The Final Destination

This poster doesn’t actually mention that it is a 3D movie anywhere on the poster; it uses effects that make it look as if it could be 3D (mainly the angled smashed glass that looks like it’s coming towards you), but this is quite unclear as to whether it is actually a 3D film not.

G-Force (2009)


Other than a rather cool tagline of “Gadgets. Gizmos. Guinea Pigs in 3-D.” this poster doesn’t actually use any techniques in the artwork to suggest that it is a 3D movie. However it works incredibly well, especially when the character render is so detailed!

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs uses a very similar technique to what Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D uses, giving a view from inside the dinosaurs mouth. Not only does this make the poster interesting to look at and gives it a comical kick, but it also suggests the movie is three-dimensional.

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (2009)

Jonas Brothers

A 3D effect is impossible to pull off when using a photograph, mainly because it is a photo of something that is already three-dimensional! This poster is eye-catching and generally does work well, using some simple typography with an enlarged “3D” to inform the viewers that the “movie” is available in 3D.

Monsters vs Aliens (2009)

Monsters vs Aliens

Monsters vs Aliens is one of many movie posters that sports the recent minimalism design trend. The character has excellent 3D rendering, as does the typography, and therefore suggests the film is available in three-dimension. It also informs viewers that it can be seen in both RealD 3D and IMAX 3D, depending on what theatre you go to.

My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

My Bloody Valentine 3D

This poster uses a similar technique to what Chicken Little used. The poster is based on the crowd in the cinema watching the movie, with them gasping and screaming with things (such as axes and broken glass) flying out of the screen into their faces. The typography also has a good 3D effect, as well all being backed up with a tag line saying “3D RIDE TO HELL!”.

UP (2009)


UP is another poster that sports the minimal trend. The artwork doesn’t do much to suggest the film is in 3D, but is very clean and eye-catching, and with not much typography in the whole poster, the large 3D logo in the bottom right corner stands out very well.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)

The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore uses motion blur (particularly on the pigeons wing) and unusual perspectives (the cityscape) to suggest that the movie is available in 3D. This is backed up with some 3D typography stating that the film is “Unleashed in 3D”.

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Clash of the Titans

This poster uses lighting techniques to really bring out the character from the background, giving it that extra sharpness that you would get from a 3D movie; although this doesn’t really suggest that the movie itself is in 3D, and the poster doesn’t state anywhere in writing that the movie is available in 3D.

Despicable Me (2010)

Despicable Me

Despicable Me is another minimalistic poster that is very similar to the Monsters vs Aliens poster we looked at earlier. This one however does make it clear the the movie is three-dimensional by both typography with a 3D effect stating that the movie is “In Eye-Popping RealD 3D”, and by making the characters all wear 3D glasses.

How To Train Your Dragon 3D (2010)

How To Train Your Dragon 3D

Yet another poster that uses 3D typography to suggest that the film is available in 3D. Other than this and type actually stating that the film is 3D, there isn’t anything special about the artwork that informs the user that it is a 3D film.

Hubble 3D (2010)


Hubble 3D uses some really awesome perspectives in the movie poster to suggest the movie is 3D, and then is clearly backed up by the title of the film itself, which like so many others in this showcase also has a 3D effect applied to it.

The Last Airbender (2010)

The Last Airbender

This movie poster is one of my favorites in the showcase, although it doesn’t do a good job (or a job at all for that matter) to suggest/inform viewers that the film is available in three-dimension!

Piranha 3D (2010)


Piranha 3D is clearly a 3D film as it has “3D” in its title! However it does do a nice job of showing the film is in 3D as well, cleverly allowing the viewer to see the ocean’s surface yet still see all the piranhas under the sea. The poster also makes use of the current retro/vintage trend by using paper textures and distressed typography, a lovely little addition.

Shrek: The Final Chapter (2010)

The Final Chapter

Other than the great digital shadows and highlights, the only thing that suggests the film is 3D in this poster is the typography, which isn’t really enough on it’s own to make the idea of a 3D film even cross most peoples minds. It does however inform viewers that the film is available in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D at the bottom of the poster, although it is fairly small!

Toy Story 3(D) (2010)

Toy Story

Toy Story 3(D) cleverly uses the the title of the film to its advantage and adds a “D” to the “3”. As well as this, like a couple of others in this example, the aliens are wearing 3D glasses, making it obvious that the film is in 3D.

Saw 3D (2010)

Saw 3D

Saw 3D is again obviously a 3D movie as it states in the title. It does however use some great realistic effects in the chrome trap to back up that the film is available to watch in RealD 3D.

Jackass 3D (2010)

Jackass 3D

Yet another film sporting the minimal poster trend, the Jackass 3D poster purely relies on the Jackass logo wearing a pair of anaglyphic three-dimensional to not only tell you that the movie is in 3D but to also tell you what the movie is!

Your Turn Now

What do you think makes a good poster to advertise a three-dimensional movie? Do you think there is a correct way to do it? Should all 3D movie posters have some kind of badge or logo to inform the viewers that it’s in 3D? What do you think works best?


  1. Jessica says

    On Night of the Living Dead 3D, I’m pretty sure that “thing” coming out at you is a shovel, not a body part.

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