The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Jeffrey Katzenberg: Don't ever take off those 3-D glasses!

July 28, 2009 |  1:09 pm


I guess it's too early for Jeffrey Katzenberg to be touting the aesthetic glories of "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom," since it doesn't actually come out for almost two more years. (That's the real title -- we couldn't possibly make these things up.) So the indefatigable huckster is back out on the tech circuit, beating the drums for his 3-D crusade -- only this time he's promoting the idea of having us wear our 3-D glasses all day long, hoping we'll put some more cash on the barrelhead so we can be the first on our block to have a fancy new TV set that will allow us to spend all our waking hours watching 3-D movies, sporting events and ESPN poker matches.

As the Hollywood Reporter explained, Katzenberg was at Fortune magazine's Brainstorm: Tech conference hailing new 3-D technology that is "so far beyond" what it was just nine months ago, which is exactly when he last bought a new TV set. In the beginning, according to the DreamWorks Animation chief, consumers will need special glasses to watch every wonderful 3-D event, but he predicted that new "autostereo displays"  will negate that need in "a handful of years."   

Katzenberg also found time to tout the troubled Blue-ray DVD format, which consumers have been ignoring in droves, claiming that it will also be a big force behind the 3-D revolution, saying "Blu-ray is a fantastic platform for 3-D." I guess once you get Katzenberg wound up, he'll sing the praises of practically any product, since the Reporter actually quotes him as extolling the virtues of "Up," the film made by Pixar -- DreamWorks' much-loathed arch-rival -- which Katzenberg called a film he "loved."

I hate seeing all this persuasive power wasted on a gimmick like 3-D. Since Katzenberg has been such a big donor to the Democratic Party, maybe the Obama administration should bring him to Washington to help it sell its healthcare legislation. If Katzenberg can get millions of American to spend an extra 3 bucks to watch "Monsters vs. Aliens" in 3-D, then surely he could find a way to finagle 15 or 20 Republican congressmen to vote for a healthcare bill. 

Photo: Jeffrey Katzenberg. Credit: Ronda Churchill / Associated Press