If we consider the status of mainstream revival of 3D movies then our focus of discussion should be from the year 2003 to the present. This long phase led to the introduction of techniques that were never thought of before and modification of already existent techniques that have made the world of animation more realistic!
The journey started with the 2003 release of James Cameroon, the 'Ghosts of the Abyss'. This full length 3D IMAX film was based on the Reality Camera system. It is special movie camera that was developed by Cameron to shoot stereoscopic 3D features. The camera used for shooting was a HD species which was handcrafted by Vince Pace for Cameron. The same technology was used for later films like Spy Kids 3D: Games Over, a 2003 release, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, a 2005 release and Aliens of the Deep IMAX, a 2005 release.
In 2004, a noteworthy release was made by Las Vegas Hilton which was shot in HD video camera. The animated film was Star Trek: The Experience. The 2004 release 'The Polar Express' was a full length IMAX movie that created a revolution in the film industry. Its 3D version earned approximately 15% more profit as compared to its 2D version! This interested the industry to produce more 3D films. Walt Disney also joined the bandwagon during the modern times of animated movies with its 3D production 'Chicken Little'.
Analog 3D technology was incorporated in two 2006 releases, the 'Open Season' and 'The Ant Bully'. Technologies such as RealD, Dolby 3D and XpanD 3D were used as base technology of animated films like 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' and 'Monster House'. The 2007 Box Office hit 'Scar3D' is the first film that was developed using RealD technology.
During 2008, 'The Butler's in Love' was produced and released by Anders Lausen where the use of Kerner Optical technology, 'KernerFX' is prominent. It displays the use of stereoscopic camera rig of 'Kernercam' during the process of its making. 'Radio Mania: An Abandoned Work' which was made by the British Film Institute and released in 2009 integrated dual screen technology featuring stereoscopic 3D film technology with 3D Ambisonic sound. The major commercial releases during this time feature different 3D technologies. The primary ones among them are Monsters v/s Aliens, Up, Avatar, etc.
'Shrek Forever After', developed by Dreamworks Animation and presented by Paramount Pictures was released in 2010 in USA in IMAX 3D. It is one of the finest specimens of RealD technology. 2013 looks more promising for the animation industry as Star Trek 2 Into Darkness, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Jurasic Park 3D, The Great Gatsby and Escape from Planet Earth have already got released and movies like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Walking with Dinosaurs, Thor: The Dark World , Gravity , Frozen , etc. are waiting in the pipeline. Expectations are that the world will be able to see the display of latest 3D technology now.
Mainstream revival of 3D movies initiated from the year 2003 and continues till now. This long phase led to the introduction of techniques that were never thought of before, modification of already existent techniques and 3D and rendering software that has made the world of animation more realistic!