4D film or 4-D film is a marketing term for an entertainment presentation system combining a 3D film with physical effects that occur in the theatre in synchronization with the film. (Note that 4D films are not actually four-dimensional in the geometric sense of the word.) Because physical effects can be expensive to install, 4D films are most often presented in custom-built theatres at special venues such as theme parks and amusement parks. However, some movie theatres have the ability to present 4D versions of wide-release 3D films. The films Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), and Avatar (2009) are among the films that have received a 4D treatment in certain theatres.
Effects simulated in a 4D film may include rain, wind, strobe lights, and vibration. Seats in 4D venues may vibrate or move a few inches during the presentations. Other common chair effects include air jets, water sprays, and leg and back ticklers. Hall effects may include smoke, rain, lightning, air bubbles, and special smells (for example, fireworks smells at the London Eye's Experience, and gassy smells when a stinkbug sprays it in It's Tough to Be a Bug).
4D films have occasionally been marketed as 5D, 6D, or 7D films in order to emphasize the variety or uniqueness of their theatre effects. However, there is no consistent standard among films for the application of these marketing labels.
|Title||Year||Release venue/ Country||Notes|
|The Sensorium||1984||Six Flags Power Plant, Baltimore, MD||The first 4D film|
|Captain EO||1986||Epcot, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland||Closed in the mid-late 1990s. Reopened in 2010 as a tribute to the late Michael Jackson, who stars in the film. Currently playing in four Disney theme parks.|
|Muppet*Vision 3D||1991||Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure Park||Directed by Jim Henson|
|Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across Time||1996||Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan||Directed by James Cameron|
|It's Tough to Be a Bug!||1998||Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney California Adventure Park||Based on the Pixar film A Bug's Life but made by Rhythm and Hues Studios|
|Pirates 4D||1999||Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, SeaWorld San Diego (seasonally), Noah's Ark Waterpark, Thorpe Park in the UK, Enchanted Kingdom in the Philippines, Sentosa Singapore and Phantasialand|
|PandaDroom||2002||The Efteling, Netherlands||Same film released in other parks sans 4D effects|
|Mickey's PhilharMagic||2003||Magic Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland||In collaboration with Walt Disney Feature Animation|
|SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D||2002, 2006||Six Flags over Texas, Moody Gardens, Shedd Aquarium, Adventure Dome, Six Flags Great Adventure, Movie Park Germany, Adventure Aquarium, Kings Dominion, (formerly at Paramount Parks), Pier 39, Indianapolis Zoo, Carowinds, Camden Aquarium (Camden, NJ), Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida, Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo and other locations|
|Haunted Lighthouse, (aka R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse 4-D)||2003||Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo|
|Shrek 4-D||2003||Universal Studios Florida, Warner Bros. Movie World, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Singapore||Released in an anaglyph version as Shrek 3-D on DVD|
|Borg Invasion||2004||Star Trek: The Experience, at Las Vegas Hilton, USA||Closed in 2008, to be reopened in Neonopolis, Las Vegas|
|Fly Me to the Moon||2008||Six Flags over Texas|
|Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D Adventure||2008||Vibrant 5D, Raipur (Installed by Modern 5D, India) Stone Mountain Park, Dollywood, Warner Bros. Movie World|
|Pokemon 4-D: Pikachu's Ocean Adventure||2008||Comcast IMAX 3D Theater in Avon, Massachusetts, as well as in Japan||Produced by Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. Distributed by Sarai Inc|
|Avatar in 4-D||2009||South Korea, Hong Kong|
|London Eye 4D Experience||2009||London Eye|
|Marvel Super Heroes 4D||2010||Madame Tussauds London|
|Rabid Rider||2010||Cincinnati Zoo|
|Star Tours II||2011||Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios|
|Shalem||2011?||Jerusalem Time Elevator, Jerusalem||A 3000-year-old guide to Jerusalem's history at the Jerusalem Time Elevator, Jerusalem. It includes moving and tilting seats on a moving stage, air conditioning and smell enhancements, along with a 'light and sound' show highlighting real artifacts. A similar system, 'The Time Mine', has been installed at the Timna Valley park near Eilat, and another at the main hall of the Herzl Museum in Jerusalem.|
|Spy Kids: All the Time in the World||2011||United States, India, Canada and UK||Smell was achieved by using scratch and sniff cards|
|Transformers: The Ride||2011||Universal Studios Singapore, Universal Studios Hollywood|
|Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem||2012||Universal Studios Florida||14-minute simulator ride, starring Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and the Minions; setting is 1 year after the events of the original film in 2010.|
|Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs||2012||Shedd Aquarium, Warner Bros. Movie World and North Carolina Zoo||14 minute condensed version of the film.|
|Iron Man 3||2013||Korona World Theatre Nagoya, Japan, Seoul, South Korea||Labeled as 4DX featuring strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog, and odor effects.|
- Han Sunhee (February 5, 2010). "'Avatar' goes 4D in Korea". Variety. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- "Big Movie Zone -- Pikachu's Ocean Adventure". Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- Jerusalem Time Elevator Tickets GoJerusalem.com
- Marah Eakin (18 April 2013), Iron Man 3 getting sniff-worthy 4D screenings in Japan, Onion Inc., retrieved 28 February 2014
- Are 4D movies the next big thing?
- High quality stereoscopic HFR 3D,4D,5D rides for cinema and attractions
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