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Is 4DX the Future of Theatrical Experiences? Shawna’s Take After Screening Dumbo in 4DX

Recently I was invited to screen Disney’s Dumbo in 4DX. It was found to be a welcomed addition to the way moviegoers can experience a film.   4DX is an experience created by CJ 4DPlex, South Korean tech group.  They first introduced this augmented reality theater experience in 2009 with the release of Journey to the Center of the Earth in Seoul and it has expanded to theaters around the world.

You are seated in a chair kind of like a massage chair. That chair moves in a couple of different ways, movement depends on the action on the screen.  3D, fog, rain, back and leg ticklers, full range motion seats and air shots are just a few options theaters can request to have installed in their auditoriums.  21 multisensory customizable cinematic effects allow for viewers to feel the wind in their hair as Dumbo soars to new heights, the mist of his first bath, the rumble of Casey Junior, and many other interactive features redefining the future of film. Since the unveiling of the environmental effects and seat motion technology to the public, the explosion of full sensory theater immersion continues to grow world-wide. According to ‘620 theaters, 60,000 seats in 62 countries’ now offer 4 packages that can be retroactively equipped to fit the needs of each theater. It currently takes less than a month for CJ 4Dplex to program a 4DX track over a current film.

 Classic films such as Fantasia would deliver a full-bodied in living color experience. An up-close and personal swinging and swaying, the splash of mist from the magic swells of musical waves. This technology would deliver the film in an entirely new way.

The current cost of 4DX tickets are upwards of $30. Once I saw this film in 4DX I was sold and I do not know how we saw movies without this technology before now. The experience would be worth the money to me, however knowing that I am not going to spend $30 per ticket for every movie I want to see this year, it will be a huge factor in the movies we see in the future.   If 4DX were the $20 per ticket price like the current 2D experience I would move into the theater parking lot because I would want to be 1st in line at every opening screening.

Quick Take on Dumbo

It is not fair to compare a Tim Burton remake to the original as I have learned with past films.  Burton along with an outstanding cast manages to surprise and captivate young and old alike. Do not expect to see the iconic black and white stripes, the director is so famous for, in this film. The film’s wardrobe designer stresses the disconnect. The steam punk art-deco plays a starting role in this 1940s time piece.

Classic Dumbo fans will not be disappointed as all the original heart string tugging moments are kept well intact. The beautifully intertwined modern-day lessons are so seamlessly developed in the story.

Dumbo (2019) is sure to bring a cult following for years to come. Wide eyed, cuddly characters from Dumbo to Joe Farrier (Finley Bobbins) are easy to root for while the villains real and personal are served a dose of PETA approved justice.

As someone who cannot sit through a movie without falling asleep this re-i-magic-ed classic coupled with the emerging technological advances in the movie going experience make Disney’s Dumbo 4DX a great way to experience the film theaters. For an all encompassing experience you can not compare to another screen experience.  I found this is worth the money. It will change the way you desire to see movies and may make you take up a second job.

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