Q: My seven-year-old daughter loves movies, and there are many 3D movies geared toward kids this holiday season—Arthur Christmas, Happy Feet 2, Hugo, Puss in Boots, and The Muppets. But when my friend took her to see Puss in Boots, which opens with snow falling, the 3-D snow really freaked my daughter out, and she refused to put the glasses back on the remainder of the film. Is this something she will grow out of? What should I do?
-Multidimensional in Atlanta, GA
A: Dear Multidimensional,
These movies can be exciting and fun—for some viewers. The 3D effect that is so engaging demands that our eyes and brains combine two artificially created 2D images into a single 3D image. This is much harder for the brain to do than it is to visually process objects that actually have three dimensions, like snow falling in real life. This processing uses parts of the brain that do not fully develop until the mid-20s (although even adults can develop eyestrain, headaches, and even nausea from watching 3D movies). …