“Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie” Is Not Terrible

What physical preparation did you guys do to prep for the concert? 
Diana: I was just channeling Beyonce.
Naya: I would like to see my character to be real mean and probably get a girlfriend.
Heather: I would like to see her get a girlfriend. Like a hot girl.

– Interview: Talking Glee the 3-D Concert Movie with the Cast

Initially I’d pledged my intention to see Glee: The 3D Concert Movie on opening night, but when the big day rolled around I’d completely forgotten about it and so had everybody else, apparently.

Anyhow, I think 3-D movies are the spawn of Cinema-Satan and I already had mixed feelings about experiencing Finn at twice his regular size and three times his traditional dimensions. Therefore, I was so excited Friday night to have the opportunity to view this film in one cool, safe, gorgeous dimension right here on my home laptop, my primary entertainment source because I can’t afford to go look at things anywhere else my favorite  way to experience all the things. (I downloaded it online, the DVD goes on sale December 20th and contains, apparently, lots of EXTRAS.)

The film was touted as containing “behind-the-scenes” magic — that’s false, there’s six BTS scenes tops and most are conducted more-or-less in character. Also, there are a few clips in the preview that I didn’t see in the movie. Another surprise: the screen time devoted to taking emotional journeys through the tender life-scapes of various teenaged weirdos who, because of Glee, learned to love themselves for who they were. Heavy-handed, sure, but maybe I just think that ’cause I’ve got a heart of stone.

My favorite vignette was Trenton, a gay guy who was outed in like one of the most embarrassing ways possible but made it through the rain. His favorite character is Kurt, duh.

kurt's biggest fan

That’s another advantage to home-viewing — when I got bored or the movie got too sentimental, I could just do something else ’til it got interesting again. And by “got interesting” I mean “did another musical number.”

Luckily that’s basically all it is! It’s just a film of the concert tour they did this summer. 24 songs in their entirety delivered via aggressively variant camera angles. If you enjoy Glee covers of terrible pop songs and occasional Broadway hits, cute choreography, fun costumes, and the character outlines of the characters from the television series, you will find yourself mildly entertained, as I did!

The movie lets each kid do what they do best, performance-wise — you’re reminded what a good fucking stage performer Lea is and Amber really gets a chance to shine. Heather and Harry’s supreme dance skills are highlighted. Freed from the constraints of plot and dialogue, it’s just pure character and pure music, and ultimately that’s what I like about the show — the characters, the pretty people, the dancing, singing and costumes. That “colorful cast of characters” is the show’s greatest strength, after all. I mean, I can’t imagine Dawson’s Creek: The 3-D Concert Movie! (Joey would do “On My Own” though, for sure.)

That being said, the superfast camerawork was 3-D-friendly but ultimately distracting. It would’ve been nice to pause and enjoy one camera angle for more than two seconds, but I guess that’s how they do it these days, because of ADD.

Anyhow, at approximately the 40 minute mark, I totally flipped out because that’s when Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie introduced us to World’s Cutest Child, The Mini-Warbler, aka Kellen Mirador Sarmiento:

Apparently this kid went viral and I missed it. I’m about to ruin the experience for you if you were to discover him organically at the 40 minute mark like I did, but had you seen the movie you would’ve been so surprised to suddenly see this face in your face. He is the cutest thing to ever happen. This is humanity at its finest!\






In conclusion, this movie changed my life insofar as before the film, I hadn’t seen the Mini-Warbler, and now I have.

I remembered while watching this that I’ve never really been a huge fan of Glee: the show. I was disappointed by the pilot, and quickly tired of Season One’s the fake-pregnancy plot and that still-recycled “someone quits and/or tries to destroy Glee” storyline. We sure did try to find a fan to recap it, but nobody really stuck with it, and then Brittany and Santana made out and Santana came out and all that Kurt stuff was happening and so, as it is with most things, I began to recap it and therefore grow more critical of it.

About six or seven years ago I wrote a one-act play for my friend Krista who’d recently directed another one-act play of mine to great acclaim and wanted a repeat experience. The new one was pretty awful, I’d written the whole thing in one day, and I remember when Krista and I sat down to talk about it and the first thing she said was “my favorite part is the character descriptions. From then on out it just gets progressively worse.”  I feel that way about Glee sometimes.

But regardless, I’ve always liked the music. I’m corny, I guess. I like musical theater, I enjoy musical revues at theme parks, and I’ve got an embarrassingly extensive collection of Glee iTunes singles. So if you ever feel like a paper bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again — and who hasn’t — then you might enjoy this movie.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. I DID see in in a theater this summer even though I also hate
    3-D. It actually looked great, seeing Heather Morris perform in that outfit was totally worth the resulting headache. 3-D has come a long way since the last time I tried it.

    It really was a collection of all of the best things about Glee, the music and the performers. I liked the fan interviews and even though I had seen the mini-Warbler before I was thrilled to see him in the film.

    I guess I’m corny too, I also own a ridiculous amount of Glee music from iTunes. And I listen to it a lot. Like, my neighbors must hate me a lot. I haven’t been evicted yet so I’m going to keep it up.

    I dunno why I can keep my faith in Glee the show, I just have to believe that the season has an overall story arc that will pay off in the end. I have criticisms, just like everyone else, but I forgive many things. Or maybe I just rationalize things to keep myself happy. Either way it’s better for me personally to remain hopeful.

    • Heather Morris in Slave 4 U? Best part, hands down. Anything to do with the Warblers though, even mini ones? Yawn.

      For a 3D movie, there really didn’t seem to be a lot of 3D, if that makes sense. Like I kept taking the glasses on and off to see the difference, and there really wasn’t much. Maybe I just have terrible depth perception.

      Anyway, I was given this on DVD last week (I guess it came out earlier in Australia), but I think it might be getting re-gifted, coz I’m cheap, and just cbf.

  2. Well, I saw the concert in Dublin so I’m not thaaat inclined to buy the dvd, especially if most of the extra’s are annoying stories about emotional journeys. Yes, I’m that person who yells shut up at So You Think You Can Dance when people start crying.

    • yes i hate those, that’s why i can’t watch those shows (well, one of many reasons). but also in those cases it’s like they’re building this kid up and getting all melodramatic to manipulate you into wanting them to win so that you’ll be sad when their dreams were crushed.

      all in all, the moving fan bits were cheesy but also a fascinating insight into who it is that doesn’t critically dismantle this show every week but loves it unconditionally

  3. I first saw the mini-warbler around the same time that I went on hormonal birth control and he was so cute, I literally wept.

    And for this I will continue to blame the pills, regardless of whether it’s factually accurate or not.

  4. No mention of Heather & Naya’s great bouncing 3D breasticles?


    Mini Warbler is cute though. Too bad I hate the actual Warblers with a passion.

  5. The glee 3D movie was my first encounter with fandom. When the credits were rolling I started to talk to my friend (I didn’t know there were performances after the credits!) and an old woman in the theater shushed me and threw garbage at my head.

    Just thought I would share.

  6. I saw this in the theatres when it came out. I hated hated the smarmy fan-interviews – I didn’t go to see some fans froth over how this show changed their lives, especially when only Brittany, Kurt, Artie and Blaine were the only characters that seemed to matter. I did enjoy the footage though, and was disappointed that it wasn’t just the entire concert through.

  7. The 3-D in the dance scenes made me motion sick, and I usually don’t have problems with 3-d stuff. It was all the quick changing camera angles and changes in perspective. Too much for me.

  8. I saw this in theater, and knew going in about the fan stories. If I hadn’t known ahead of time I’m sure I’d have been really annoyed by them but since I was expecting it it didn’t bother me that much. I’d rather have seen the songs that they cut though (which seem to be included on the DVD extras, at least). I was most looking forward to Slave 4 U in 3D, but all the quick camera movement in the faster songs was giving me a headache. My favorites ended up being “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “Firework” – Lea Michele was born for the stage and I hope to God she gets herself back there when she’s done with Glee. “Ain’t No Way” was a close second.

    I really wanted to love Naya’s songs, but as I said, headache-inducing, so I should probs just get the DVD.

  9. I was forced to see this in the actual movie theatre this summer because Crazy Stupid Love was sold out that night and I was pleasantly surprised! Fun for the whole family!

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