I welcome Adam Darowksi as a new contributer to Kidoinfo. When not hanging out with his three-year old daughter and six-month old son, Adam Darowski works for BatchBlue Software and blogs at Darowski.com.
A couple of months ago, we brought my daughter (who had just turned three years old) to her very first movie. She had only watched one or two feature length movies on DVD before, but we were confident a full-length film on the big screen would keep her attention.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have many options for what movie to see once we decided she was ready for her first theater experience. Our choice at the local cinema was Bee Movie or . . . Bee Movie. So, Bee Movie it was.
We were a bit nervous because it was rated PG, but another parent told us that it wasn’t violent, and that the little bit of adult humor would fly over the a child’s head. Fair enough.
Our daughter thought she was the coolest girl in the world sitting in a “big comfy chair” munching on pretzels and watching previews. When it was time for the feature, the lights dimmed.
Whoops. She got nervous.
“I can’t see my pretzel,” she said timidly, holding her pretzel six inches in front of her eyes.
Soon, the opening credits brightened the room, and she felt okay again. However, we soon realized that some scenes that were likely harmless when sitting on the couch watching a 27-inch TV in broad daylight went over differently on a gynormous widescreen with booming surround sound in complete darkness. Nervousness turned to quiet tears during certain scenes before she announced, “I have to go pee-pee.” (Code for “get me out of here!”)
She returned from the bathroom and gave it a go for a few more minutes, but an hour into the movie, she decided she had had enough. So, off we went to eat dinner at Gramma’s and Grandpa’s. She told them she liked the movie, but “It was scary.”
What seemed to get to her were some particularly loud, noisy, and dramatic scenes (such as the lead character getting stuck in a car engine and desperately trying to save himself). I have the feeling even some G-rated Pixar flicks would have had the same effect on her at this stage.
The experience had me wishing there was a full-length Little Einsteins or Clifford feature, but it seems like that dream went straight to DVD. While I know my daughter is the sensitive type (I was shocked when she cried at an old Mickey Mouse cartoon when Pluto was frozen in a block of ice), I wanted to throw the question out to the readers…
When was your child’s first movie theater experience and how did it go?