We went out to see a matinee flick this afternoon. The intent was to see Happy Feet but when we got there we saw that it was rated PG. Rather than waste 30 bucks to have to pull my almost-five year old out of their mid-way through the picture, we opted to see Flushed Away instead. It was G-Rated and the characters looked similar to the last Wallace & Grommit flick we saw (and similar to those in Chicken Run) both of which I liked. So we had made our choice.
Three main comments on the outing:
1. I absolutely loved the movie. It was like the vast majority of kiddy movies these days in that it had a good action packed story with enough grown-up references thrown in to keep the parents entertained. Incidentally, Curious George is the only film I've paid money for in recent memory that didn't do this - although I still loved that one too. Flushed Away was unique in that it had a real UK bent to it. It seemed more aimed at the UK/European market than the US. Refreshing really. The humour was top notch, very clever and witty. Even the odd bit of toilet humour (literally) was done with intelligence. The top bad guy was a large frog (with a penchant for Royal Family memorabilia) and his cousin's band of French Ninjas (frogs as well) was absolutely priceless. Very very much fun. I highly recommend it. I will definitely purchase it when it comes out, possibly more for me than for my daughter. :)
2. While this is nothing new, I have to say that paying over 12 bucks for a regular Coke, small popcorn and small bottle of water is absolute highway robbery. You can rest assured that come winter, the coat pockets and my wife's purse will be stocked with the requisite snacks and bottled water before we arrive at the theatre. I felt raped walking away from that snack counter.
3. Listen people. If you're going to wait in line at the snack bar with several offspring in tow, then either take control of them, or get some help. I had a 3 year old behind me inexplicably grab the seat of my pants (!) A quick turn around yielded only a meek and embarrassed smile from the parent supposedly in control of this pack. No apology was made of course. To further exacerbate the situation, after 10 minutes of standing in line I finally found myself at the counter with 4 strange kids wriggling around right beside me (two on each side). My wife and daughter were already in the theatre waiting for Daddy to make the snack run. Now don't get me wrong, I know kids are excited when they're at the movies, but I have a thing about instilling some instruction in my daughter about respecting people's space. You wait in line, you wait your turn. You don't go jumping around, bumping into people and pushing your way up beside someone in front. Maybe it's just me, but I see this behaviour all the time. If you met me you'd know I'm all for having fun (I'm the Dad sitting playing dolly's with his daughter in the Doctor's waiting room, or supplying just enough ticklish touch to generate fits of 4 year old belly-laughter in the shoe store), but I also hold sacred the job of defining what's right and wrong, both by instruction and by example. Why do so many others fail to do the same?
So there you have it: great movie, ridiculous prices and inept parenting skills. We ran the gamut this afternoon.
If there are any parents out there who've seen Happy Feet, please let me know if you liked it and what it was like. While our almost-five year old daughter is not exactly shielded from the realities of life, I'd like not to spend 30 bucks and have her traumatized. That can wait until she's 7. :)