Sunday, April 16, 2006


Go to the Movies With Your Children!

For you movie lovers who have children -- How great is the feeling of watching the emotions of your child as they sit in a theater, laughing, or cheering, or tearing up at the movie on the screen? As a divorced father of two young children, for me, some of the greatest moments have been taking them to the movies. When I mention we're going to the movie theater, I can see in their eyes, the excitement that "going to the movies" used to hold for me. And when they react to a film, I react to their reaction. I still remember the anticipation my daughter had, soon after her mother and I separated, to our seeing Rugrats in Paris together. It was such a thrill for her to be seeing that movie with her Dad (and I felt the same way about seeing it with her). I also remember how cool it was that my son wanted to see Spider-man 2 with me. And I won't forget his reaction to The Polar Express, and how he was glued to the screen as the train in the film made its final ascent to the North Pole! My children and I have seen so many films together, and I love the fact that they have started to become "movie savvy." They eagerly tell me about new films they want to see, and they know when a particular film will "open" in a theater. Of late, we have graduated from seeing mainly animated films (Ice Age, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Piglet's Big Adventure, The Tigger Movie, The Incredibles, The Jungle Book II, Home on the Range, Clifford's Big Adventure, Robots, Madagascar, Shrek 2, A Shark's Tale, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Chicken Little, The Wild) to also include more live action films (The Country Bears, The Santa Clause 2, Two Brothers, Second Hand Lions, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Racing Stripes, Fat Albert, Garfield, Cheaper By the Dozen 2, The Pink Panther and even King Kong). When my daughter gets sad at the movies, so do I. When my son jumps for joy at certain parts of a film, so does my heart. I love feeling movies through my children's reactions. I love the energy they bring to the experience. I love that, for them, films still hold magic, excitement, anticipation and wonder! And I will keep going to the movies with them for as long as they want me along.

I'd be curious for you to follow up on this and talk about the difference between seeing a movie with your kids in a theater and watching a DVD with them. It seems like your kids' reaction is a great example of the advantage of seeing movies in theaters and why the movement to watching movies at home, or on an iPod or cell phone, is missing something that you get at a movie theater. I think by describing it through your kids' POV you helped underline what's still great about movie theaters. It reminded me of similar feelings I have about seeing a movie in a theater vs. on a TV (and how the movie itself becomes your entire enviornment rather than just one of many distractions in the room) but the differences are dulled for me because I'm old as the hills. Your descriptions of your kids' reactions are so much more intense and so a stronger argument than I could make for why we should support the movie theater experience.
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