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Question of the Week - First Movies

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. We certainly did. We (okay, I) also packed it full of Things To Do, which included a number of firsts for the kids. The Pumpkin's first? Seeing a movie in a theater!

Londo and I agreed that the Pumpkin was now old enough to probably sit through a movie in the theater and handle the experience. So the Pumpkin and I joined my sister and brother and their 4 year olds (and my brother's teen!) in seeing the movie Tangled!

The Pumpkin is in this phase where all sorts of things "scare" her, even things that aren't really scary. Knowing the Disney formula, I warned her on the way to the theater that there would be scary parts, but it would also be funny and adventurous. I reminded her about how a part that seemed scary in the Tinkerbell movie we watched recently wasn't really scary (spoiler alert: the cat just wanted to play, not to hurt the fairies). We talked about that a little, and I also told her that if she wanted to leave the theater because it was scary or any other reason, we could do that. At any time, we could take a break from the movie or just go home, if she wanted.

The minute we sat down and the previews and commercials (URG!) started, she was enthralled! The screen was so big, the sound was surrounding, the popcorn was delicious! She got right into the theater experience.

The movie itself was really good. Kids and adults laughed so much, and we all really enjoyed the adventure. There were certainly a few scary parts, and when a few scary things happened in a row, the Pumpkin told me that she wanted to take a break from the movie. She had already moved to my lap during an earlier scary part, and I had offered her a break just a minute before she said that she needed one.

No problem. I carried her just outside the theater and held her and talked about what was scary, why it was scary, what was really happening that we couldn't see yet, and what was going to happen. I even asked if she wanted to hear how it ended, and told her when she said yes. I explained that we had to get through the scary parts to see the happy ending (it's a Disney movie, so that's not a spoiler).

Once she'd calmed down (and I heard the movie settling down to a calmer part), she was ready to go back in. She finished the movie and really seemed to enjoy it. I know I did.

To be honest, this was actually our best case scenario. I'm very proud of my girl for sitting through the whole movie, remembering the movie theater etiquette, taking a break when she needed it, going back in after she calmed down, and enjoying the movie as a whole. I was ready for all sorts of other outcomes, and I'm really thrilled that we only left the theater once, and then went back in!

This week's question of the week is:

What movie was your kid's first in the theater? Or what was your first?

I'm not sure if it was my first movie in a theater, but the first one I remember going to see was Mary Poppins. My mom and aunt took me, my sister, my brother and my two cousins to see it. I loved it so much, my mom asked me at the end if I wanted to see it again. I totally did! My mom stayed with me through the next showing--this was back when they would let you just stay through it again if you asked nicely. It's still one of my favorite movies, and I just watched the first 30 minutes with my daughter at home this past weekend.

What about you and your kids? Have they seen a movie in the theater yet? Which movie? How did it go? Do you remember your first movie theater experience? Are you planning on seeing any soon?


hush said…
First movie DS ever saw in the theater was the most recent "Indiana Jones" (and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?) movie that came out in 2008 - but he was still only a few months old, and we really wanted to see it but couldn't find/afford a sitter. I think my first theater movie was one of the re-releases of "Bambi" when I was around 3 or 4.

We used to have a wonderful drive-in movie theater here in Podunkville that closed recently (I was devastated...), but on one of its last nights this fall we took the family there to see "Despicable Me" but didn't stay for the second movie which was "TS3." Highly, highly, highly recommend the drive-in movie experience with little ones - they can talk, snack, and crawl around the car without disturbing anyone else. Drive-ins are a dying breed, unfortunately I think there are only about 360 of them left in all of the US. I'm seriously upset just thinking about that - I loved going to our local drive-in as a child, and again as a a teen.
BisBink said…
We took the Main Man to see "Up" in the theater when he was only 2.5 years old. He was definitely too young to sit through a movie in the theater at that age, and we ended up leaving half way through the movie. Luckily, by leaving we missed all the scary parts, which he was also definitely too young for.

His first full movie in the theater, at age 3.5, was "How to Train Your Dragon". He didn't want to wear the 3D glasses, but the movie was still able to keep his attention, even if it was blurry.

His 2nd full movie in the theater was "Toy Story 3". He wore the 3D glasses a little bit longer during this movie, since they were child sized.
Jac. said…
DS's first movie at the theater was How to Train Your Dragon. My husband took him this summer. He didn't make it all the way through. He has no movie fear but his attention span was too short. However, my husband took him to see Megamind this last weekend and he loved it and can't stop talking about it.

My baby book says that my mum took me and my brother to see Cinderella at the theater when I was 7 months old. My mother wore white pants and apparently I peed all over her. There is a large level of detail in my baby book about this.
nej said…
@Jac. - that story is hilarious on so many levels but what cracks me up the most is a mom wearing white pants!

We were just taking about this. E is 3.25 and while he's never watched a movie period, we think he'd probably (probably?) enjoy going to a theater and watching the right movie. We tried watching "how the grinch stope Xmas" last year (dh's idea) and E was crying in fear within scones.

Maybe we will try again this year, but be more thoughtful in our choice of movie. More happy less scary for sure.
Melba said…
OMG Caramama! I took Rosie to her first movie in a theatre this weekend too! And it was the SAME MOVIE! Tangled!

She gets a little scared sometimes but wasn't too scared to sit through the whole thing. She needed a little reassurance and to hold hands a couple times, but that was it. And she wasn't keen on the 3D glasses at first, but after a while totally forgot about them and was totally entranced by the movie. She absolutely loved it.

Ever since she's been super into playing with her dolls' hair, brushing it, singing the song (well her version, anyway) from the movie.

I can't remember the first movie I saw in a theatre. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever going to a movie as a non-adult. But I know I must have gone. My memory just sucks that bad.

@Jac have you had that baby yet????
mom2boy said…
TS3 and apparently he sat and enjoyed the whole thing. He continues to be uber-obsessed with the whole TS franchise.

I can't remember my first movie as a child but I had my 9th birthday party at a movie theater and I picked a Star Trek movie.
Cloud said…
Pumpkin still finds any plot at all to be too scary. Honestly, we sometimes have to turn off a Dora episode. So I don't think we'll be seeing any movies at a theater anytime soon.

I don't remember what my first movie was, but I do know that my parents took me to see Fantasia and I got scared and had to be taken from the theater. Apparently, I didn't even make it through the Sorcerer's Apprentice episode.

@Melba- @Jac mentioned in a comment over at Hush's blog that she had her baby!
Zenmoo said…
I can't remember my first movie - but I think it might have been the Neverending Story.

It's just started summer here and it's outdoor movie season! Perth has about 8 different venues for outdoor movies - they range from 'picnic on the grass' to rows of deckchairs with bar and gourmet pizzas. Some show mainstream movies, others arthouse. It just says summer to me to pack a picnic (or order pizza), grab a blanket and cushions and sit out on a warm summer night and watch a movie. This reminds me I need to check the schedule to see what is playing...
Meghan said…
That's really funny! I took my 3 1/3 year old daughter to see Tangled this weekend too! It was her first in the theater, and she LOVED it. She has been calling herself Rapunzel all week since. I didn't really prepare her at all, even though she has only seen one movie ever in it's entirety (Shrek). I told her I had a surprise for her, and she didn't want to know what it was until we actually got in our seats! She kept saying she wanted it to be a secret when I asked her if she was ready to know. She sat silently in her seat next to me the whole time, when she wasn't scarfing popcorn. I actually got a little teary, watching her sit, entranced, like a big girl. And hey! What a cute movie!
limboland la la said…
I think my first theater movie was Star Wars. I totally thought Princess Lea and Luke Skywalker got married at the end. Had a heated argument with my father about it at age 4. :)
Jac said…
@nej - my mom was only 19 at the time - I think fashion was still high on her list of priorities.

@melba - baby arrived on the 21st of November. And she's perfect!
caramama said…
@hush - There is a drive in where my in laws live, and we should totally try taking the kids to see a movie there! Great idea!

@BisBink - Good first try with Up. I've heard a lot of people took their kid(s) to see How to Train Your Dragon and that it went well. Glad it did for you guys!

@Jac. - I was worried about my daughter's attention span, and was amazed that she did make it through. I heard Megamind was a good one for young kids, too. White pants! Ha! I love that there is a large level of details about it in your baby book!

@nej - My girl's first movie at home was Winnie the Pooh. We've been very careful about our movie selections with her because she is very sensitive and she picks up bad behavoirs she sees. Sorry How the Grinch Stole Christmas didn't work out. Good luck with the next try!

@Melba - Wasn't it great? Good for Rosie not getting too scared and sitting through it! We didn't do the 3D version because I didn't want to add another new element (really because I didn't want to deal with it). I love that she's now playing with her dolls' hair!

@mom2boy - I just bought Toy Story 1 to give my girl for Christmas. I was worried that the parts with Sid would upset her too much, so we haven't shown it to her yet. Plus the obsession factor can be hard to deal with, from what I've been told. heh. I LOVE that you picked a Star Trek movie at 9 years old! You're my kind of girl!

@Cloud - We've had to turn off some episodes of TV shows that I didn't think were scary shows, too. I'm actually thinking that we are going to expose my girl to more adventurous movies to start getting her used to parts she finds scary. I'm not sure it's the right move, but we're thinking it will help her become a little less sensitive. Hopefully it won't make things worse. We'll see. And I think Fantasia can be very scary to a kid! It's so trippy in parts!

@Zenmoo - Outdoor movies! That sounds so lovely! I want to hear about what you see and how it goes with the kiddo!

@Meghan - It sounds like it was the movie to see for kids' first times! That's so cute that she didn't want to know anything! Not my daughter. She needs to be prepared for what's coming. I thought it was a really cute movie, too.

@limboland la la - HA! I could totally see you arguing with your dad at 4. And you know how I love the (original) Star Wars movies!
Becoming Mommy said…
I don't know. As an infant, we took him all the time. This summer he went to see s0mething or other, but we decided not to do it again because he can't be quiet.
Katie said…
My very first was Star wars episode 4, when I was 3 months old. The first I remember was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, when I was 8; I was terrified at points and had to go into the lobby. The last movie I saw in the theater was Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, about 3 days before L was born. we very seldom go to movies at the theater, so I don't know what L (and E)'s first theater movie might be.

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