We had Big Plans to go to Pump It Up for a rambunctious indoor play date with Lyle’s nursery school classmates, but when Baxter was still up coughing last night at 10 pm I realized it was time for Plan B. Now, Plan B had to be good, Wonderfriends*, because there was a lot of pre-asthmatic-coughing excitement built up around Pump It Up. At the same time, Plan B had to involve a certain amount of stillness so as not to aggravate the cough. Tricky combo, that. Matt bailed me out last night from Madison, where he’s on his third business trip in as many weeks, by texting the word “movie?”
Score! Movie! And thank God I’d planned ahead, because I was able to present Plan B this morning when the boys climbed into bed with me, Baxter’s lip already quivering due to his suspicion that I was going to say a big fat “no” to Pump It Up (I may have hinted at something along those lines when I came in with more medicine late last night). Tears were barely averted – it was only when the words “popcorn” and “candy” were uttered that Plan B became acceptable. Phew!
Our outing to see Horton Hears a Who at the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square was made all the more exciting by the fact that it was Lyle’s first visit to a movie theater. It really helped that he was at the Dan Zanes show two days ago and so understood that the seats would tilt and it would get dark. He was a little disappointed, however, that there were no numbers on the movie theater seats – he will probably remember Seat 17 for the rest of his childhood. That was apparently worth the price of admission to the little one.
My expectations of this movie were fairly low, to be honest. As far as I’m concerned, Pixar has set the bar awfully high for kids’ movies and I’ve become a bit of a snob about anything else. Which may be, in part, because I haven’t seen anything else halfway decent for kids in a long time. I’m not going to say that Horton Hears a Who was fantastic, but it was perfectly enjoyable. There were some real laugh-out-loud funny moments for all three of us, and Baxter was frequently leaning halfway over the seat in front of him (which, thankfully, was vacant) out of pure excitement. I also heard him say, “Oh, MAN!” quite a few times. Further, I was pleasantly surprised with 3-year old Lyle’s ability to sit through this 1.5 hour movie, although I’m not going to lie: the movie popcorn in a small Lyle-sized bag and occasional M&M’s really helped. I was pretty sure that he wasn’t taking in much more than the snacks and the thrill of the cup holders, but on our way out he was actually able to talk about the movie with us, so I guess he did.
And, you know? Even with the whole “A person’s a person no matter how small” and the “we’re just people living on a speck on a clover but we are interconnected with the larger universe” thing going on, I didn’t cry much at all! So I’m thinking it wasn’t that schmaltzy, either, because there was a lot of potential for weepiness in that story, let me tell you.
So, I’m going to go ahead and give it 3 stars and 1 teardrop (out of 5). Go out and enjoy it with your kids.
* Thank you, Cara, for coining the term Wonderfriends in my comments today. LOVE IT!