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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

April 17, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Kids at the movies: Surround sound at “Earth”

Last night, at a screening of the new Disney nature documentary “Earth,” there was a toddler for whom movies were a participatory experience. When a whale made a blowhole noise, the kid made the exact same noise (a new form of surround sound?); when a lynx appeared on screen, the kid said loudly and clearly “CAT.” It was adorable. I love watching a family film in a crowd with lots of kids; they just respond to the film in a completely uncensored way, letting it affect them. I remember when my nephew, at age three, sobbed at the end of a movie because I had to explain that we couldn’t rewind and watch it again like the movies at home. And my tiny goddaughter (who isn’t tiny any more; she’s a college girl who claims to have no memory whatsoever of this incident), at a kiddie matinee of “Beauty and the Beast,” suddenly standing up on her seat at the end and bellowing “THEY GET MARRIED NOW!” (Except that she pronounced it “maw-wied.”)
I often wonder, with DVDs and home theaters, if fewer parents take their kids to the movies now. Maybe not; certainly the “Harry Potter” movies and, just last week, “Hannah Montana,” have done well at the box office. I remember what a thrill it was to go to a movie when I was a kid; though we didn’t go often, it was a big event and nothing tasted better than that popcorn. (Still doesn’t, in fact.) I know that little boy last night is too young to remember ever going to “Earth,” but I hope he has lots of thrilling cinema outings in his future, and never loses the ability to get lost in a movie.

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