My granddaughter, who was spending the weekend with us, and I went to see The Princess and the Frog today. Even though I was a little stressed about handling a toddler, snacks and booster seat all by myself, the movie was fun.
I hate to go places on my own (except for bookstores) but I had a plan in place to take care of my worries. We would get a booster seat on the way into the theater, pick our seats and leave our jackets to save them. Then we would go to the snack bar to get our popcorn and drinks.
On the way into the theater, I saw a sign that said the upstairs concession stand was closed. There went my careful planning. We went to the downstairs snack bar, bought our food, and then I realized that I was the only one to carry it. I stacked my popcorn on her snack tray and held my soda in my left arm, leaned the snacks in my left arm against my chin and chest, held my granddaughter's hand and went up the two escalators to the second floor, where I realized that I didn't even know what theater we were supposed to be in. The movie was playing in three of the theaters. So we had to unload everything onto a bench and dig my ticket stub out of my pocket. Only to find....we were supposed to be in the downstairs theater after all. Then I decided that there would not be any booster seats available downstairs with my luck, so I had my granddaughter carry her own booster seat - it was almost as big as her. We went back to the escalators and unfortunately hesitated- making it harder to get on. After five false starts we finally got on, she wobbled quite a bit, got scared and clutch my hand even tighter than before - but she held on to her booster seat! We made it down both escalators and made our way slowly (remember I'm still holding all the snacks against me) to the correct theater. We get in the door way and halfway down the dark corridor and she steps out of her shoe. I couldn't help her, because I'm still holding the snacks and her hand, she's still holding the booster seat, but the little trooper steps back into her shoe. People who were behind us were waiting, not going around us. I said sorry to them, but they just said "oh, don't worry, just take your time". That was so sweet of them. So then we make it up the stairs to some seats - aisle seats. I'm still holding the snacks while trying to push down the seat so she can put her booster seat on the chair. It takes a few tries. I ended up having to balance the snacks on the edge of my seat, my unfolded seat, so I could help her up. We managed to do this without spilling any of the popcorn or soda. Then, when I reach for the popcorn, I knock it over - just a little, and spill some of the popcorn and soda. Luckily not much, and I had grabbed some napkins. By the time we were settled I was sweaty and exhausted, having a hot flash and feeling a little stressed. And though I thought that I had planned it so we would be 30 minutes or so early, to have time to get settled, I must have cut it closer than I thought. Within a few minutes the previews started.
All in all, it was an enjoyable time. My Granddaughter (L, from now on) enjoyed the previews as much as the movies. She is a four months shy of three years old and was so excited to go to the movies. She said loudly, "M (she calls me my name) Princess and the Pea is starting!" (all day I had kept saying the wrong name for the movies, I have a Princess and the Pea barbie that she'd been playing with this weekend). Then she laughed and said "M I said the wrong name, just like you!"
The movies - entertaining for adults as well as children, there are some "dark" moments. There is voodoo (doesn't bother me, but might bother others), magic, greed, as well as some wonderful moments and generosity displayed by many characters. There were a few times that I thought L might get scared, when the "friends from the other side" dark shadows that flow through the city come out, when the Voodoo man is doing his magic.
There are some suspenseful moments for the two frogs when they are trying to make it through the river to a witchwoman, crocodiles want to eat them, hunters are looking for frogs to eat, etc., that might be too much for some of the younger children. There is a moment when one of the sweetes character dies, but the following funeral is wonderful. There are also quite a few funny moments, and some moments of great kindness by many insects, people and animals. There is an underlying theme of acceptance of who you are, and how greed can damage you and others. The music was wonderful. I loved the music. There was a definite flavor of New Orleans, the good and the bad throughout the movie. And even though I thought there were a few moments that might scare L, she didn't seem to be afraid at all.
If you've seen any previews then you know that a young woman kisses a frog who used to be a prince, then instead of him turning back to a prince, she turns into a frog. They're journey to find someone to undo the curse brings them friends of fireflies, a witchwoman, a huge musical instrument playing alligator and friend with each other. Tiana is a woman who works way too hard, trying to save money for a downpayment on a rundown property to start a restaurant. Prince Naveen is a man who has had everything done for him his whole life and has not learned how to do anything but chase women. His parents have cut off all his funds. Together, each learn a little about themselves, each other, and being a frog as well as accepting themselve. Pretty good movie.
L did pretty good for her age, sitting through the movie. There was one moment when she told me she was done watching the movies (about two thirds of the way through the movie) but I told her it was almost to the end, then she sat back and focused on the movie again. When it was over, I asked her if she liked it, and she said she loved it. That's pretty good for a kid that is not yet three years old. On the way home, she was teasing me about our mistaken trip upstairs to the wrong part of the movie. She said "silly M, going to the wrong place!", giggling while she's razzing me about it. She has a pretty sophisticated sense of humor for her age.
If any children want to go see it, go with them and enjoy, you won't regret it. I had fun and it's been a long time since I've been a child. I've found thought, that lately I've been enjoying quite a few "children's" movies, Monsters vs. Aliens, Planet 51, and now The Princess and the Frog.
This was the first time that I attempted a trip to the movies with only a toddler with me. I learned a few things, to check which theater I would be heading for, and that I could indeed handle the snacks and L. I was reminded of how responsible L could be despite her age. I also learned that there are booster seats upstairs AND downstairs. Next time the movie experience will be smoother, although I must admit, it all turned out okay in the end. And I'm so grateful for the patience of the couple behind us. It seems like a little thing, but when dealing with a toddler when anything can and usually does go wrong, a little patience from bystanders makes all the difference in the world.