(The cinema selfies I took of us are dire so here is Seren dressed as Cinderella at a friend’s house)
Seren and I had our first Saturday morning cinema trip together a couple of weeks ago. Strictly speaking it was her 4th cinema visit but: 1) 1st visit was when she was 4 months old and she slept through most of it; 2) 2nd trip was to a Frozen sing-a-long and 3) 3rd trip was for a party and I’m not sure how much sitting-down-watching-the-film was done judging by Andy’s reports!
I was optimistic though, I thought she would be enchanted enough by the film (Princesses! Castles! Dresses! Fairy godmothers!) to stay seated and reasonably quiet. It started well, she was very excited and perched on the edge of her seat, clutching her Munchbox (box of popcorn, Mini Stars and a drink). I was very impressed by being able to get into the cinema just with a QR code on my phone and not having to pick up actual tickets! It’s been years since I went to the cinema. I sank into my seat with a coffee feeling relaxed.
As you’ll probably know if you have young children, a Frozen short film, Frozen Fever, precedes the showing of Cinderella. This was quite sweet, Elsa is trying to plan perfect birthday celebrations for Anna but comes down with a cold with gets in her way. The princesses are wearing new dresses which you can now buy along with new dolls wearing these dresses. The sunflower theme for Anna’s birthday offers an alternative birthday party Frozen theme if you’ve already had a snowflake type one. So, the merchandise machine rumbles on! I think we’ve got away with it though, Seren hasn’t mentioned Frozen Fever since, though she was excited to watch it.
She enjoyed Cinderella too, though she did keep asking if it was finished from about half way through. I think with the Frozen bit at the beginning, plus the one trailer we caught and ads, it makes it a very long time for a 3.5 year old to sit still. I tried to keep her engaged by telling her to look out for the fairy godmother.
I enjoyed the film (bonus!). The plot needs no introduction and I thought they handled the difficult bits (Cinderella’s parents dying) quite gently. I don’t think Seren understands death yet, based on a conversation we had last week about a dead plant and the film didn’t prompt any questions. There are some cheesy romance bits and some funny bits too. Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham-Carter live up to expectations as the wicked stepmother and fairy godmother.
Cinderella is told by her mother to be kind and have courage and these values run through the film. Sometimes I thought Cinderella was a bit too kind to the mean stepmother / stepsisters and didn’t stand up for herself but I suppose it showed her making the best of the situation.
Seren and I had a big chat about kindness after the film as she upset her friend by saying two of the worst things you can say to a 3 year old girl: 1) “You’re a boy” and 2) “You can’t be Elsa”. We’ve been talking about courage as well this week as Seren picked up on Anna singing about having courage in Frozen too . I suggested Seren can be brave and try new things instead of automatically saying she can’t do them. She suggested I have courage and go up in the loft to get her Hello Kitty onsie when I said I couldn’t get it as it had been packed away with her winter clothes! I said I would go and get for her when it snows.
So apart from her getting twitchy after sitting down for an hour or so (understandable), I’d say the trip was a success and – as long as we pick the right film – I’m looking forward to more.