Frozen; or Should I Take Young Kids To a Movie

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Short answer: yes… maybe…

When Frozen came out on November 27th, nearly two months ago, I was troubled.  I really wanted to see this movie, especially after hearing reviews from friends, but I have a two year old (Rya) and an infant (Tinsley).  My wife and I didn’t yet feel comfortable leaving our one month old with a babysitter yet, and didn’t think our two year old would be able to sit through a feature length movie (we don’t have cable at home, so she’s not used to staring at a screen)…

As time passed, we decided to watch a few movies at home to see if my two year old would be able to focus on them, starting with Finding Nemo.  I must say, Rya was amazing.  She loved the characters, especially Dory, and followed along the entire time, albeit standing and moving around our living room occasionally.  We followed it up with Princess and the Frog (thanks for the Christmas gift, dad) and Louis was Rya’s favorite in that one.

In order to prep her, and just because the songs are great, we listened to music from Frozen and watched videos that Disney Animation had released on their YouTube Channel.  Rya’s favorite two are Let It Go and In Summer.  (click the titles to watch)  When we watched videos, we’d share the names of the characters so she’d be familiar with them when it came time to see them on the big screen.  All Rya talked about for a few days was Princess Elsa and Princess Anna (she’s always said she and Tinsley are princesses, and dad’s a pirate…  I’ve trained her well!)

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(images can be found here)

My wife and I went to see Frozen last week for our first time, and when we finished, we both said Rya would really like it.  The only objection might have been Marshmallow, the giant snowman that chases after the characters after the throw a snowball at him, but we figured it was a short time, and she’d be okay.  

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(image can be found here)

The final thing we did was talk to her about what to expect inside the theater.  We let her know it would be dark, there would probably be a lot of other people around, and that we had to whisper while we sat.  

When it came time to actually head to the theater, Rya was incredibly excited: this would be her first movie on a big big big big screen!  We didn’t tell her about the popcorn, and let that be a surprise for her.  I got that as mom took her to go potty one last time before heading in to the theater.  We were so glad we did, as at least ten kids had to leave at some point during the film (but not ours!).  The theater was pretty full (especially considering it’s Frozen’s 8th week in theaters), but we found three seats, and set our daughter in the middle.

So how did she do?  Very well!  As the Mickey Mouse short started before the movie, she shouted “That’s Mickey Mouse!”, and we reminded her to whisper, and she said ok.  Each and every time a song started that we had listened to at home, she’d turn to me or her mom and whisper “I like that” or “I sing that” with a big smile across her face.  And did she like Elsa and Anna?  Yup.  But her favorite character? Sven!  She even said to me “Sven is like Reesie” (the more playful of our two dogs).  In the last fifteen minutes of the film, she got a little bit antsy, and moved from mom’s lap to dad’s and then stood in the row, but all while watching the movie.

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(image can be found here)

So my tips for taking a young child to a movie?

1 Familiarize them with the characters, songs, and story if that may help
2 Build it up as an exciting event
3 Let them know about how to act in a theater
4 Be prepared early (go to the bathroom before, get your popcorn, beverages (water), etc)
5 Every child is different, and every movie is different.  You know your child better than anyone else.

When would you take a child to their first movie?  And what was your first movie?  Please leave a comment below!

 

A few other perspectives

BabyCenter answers when you should take your child to a movie
a differing opinion of Frozen

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6 thoughts on “Frozen; or Should I Take Young Kids To a Movie

  1. Like most things with parenting its all subjective based on the individual child.

    I’m not sure when my boys will be ready for their first movie. While my two year old enjoys sitting down and watching an animated film start to finish, my four year old still doesn’t have the patience to stay put through an entire movie. Combined with his sensory issues (doesn’t like loud noises), it may be a while yet before we go to the cinema.
    Fortunately for us we have a drive-in in the area, so we may give that a shot this summer when it opens back up for the season.

    • Ahh, drive-ins are great. The only issue with those is that it has to be dark, so movies are much later (and not as easily seen by young kids). I grew up going to drive-ins once a summer, and for several years worked a tenth of a mile from a double-drive-in. Great times on the weekends!

  2. I really don’t remember my first movie, but my son’s was Cars around age 4. I agree it is different for every child and what they can handle as far as sitting still and film content. Glad your daughter enjoyed her first movie theater experience!

    Also loving that you don’t have cable — we don’t either 🙂

    • I definitely agree that every child is different. We probably won’t see another movie with her for a long time, but were very excited that Frozen was her first.

      And not having cable – that’s more time to spend as a family, as well as $60 a month that we can save for a trip to Walt Disney World!

  3. These are good tips! Both my kids were 4 years old when they went to their first theatre movie… No, I lied, my daughter was 3. She saw a re-run of Curious George with my mother, just after her baby brother was born. We mostly did “kid-only” showings of movies until Princess & the Frog came out, and then I took her to the first run of that. She was great. We both loved it. 🙂

    The best part was when Louis was coming up out of the water on his first appearance – i looked over at her and her eyes were big as saucers, she was holding both hands to her mouth, but she was clearly loving it. Not at all a danger sign, just having a blast ;D

    My son’s first theatre movie was Monsters University. He was well-familiar with Monsters, Inc so we were pretty safe on that. It’s always best to be familiar up front though, I couldn’t agree more. 🙂 Great tips!

  4. Pingback: Saturday Blog Showcase: 365 Days at Disney | Disney With Me

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