Thursday, December 30, 2010

Polar Express - IMAX Style

We had another big first yesterday, and it happened at The Science Museum of Virginia.  We took the kids to the IMAX theater which is a huge dome shaped movie screen where the movie literally surrounds you.  I have fond memories of going there as a kid on field trips and sitting silently for an hour watching the galaxy, meteor showers, and planets fly past me on all sides.

Needless to say it was quite a different experience as an adult.  The train in Polar Express had not rounded the first bend and I was dizzy and nauseous.  I glanced over to see if my husband was experiencing the same thing and saw that his head was in his hands - not a good sign.  I thought that surely we weren't the only ones, as the place was filled with adults with their children.  To my horror, every other adult in the place was head-up and smiling - what was their secret?  I still haven't figured it out, but luckily it got a little better for the hubby and I as the movie went on.
What made this experience truly a first was that it was the first time we have taken the kids to anything that would require more than a fifteen minute attention span - and if you have kids under three, you know what I am talking about.  We held our breath, said a little prayer, bought our back up (popcorn), and entered the theater.  Immediately I started searching for seats close to an exit (just in case), and up high so we could get the best view.  It seems that everyone else had the same idea as the top was filling up quick.  I grabbed hands and ran the best I could up a very steep set of stairs.  We made it just ahead of a few others who I am sure were disappointed that they were not going to be in a position to make a quick get-away!

At first, Boy #1 insists on sitting on his own seat - this didn't last long.  The movie starts and all goes calm - my two-year old, strategically positions himself on my husband's lap for a better view with HIS popcorn, is all eyes - he CANNOT take his eyes off the screen (thank you science museum for the lack of previews). 

Polar Express is an adorable movie, with the whole message that believing in Santa Claus is in your heart - no matter how old you are.  The movie is full of great one-liners:

"Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see."

"This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas - as am I. Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart."

And my personal favorite,

"The thing about trains... it doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on."

The best character in the film is the Conductor, in my opinion.  He is Tom Hanks, obvious to any adult viewing the film, but he is allusive, mysterious, kind, intelligent, all bundled into one.

The story centers around one boy who is questioning the reality of Santa and Christmas as a whole - and the Polar Express takes him to the North Pole where he can witness it all to start believing again.  Along the way, he befriends a girl and boy who teach him valuable lessons about humility, giving, and friendship.  "There is no greater gift than friendship" Santa Claus says to them.

All in all, a great Christmas story - and I am glad we chose this one to be our first family film.  And seeing it on IMAX (while a bit of a struggle for our adult eyes) was another winner!  And the bonus?  Boy #2 (our one-year old) slept through the ENTIRE FILM!

1 comment:

  1. This was a good chuckle out of it! I love reading about your "adventures".