First Journey into the Movies

Estelle: Now that I’m sitting down to write about the first Disney animated movie experience in theaters, I’m not quite sure if I actually remember being in the movie theater or I’ve heard the story so many times from my parents that it seems I do.

When I was only a youngin’ my mom brought me to the movies for the first time ever to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This was back in 1987 when Disney released some of the classics every now and then on the big screen (ah, the simple days, before DVD/Blu-ray combo packs and the 3D craze!). While a small snippet of the day keeps popping up in my head — I remember walking down the theater rows, that’s it — the best person to probably talk about this is my mom:

When Stelle was maybe 4 years old we went to our first Disney movie. I was so excited since she absolutely loved Snow White. Stelle was always very well behaved and was very excited to go see this wonderful fairy tale. She was mesmerized by the movie up until Snow White takes a bite of the magic apple. I could not describe the sobbing that was coming from my little girl. We actually had to leave the theatre as she was starting to cause a scene. I had to reassure her in the hallway that the prince would come and wake Snow White up. I watched from the door to see when the prince comes to see her and we returned to our seats in time for the grand finale. She left the theatre still sniffling, but relieved that Snow White lived happily ever after.

Aww, thanks for not embarrassing me too much, Mom.

Here’s the thing… I remember the crying but I’m not sure if my mind is playing tricks with me and I’m just really great at imagining the whole moment. My mom’s right — I did love Snow White. In fact, not only was she starring in the first movie I saw in the theaters but she was the first princess I was for Halloween.

This was also the start of a tradition. After that year, my mom made going to the latest Disney animated film a big event. In fact, we still try to do that now that we are all older and living in different states. (We all saw Tangled in the movies during Thanksgiving weekend last year.)

Reading my mom’s thoughts on that day makes me realize I haven’t changed that much. While I haven’t sobbed so hard in a movie theater I’ve had to be removed since then, I do tend to turn into a giant puddle when it comes to these movies (Tangled: lantern scene; Toy Story 3: the entire end). I also can’t help but hope for the happy ending. (Source)

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Michelle: Trips to the movies were a big deal in my house. My parents didn’t start taking me until they felt I was old enough to sit still and pay attention. I remember asking to go a couple of times and not understanding why they kept saying, “maybe next time.” But now when I hear screaming toddlers throwing popcorn in the theater, I just have to appreciate my mom and dad’s parental savvy. I did end up proving their fears right when I was seven years old. I used to spend every summer in Venezuela and in 1991, when Beauty and the Beast hit the theater, I threw a fit when I realized the movie was indeed not in English with subtitles like the live action films were. Proof that parents usually are right…

When Aladdin hit the theater a year later, my parents put aside all the horrible B&tB flashbacks and allowed my babysitter, Nancy, to take me to see the movie. We were going with a friend of hers who incidentally had a babysitting charge my age named Frankie. These two ladies must have been taking notes from Kristy and Claudia from The Baby-sitter’s Club because I remember that being one of the best days ever.

What child doesn’t want to play in the park all day? After what was probably an eternity at the swings, they brought us to McDonalds. As I inhaled my kid’s hamburger, I was so excited to see a movie where the main princess had dark hair just like me (Remember, I’m 8. I’m easily pleased here).

When the lights dimmed and the movie finally began, I remember jumping up and down in my seat. Looking over at Frankie, the kid had fallen fast asleep and I thought he must have been the dumbest boy on the planet. During the movie, I was taken away with all the adventure and nonstop action-mostly by the animated (in more ways than one) Genie. Nancy and her friend laughed at a lot of things that I didn’t understand and looking back at it now, it was most likely the Genie’s impersonations they found most humorous. Afterwards, I remember recounting the entire day to my mom and being very specific when it came to the movie. That’s when I came home to find an Aladdin action figure on my bed. (This is the part where I explain the perils of spoiling your kid, but perhaps that’s for another entry).

If you knew me now as an adult, you know my favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast, but growing up, Aladdin was always the movie I said when asked about my favorite. I think it was because I had such strong ties to it. My memory isn’t the best and there’s a lot from my childhood that’s fuzzy, but I remember that day very clearly. Every time I go to the movies now to see the new Disney film, I smile once the lights dim and the opening credits begin to roll because I just cannot wait to share that same excitement with my kids someday.

When they’re old enough to sit still and appreciate it (and not ruin it for me) of course… (Source)

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