November 19, 2018

Zootopia Matinee on a Sunday Afternoon

Today was a chilly and raining afternoon in Los Angeles, so my son and I decided to go see a movie. I have not seen an animated movie with my son since he was little, but with the only options for the time we wanted to go being Zootopia and 10 Cloverfield Lane, animation it was. I was suddenly nostalgic and felt emotional about seeing this film with my 20 year old son.

We bought tickets, settled into our seats, and quickly noticed we were the only ones there without a small child. We were surrounded by little kids and their parents. The kids were excited about the film, and the parents were excited to take a nap in the dark. My heart swelled to be there with my son and as the screen lit up and the theater went dark, the entertainment began.

While Zootopia is a lovely film, the audience was just a little more entertaining than the movie. One little boy in front of us clapped every time he saw something he liked. Every. Single. Time. It may sound like it was annoying, but the truth is that it was adorable. He was very sweet and his joy made me happy. Whenever he clapped my son would nudge me and smile.

Another little one discovered the button on the side of her seat that reclined her chair, and spent a long time moving her seat up and down. The buzz of the mechanism fascinated her. I thought it was funny. Not that she kept doing it, but that her parents were sleeping and never noticed. My son thought it was hilarious, which was hilarious. It was a fun day at the movies.

Being with a group of kids who are laughing is a remarkable thing. It is difficult to not smile when you hear a child laughing. Seeing their smiles lit up by the movie screen made me feel happy. I reached out to give my son’s hand a squeeze and even though his hand is larger than mine, it was as if he was five years old again and I felt the joy of motherhood in a profound way.

I went to see Zootopia thinking it would be a nice way to spend an afternoon, but it was much more than that. It was a trip down memory lane with my son. I left feeling grateful to be the mother of such a wonderful human being. I had a great afternoon and will smile whenever I think about seeing this film. If you have an extra couple of hundred dollars, take your kids to a movie.

It is a shame that something so wonderful has to be such a financial commitment. I wanted to high five every kid, and tell every parent they were doing a great thing. My son talked about it costing a lot of money to go to the movies, remembered we went to a lot of movies when he was little, then hugged me and said I was a great mom. You guessed it, I started to cry.

I can’t tell you many details about Zootopia, but it was a cute movie. The characters are sweet, message is important, and music is catchy. The time with your children however, is priceless. Whether your kid is 5 or 20, take a moment to look around the theater and take in the joy. Life is full of hidden treasures in simple things. We just need to pay attention and keep the faith.