Disney's Planes 2: Fire and Rescue
It was the kids' first ever visit to the cinema today. We visited the Odeon at the Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff to see Disney's Planes 2: Fire & Rescue. Not put off in the least by the fact that the film is a sequel and since cousin Georgia had come to stay for a few days and could be roped in as a bouncer / minder, off we trekked.
Now the first film I saw was in the 1960's - Disney's Cinderella with my mum. I remember it being a truly magical experience. In those days it was perfectly acceptable for a girl's only life goal to be attending a ball and marrying a prince, no matter how lowly their pedigree. On this basis, Kate Middleton must have had wall to wall screenings of Disney movies practically from birth.
Planes 2 told the story of world famous air racer, Dusty who discovers that his engine is damaged and he may never race again. He joins forces with a veteran fire and rescue helicopter, Blade Ranger and his team and together they battle a massive wildfire. This is a movie about second chances and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Incidentally, I believe White Dee is undergoing something of a similar transformation in Celebrity Big Brother, but I digress. As usual.
We were greeted cordially by a helpful young man who duly rendered my purse lighter to the tune of approximately £40 (one adult, one teen, two under twelves) and then, having taken the precaution of smuggling a couple of bags of sweets in my voluminous and sticky bag (I carried a pot of honey in it during the Vale of Glamorgan Show and the seal broke), I swallowed hard as I paid £9 for two cokes and a bottle of water.
Into the blackness we went. It was the 13:50 pm showing and the cinema was blissfully uncrowded. There must have been less than 20 film-goers in there and most of those could only just walk. We sat through about a half hour of what seemed like endless adverts, trailers and then adverts again! Sadly, Pearl and Dean no longer feature so I didn't have the chance to bellow "pa pa pa pa & etc" with the rest of the audience. Those were days (in my youth) of the Orange Maid Ice Lolly (so orange it glowed in the dark) or, if you were particularly reckless the Strawberry Mivvi lolly which had ice cream in the middle. Popcorn was always Butterkist and the drinks on offer, Kiora. Eventually the familiar certification screen appeared and we all settled down to watch.
Planes 2 does take a while to get going, although the thumping soundtrack kept spirits up. And, until the plot thickened, so to speak, we had to put up with my children's usual comedy 'let's drive mum nuts' routine. I'm sure you will all be familiar with this, but the highlights are, briefly,
* any drink provided will be drained within the first five minutes
* any bagged sweets will be the 'wrong' sweets
* Ieuan will be hungry
* Caitlin will have a tummy ache but deny needing the toilet
* After five minutes wrangling in voices hushed to violent hissing, Caitlin will deign to go to the toilet if one of us 'holds her hand' when she's on the seat.
* Once back in her seat and settled down, Caitlin will announce loudly, a propos of nothing, "I feel lonely"
* Ieuan will demand to go home immediately.
Still we survived the 100 minutes running time without too much trouble. The characters, particularly Dusty and Blade are engaging and there are enough comedy characters and the odd adult joke to keep a family interested. I have to say that cinema and tinnitus aren't a particularly happy combination but the ensuing buzzing was worth introducing the kids to the magic of film.
As we left the cinema, blinking in the bright daylight of the Red Dragon Centre, Ieuan spotted a very small merry-go-round with planes and cars and not daunted by being a tall lad, he tried to prize himself into a plane. Not willing to cough up the statutory £2 for a minute ride, he was unceremoniously removed by me and the usual pout ensued. "Mum", he announced to the swelling throng in the Centre, "you've ruined my life".
That went well then.