I love going to the cinema. The atmosphere, the big screen, the snacks – even the other people (believe it or not) – all add to a sense of occasion for me. There’s a lot to be said for watching your TV at home, but it will never be as special or exciting as sitting in front of the big screen.
But I very rarely get to go … because I have a 2 year old. Occasionally, I sneak off on my own or with an adult friend, and recently have taken my 4 year old to a couple of appropriate features. But while my toddler might pay a bit of attention to a Disney film on the TV at home, there is NO way he would sit through something at the cinema. At home, he can toddle off to play with trains when the film gets boring for him, but in the cinema he would need to stay put.
So I was pretty sceptical when I was recently invited to bring my 2 year old to a cinema premiere. I envisioned myself chasing him amongst the rows of chairs while he giggled hysterically, stepping on people’s toes and making me wish I’d brought a hip flask with me.
But this film was made for 2 year olds. Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience opens on 7 April and is the perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the cinema together without needing a babysitter for the toddler.
The film is based around 6 brand new, short Peppa Pig episodes, and they are strung together by interactive interludes in which a children’s presenter and some Peppa Pig puppets encourage the children to sing and dance. This is a great strategy to reduce the problem of short attention spans. The kids enjoy the episodes just like they would on the telly, and then they get a break with something different that gives them a chance to move around. The whole thing lasts about an hour.
My 2 year old is a very active, physical little boy and he sat through almost the whole thing. He got a bit restless in the last 10 minutes or so. But I was amazed that he sat as long as he did. He was entranced by the Peppa episodes and he enthusiastically joined in with the singing and dancing during the interludes.
And surprisingly, I wasn’t bored either. I had been joking along with my other blogger friends who attended that we needed to hide some wine in our handbags so we wouldn’t die of boredom. But actually you could tell that the writers had thought about the parents. There was lots of humour that appealed to me as a (slightly) grownup person – especially in the episode in which the Queen steals a double-decker bus. Check out the trailer here:
So when the Easter holidays are inevitably doused by buckets of rain, you now have an option to hide in a darkened room eating untold amounts of snacks. Some cinemas even do sell wine, completely legitimately. And you can take your very young children without fearing they will terrorise the other punters.