More on the movie itself later. I need to vent on a little public etiquette issue that seems to come up every time I choose to view a film in a theatre. Here are the key bullet points:
- Father brings young son - I'd guess around three years-old - to see the movie.
- As is our usual luck, he sits close to us.
- Midway through the film, there is a sorta scary scene. OK, it's not really scary. But everything is relative. To a little guy, it probably seemed more traumatic than it did to me.
- Little guy starts to cry. Dad attempts to calm him down by speaking in quiet tones.
- Dad's attempts fail. Cries turn to wails, which quickly de-evolve into outright screaming.
- Dad gives up. Screaming continues.
- I turn around and see him shushing the munchkin while he tries to watch a pivotal scene. He seems somewhat perturbed that the child is affecting his ability to enjoy the movie.
- I stare at him until he notices. My lack of smile must translate well, for he sheepishly scoops up the teary child and heads for the exit.
- He remains beside the exit. Screaming child now bothers a whole new set of moviegoers.
The same thing happened during the last film we attended in a theatre. Mom didn't want to miss the movie, so crying baby (aged under a year...don't get me started) had to wait - and wail - for at least 20 minutes while Mom enjoyed herself and the rest of the attendees fumed.
OK, now, about the movie itself...
Chicken Little represents Disney's first post-Pixar computer-animated film. Off the top, it's no Toy Story. But with some solid voice work by Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State) and Garry Marshall (Happy Days, The Princess Diaries), along with a well-written script that scoots along at a pace that keeps kids engaged, it's a lovely way for families to spend a couple of hours on a weekend. The kids enjoyed it, and we even found ourselves laughing in parts.
Although it's not as adept as a pure Pixar product at playing to the adult audience with deeper meanings and messages, there are enough of them here and there to keep Mom and Dad from snoozing. The musical references alone were worth the price of admission.
But if I had to do it again, I'd wait for the DVD and watch it at home. Fewer interruptions..
Your turn: Is there room in modern society for manners in public places, or have they been lost to the ages? How do you handle something like this?