Monsters University – Taking 2 Toddlers to the Cinema

Having seen the original Monsters Inc film, well, like 300 times due to a certain toddler’s obsession a while back, we were excited to see Monsters University come out. Whilst we were sure Weasel had the patience to handle a full film, we weren’t so sure about the short attention span of the Ninja, especially after a failed viewing at the Greenwich Planetarium a few weeks back. We were spurred on when a friend said she wanted to go, so off we went this morning. Here’s Weasel, still enjoying the credits, and Ninja waking up to flap her arms around at the near-blank screen.

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How to successfully see a film with a toddler:

1) Go Early – Did you even know they show films at 10am? They do! Guess who goes to them? People with toddlers and young kids! No one gives a crap about your kids talking their way through or having to dig through your handbag for the thousandth time for a rice cake or small plastic lobster. And bonus- you will most definitely not get anyone making out next to you at that time of the morning. Our small one naps around this time of the morning too, so she got half an hour of film followed by a nice long nap on Husband’s lap (they decided to not let us take our pushchair in annoyingly, which had been our original strategy).

2) Pack lots of stuff – bring every quiet toy you can find for the baby and little snack foods and water bottles. We brought a blanket for the Ninja since cinemas do tend to be a bit cold.

3) Get There Late – Arrive after the adverts and previews, saving that precious attention span for the actual film.

4) Sit in the Front – more space to run around/store toys/sit them on the floor if necessary. It also helps them to see the film, those booster seats aren’t very tall so the younger ones still have an obstructed view in most seats.

So what about this actual film then? We saw the 2D version of Monsters University, with little chance Weasel would want glasses on for 2 hours and no chance the Ninja would, it was kind of the only option. I don’t mind much. In addition to colour loss, I’m still convinced my contact lenses try to commit suicide every time I see a 3D film. Weasel loves Monsters Inc, so followed this film well. She was a little young to understand the whole university thing, as I imagine most children are in the UK when they start talking fraternities, as the concept seems so foreign here to even adults. But she still enjoyed it and kept her attention for the full 104 minutes. Her favourite bit, according to her, was the small green monster and the blue fluffy monster. So even after 301 views now of these characters, my child still can’t work out their names, nor can she work out what I mean by ‘favourite bit’. From my perspective it was a little too prequel for my liking. Do we really need to introduce all the characters? Especially ones like the Yeti who later claim to have never met them before in 1st film? Dear film makers – there is no need to introduce all the characters you meet in later films. Your film will be better for it and we won’t have to work out the paradoxes you create. Thanks!

Verdict: If your kids like the original film, they’ll like this one. It passed Mark Kermode’s 5 laugh rule for me, so can be ‘officially’ classed as a comedy you’ll be happy to know, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a classic.

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