And it turns out the real terror started for Will before the movie, when he grew so frightened watching a Narnia preview that Rob had to cover his eyes and convince him to stay for the feature film. Once they’d recovered from that touchy prelude, Will laughed through the first part of Horton. But apparently even a lively Seuss tale has to have its dark side for good ticket-selling movie drama , and Rob said the bird in the movie version was quite a bit more evil looking than the goofy, grinning “black-bottomed eagle named Vlad Vladikoff” that makes off with the dust speck in the book. And of course old Vlad was blown up to gargantuan proportions and surrounded by darkness and loud, ominous music.
Not that any of this was scary enough to drive the other hordes of toddlers in attendance (many of whom Rob said looked younger than three-and-a-half-year-old Will) out of the theater. But Will’s in a class of his own when it comes to fearing things. And since he watches almost nothing but PBS shows at home, he’s not a seasoned viewer of villainous characters. So when Will said, “Daddy, I want to go,” and Rob couldn’t convince him that it might be worth staying, they made a mid-movie departure.
Next time we go to the movies, we’re going to need to look for something as benign as “Charlotte’s Web,” which Will enjoyed immensely on DVD. And we’ll have to arrive just late enough to miss the previews.
How old were your kids when you took them for their first big-screen movie?