I was watching the YO's current flavour-of-the-moment movie with him last night, again. I saw it today, briefly, again. And I dare say I'll be watching it with him tomorrow, again. And I don't mind, really. The movie? "CARS". I love it, I do. I have lovely associations with that movie, because it's the first movie we took the EO to see on the big screen, the silver screen, in the movie theatre, at a cinema hall...you know what I mean. No matter how many times I write it, or how many different ways I phrase it, I can never capture the excitement or recreate the magic of that 'first time'. It was a few weeks after his third birthday and I thought he was 'big enough' for a movie treat. It was like we had entered some kind of magic fantasy land with him. A TV screen so big?! A cartoon about cars, his most favouritest, belovedest, did I say favouritest (?) things in the whole wide universe and all of creation put together?! And other people his size?! And junk food at ten in the morning?!? It had to be some kind of wonderful, crazy, bizarre alternate galaxy and he couldn't get enough of it. The MIM and were much more interested in his expressions and feelings and we pretty much had our eyes glued to his face, our ears tuned to his glee. He was entranced, we were enraptured! Of course there were countless questions, a few trips to the bathroom and a period of restlessness when the action was slow, but all in all, the experience was unforgettable...for me. He obviously doesn't remember much of it and he's become quite the pro at the cine-going experience, but for me, that first time was definitely something else altogether. I'm now looking forward to taking the YO on his first trip to the movie hall. I know it's going to be equally special and as unforgettable...for me.
The movie was also the theme for the EO's fourth birthday party. The colours were red and yellow, the cake was in the shape of Lightning McQueen, we had hired an electric car and a very kiddy car-merry-go-round. We had even installed a big screen and put the movie on for other 'Cars' buffs like my EO and boy, were there many!
The other reason I love 'CARS' so much is because it has Paul Newman and I thought he was simply superb as a crust old race car incognito. Owen Wilson was brilliant too as 'Lightning McQueen', or 'Liniiinng Makeen' as the YO says, about 157 times a day. McQueen is this hot-shot rookie race car, gunning to win the Grand Prix of PIXAR animation-land's racing event of the year, the Piston Cup. Full of bullshit and arrogance, he's a bucket of bolts running on four wheels of over-confidence, with loads to spare. The movie is about how, by a quirk of fate, he lands up in a sleepy town called Radiator Springs, and how he has a change of heart and turns from being a cocky, wise-ass rookie to a race-car that has only love revving up his engines. Guaranteed to bring a lump to your throat and if you're a softie like me, well then, a couple of tears to both eyes as well. Yes, there's no doubt about it, it's my all-time favourite, feel-good movie through the year.
And what's great about it, is that it only has a positive message in it for kids. There's no slice of reality here for kids to deal with; young foals don't lose their mothers to hunters; wicked step-moms aren't trying to do away with beautiful step-daughters and mommy fishes aren't eaten up whole by mean sharks while baby fishes with bad fins are stolen from their daddy fishes. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOVE animation flicks, but sometimes they tend to get a bit too realistic for my liking.
But, as I said it before and I'm saying it again, the Linniing Makeen is one heckuva hot-rod.
And hey, Mr. Murphy, I've got a question for you...
Why is it that kids seem cuter, way cuddlier, more huggable and are tons more affectionate when you're too sick and therefore not supposed to be touching them?