We had a great time watching The Lion King, a remake of one of Disney’s well-loved animated classics last Friday. It was a wonderful family milestone for us not only because (after a long time) we were able to watch at the cinema again but also, it was our youngest daughter’s first time to watch a movie at a theatre.

One was excited for ice cream while the other one just woke up.

It’s the first time that I get to really enjoy a movie as much as my son does. My son looked forward to watching this film, which he refers to as The Lion King Real Movie because he has seen it’s animated version and he has been watching The Lion Guard, a Disney TV series which was a spin-off of The Lion King and Simba’s Pride. That is also aside from the fact that my son loves everything about animals, dinosaurs, and dragons! As for me, The Lion King was part of my childhood. It is that one Disney animated movie whose characters and plot which I vividly remember. I was excited to watch it and couldn’t wait to see how this life-like version adheres to the animated one. There were a few modifications in this 2019 film and I like the enhancements made on the characters. Donald Glover and Beyonce Knowles were splendid (in my opinion, at least) in lending their vocal prowess to the characters of Simba and Nala, respectively.

I attribute the success of our family movie date to a lot of things but most importantly, through prayers for my kids to be comfortable and enjoy the experience. We have also prepared for our much-awaited family movie night by doing the following:

  • Weeks before finally agreeing on a date, we’ve been watching the trailer just outside our preferred theatre so the kids would have an idea of the scenes in the movie. Will they get scared of all the roaring? Are the graphics too much for them? I observed their reactions and asked them how they felt.
  • My son used to get frightened in the dark. So, aside from watching the trailers at the venue, we got as closed as we can — though not beyond the ticket inspectors — to the entryway of the cinemas and told him that it would be as dark as that when we get inside. He said okay. No reaction from my toddler. Though she doesn’t speak that much yet, she can tell us that she’s afraid through a gesture.
  • We also did a pretend play at home by creating a ticket counter, snack stations and our own theatre. My son loved this activity! We did this so our kids will know the process that we will go through before we take a seat inside the cinema. The pretend play was a win-win for me because I was able to give them some sort of a drill and I got my son to practice his copywork while having fun!
  • I also taught them about expected and unexpected behaviors when going to the movies.
  • I bought fries and popcorn for baon and took out Skittles, even if we just had dinner before buying the tickets. Giving kids something to munch on while watching will make them more quiet 😉 At times when my son couldn’t help describing what was happening because of his excitement, I kept telling him that if he can be quiet until the end of the movie, we can get an ice cream on our way home.
  • When my little girl was getting restless, I took her out with me for a bathroom break and let her walk outside for a few minutes. Sadly, I missed a part of the movie. But, that’s okay because my daughter felt better when we got back. She just asked for a few nibbles then nursed until she fell asleep.

We were all so happy of our family movie date! My son felt proud of himself because he said that he was so brave and didn’t get scared with all the roaring. Our Little Miss didn’t get overwhelmed, too. We can watch a movie again next time!

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