Before James was born Heather and I promised Annie that we’d still have special Annie/parents days. We wanted to make sure that, amongst the hullaballoo that comes with a new baby, Annie knew she was still special, important, and just as loved as her brother. It was pretty easy to figure out what our first post baby outing should be – Annie has been desperate to see Monster’s University (or “Monster’s Anniversary” as she calls it) ever since she stumbled across this promotional display a few months ago:
We initially planned to take Annie to our local theater to see the movie, but then we got a flyer in the mail announcing that Monster’s University would be playing at the legendary El Capitan theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
The El Capitan is one of the last remaining “movie palaces” from the early days of cinema (Citizen Kane had its world premiere there), and has incredible architecture both inside and out. That alone would’ve made it a cool place to take Annie, but what really piqued our interest was the following note on the flyer:
“Before Every Screening See Mike & Sulley Live on Stage with the Spirit Squad in our Monsters University Pep Rally!”
A stage show? Before a movie? Now that we had to see. A couple weeks ago we bought three tickets online and told Annie to get excited.
Of course, we didn’t need to tell Annie to get excited. Every day for the last two weeks she’s woken up and asked “Are we seeing ‘Monster’s Anniversary’ today?” Luckily for her she’s had a couple things to tide her over – a pair of Monster’s University shoes and the official movie magazine I picked up for her at the supermarket.
On the morning of the big day Annie pulled on her Monster’s University shoes, put her magazine under her arm (yep… she insisted on bringing it to the theater), and asked Heather to give her “monster hair” (Heather improvised something appropriate). You could say she was a little excited:
It was a bit stressful making the drive into Hollywood, but once we got there it was very cool. After Annie took her photo with Sully and Mike in the lobby…
…and Heather picked up our refreshments…
…it was time to head into the theater where an organist played a selection of songs from Disney movies.
Annie loved listening to the music (and was impressively adept at naming every tune), but it was the stage show that blew her away. It was pretty cute – “monster” cheerleaders whipped up the crowd with some songs and cheers, a drum line performed, and then The Beatles, I mean, Mike and Sully, came out as confetti fell from the ceiling. The kids in the theater lost it.
Finally, the movie started and we put on our 3-D glasses:
Overall, Monster’s University was pretty good. It had some laughs and cute characters, though it was a little slow in spots. Also, there was a lot of monster screaming that Annie deemed “too loud.” Despite that, she was all smiles when the lights came up. She had so much fun, in fact, that when we got home she decided to play “movie theater”:
It was terrific to spend some time with just Annie. It’s been an adjustment for her to have a new family member in the home, so spending some time alone with her mommy and daddy was good for her (and I can already see the positive effect it’s had). We’ll definitely do more of these outings, though they probably won’t be as involved as this one (our next outing, for example, is going to be to the park).