Sunday, June 29, 2008

WALL•E Won Us Over

I talked myself into taking the kids to WALL•E yesterday. (The kids themselves didn’t need much convincing.) My husband was pessimistic—not about the movie itself, mind you, but about the cost of such an outing. I gave him my most winsome smile and told him not to worry. I’d take care of the expense myself.

And then I raided the kids’ piggy banks.

With their permission.

We arrived just in time for the 4:30 matinee and shelled out $50.00 for the six of us. (Hubby stayed home. Go figure.) I bypassed the concessions thinking I’d save a penny (ha) or two.

Well, here’s a riddle: What do you do when you take a 3-year-old into a darkened movie theater? You (quickly) leave when she (loudly) requests some popcorn.

I will tell you that I hated to miss a single minute of this movie. I want to go back to see what I’ve missed. I want to go back to see it all over. I want…

…to stop getting ahead of myself.

Angela and I followed the smell & sounds of popcorn. I held her small hand and felt thankful for the moment. (Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!) As I stood there scanning the options, the guy in the tie behind the counter asked if we’d like to try one of their “specials.”

“Um,” I responded, “How much is a ‘Number 1?’” None of their prices were listed and so I had to ask. A large popcorn and two large sodas sounded good to me, though—just the trick for our group of six.

“$17.00,” the kid replied.

An exclamation point flash over my head. Was he crazy? Are they crazy? Am I crazy? I certainly felt so as I dished out a mere $12.00 for a large tub of popcorn and a single medium soda.

Angela & I made our way back to the movie where my other kids were watching—rapt and laughing—and where I felt both entertained and fairly guilt-ridden. On the one hand, I felt privileged to be watching one of the best family movies that I’ve ever seen. On the other hand, I just felt privileged.

You could say that WALL•E won us over…at a cost.

I wonder why it has to be like this, why the price of a movie & snacks has to be so darned prohibitive? It’s ridiculous. We’ve a throw-away mentality—the theme of this movie attests to that—and it would seem that we are now being asked to throw away our money, too.

Anyway. I’ll stop with my budget-oriented rant now.

I am not at all going to discourage you from going to see WALL•E. It’s brilliant; he’s sweet; I think you should. The irony is that this movie goes “green” in its take on environmentalism—in a good way, in an amazingly creative way—and yet, sitting there with my jumbo tub of overpriced popcorn, I felt much like one of the big fat American consumers that this movie portrays.

Perhaps I’m just a tad too sensitive.

Perhaps I’m just mad at the economy.

Perhaps I should just pack my own snacks next time!

(Would that be cheating? I don’t think so.)

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

PS. If you do go, plan on arriving early and staying late. First off, Pixar throws in an animated short film (“Presto!”) that’s hilarious. And then, at the end of WALL•E (during the closing credits) is a history of art that is not to be missed. Do you hear that, all you movie-goers who were in the theater with us? Plus you’ve got a theme song by Peter Gabriel! Why would you leave?


M.E. said...

Yes, Margaret, you are so right: Watch the closing credits! Peter Gabriel! And Pompeii!

I just loved this movie! However, I have a little different take on it than you do. I don't think it has a pro-green, save-the-earth, worship-Gaia message at all. If it did, I would have hated it!

As soon as I can, I'll be posting on it over at my blog.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying remembering the movie and all the wonderful symbols and hints that Pixar put in the film to tell the story!

So delightful. I can't wait to see it again. (But no popcorn this time...)

M.E. said...

Oh, gosh, I just re-read my comment and I certainly didn't mean to imply that you thought it was "worship-Gaia" or anything like that.

I'm just so used to any "green" message being wrapped up in all the other trappings that I sort of lump them together now.

It shouldn't be that way. Good stewardship of the earth is a very Catholic thing.

It's just not what this movie is about, in my opinion. Although it did make me want to go home and exercise and de-clutter my house...!

And I completely agree with you: No one should miss this movie!

EegahInc said...

This is one of only two movies I've gone to see in a theater in the past three years. The price was a near-fatal shock but the unbelievable piece of art this movie is was an even bigger one. The anti-consumerist message couldn't come at a better time. Ironic for a movie that will likely sell a million toys :)

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

The prices are certainly not large-family friendly. I have in the past just happened to find little bags on M&Ms in my purse... we choose here to go to an older theater in a small town--simply because their popcorn is cheaper! Thanks for the report, Margaret... I have to say I am skeptical.

Candise & Crew said...

You've piqued my curiosity. Can't wait to go see the movie and see for myself.