This weekend marked the much awaited opening of the new film Kung-Fu Panda 3. I think much awaited is actually an understatement for my boys. The excitement has been growing since we left the cinema at the end of the second instalment of the franchise. We have had to regularly check what date the new movie would be opening. When the date was released, it was surprisingly a complete downer for them both because suddenly something that was going to be happening had a definite conclusion and it seemed so long away. You can only imagine the excitement when trailers were shown, and then adverts on the telly. The boys were desperate to see it when it opened.
The boys can be extremely stubborn when they really want something, and it can lead to a few situations – I believe that is the polite way of putting it! Their autism though does mean that they are both very logical, and once you have them calm enough to explain your reasoning for why your way is better – like all Mums I do resort to the “because I said so” but find a full explanation with facts and reasoning usually achieves a better result, then once they have been able to process it, they can accept the situation, and the next time something similar is raised they will suggest the better option.
Going to the cinema fits this criteria very much. Many cinemas now do relaxed performances, where the lights are not turned down, and it isn’t so loud. The fact that this happens, in my opinion, is a great step towards accepting that sometimes a few minor changes can make the world of difference to many. However, for my boys, this is wrong! The idea of it not being dark, and people not having to be quiet, goes against what works for them. We therefore continue to go to regular showings. When there is a film that they are desperate to see, they of course want to see it as soon as possible. They know that films open on a Friday, and after a week at school, they are tired, and so we rule out this day – they would just not get the full enjoyment out of the film. We therefore tend to go at some point during the first weekend. With most cinemas doing a kids club on the mornings, we have found it the best time to go to full priced screenings, as they are not so busy. I always book the tickets online, and pick the seating we want, rather than the best available seats which don’t usually work for us. I try to get seats at the side, where there are usually four only in the row, that way the boys if they are moving about a little bit, then they don’t really disturb anyone. D always likes to sit in the aisle seat, because he sometimes needs to wriggle about, and can then sit on the stairs to get his legs in a different position for a while. We have to go to 2D showings, although this really annoys D who loves the 3D experience, but for M it doesn’t work, as he will usually end up feeling unwell with a migraine because his eyes and brain have had problems processing what is happening.
So, for us, yesterday morning was the much awaited day. It was KFP3 day. Usually getting the boys to put clothes on at the weekend is a struggle, but they were both dressed and organised in plenty of time. Getting to the cinema is a real balancing act, of getting there early enough to see the adverts – I know, but to them its part of experience, but not too early that they have to wait around or being asked how long until it starts gets really monotonous. Yesterday we timed it right, by the time we were seated then the boys had gone to the loo, and returned, I had dished out the water bottles and the sweets, it was time to start.
I am not going to spoil the plot for anyone, as that would just be mean. What I will say is that it was brilliant. The end of the second movie, set up the premise for this one beautifully, and it played out in a bigger way than I imagined it could. The story was a perfect completion of the trilogy, bringing together many threads I hadn’t actually noticed had been left hanging from the previous instalments. If you enjoyed either of the other Kung-Fu Panda movies, then you need to see this one. It was both heart warming, with a couple of sad moments, and yet full of action. Like both the other movies, it built up to a totally awesome battle between good and evil. I don’t think I will be giving anything away when I say when Po saves the day we all cheered – inwardly or out loud, but it is a kids movie, so he has to win.
I would still say the first is my favourite of these films, but I am sure once the DVD is out, and M has played it back to back to back a few dozen times, I will put this one up there. Of course, M asked for the DVD when we were still in the cinema, always a sign of how much he loved a film.
I would highly recommend this film to everyone.