In the ‘I really really like them’ way, not the ‘I’m a paleontologist’ way…just to be clear.
Ever since 1988 when a younger, more fresh faced, 6 year old version of myself first laid eyes on A Land Before Time, dinosaurs have been a bit of a thing for me. Jurassic Park. The Lost World. Dinosaurs the TV show (‘NOT THE MOMMA’ come ON, that was the stuff dreams are made of!!). Even that Walking with Dinosaurs thing they showed at IMAX for awhile. Jurassic World… Well.. Actually let’s just pretend that never happened shall we? Everyone makes mistakes.
All my kids have dinosaur pyjamas.
We hand made dinosaur toothbrush holders for them, because Pinterest told me how to.
And by “we” I mean my husband made them and I told him all the things he was doing wrong while he was doing it.
I know dinosaur JOKES (“why can’t you hear a pterodactyl going to the bathroom? Because the P is silent! You. Are. Welcome).
You catch my drift.
So when we were seeing Inside Out and there was a preview for Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, I about lost my mind.
I worded my unsuspecting children up about this movie MONTHS in advance. Not since forcing my 4-year old daughter to become a One Direction fan so I could talk to her about Harry Styles had I worked so hard to indoctrinate someone into loving something they knew very little about.
The day arrived for us to attend the premiere and everything was falling into place. We had a babysitter for my one year old, I was wearing a pretty dress, we got there on time (miracle), we got a park in the shade, my name was on the list and I wasn’t humiliatingly turned away as was so often the case in the awkward latter years of my misspent teens attempting nightclub entry. We got excellent seats in the theatre and successfully smuggled in our own popcorn. No one needed to do a wee just as the movie was starting.
So much winning.
I knew the basic premise behind the movie ahead of time. In its broadest sense, it asked the question, “what if the asteroid that hit the earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, missed?”
Let’s be honest, they had me at dinosaur.
What I didn’t realise dinosaur was that it would dinosaur be so, dinosaur much more. Dinosaur.
The movie started; cinematically and visually breathtaking from the get go. Animation surpassing any Disney/Pixar movie I’d seen prior. Loveable characters that you found yourself rooting for. A sense of humour making it broadly appealing to both children and adults alike. The gang was all there.
Young apatosaurus Arlo, the runt of the litter, never quite gets it right. He wants to become something more and prove to his older siblings and strong, seemingly fearless father that he too can make his mark and become the best version of himself. With the landscape and environment as his antagonist, Arlo is separated from his family and begins the long and treacherous journey home. Along the way, he meets a critter, Spot, with whom he forms an unforgettable, if not unlikely, friendship and who is the catalyst for helping him find himself.
It’s essentially a story about how to survive nature, how to survive loss and how to survive your own fears. All messages and themes I felt really good about exposing my children to under the guise of “lets go see this awesome movie about dinosaurs”. Did I mention it was about dinosaurs?
All that said though, I made one fatal mistake in the lead up to seeing this movie.
I put on eyeliner.
Liquid eyeliner no less.
I’ve mentioned before this is something I rarely do, but I was going to a movie premiere! Angelina Jolie wears eyeliner to movie premieres. It seemed like a good idea.
Like so many things I do.
It was not a good idea.
That eyeliner, along with half my mascara, and a good portion of my own snot, ended up all over my face.
Because OH DEM FEELS. ALL DA FEELS. AND OH HOW I CRIED.
As a person who has cried in a McDonalds commercial, I’m not sure how I thought I was going to get through a coming of age story about an adorably timid, clumsy and loveable dinosaur who loses his family, with my eyeliner in tact.
This did not happen.
Like on so many occasions before, I turned into leave britney alone guy, in public.
In fact, we had to wait until the entire cinema had emptied before I was game to turn my iPhone onto front camera mode and check out what was once my face, but now looked like a blotchy, snotty, find-a-word puzzle attacked by a 2 year old with a black felt tip pen.
And I’m not even going to talk about what my husband, who has been blessed with the immediate-allergic-reaction-eye-swelling variety of crying eyes, looked like. We were a collective mess.
Thank god we had the four year olds to tell us “it’s only a movie, it’s not real”.
Because the movie was touching, particularly as a parent. And this is always what I love about Disney, they manage to produce movies that are funny and moving and beautiful. Movies that parents enjoy just as much as the kids do.
And what’s more, now I have a whole lot of new dinosaur merch to buy for myself kids.
Now I have approximately five months in which to spend indoctrinating my children into a love of little forgetful blue fish….
Because. Finding Dory. 😳😄🙏