I never grew up watching Disney movies (shocking I know! but part of being a foreigner?) and the only time I have visited Disneyland was when I was 22 and already married. So suffice it to say that I never quite understood people's romanticizing views about the films, the characters, and all things Disney. But that all changed drastically when a little toddler I know became obsessed with "Frozen" the latest princess movie and my life will never be the same. If you are not familiar with the movie, I highly recommend you watch it and if I am endorsing it (the anti-Disney lady) then you know it is something special. It is a wonderful story about sister love and also overcoming fears and accepting who you are as a person. And as cheesy as that sounds, it truly is a magical message. And then the best part about it...it's a musical, with really good catchy songs by the same song writers that created "The Book of Mormon".
I won't tell you how many times we watched it in the movie theatres because it is quite embarrasing, but I will tell you about the best way to watch a movie like this.
A Sing-a-Long showing at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco was one of the most special things we have done as a family. I had heard about this theatre in the city and the Sing-a-Longs they did on the weekends, but when they announced that they would have "Frozen" I knew we had to make our way over there. The price is slightly higher than your average movie theatre ticket, but the experience they create makes up for it. First of all, they have a costume contest. They encourage everyone to come in costume and before the movie they do a big costume parade where they let each kid (or adult) in costume go up to the stage and receive an applause for their ensemble. Secondly, the theatre itself is a rare gem. It has been conserved superbly and you will spend most of the time before the movie admiring all the details. The best part is the Wurlitzer Organ, which rises from underneath the stage to play a mini concert before each showing.
Lastly, when they say "sing along" they really do mean for you to sing at the top of your lungs all the songs throughout the movie. And if you don't know the exact words, you don't need to worry because the lyrics appear on the big screen throughout each musical number. When you first enter the theatre you receive a goodie bag that contains a gold paper crown, a glow stick, bubbles, and a few confetti poppers. And right before the movie begins, everyone puts on their gold crown and receives instructions as to how to use the props throughout the film. It makes for an incredibly interactive experience!
Watching my daughter sing "Let it Go" at the top of her lungs along with a few hundred people is a memory that I will never forget and it is the moment that I became a Disney enthusiast (well played Walt, well played).
Some tips and info for your visit to the Castro Theatre :
* Make sure to purchase your tickets prior to the movie. These Sing-a-Longs sell out almost every showing!
* If you don't have kids, don't worry. They do Sing-a-Longs for more adult films too. We also have gone to see "Mary Poppins" (highlight was popping the confetti during Admiral Bloom's canons) and they have done them for "Grease", "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", "Beauty and the Beast", "Sound of Music" and "The Little Mermaid".
*Do try the popcorn! (organic and delicious)