This morning I went to see the third installment of the Shrek movies. It was a 10 a.m. dollar show at a dying mall. As the escalator lifted me from the bowels of parking, my ears were assaulted by all manner of high pitched vocalizations. Apparently, every summer day care facility in the area decided that a morning movie was a good idea.
Armed with warm popcorn and a heavy flannel shirt, I picked the one theater of the three showing this film at this time that seemed less crowded and to have a higher ratio of authority figures to little darlings. It is July, so the warm shirt is a necessity in these venues.
This movie is better than the first sequel. Of course, the graphics and controls have evolved. But the story and characters seemed less forced. We are not talking high art, after all. There were plenty of wild takes, pratfalls, and flatulation jokes to keep the young-uns amused. There were also enough cultural references to both our modern world and to the various fairy tale universes to keep the adult intellect from nodding off.
But I was inspired to write this because of the audience. I hadn’t been to a kids movie with mostly kids since I was one of them. There never was a moment of silence from the audience. But to the credit of the herders, nannies, and moms, the dialog was only rarely drowned out. Some babies cried, some toddlers whined, and elder siblings sometimes forgot the public setting and began narrating along, until shushed. It really wasn’t too bad, once I accepted the inevitable. I’m about as adaptable as a cat, that way. Grudgingly.
I will have to see the movie again, in a venue where I can hear the nuances of the voices.
Schrecklichkeit? A German word that translates to “fearsomeness”.