Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun – An interactive cinema experience where toddlers can go wild
With a bitter chill in the air on Sunday – despite the fact it’s the middle of spring and was hotter in February – it seemed like a good opportunity to take shelter in the cinema.
I went to see Hellboy (worth a watch if you’ve seen the originals) on Saturday night with one of my mates and made use of my Cineworld Unlimited card for the first time in a long while – a result of excessive work hours and being generally busy dadding outside of the office.
So the next morning, in attempt to keep the momentum going, I had a browse to see if there was anything remotely child-friendly playing – largely for an excuse to eat popcorn – and it turned out Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun was on.
Admittedly most all of the kids’ films we’ve seen have interested me – especially Into the Spider-Verse and The Incredibles 2 (click through to check out my thoughts on those). I’d mention the latest How to Train Your Dragon as well but the pain of having to leave after 30 minutes is still too raw…
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How to Train Your Toddler 👶🔥🐉 Today was the first time we went to see a film at the cinema as a trio aaaaaaaaand it was a shambles, which meant we had to abandon ship. One of us fancied running around in the aisles after 30 minutes, one of us is low-key happy we’re leaving early and one of us actually wanted to get to the end of @httydragon — but The Hidden World remains a mystery and we ended up in @mothercareuk instead. I’ve still had more successful trips than failures though and I’ll chalk this one up to missy still not being 100% and pray the next trip runs more smoothly 😣🐲 #DADultLife #HowToTrainYourDragon #CinemaTrip
The likes of Smallfoot and Ralph Breaks the Internet, which are among the various movies we’ve been to see, are great family films – there’s no denying it. But having a preschool-specific option like Peppa on the big screen made a change and, knowing that the little piglet’s show is one Roma will happily tune into, I booked up.
I didn’t really know what to expect in truth. There’s a feature length PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups film on the way to cinemas in May and I assumed Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun would be a similar affair, an hour long adventure of sorts. It was not. It’s actually more of the same, comprising ten new Peppa episodes, so spare a thought for me. Unaware of this before it started, each time a new episode begun I was left wondering just what I’d gotten us into and how many episodes would be shown.
Like all promising cinema trips, Roma started off curled up in my lap happily watching the big screen. Soon though, encouraged by the neighbouring toddler in the row behind who was clearly having a whale of a time and laughing hysterically, she got curious and unfurled herself to see the source of the commotion.
Ordinarily this would have spelt trouble and I’d have done all I could to keep Roma sitting in my lap watching the film. But Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun had more to offer than just its cartoons, which is another reason the giggly girl nearby was enjoying herself so much.
On top of the usual animations of Peppa, George and co, this silver screen adaptation also came with an interactive element laced throughout. Like Sesame Street – ah, those were the days – a host of children appeared on screen in and around the cartoons, looking directly at the camera and talking directly to the audience, inviting the kids, as well as their parents, to sing and dance.
What happened next was too cute for words. Roma strolled along to the end of the aisle towards the other little girl – she was about three – from behind who had come down a couple of stairs to greet her. They proceeded to giggle, hold hands and chase each other up and down and for a change it was all fair game.
Unlike previous trips that have gone sideways – The Grinch and How to Train your Dragon spring to mind – having the kids stretch their legs and play along with the film was actively encouraged. So that in itself gave me some peace of mind that I wouldn’t have to try and lure her back to the seat to stay put and I could tell the dad behind – whose daughter had befriended Roma – was just as chilled.
It was almost like being part of a comical social experiment or advertising campaign. In addition to our own girls, I saw a couple of little boys trying to dart from the back of the screen down the stairs to freedom, which resulted in their mums playing an impromptu game of chase to retrieve them.
If you’re keen to take your youngling to the cinema but have been reluctant because you fear doing the walk of shame if they kick off, having been several times with Roma now, I’d say Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Of course, my only concern about the next trip to the cinema is that she might think running around the aisles for every film is now acceptable behaviour…