A Brave Birthday

Red Rider. For me, like many others, those words bring only one movie to mind, A Christmas Story. And just like little Ralphie was obsessed with getting his Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas, my daughter was persistent about getting a Bow and Arrow set for her birthday after seeing Disney's 'Brave'.

So as a tribute to the movie, I created this fun Brave Banner for the birthday girl.


'Braving' the Anticipation

Patience. Try telling a 10 year old girl that is anxiously awaiting to see the newest Disney-Pixar film that she needs to wait a week to see it.

Due to my work schedule and her summer activities, we were not able to see Disney's 'Brave' until this week. I promised her that I would take her and a friend to see the film at the historic El Capitan Theater on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. And WOW was the wait worth it!

We arrived at 9:30am for the 10:00am showing. Upon entering the lobby there was a great photo display set up for taking some memorable photos of the occasion. Then of course we stopped by the concession booth to grab a little something before finding our seats. (Nothing like an over-sized bag of popcorn for breakfast!)

The ambiance inside the theater was 100% Hollywood, with the velvet curtains, balconies and colorful lighting. A organ player was even on stage to resurrect classical musical melodies from Disney films of old. When at last, several screens began to retract upward, one after another until the movie screen was unveiled for us to watch the previews of all the newest Disney films in the works. Then the curtains dropped again, reminiscent of the way movies used to be preparing us for a big surprise.

Spotlights suddenly illuminated a group of entertainers who performed songs from Hollywood's best musicals while they introduced Disney's beloved characters to the stage! As soon as Donald appeared I found myself grinning ear-to-ear as if I was transported back in time to being a kid all over again. It was the most amazing feeling, and one that continued throughout the entire performance. We saw Mike and Sully, Buzz and Woody, Donald, Goofy and of course, Minnie and Mickey! To top it all off, they added a special patriotic performance for an Independence Day celebration!

The show ended with an appearance from Merida, before the curtains opened one last time to show the movie. Not only was 'Brave' stunningly beautiful to watch, with all the cinematic scenery, I thoroughly enjoyed the story as well. And as much as we've heard about the "Disney Formula" for making movies, it once again works.
Although this was a daddy/daughter day, I recommend that mothers and daughters see this movie see together as well. It tackles the struggle that so often happens as girls mature, leading to sometimes very nasty arguments with their mothers.

The afternoon ended with a trip to Mickey's Soda Shop which is right next door to the theater. We enjoyed a nice lunch and dessert before heading back home. This was another magical afternoon that this father will continue to cherish before his daughter grows up.