Tuesday, 4 December 2012

All aboard the Polar Express!


On Sunday, we took a little trip over the tops to Yorkshire to the National Media Museum in Bradford for a very special event. The children were excited but the person most excited of all was my husband. Because we were going to see The Polar Express. In 3D. In IMAX 3D.

The Polar Express is one of his Christmas traditions. He has two films he likes to watch every Christmas (the other being It's a Wonderful Life) and since the children were little, he's sat them down with hot chocolate on Christmas Eve and made them watch it. Luckily, they share his love of the film.

When we were first invited, we weren't sure if we would be able to make it. We worked out that there was only one date that we could all make to see the film before it finishes showing on 12th December. Luckily, at the very last minute, we were able to arrange to go to the screening after a little bit of juggling, although it meant getting there not long before the filming, leaving us very little time to look around the museum itself.

The only thing that really annoyed me about the day was the queueing system for the cinema - we queued up some stairs, went round up some stairs, long down some stairs and virtually back where we started. The queueing took so long that we didn't have a lot of time before the showing.  However, we found seats together although there is not a lot of legroom for adults, as the cinema is quite steep.

An IMAX screen is much bigger and has a higher resolution than a standard screen - it's about the size of five storeys. Making it 3D is the next step but of course that means you need to wear the sexy glasses which were handed out at the door. I couldn't answer for how different it looked because I'd never seen it all the way through before (I normally use it as an excuse to get some stuff done or have some peace!) but the 3D effects were great - so much so that Missy Woo kept putting her hand out to touch things.

If you don't know the story, a young boy is trying to stay awake on Christmas Eve to see Father Christmas. Instead, a steam train turns up to take him and other children to the North Pole to see the great man himself. The story is CGI animation fantasy and in 3D, it's just enchanting. Some of the angles had me closing my eyes, especially the part where they go down Glacier Gulch. My husband always tells the story of the time we went to the Hemisferic (a domed IMAX cinema) in Valencia whilst pregnant with Monkey and I actually felt sick during and after the film for about 20 minutes so I was trying to avoid the repetition. The effects are amazing although occasionally, the picture looked a bit blurry to me but that might have been the angle I was sat at. The story however really does come out of the screen! Even though everyone knew the story, we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

I somehow think that, despite the fact that we are getting a new telly (not 3D) for Christmas, that this year's Christmas Eve viewing of The Polar Express will not be quite the same!

(Thanks to the National Media Museum for giving us 4 tickets to see The Polar Express in their IMAX cinema. You can see The Polar Express there until 12th December.)
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