In memory of “Toys”

Among the great losses when your child becomes an adult is the loss of the children’s movies.

Or at least, that used to be a loss.

What I discovered during an early evening screening of “Toy Story 3” is something I’ve seen more of in recent years. Adults are enjoying children’s films without even bothering to drag their kids along.

I entered a 6:30 p.m. show to discover not one child in the theater, initially. But a few minutes into the previews, ah, there he was: a young man of about 5 sitting in the fourth row with his parents. But everywhere else in the theater, I saw couples, friends, almost everyone over 20, plenty over 40.

Just as the final preview ended, the couple in front of me was dismayed to hear a loud young voice ask: Where are we going? A trio of adults with a 3 or 4 year-old little girl had arrived late and was looking for seats. They were greeted with the kinds of looks popular kids used to give the nerds who had just grabbed their lunch in the school cafeteria.

The group sat in the row in front of me. A couple directly in front of me moved over a few seats, looking at the poor kid as if she’d just wandered into an adult club.

But they needn’t have worried.

Once the movie began, the entire audience was mesmerized, entranced possibly by their own memories of childhood and their own favorite toys. I worked hard not to sob at the end and was aided by the teenager two seats down who didn’t understand that every time she texted, the light from her phone was as big a distraction as if it had emitted a Drake ring tone.

I walked out as the credits rolled, reveling in having just seen a beautiful, beautiful film that remains the top movie in America, deservedly so. And I was so glad that I hadn’t decided to put children’s movies on the shelf because my daughter isn’t a child anymore.

Sometimes, it’s OK to remember your own childhood as much as your children’s.

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