I have some thoughts about taking three quirky kids to a movie premiere in a minute, but first I want to tell you about this miniseries.
When I was in high school, I took a wildlife biology class because I thought it would be awesome. It turned out to be taught by the wrestling coach and consisted entirely of his showing us nature documentaries, mostly Wild America with Marty Stouffer.
Really, Marty Stouffer taught that class.
The only homework we had was that the night before the test we had to write five multiple choice questions about the type of animal we had “learned” about. The teacher then chose from those questions to make the tests for the following year.
Public education right there, folks.
Anywho, I tell you that to let you know that (a) I’ve seen a lot of nature documentaries and (b) nature documentaries have come a long way over the course of the past 20 years.
Untamed Americas—at least the part of it shown at the screening—is incredible. It features the kind of camera work that leaves you wondering how they got the footage at the same time that you don’t really care, because, oh dear lord, did you see those bighorn sheep head butting each other?
Josh Brolin narrates this super informative and gorgeous series that covers North America, Central America, and South America. The part we saw started with a wolf hunting caribou. It was incredible. There was even footage of a bat that has never been filmed for television before. There is this ONE flower and this ONE kind of bat is its only pollinator.
Nature is kind of amazing.
Sam was completely rapt during the whole screening. He especially loved one particular part that showed the stars as seen from one particular place in Latin America (I don’t remember specifically where; I’m so sorry). See, he’s been doing a project about astronomy and he’s really into the stars. You should have seen that kid’s eyes widen when he saw that scene.
Which brings me to my kids. And taking them to a movie premiere.
The screening was held at the Uptown Theater near the National Zoo. There was actually a reception at the zoo following the screening, so we parked at the zoo and walked down to the theater. I figured that would help my kids get some of their crazies out. It also let me stop at the zoo sign and take this picture, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages.
When we arrived at the theater, there was a red carpet and lights and a lot of sort of hip, young DC-type people in their hip, young DC clothes and sporting their hip, young DC attitudes.
We stuck out a little bit.
My kids were way into the free popcorn and set to ingesting vast quantities of it while we waited for the movie to start. We chose seats near the back, but there was a wide horizontal aisle right in front of us, which made us extremely visible to people walking up and down the regular aisle, in particular photographers, who were DE-lighted to find a family in attendance to photograph.
Unfortunately, my kids were about as good at smiling for them as they are at smiling for me when I’m behind the camera.
See reference photo above.
There was a lot of chatter and speechifying by some pretty fancy people prior to the screening, something I would have been very interested in under normal circumstances, but my circumstances at the time consisted of trying to keep Jack from bouncing and rocking entirely out of his seat. He was LOSING it. Normally, he’s really good about movies, but the unfamiliarity and waiting of this event sent him into overdrive.
Fortunately, soon enough the movie started and his attention was recaptured. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that I had chosen a seat right next to one of those annoying people who won’t stop talking throughout the whole movie. Also unfortunately, it was Quinn. He had something to say about EVERYTHING he saw on that screen.
He was fascinated, but he was loud. Jack continued to fidget. Sam only looked away from the screen long enough to snap his fingers at me to demand more popcorn.
We walked back to the zoo for a reception where it soon became clear that we were not fancy enough. I mean, no one gave us the stink eye or anything, but my kids are not the sort of people who eat crab cake canapes off of plates carried around by roving waiters.
We are, however, the kind of people who put on funny hats and let people take our pictures.
Oh, and then some more photographers found us. We were even more exciting when half of us were wearing tiger masks.
We wandered around a little bit more, picked up some ice cream sandwiches, and then I noticed the table full of glasses at kid height and realized that it might be a good idea to bail.
Anywho, we had a fun little evening, full of new experiences and my kids got their first movie premiere under their belts. As did I.
Our DVR is set to record all four hours of the Untamed Americas miniseries, which will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel, NatGeo Wild, and NatGeo Mundo on June 10 and 11 (this coming Sunday and Monday) at 9pm ET/PT. It is rated TV-PG for animal violence—namely bloody evidence of the wild food chain, although none of my kids objected to that.
I love watching nature documentaries and I am happy to be able to pss on this love to my children with quality programming such as Untamed Americas.
Disclosure: We attended this event for free but were not asked to nor compensated for writing about it. My opinions are my own. My kids did consume copious amounts of free popcorn and ice cream sandwiches.