Last weekend I was in charge of an additional child, my four year old nephew. Leading up to the weekend I prayed for good weather. Once the weekend arrived, so did the rain and wind. The only idea I had was to go to the cinema and that depended upon a children’s film showing at my local cinema at a time that allowed me to get the kids in the car and get them sat on a booster seat in the theatre. Justin and the Knights of Valour was showing at 10:00 – I began packing snack bags, filling drinks cups and putting little shoes on little feet.
We got to the cinema just in time for the film to start. I had no expectations as I had not heard of the film before. The storyline was slow to unfold and the youngsters were very patient in waiting for the action. The plot involved a town where there was political unrest and new laws were inhibiting the people that lived there from having happy lives. The storyline was not exactly easy for children to follow and it was quite boring for the first twenty minutes. My son kept asking if it was finished.
The middle section of the film showed Justin training to be a knight, this was the best part of the film in terms of action and the kids began to enjoy it. Towards the end, I was running out of snacks and the kids were a bit fidgety. I had lost interest near the beginning and if I’m honest it’s hard to write a fantastic review because the film was less than mediocre. None of the characters were truly memorable, aside from one cute strong minded girl called Talia. It is great to see females in kids films that are not tall, hour glass, Disney princesses that need rescuing by prince charming. The title of the film suggests battle scenes and most scenes did include fighting and violence. I really dislike those elements in children’s films and that only worsened my opinion of Justin and the Knights of Valour.
The intended audience for this movie is children and so, to be fair I will tell you what my son and my nephew thought of it. My son has not mentioned any element of the film at all. After watching something he normally talks about it afterwards in his own cute way. My nephew, when prompted, said “yeah, it was good”. I asked him what was the film about and he looked lost. I said, “Do you remember what Justin did?” My nephew replied, “He wanted to be a knight”. He then went back to playing with his toys.
Tips for taking young children to the cinema:
My son is two and a half and we have been going to the cinema since he was under one year.
- Make sure you have lots of snacks with you.
- If you are potty training, encourage a trip to the toilet before the film.
- I try to avoid going inside at the advertised starting time. A quarter of an hour of advertisements can ruin the otherwise manageable 90 minutes of viewing time.
- Don’t worry if your child talks a little bit, just encourage them to watch the film and answer them in a whisper.
- Be prepared to leave the cinema if your child becomes unsettled and only go back in if and when they are ready.
- Ask your child about the film afterwards and enjoy sharing your favourite bits.