We have been to the far reaches of outer space to watch the birth of stars and the bottom of the ocean to discover new species of bizarre looking sea creatures. We have IMAX to thank for these wild and informative adventures. We are hooked on Documentary Night at our house. One night a week we have designated as the time to watch nature movies from the library. Our daughters, ages seven and four, are enthralled.
I have been sharing my interest in astronomy with them. They know some of their constellations and have looked at Jupiter’s moons, Venus and the mountains on our moon through a spotting scope. It occurred to me one day to see what the library had for space documentaries. The IMAX movie Hubble started us off. It’s breathtaking. It’s just the right length (about 45 minutes). It’s family friendly. I had to pause it every few minutes to answer questions, but that’s fine. They have good questions. Though often they are most concerned with what something eats or where the people go to the bathroom, but hey, they are still learning.
For the next two weeks the girls played astronaut, complete with back pack, gloves and helmet for their space walk. Everything was about Hubble. We built the Hubble telescope out of Lego. We decided Documentary Night might be a good idea. The IMAX movie Galapagos was next. Again, lots of questions, but a keen interest. For the next week, the girls were going to be marine biologists and were planning our trip to the Galapagos Islands. We were very happy with their enthusiasm.
IMAX is their new standard for quality film making. Under the Sea was the next movie. They were impressed that, just like the people in the movie, I have been snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. The movies help us make things relevant. The sea lions were cute. There was great concern over which fish were going to get eaten, but we had that great circle of life talk.
Everest was not the best choice. People die. It’s more about the expedition than the mountain. A good movie but not family friendly for the younger crowd. They still eagerly told mommy all about it when she got home, but she asked me what exactly I was showing them when the girls told her that it got too cold for some of the people to live. Oops.
Rather than make us appreciate the majesty of the world’s tallest mountain, it made us wonder why people do this. And why, even today, do the Sherpas get no recognition? Sure, in the special features they talk about them and thank them, but come on, three people climbed the mountain, a director and five Sherpas carried all the gear up and did the filming, but they don’t get any air time.
We’re going back underwater this week with Disney’s Oceans, then there are a few National Geographic films on the way. The girls get excited about Documentary Night, which is exactly what we were hoping for. They are keen to learn, and the older one is sharing her new info with her class and her teacher. Awesome! And I don’t think Everest scarred them too badly: one of them climbed the modest pile of snow in the front yard and gleefully declared that she was climbing Mount Everest and was on top of the world.