Sophie found Dory… but how did she find the cinema?

This blog loves a good “firsts” story.

So when we braved taking Sophie to the cinema for the very first time to watch Pixar’s Finding Dory, it was always going to end up on these pages.

Before we set off, we were racked with questions like:
“How will it be?”
“Will she cope with the loud noises?”
“How on earth will we keep a hyperactive toddler quiet and still for two hours?”
“Does she even like fish?!”

And here’s how it went…


Seeing as it was release day for the film – we’re nothing if not keen – and summer holidays to boot, I’d gone down while Sophie was having her nap to collect our tickets. Slightly surreal experience at our local Cineworld where you could purchase your tickets from any of the different shop points and eateries dotted around the concourse. Despite this, as I waited patiently for the gelateria server at Baskin Robbins to get his head out of the mint choc chip ice cream box, I was slightly confused by what was going on.

I also couldn’t quite compute the fact it now costs £7 for a two year old to watch a film but there you go!

Still, tickets were sorted so I headed home to wait for Sophie to wake up. Sure enough, she fell out of bed (see previous post on her big girl bed upgrade!) which woke her up with a start and we headed off to the cinema as a family.


Finding Dory had been on our radar ever since we recorded Finding Nemo on our Sky planner as an ABF (Anything But Frozen) tactic and Sophie had enjoyed watching it. She knew the characters, she knew the storyline and she was very excited.

“I see Dory, Mummy!” was her favourite phrase throughout Friday.

Finally, after a bit of queueing time it was a time to start and, despite a bit of freaking out over the surround sound system – her face was a picture! – and some pretty scary trailers for a U certificate film – Tim Burton, family friendly?! – we were ready to start the film.

Well, kind of. In true Pixar fashion, there was a short, which was quite cute, but it did prolong the amount of time Sophie had to sit still before the film even began.

We’d got her a booster seat but she wasn’t interested, much preferring to sit on Mummy’s knee instead. My wife had done her some homemade popcorn, so she was quite content munching those. Especially when she found the chocolate buttons hidden at the bottom as an extra treat.

The film itself was great fun. Lots of nods to the original, a storyline with many echoes of Nemo and a whole host of familiar characters and lovable new ones. Sophie was totally entranced by the experience, mesmerised by these giant fish and no doubt following all the intricate and sarcastic jokes aimed at the adults in the room.

Fortunately, we had a row all to herself so when she wanted to stand at one point it was highly possible. The only thing was that she enjoyed holding the seat in front and we had to move along so she didn’t keep bashing the poor child in front round the head as he tried to enjoy the film.

As the big finale rolled round, she did start to get restless, wanting to wander up and down the row and break past me towards the steps and rest of the audience. I tried to stop her but eventually had no option but to take her out as she was disturbing others around us.

We tried the corridor leading into the auditorium but that didn’t work so we burst out onto the concourse again, a toddler whose relentless energy finally needed burning off.

It was settled by clambering all over a Mario Kart Arcade seat (!) before she started getting upset about where Mummy was.

Mummy, naturally, was enjoying the end of the film, but our attempt to rejoin her was hopelessly shortlived and we were soon back on the corridor, this time with Sophie quite distressed.

Very soon after we’d left the second time though, the film had finished and Mummy came to join us. Sophie had done so well and really enjoyed her first cinema trip. If it wasn’t for the ridiculous number of adverts – cut them all together I think – then she would have coped for the whole thing.

As for me, I still don’t know what happens at the end. Do they ever find Dory?! Is that even what the film is about?

Go see it for yourself.

And while you’re doing that, I’ll cuddle this Nemo toy.

Happy days.



  1. Do what i do Joe…..get there at the time the film starts avoiding all the ads and trailers, i’m obviously going through my ‘early years’ again! However, i was at least 7 when i saw my first film…Davy Crockett’! It was wonderful, my Gran even bought me a ‘real’ fur hat!! I’ve never forgotten it! Enjoy the Summer hols. XXX

    • The film always starts 20 minutes after the advertised start time. So glad you’ve found Nemo, I’ve been looking for him/her/it for years…

    • Joe

      August 4, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Amazing story! Do you still own the fur hat?? Good call on avoiding the advert – our only fear was if Sophie got afraid of the dark walking in

  2. Great writing and glad Sophie enjoyed the film x x

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