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The New Sea Monsters IMAX opens September 18th at the DMNS

A couple weeks ago, the three of us were invited to a special sneak preview of the newest IMAX adventure at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Along with the invitation was the warning: “this film merits a PG rating for some intense wildlife images, including scenes of simulated predation.”

So, of course, we decided to take Claire, our three year old, with us.

It’s so hard to tell what is going to upset her and what isn’t.

She watches all kinds of “nature” programs with us, and they always have the sharp edge of “predation.” I mean, everybody’s gotta eat. Right? Some scenes are a little harsher, and I do try to shield her from those.

The dragon scene in “Sleeping Beauty” where Prince Phillip kills Maleficent? She hardly blinks an eye.

The entire “Finding Nemo” movie? Traumatic experience. She cried through the whole thing! (More than once, because she begged to watch it again!) Every two seconds she was asking me if they were ever going to be reunited. My guess? The name of the movie says it all. It’s not called “They Lose Nemo Forever and Ever. The End.” (And, for the record, I skip the entire first scene with the mother because that almost makes me cry.)


Sea Monsters of the deep? Who knows? They could be like dragons, which though worrisome, are not a deal-breaker. Or, it could be too much like Nemo, and all hope would be abandoned at the door.

Time would tell.

The evening started out well enough. We got to hear from Kenneth Carpenter, PhD, Curator of Paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He “heads the fossil preparation laboratory at the Museum and is a world-renowned dinosaur expert.” He gave us “the inside story on development of this film, which brings to life the extraordinary marine reptiles of the dinosaur age.”

That part was really cool, actually: seeing what goes into making such a masterpiece.

Sea Monsters IMAX at DMNS

After he spoke, which wasn’t scary at all actually, the movie started. It was one of the best IMAX movies my husband and I have ever seen. We loved it.

…And it scared poor little Claire half to death.

There were parts of the movie that were scary for me…but I’m old enough to handle it. I actually enjoyed being frightened by the sea monsters leaping out of the prehistoric oceans and into my lap.

Claire, on the other hand, buried her head in my neck for the scary parts and then asked me unending questions about the storyline during the calmer parts. I won’t give anything away, but the movie follows the lives of a little Dolichorhynchops (Dolly for short) family, and not unlike most children’s movies, *cough* Disney *cough* some members of the family may or may not make it to the end of the movie.

The emotional connection in most movies is really strong for Claire, even though she’s only 3, so that was disturbing for her, not to mention the larger-than-life monsters jumping out of the screen. As with anything, kids of all ages may or may not be able to handle such excitement. You be the judge.

Claire didn’t cry, but it wasn’t the best experience for her. Your child may totally dig it. Like I said, my husband and I loved it!

So, if you like IMAX movies, you should check this out. It opens tomorrow! (September 18, 2009) Click here for showtimes and prices.

Photos provided by Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Author: JoAnn

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