I’ve never been to the premiere of a children’s film before. But just before Christmas we were invited to the premiere of Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipwrecked in Leicester Square. It was ( either through tears or laughter) an eye-watering experience negotiating your way through the balloon modellers, queues for photo opportunities with lifesize chipmunks and hundreds of children screaming “I want…” as they shovelled mini pastries and muffins into their mouths.
As hospitality goes though it was impressive: coffee, juice and pastries, the above mentioned balloon modellers whose intricate designs were among the best I’ve ever seen, fab face painters and lots of different ways of having your photo taken with chipmunks.
One of the highlights for me though was the PR who barged to the front of those queuing for photos in front of a greenscreen yelling “I’ve got a celebrity”. Without moving my head, my eyes swivelled across to a reasonably attractive and completely unrecognisable woman and back again to the hyperventilating PR. Had she got the wrong person or do I need to catch up with Grazia and Hello magazine – or perhaps Big Brother? I looked at her children in case they turned out to be the Olson twins – or indeed some chipmunks but again there was no spark of recognition.
I didn’t think this was a brilliant way of managing VIPs , as it was presumably very annoying for others who had already been queuing for some time. As those in the queue were also completely unrecognisable – some of them may also have thought they were celebrities – and been not a little put out by this example of big-footing. Though most were probably journos and bloggers like me.
Such was the popularity of the event, that the queues for everything threatened to destabilise it. There was nothing the organisers could do. I mean who could have expected that two pushy parents would come to a stand -off like a couple of stag beetles, over who was the next in line for the face painter. I stood well back in case pastries were lobbed or someone’s balloon sword got popped. Yes of course I made sure my seven year old girls all got their funny shaped balloons, and their hands painted. I just smiled serenely while accidentally spilling my coffee over rival parents so they were forced to retreat to the washroom.
It was such fun, we were all reluctant to leave the party and go in and see the film. But the attendants insisted – and we managed to find some perfectly nice seats at the front ( not having thought to get all available coats and reserve large blocks of them in the prime viewing area).
So on to the film. Actually I loved it. I’ve not seen any “chipmunks” films before so the concept was new and appealing to me – unlike others who I have heard complaining that one singing and dancing chipmunk is much like another.
In this film, Alvin and chipmunks chipwrecked ( don’t let the title put you off!) the other chipmunks are on a cruiseship where they get up to no good doing a bit of kite flying off the back of the ship and end up stranded on a desert island, while their “owner”/ “father” searches desperately for them.
There’s plenty of time for the chipmunks to do their stuff – singing in harmony while disco dancing and it all seemed like good harmless fun to me. The children seemed to enjoy it too – and mine have since been found bopping along to some of the songs on utube. And unlike Katy Perry the lyrics are a little more appropriate for the under 10s so no need to stop them bopping this time!
The film is currently showing at the Odeon, Kensington, Whiteleys and Marble Arch and the Vue in Shepherd’s Bush.