James, Trains And Automobiles

8 Apr

From the time he was a baby, James loved trains. Loved, loved, loved them. In fact, potty-training him turned out to be quite an expensive endeavour, because his rewards were trains. Not just any trains – they had to be Thomas the Train trains. I suspect that James drew out his potty-training for long enough to collect most of the Thomas the Train characters. He even got a Sir Topham Hat (who, if I’m to be honest, creeps me out just a little – I mean, he looks like an adult baby, reminiscent of Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movie).

Then, about two years ago, James was given a DVD of the movie Cars, and just like that, the trains became second-class citizens in his toybox. Now it was all about Lightning McQueen, Mater, Doc Hudson, and all the rest of them. No creepy human characters in this lot – the Cars cars inhabit a world consisting solely of cars, trucks, and helicopters.

The movie is actually quite cool. It has a bit of everything: action, suspense, comedy, and a moral message. It even has those essential elements: a car chase and a love interest.

Since he first saw the movie, James has built up a staggering collection of Cars stuff. He has more Lightning McQueens than I could possibly count, as well as at least one of all of the other characters. He’s got race tracks, ramps, tipping tractors (tractor-tipping is like cow-tipping – don’t even ask), and several Radiator Springs buildings. He has a Firetruck Mater, Monster Truck Mater, Bulldozer Fighter Mater, and some good old plain Maters. His toothbrush, shoes, and backpack all feature Lightning McQueen. He’s got books, puzzles, and the Mater’s Tall Tales DVD.

Our household has probably singlehandedly kept the Disney Cars industry alive.

And now a sequel to Cars is coming out soon. In this one, Lightning McQueen competes in an international Grand Prix, and Mater gets sucked into an espionage situation (to get an idea of the incongruity of this, picture Mr. Bean trying to be James Bond).

James is dead-keen to see the movie, and not on some lame-ass TV screen. He wants the real-deal, big-screen movie theatre. And that is why his very first trip to the cinema is in his very near future.

Today, some exciting news came my way. News that will make James a very happy little boy indeed. This weekend, Lightning McQueen and Mater are in Toronto. They will be setting up camp in one of the larger shopping malls, and making themselves available for their adoring fans.

It is going to be crowded. There will be hundreds of screaming kids running around like lunatics, and hundreds of sobbing parents running after them, trying to contain them. Do I really want to put myself through that kind of stress?

Damned right I do. Seeing the look of joy on my child’s face as he beholds his Cars heroes will make it all worthwhile.

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaub/5159613205)

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2 Responses to “James, Trains And Automobiles”

  1. S Club Mama - Randi April 8, 2011 at 4:52 PM #

    Oh our boys would get along well (well, at least play parallel very well haha). Moose loves Cars and Thomas, too (more Cars). We are thinking of Cars 2 being his first movie theater appearance, too, but …my husband is afraid that Moose won’t like it because it’s not Cars 1. I don’t know, I think he’ll like it.

    • runningforautism April 8, 2011 at 10:24 PM #

      I think you should give it a try. The worst that can happen is that he doesn’t like it and you leave. Pick a time when the theatres aren’t busy and see what happens. Maybe he won’t like it and he’ll kick up a bit of a noise and you’ll get a few “looks” from people. Or maybe he will love it. There’s only one way to find out…

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