Trust me, I am just as shocked as you are to be writing about this movie. So shocked that this post could easily morph into something more akin to a graduation speech, a motivational conference, or a Lutheran sermon. Something with a theme along the lines of 'not judging a book by its cover' or 'stepping outside of your comfort zone' or 'the world is full of surprises.' It was just THAT inspiring.
I have never had any real interest in animated movies (well, not since Disney's princess collection came to a halting screech just as I left my childhood behind and entered junior high in 1995. Come on, we all loved Ariel.) I went because I was offered a free screening ticket. Simple as that. Free things are nice. And it was Movie Monday after all.
Alex and I settled into our 3-D glasses in a theater packed by press and their children, with the lowest of expectations. I loved the children's book as a child, and he knew little about this movies save from a few flying cheeseburgers. But we sat through Ice Age: 3 and we could sit through this.
What came to follow was an hour and 48 minutes of laugh after laugh after laugh. The humor was right on target, the animation gorgeous, and the actors outstanding. Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, and the treat of all treats--Neil Patrick Harris-- as Steve the monkey. No, we did not see that coming, and yes, we gasped in sheer delight when we saw his name in the credits.
I will spare you the 'don't judge a book lecture' if you promise to give this splashy animated feature film a chance. Then, once you've seen it, do as we did and walk to Madison Square Park's Shake Shack for burgers and fries-- you will want one too after seeing burgers float to the ground like manna from heaven in the first food storm.
Real laughter, a long walk, and Shake Shack. A Movie Monday for the books.