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IMAX Chattanooga Kids Review: “10 million times better than I expected!”

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It would be one thing for me to tell you how great my first experience at the TN Aquarium’s IMAX theater was, but I thought it would be much more valuable for you to hear my kids’ review of their first IMAX movie.

About halfway through “Born to be Wild 3D”, my 7 year old son leaned over to me and whispered, “Mom, this is 10 million times better than I expected!”

You see, I can’t exactly remember the last time I saw an IMAX movie, but I’m pretty sure it dates back to the last time Michael Jordan & Bugs Bunny partnered together for a full-length film…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The night before going on our first IMAX adventure, I decided to pump my kids up by showing them the Chattanooga IMAX movie trailers on YouTube. However I have to be honest; after watching the previews, my kids weren’t super excited about going to the IMAX.

Sure, the images were beautiful, but my kids were not instantly compelled to spend 45 minutes in a theater watching pretty pictures of animals.

We didn’t realize just how much those opinions would soon change…

We had three IMAX 3D movie choices:
*Born to Be Wild 3D
*Flight of the Butterflies 3D
*The Last Reef 3D

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When our family was first invited to attend an IMAX movie after our day at the Aquarium, “Born to be Wild” came highly recommended. But I really thought my daughter would want to see the “Flight of the Butterflies” because the Butterfly Garden is one of our favorite experiences at the Aquarium’s Ocean Journey. We also thought the images from “The Last Reef” looked stunning, but none of us were compelled enough for that to be in the running.

So it came down to a decision between the first two, but we ultimately decided to go with the original recommendation we got because the story seemed the most interesting and heartwarming.

Born to be Wild 3D” narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman, documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people —saving these endangered species one life at a time.

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The IMAX theater itself is something to behold, but once you put on those 3D glasses and the film starts, that’s when we were truly transported, both literally and emotionally.

I may have cried…

I am not your typical animal person: I’m allergic to most house pets, I get annoyed when I see dogs in strollers in stores and I don’t understand when people alter their travel plans for their animals.

Yet this film moved me.

Watching how these women dedicated their lives to rescuing, rehabilitating and returning these animals to their natural habitat was absolutely inspiring. And don’t even get me started on the stunning visual imagery and moving narration provided by Morgan Freeman.

Throughout this IMAX film, my kids kept leaning over to me and saying, “I’m so glad we didn’t go home early” and “I should have listened to you mom – this is better than I ever could have imagined!”.

Here are some closing comments directly from my kids. First, from my 8 year old daughter when asked what she would say to another kid, like her, who wasn’t sure if they wanted to see an IMAX movie:
It’s a lot funner than you think, it’s a huge screen, and Born to be Wild is the best (since that’s the one we saw). It was really, really good. It’s about elephants and orangoutangs. It was a great story about how two ladies who raised elephants and orangoutangs and how they released some into the wild because they were old enough. It was very cute and I loved it.

And from my 7 year old son when asked the same question (as if the “it was a million times better than I expected” comment wasn’t enough):
I didn’t really want to go because I didn’t think it would be so good… but it was really good.

Children under 3 are free at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater in Chattanooga, and if you want to add an IMAX ticket on to your Aquarium ticket, it’s only an extra $6 (Now that’s value!). The theater is about a block away from the Aquarium, so I recommend what we did: get to the Aquarium when it first opens, spend a couple hours there, catch a movie around lunch time, and then you can always return to the aquarium for more fun after the film is done!

Have you ever been to the Chattanooga IMAX 3D theater? If so, what was your favorite film?

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