Holiday entertainment on Chattanooga’s largest screen is about to become un-bear-ably adorable.
Thanks to positive response in October to a limited run of Pandas 3D, the so-cute-it-hurts documentary is returning for a longer engagement at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. The film will begin regular daily showings on Saturday, Nov. 3.
Pandas 3D is the latest project from the team responsible for producing giant-screen classics likeBorn to Be Wild and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. The film explores the efforts of a global group of scientists to prepare Giant Panda cubs to join their cousins in the wild.
Audiences will delight in tracing the furry steps of a curious female cub named Qian-Qian as she embarks on a frequently-fuzzy, occasionally-harrowing adventure to learn how to survive outside her home at a panda breeding facility in China’s Sichuan province.
Pandas 3D is narrated by Kristen Bell. The Frozen and The Good Place actress says the film shows an uplifting side to the story of the Giant Panda, which was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2016 thanks to concerted — and ongoing — conservation efforts.
“I am thrilled to team up with IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures to help tell this incredible story in the larger-than-life IMAX format,” Bell says. “Pandas not only spotlights the important work being done to protect these beloved and ridiculously cute animals, but it provides us with inspiration and hope and showcases the great things we can achieve when we work together.”
Pandas 3D will arrive at the IMAX 3D Theater just before the return of Polar Express 3D, a holiday classic whose showings have been a Chattanooga family tradition for more than a decade. Polar Express will steam onto the IMAX schedule on Nov. 23.
Polar Express follows a young boy on a quest to rekindle his belief in Santa as he travels to the North Pole aboard a magical locomotive under the watchful eye of a charismatic conductor played by Tom Hanks. Released in 2004, the film was Oscar-nominated and is based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg.
On Chattanooga’s only IMAX with Laser projection system, the wondrous visuals and classic-laden soundtrack make for an even more memorable experience, but for a truly unforgettable experience, many families opt to don their fuzziest pajamas for a pair of special PJs and Polar Express screenings. During these extra-special holiday events, audiences young and old alike are encouraged to attend in their jammies — footed or otherwise — to snack on pre-film cocoa and pastries and hobnob with The Conductor before entering the theater.
This year’s PJs and Polar Express special screenings are at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16. Tickets are $10 for members and $14 for non-members. Register in advance attnaqua.org/events-programs
For a full break-down of Polar Express 3D and Pandas 3D screenings, visit tnaqua.org/imax/the-polar-express and https://www.tnaqua.org/imax/pandas-3d.