That time one of the greatest race car drivers in the world showed up with his family at a movie theater in Noblesville, Ind., to watch “Kung Fu Panda 3.”
That time was Saturday, Jan. 16 and the driver was four-time and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, who had just finished rowing 50,000 meters at PitFit Training in Indianapolis for St. Jude Children’s Reach Hospital. Possibly tired but undeterred after his 50,000th stroke, Dixon, his wife, Emma, and their daughters, Poppy and Tilly, arrived at the Hamilton 16 IMAX for the screening, which coincided with the world premiere of the DreamWorks film in Hollywood.
Moviegoers in Noblesville watched red carpet activities on the theater screen as the stars who voiced characters in the film, including Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson and Jack Black, who voices the main character, Po, entered the TCl Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Verizon IndyCar Series drivers were invited to the local screening as a promotion for the film, which opens nationwide Jan. 29.
Combatting Indiana’s cold winter temperatures, the Dixon sisters and Emma were bundled up and wearing matching pairs of Ugg Boots. They posed for photos with Scott, who wasn’t wearing Uggs, and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver Zach Veach, who wasn’t, either.
“It makes me happy! When we get to spend time together, we really get to snuggle a lot,” said Poppy Dixon, 6.
It’s unlikely that the other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Dixon races against consider him snuggly, but it’s fun for fans to see his softer side – the one Dixon’s family is used to. And who knew he’d seen all three films in the “Kung Fu Panda” trilogy?
“I’m excited. I think, in this one, Po meets up with his father again, which is kind of crazy. So I’m looking forward to seeing it,” Dixon, 35, said before heading into the screening with a bucket of popcorn. “Kids’ movies are great for the kids, but there’s also a lot of humor there for the parents, too.”
Veach, 21, said he started watching “Kung Fu Panda” movies when he was younger and racing go-karts. He, too, has seen them all.
“I’ve been a fan of the series for a really long time,” said Veach. “I’m still a kid, I guess.”