Disney doesn’t want you to disable your electronic devices when you head to see “Little Mermaid” in theaters for its rerelease. In fact, the mega kids brand is encouraging families to bring an iPad to the movie and play along during the film, using an interactive app.
In a promo that shows kids enjoying the film as they hold up iPads to the big screen and play on their tablets, Disney prompts “Little Mermaid” fanatics to download the Second Screen Live app, specially designed for the classic movie’s rerelease.
The app allows viewers to “interact with the film, play games, sing along, find new surprises, and compete with the audience.”
According to Yahoo, only 16 theaters nationwide will take part in Disney’s Second Screen Live experiment.
The app itself is only available on Apple devices, meaning kids who don’t have iPads may be left out of the fun.
And as some critics point out, if you’re not playing along, the prevalence of the brightly-lit devices in a movie theater could be disturbing to viewers who just want to watch the film the old fashioned way.
Russ Fischer, of SlashFilm.com, charged that Disney was inviting audiences to “ruin ‘The Little Mermaid.’”
“Do this stuff at home if you want (everyone does) but like all sorts of other ways that people can become “part of the experience” when watching a movie on the couch, it’s best left at home,” Fischer fumed.
Similarly, John-Michael Bond, of Tuaw.com, quipped that the move was Disney’s “worst idea ever.”
“In a world where the movie-going experience is already regularly ruined by adults who are too selfish not to text, talk or web browse in the middle of an expensive movie experience, this seems like a short-sighted cash grab.”