The House of Mouse should be ashamed. Granted, there is no denying the reach of technology these days. Look at any playground or school hallway or mall for that matter and you will see hordes of humorless zombies, faces glued to the latest overpriced device in a desperate desire to stay permanently entertained and “connected” to friends, family, and more times than not, Facebook. But to invite this scourge into the last bastion of escape – i.e., the movies – is just asking for old coots like me to wrestle themselves from their moldy old armchair and rally against said “progress” like its kids playing on my lawn.
Anyway, when Disney re-releases ‘The Little Mermaid’ to theaters (September 13th), audiences will have a choice of attending special screenings one week later were they can “interact” with the film and “share the experience with the rest of the audience”…as long as you have an iPad, that is. Apple must love the “us vs. them” synergy. Indeed, watch the trailer below before we go any further to see marketing and media integration taken to dangerously insane levels:
Okay, you’re probably thinking to yourself that there is no reason for such an uproar. This is a limited engagement, for a film many already own on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s a kid’s film and, notoriously, children need some manner of distraction in a theater since they have been raised to believe that all cinema is shown in a living room like setting (don’t believe me? I remember seeing ‘The Lion King’ upon its original release with a full house of brats running up and down the various aisles throwing balls back and forth to each other).
But here’s the rub – if Disney makes this work, and they are brilliant at strategic stunts like this – then all family films will feel the need to follow suit. Imagine a regular showing of something like ‘Ice Age 5,’ or ‘Madagascar 6′ where the crowd comes armed their mandatory smart device. In fact, why bother with the movie at all? With a backlash building against the use of technology during films (see: The Alamo Drafthouse and their various “No Texting” PSAs) versus its vehement embrace by others, having the time honored traditions of Disney fully supported for the sake of a gimmick spells trouble. First, 42nd Street and Times Square. Now, the entire movie biz in general.
Source: The Verge