By now we’re all used to casually checking our iPads while watching TV at home, but turning on a smartphone- let alone an entire tablet – in the cinema is considered one of the worst sins a moviegoer can commit. Disney would like to change that with the upcoming re-release of The Little Mermaid.
The entertainment giant has announced a US screening of the animated classic, dubbed with the title Second Screen Live, in which viewers can take along an iPad loaded up with a second screen app similar to what we’re already used to when watching TV or gaming. Think Xbox Smartglass but with more talking crabs.
While the movie runs kids will be able to “interact with the film and compete with the audience” via games and challenges that include tapping away at the screen. We’re not sure how you’ll follow the movie if you’re playing a game while it’s screening but Disney insists that it will “make you become part of the story”.
Don’t expect this move to migrate to other films or indeed theatres; piracy is already a huge concern in the industry and we doubt that Hollywood execs will be happy with the idea of millions of customers flocking to see the latest hits while armed with a HD-ready video recorder. This is likely a move to reinvigorate the company’s ongoing Blu-Ray re-releases, which are nearly complete now. It’s an interesting concept for sure, but this kind of functionality is destined to remain in the living room for the foreseeable future. On top of that, getting all of the apps to actually function with the movie is likely going to cause some headaches before the movie even starts.
We can only imagine what it has in store for the ‘Under the Sea’ scene; hopefully the scores of expensive iPads will remain dry.