I think I’ve made it clear on this blog that I am really against people using phones/iPads in the cinema. It’s incredibly distracting, insulting to the filmmaker through paying more attention to another device than the film and if I had my way, all these devices would have to be turned off before people go into the cinema. Then you get stuff like this:
Seriously Disney. You actually want people to use their iPads whilst watching The Little Mermaid in the cinema. Firstly, not everyone has access to an iPad meaning that the whole second screen experience that you’re promoting will not be accessible to everyone. The big problem though is that it’s promoting people using their iPads in the cinema. This is promoting poor cinema etiquette and encourages people to break the Cinema Code of Conduct. This type of thing will make children think it’s okay to take out their phones/iPads when they go to the cinema in the future because they get used to it through stuff like this.
This feels like another way for Disney to make more money from re-releasing their old films. I mean, it made sense with the re-releases of the Toy Story films and Monsters Inc as they were building anticipation for Toy Story 3 and Monsters University. The re-releases of The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast felt like cash-grab opportunities for Disney and this Second Screen experience from The Little Mermaid feels like a cash-grab from a cash-grab. This is one of the most blatant attempts made by Disney recently to get people more invested in a film re-release in order to squeeze more money from people. This type of experience would be best suited for a DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Little Mermaid, at least then it wouldn’t cause the problems with iPads in the cinema and a download code for the app can be included with the DVD which would give people more of a reason to buy the film. In fact, I think Disney did intend to have this as part of a DVD release of The Little Mermaid but realised they could make more money if they did this for cinemas instead of on DVD.
This all just feels wrong to me. A major studio actively promoting the use of iPads in the cinema makes me feel like Disney doesn’t care about the cinema experience or having people be captivated by the film, they only care about the money and it won’t be long before Disney uses a tactic like this in the future, to hide the quality of any lackluster films they make in the future by distracting people from the film through a Second Screen experience.