Little Mermaid on the Big–and little–Screens

"The Little Mermaid"

Disney just announced that it was trying a movie theatre experiment: in selected theatres, it is inviting movie goers to bring their iPad to a screening of The Little Mermaid. During the movie, games run on the iPad, and parents and kids can not only play along with the movie, they can compete with other patrons, as they are divided into teams–the Flounders, the Sebastians, etc.–based on movie characters when they arrive.

Disney says it’s trying the experiment because many of the film’s first fans (it debuted in 1989) are now parents who want to re-experience the film in a new way with their kids. In addition, the company is attempting to leverage the “second screen” phenomenon, in which people watch and use multiple forms of media concurrently.

Is this a good move? Do you think Disney looks cutting edge, or desperate?

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-little-mermaid-family-20130921,0,5691033.story

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8 thoughts on “Little Mermaid on the Big–and little–Screens

  1. rachelnakamoto

    I do not think this is a good move for Disney because by implementing a second screen, the audience will be more distracted then engaged especially for little children who are more easily distracted. The Little Mermaid is a classic Disney movie and in my opinion, it is most likely that the film’s first fans watched the film because of the content of the movie. The movie industry should focus on making good movies that appeal to the audience then adding features such as 3D or the second screen. It just seems like a gimmick to make more money for the company instead of creating a better experience for the audience.

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  2. Amaryllis Jones

    I wouldn’t say their attempt on innovation is “desperate” but I do think that it is a drastic move. These movies are CLASSICS and sometimes tradition should not be broken. I am not saying I am against change, but I really think that the beauty of the movie is seen through actually watching it. Children are using technology on a regular basis so incorporating it into a family -time event is defeating the purpose of building relationships. Keep it classic Disney…

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  3. Ryan Fernandes

    I agree with the above that they are affecting the classical aspect of watching the movie, but many of the current consumers already have the movie in some form. Now every young child is playing games on an ipad and know how to use it quite well. I think it is a good move to engage a child’s interest and beg their parents to actually purchase a ticket or the actual movie. It might have a slow initial adoption rate, but so did computers, the internet, online music. Disney is thinking into the future with innovation that can change movie watching into even more of an experience.

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  4. Masha Bobyleva

    In my opinion it’s not a very good idea if we see it from the standpoint of cinema. The idea is opposite of what people want when they go to cinema. It’s not the best way to see a movie for the first time or if you just want to enjoy the film.

    But if we see it as an EXPERIENCE, forgetting its relation with cinema, I don’t think that it’s a bad idea. If we talk about Disney fans or families with kids, I think its just another way for them to have fun. So I guess that Disney is just trying to create new experience using new technology and their classic movies, and not to replace the classic cinema experience.

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  5. Mark Patey

    I think this could be a really good move by Disney. I don’t know if the’ve done this but I can see them offering both a ‘second screen’ option to their children’s films as well as a regular option. This will only help to capture a larger consumer base that want the moviegoing experience to be more interactive. I understand that for a lot of parents they want to take their children to a movie where the kid is quite and still, but at the same time if their kid sees the commercial and really wants to see the movie and wants to do so in an interactive, fun, and engaging way with friends I don’t believe many parents will be inclined to say no to their needy child. The world is only becoming increasingly more technology-oriented and this move by Disney is congruent with that trend. Especially with most parents of young children in generation x, this demographic (from what I’ve noticed) are technologically literate, and I believe a group of them would enjoy the experience with their child.

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  6. Stephanie Rathakrishnan

    This is a really interesting idea that Disney is experimenting with, and it shows how much times have changed. I personally don’t like this idea. I agree with many people in that I prefer to enjoy the movie on its own and by adding these games, it takes away from the experience that I remember as a child. However, children growing up these days have a completely different experience than we do. They have grown up in a fast-paced world where technology is easily accessible. They are more open to multitasking and its always been an option for them. For example, they are able to watch TV, while playing games on their iPad. Therefore, I feel like this can be a good idea for Disney as they are able to get the attention of younger audiences by allowing them to interact with the movie via games.

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  7. deborahlamm

    I think it’s really interesting is trying to address the issue of “second-screen.” I know I personally use my phone when I’m at home, but I think it would be different in a theatre setting.

    I don’t think Disney is being desperate – in fact, I think Disney is being innovative. Technology is a huge part of our lives and younger generations grow up with more technology now than we ever did. If they’re going to play with their iPads regardless, why not provide a place that facilitates that type of activity.

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  8. tiffanywtlee

    Although Disney might seem to be innovative on leveraging the “second-screen” phenomenon, I do not think that this is a good move for Disney. Personally, I am a big fan of movies and I believe that enjoying a movie at the theatre does enhance the movie experience. If people take out their cellphones during movie, I am usually annoyed by the brightness. I think if iPad is being brought into the screening, it might actually distract people from enjoying the movie and spend too much times browsing on their iPads. It might seem to increase interaction between parents and kids, but it might lead to negative effects as it is bad for the kids to use their iPad in such a dark setting.

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