Friday, September 13, 2013

Disney Second Screen Killing Movie Experience

I blogged about a silly Disney decision back in May. Dumb Disney has done it again. Good grief - don't the suits in Burbank ever think these things through?

In case you missed it, the Disney corporate crazies decided it would be a good thing to fill a theater with kids using tablets and smartphones to augment their movie viewing experience. Doesn't that sound like fun? Imagine being surrounded by hundreds of flashing displays and a cacophony of sounds all competing for your attention. Talk about sensory overload.  No way are we paying $10 per ticket for that. We go to the movie to WATCH the movie. 

What is Disney really saying with this marketing ploy? First, it is telling the world that it doesn't think The Little Mermaid is engaging. Human imagination isn't enough. If it were, the company wouldn't feel the need to add anything to the movie viewing experience. If Disney thinks so little of the film, why re-release it at all? Second, Disney apparently feels that kids' brains don't function without stimulus from some kind of technology; that no child will sit through ninety minutes of animated movie unless they experience additional sensory input. 

Since Mermaid is a fairy tale geared to girls, perhaps the developers of Second Screen (the name given to this fiasco) were exclusively men trying to find a way to sell this film to boys. How else would the Disney suits have decided that tablets in a movie theater is a good idea?

There is a silver lining, I suppose. If kids are holding tablets, they aren't eating or drinking. Perhaps this is Disney's way of addressing the childhood obesity problem. Great idea that should cut down on messy, sticky floors. It will also reduce concession purchases, the primary money-maker for theaters. I wonder how theater owners feel about that. 

I never saw The Little Mermaid in the theater and would have gone to see it because it holds an important spot in the Disney archives as the first film in the company's animation renaissance. I guess the DVD will have to do.

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