Apple's iPad to join Disney's Little Mermaid in theaters in worst idea ever

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John-Michael Bond
September 11th, 2013
Apple's iPad to join Disney's Little Mermaid in theaters in worst idea ever

Disney has announced plans to rerelease The Little Mermaid to theaters on September 20 in a move that should fill any fan of classic animation with glee. Of course it's not just a rerelease, or we wouldn't be talking about it on TUAW. No, this rerelease is dubbed The Little Mermaid: Second Screen Live, and it unofficially redefines "watching a movie" as "playing with your iPad in the theater."

The rereleased film has been synced with an iPad app that gives users the ability to play games, sing-a-long to the movie (not such a terrible idea for kids) and interact with the characters. It's a brilliant idea for home video, especially since, at home, you won't be paying a premium price for each of your children to play with an app while not watching a movie.

But in a theater? For a movie aimed at children? Should we as a culture further demystify going to see a movie by normalizing children to the idea that it's okay to play with their smartphones and tablets during movies?

At first I worried I was overreacting. Maybe the full moon is around the corner and I'm about to turn into Andy Rooney at any minute. And then I watched the trailer for Second Screen Live.

Yes. "Let's train children to compete" with other audience members to be the biggest distraction during a movie.

This is charging parents a premium to teach their kids terrible in-theater behavior for a well-thought-out, glorified Blu-ray special feature. In a world where the movie-going experience is already regularly ruined by adults who are too selfish not to text, talk or web browse in the middle of an expensive movie experience, this seems like a short-sighted cash grab.

I believe the children are the future, and if this is a trend that picks up, the children are going to be even more annoying than their parent's to watch movies with. Andy Rooney out.

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