Following the Little Mermaid Second Screen Live screenings Disney will next be bringing Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas to American cinemas on October the 18th, according to a report at Stitch Kingdom.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Second Screen Live experience was actually premiered at a special screening at D23 earlier this year and it was rumoured that the film would be re-released later this year. I would have expected Disney to opt for a December release to tie in with the Christmas theme but a Halloween release makes just as much sense.
When I first saw the video for Disney’s Second Screen Live experience for The Little Mermaid – embedded below – a shiver went up my spine as the children in the audience held their iPads up high, the screens illuminating their smiling faces. I am very, very serious about zero phone use in the cinema and the idea of someone using an iPad in the cinema feels me with dread.
But this is just a fun one-off special event for kids, right? No harm done in the long run. Well, that’s what worries me. The long term effect of these sort of screenings.
Someone I was speaking to recently commented negatively on the incredible influence that Disney potentially have over children, with the almost unbelievable amount of franchises that they now have under them. I mentioned that Disney often use this influence to run anti-bullying campaigns, for example, and the close links that children have with many Disney properties can actually result in some very positive messages being smartly communicated to them.
With great power comes great responsibility after all.
But the Second Screen Live screenings seem like they could have a very bad influence. I know I probably sound a little alarmist but these screenings worry me a great deal, as they make me wonder about what children are learning at the screenings in terms of acceptable behaviour in a cinema.
And also to what degree the presumably warm feelings and associations they will have with these events will be wrapped up with the memory that they sat in the cinema with an iPad in their hands.
Ten years on those memories, associations and learnt behaviour will surely spill over into how they watch films at the cinema. Lets hope not as these Second Screen Live experiences seem to be reasonably popular and I expect to see quite a few more titles announced soon. Disney have a number of Second Screen apps for various films already created for the Home Entertainment market.