Knowing that today’s kids have gadgets and gizmos a-plenty, Disney has invited them to come be a part of The Little Mermaid’s world, then use those gadgets and gizmos to distract themselves from how boring it is. The film’s Sept. 20 theatrical re-release is part of a new Disney initiative called Second Screen Live, which is also the name of the free app that Disney is encouraging parents to download to the iPads they’re then encouraged to bring to theaters—theaters that cling still to an old-fashioned "single screen," often projected onto the broad flank of a horse. These future-parents will blot out the hoary past by holding their iPads in front of their children’s faces, thus abating the primitive tedium that is escaping into fairy-tale fantasy.
“See The Little Mermaid on the big screen like you never have before!” the trailer below proclaims—which is to say, out of your peripheral vision, as you spend your time fiddling instead with interactive games and “treasure hunts” where you “compete with the audience” to see who can render the pastime of moviegoing meaningless the fastest. Indeed, for our precious children of tomorrow, it heralds “a new way to watch films… where you become part of the story.” Indeed, where you are the story. Where the story is always you, as it is and shall ever be, in all areas of life.