'Little Mermaid' returns to theaters with 'second screen'

Kids will interact with film through iPad app

Published On: Sep 12 2013 08:37:31 AM EDT   Updated On: Sep 12 2013 10:21:01 AM EDT
'Mermaid' second screen draws backlash
ORLANDO, Fla. -

One of Disney's most beloved movies will return to theaters soon with a new interactive feature that some feel will ruin the film for kids.

The limited engagement is called "The Little Mermaid: Second Screen Live." Parents and children are encouraged to bring their iPads to the theater and download a special app designed to interact with the movie.

The app syncs with the special event screenings to allow kids to sing along with on-screen lyrics, play games, keep real-time scores against other moviegoers and interact with Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and Ursula.

[RELATED: Download the "Second Screen Live" app]

Since Disney's announcement of the new interactive film, critics have panned the idea as distracting and something that will ruin an all-time classic movie.

"Do this stuff at home if you want," writes SlashFilm's Russ Fischer.

On social networking sites, critics point out moviegoers are always asked to put away mobile devices so the noise or bright screens don't distract other moviegoers.

"Awful idea and hopefully not the start of a new trend," wrote John DeHass, Director of West Orange High School's theater program in Winter Garden.