The re-release of the 1989 Disney classic “The Little Mermaid” in theaters this week comes with a totally “human stuff” extra: an iPad app meant to be used during the film, according to New York.
Yes, you read that right: the "Second Screen Live: The Little Mermaid" app lets kids interact with the characters and play games during the movie—because apparently one screen is not enough to entertain a child these days.
If you’ve watched “The Little Mermaid” recently, you’ll see despite how far animation has come since its release, its simple pleasures hold up. The music? Still capable of staying stuck in your head all day. The characters? Ursula remains one creepy-cool bad-ass. The story? Well, parents learning to let go is a timeless theme.
So why, why, WHY introduce these absurd new-fangled extras, which take attention away from the film and condition your kids to expect as many screens in front of them as possible? Do we really need Ariel to nuture gadget-addiction—does anyone doubt that our kids will become tech-dependent multitaskers all on their own? And oh, we're not even addressing the assumption that all parents have a device with which to participate in the event.
Perhap the only saving grace of the app is that it features lyrics to the songs—now that, we’re totally down with. What we’d really love is “The Little Mermaid” sing-a-long screenings. Who’s with me?
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.