We all know the drill by now, and if you forget there's usually a warning: please turn your mobile devices off / silent, the movie is starting. For a special Second Screen Live showing of Disney's The Little Mermaid however, it's going to be different as moviegoers are encouraged to use their tablets for an augmented experience. Disney has created an iPad app for viewers to download before they get to the theater, which mirrors apps we've seen for home viewing with synchronized games, sing-a-longs and trivia. That's no coincidence, since the movie's return to theaters is timed ahead of its Blu-ray release on October 1st.
Viewers shouldn't worry about this encroaching on their Oscar-season previews however, as it's limited to a monthlong run at the El Capitan in LA starting on the 15th, and limited showings at select other theaters (listed after the break) nationwide starting on the 20th. This is Disney's first public use of the tech after a trial run last fall alongside Tim Burton's The Night Before Christmas, which had a response it described as "positive." For a family movie likely loaded with kids we can see where this might be more enhancement than distraction and maybe even for certain niche midnight screening-type environments -- but if anyone whips out a slate at Machete Kills, Her, 12 Years A Slave or Gravity we're calling the usher.