Walt Disney Studios has issued a warning for theater owners to post that its newly released animated feature, "Incredibles 2," may trigger seizures in viewers with epilepsy or similar conditions.
" 'Incredibles 2' contains a sequence of flashing lights which may affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photosensitivities," the studio said, according to photos taken by vision-disability blogger Veronica Lewis at four different theaters and posted Saturday.
"I would like to thank @DisneyPixar and @DisneyStudios for listening to people’s concerns and putting up warnings for the flashing lights in #Incredibles2," Lewis, who is based in Virginia outside Washington, D.C., tweeted Sunday. "It is an INCREDIBLE movie, and people can now make an informed decision either to watch the movie now or wait for the DVD."
Similar warnings are not uncommon on visual media and live events such as concerts. Disney has received no reports of incidents at screenings of "Incredibles 2," which officially opened Friday and set a record for the biggest domestic box-office opening of any animated film, with $183.2 million in the United States and Canada.
On her website, Veronica with Four Eyes, Lewis wrote on Thursday that at an early screening of the new sequel, which was paired with the 2004 original, "the villain’s weapon of choice can hurt not only characters on-screen, but can also hurt the people in the audience as well. The weapon? Continuous sequences of rapidly flashing/strobing lights."
Counting "at least five scenes throughout the movie that use bright white flashing/strobe lights for more than 15 seconds," Lewis said this could cause issues for people with epilepsy, migraines and other conditions.
Her related Twitter post Friday was retweeted nearly 10,600 times. In a later post on that thread, Lewis stressed she was never suggesting a boycott of the film, calling it "very well done" and noting that "the strobe lights are an important point in the plot."
Lewis added in a tweet Monday, "For everyone asking, no, I have not heard from Disney/Pixar about my viral Twitter thread. I know they have already listened by putting up the warnings like I suggested, and for that I cannot thank them enough."
Hundreds of children in Japan reportedly suffered seizures caused by flashing lights during the Dec. 16, 1997, episode of the anime series 'Pokémon." However, a study published in the February 2001 issue of the Southern Medical Journal debunked this claim, saying that while "photosensitive epilepsy was diagnosed in a minuscule fraction of those affected," the rest likely suffered "epidemic hysteria" triggered by news reports of the "small number of genuine photosensitive-epilepsy seizures."