Disney issues seizure warning about ‘Incredibles 2’ for fans with epilepsy

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A force field protects the superpowered Parr family in “Incredibles 2.” | DISNEY•PIXAR

In an unprecedented move, Disney has issued a warning to viewers about its new “Incredibles” film.

“Incredibles 2,” the animated Disney blockbuster that picks up where the original movie left off 14 years ago, has a sequence with the villain Screenslaver that features bright flashing lights. After the film opened Friday, some theatergoers posted on social media that the superhero cartoon could trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, migraines or chronic illness. The Epilepsy Foundation even issued a statement about concerns that people with epilepsy could suffer a seizure during the movie. “(We) appreciate the efforts some theaters have already made to post warning signs for people waiting to see the movie,” the statement said.

On Friday, Walt Disney Pictures sent an advisory to theaters showing “Incredibles 2,”asking them flag customers to the scene.

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AMC supervisor Mauricio Mencia, who’s worked at the Universal CityWalk location in Los Angeles for the past year, says, “I’ve never seen something like that happen.”

The memo, which has been shared on social media, says: “‘Incredibles 2’ contains a sequence of flashing lights, which may affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photosensitivities.”

Mencia’s theater has informed the staff about the memo and posted the warning next to the guest greeter who rips tickets.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, “for about 3 percent of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights at certain intensities, or with certain visual patterns, can trigger seizures. This condition is known as photosensitive epilepsy and it’s more common in children and adolescents, especially those with generalized epilepsy and a type known as juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.”

Jackie Aker, director of media relations for the Epilepsy Foundation, says her organization had never before called for a movie to issue a photosensitivity warning, but earlier this year asked Apple to change a promotional spot for the new iPad that had flashing lights that would be unsafe for certain viewers. Apple worked with the foundation to change the video.

In 1997, an episode of “Pokémon” that aired in Japan with flashing lights sent nearly 700 children to the hospital.

Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY

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