Disney Is Warning Moviegoers That Incredibles 2 Could Prompt Migraines or Seizures

Disney, Pixar
Disney, Pixar / Disney, Pixar

Incredibles 2 is a smash hit, breaking the record for most money earned by an animated film on opening weekend with $180 million. But the movie has received one major criticism that Disney has taken to heart. According to BuzzFeed, some scenes may trigger symptoms in people with photosensitive epilepsy or migraines, and now showings must come with a warning.

The scenes in question involve flashing lights: These sequences appear throughout the movie, sometimes giving viewers no way to anticipate them. Around 3 percent of all epilepsy sufferers experience photosensitive epilepsy, in which seizures can be triggered by fast-moving visual stimuli like strobe lights. People with photosensitive migraines are vulnerable to the same triggers, and can experience symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and intense head pain.

Shortly after the film debuted, concerned moviegoers took to social media to warn their friends and followers of its potential health hazards and to ask Disney for help in getting the word out. "I am not calling for a boycott of Incredibles 2, or to change the movie," blogger Veronica Lewis wrote in a Twitter thread that has since gone viral. "It is very well done, and the strobe lights are an important point in the plot. I just wish Disney/Pixar and theaters alike would issue a warning that the movie contains several scenes with strobe lights."

The studio responded quickly. It's now asking that all theaters notify viewers of the strobe light scenes; many have already posted an epilepsy warning to their ticket counters.

Photosensitive epilepsy is more likely to affect children and teens than adults, making it an especially relevant concern for kids' media. Before Disney's recent controversy, a strobe-heavy episode of Pokemon reportedly sent nearly 700 Japanese children to the hospital when it aired in 1997. The episode never made it to the U.S.

[h/t BuzzFeed]