If there’s a strategy to propel Disney’s “McFarland, USA” to the top of the 2015 box office, it probably involves attracting Spanish-speaking viewers to theaters. Disney clearly identified this early on and has developed a partnership to make the movie available to as many native Spanish speakers as possible.
Walt Disney Studios has announced a collaboration with myLINGO, a smartphone app that allows moviegoers to experience a film in the language of their choice discreetly through personal headphones. For Disney’s upcoming release of “McFarland, USA,” moviegoers can enjoy the film in Spanish right along side their bilingual family and friends when the film hits theaters on February 20.
The myLINGO app uses the microphone on a moviegoer’s smartphone or other device to “listen” to the audio, once the movie has begun. The app, through a proprietary algorithm, then matches the unique audio signature to its precise place in the movie, and plays back the alternate language audio through headphones in perfect sync with the film. The audio file will only play if it hears the movie, and once the movie is over, the file self-deletes from the app.
“We are delighted to bring the magical world of Disney films to a broader group of Spanish-speaking viewers and multicultural families at select theatres with this new technology,” said Paul Holliman, Vice President, Strategic Planning at Walt Disney Studios. “myLINGO provides a rich and customized cinematic experience, where bilingual families and friends can share the same emotion, laughter and excitement together in a whole new way.”
The Spanish audio track for “McFarland, USA” will be offered for free via a promotional code throughout opening weekend February 20 – 22. Following the opening weekend, filmgoers can access the audio track for $1.99.
“The Walt Disney Company is one of the most iconic and respected companies in the world, and myLINGO is thrilled to be working together on such an important film about bringing people and communities together,” said Adam Polak, co-founder of myLINGO. Co-founder, Olenka Polak added, “myLINGO is dedicated to creating authentic and inclusive experiences that are accessible to all moviegoers no matter what language they speak.”
Full plot synopsis is below the jump:
Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
Disney’s “McFarland, USA” stars Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Martha Higareda, Michael Aguero, Sergio Avelar, Hector Duran, Rafael Martinez, Johnny Ortiz, Carlos Pratts, Ramiro Rodriguez, Danny Mora, Valente Rodriguez, Vanessa Martinez and Chris Ellis.
Niki Caro directs Disney’s “McFarland, USA” with screenplay by Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois and Grant Thompson, and story by Cleveland & Gilois. Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi are producing, with Mario Iscovich and Mary Martin serving as executive producers.
“McFarland, USA” releases February 20, 2015.