Parents and patients at Valley Children’s Hospital were treated to a special screening of "Lightyear" at the hospital as part of Disney Movie Moments, a program that Valley Children’s has participated in since 2014. Photo courtesy Valley Children's Hospital.

published on July 1, 2022 - 1:07 PM
Written by Edward Smith

A partnership between Disney and Valley Children’s Hospital means expanded access to new movies for patients — with a special screening of “Lightyear” to kick off the program.

Since 2014, Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera has been a part of Disney Movie Moments, a program providing children’s hospitals special access to new Disney movies.

That program announced Thursday its plans to expand, more than doubling its existing participating programs.

Disney Movie Moments, in collaboration with Starlight Children’s Foundation, brings newly released films to children at the hospital, bringing a bit of normalcy to patients being treated at Valley Children’s, as well as over 100 other hospitals across the country.

“We’ve supported children’s hospitals for many years and are committed to fostering special moments for children and families to bring a little joy into their lives during these tough moments,” said Chairman of Disney Studios Content Alan Bergman in a press release. “We are proud to continue that work by expanding our Disney Movie Moments initiative and bringing the magic of our stories to more hospitals.”

The expansion was commemorated with the screening of Disney and Pixar’s latest film, “Lightyear,” at several hospitals, including Valley Children’s.

University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque also hosted a screening of the film on June 23. Children at both events received giveaways, met with animators and were able to watch the new movie with their families in the safety of the hospitals.

“When we’re here at the hospital and we can ease their experience for them and make it less stressful and scary, it’s always a great thing,” said Valley Children’s Hospital Director of Communication Zara Arboleda. “Actually, the movie just ended about five minutes ago, and all the little kids applauded. It was nice.”

Since 2014, the program has streamed 40,000 hours of content, and will continue to screen first-run titles directly to children’s hospitals.

Hospitals in the program also receive customized video greetings from members of the Disney family, including Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios.

The Disney Movie Moments, first established in 48 hospitals, is part of a larger mission to support children’s hospitals and pediatric care centers. Disney announced a $100 million commitment to help reimagine patient experience in children’s hospitals.

“Valley Children’s, Disney and Starlight Children’s Foundation have had a longstanding relationship together,” said Arboleda. “Disney installed these magic art windows and magic art displays; they’re around our hospital and some of our outpatient centers.”

The displays have the appearance of a window, but are digitally projected with Disney scenes.

“To a kid, it looks like they’re looking out a window, but the scene is the beach where Moana is, or snow where the Frozen characters are, or underwater where Finding Nemo is,” said Arboleda. “It’s designed, again, to entertain our kids while they can be in a somewhat scary place.”

Valley Children’s has partnered with Disney Movie Moments since its inception in 2014, and hopes the program continues to bring joy and a bit of normalcy to children treated at the hospital.


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