Kids Apps: Disney Storybook Apps Sure to Entertain
Apple’s app store hit 25 billion downloads this past March. According to a report by Telenav that was released last August, iPhone users were twice as likely as Android users to spend more than $40 on apps for their smartphones. And reports from Appsfire shows the average iPhone user has about 108 apps total, 20 of which were preinstalled. There are so many apps to choose from that it can be tough to know which ones to include in your library. Part of my work as a children’s author includes reviewing apps so I can help provide some information for parents to help them in their app purchase decision-making process. I had a chance to review two storybook apps: The AristoCats and Brave that Disney recently released. My five year old helps me as well to see if this is an app that keeps the kids coming back for more!
The Aristocats App
The Aristocats movie was released in 1970 and is noted as being the last film to be approved by Walt Disney himself before he passed away in late 1966, before the film was released. This is a classic Disney tale about a family of aristocratic cats and an alley cat who helps them after the butler kidnaps them to gain his mistress’ fortune, which she intended to leave to the cats.
The Aristocats storybook app opens up with the feature that allows you to take a picture of yourself that replaces the moon. We had a good time with this activity and took turns taking silly pictures of ourselves! Your child can also type in or paint their name so that others know it belongs to them.
We are then introduced to the Duchess and her three kittens: Berlioz, Toulouse, and Marie. When you touch the kittens, their names are repeated and pop up across the screen. This feature is repeated throughout the story. They all live with their rich owner Madame Adelaide Bonfamille. The animations are simple and add to the storyline, like when Duchess is sitting in Madame Bonfamille lap who rubs her head and the Duchess blinks her eyes in appreciation. This is a great storybook app that offers an early reader assistance with the story highlighted as it is read.
Throughout the story, you have the ability to stop the story and do different activities, such as making a puzzle out of one of the scenes or painting in an illustration that you can email to share with friends and family. It is easy to navigate and in the upper corners are arrows to move the story forward or go back to the beginning. This is quite sweet and any cat lover will enjoy this Disney classic with its rich illustrations, music, and interactive surprises.
Work on this movie began back in 2006 when Brenda Chapman (one of the writers) and several members of the crew visited Scotland to research the landscape used in the film, including the Eilean Donan and Dunnottar Castles, and the Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis, which was the inspiration for the circle of standing stones that appears in the movie. It is wonderful to see a movie that doesn’t have your typical fairytale romance and focuses more on the relationship between the main character Merida and her mother Queen Elinor. I won’t get too much into the movie except to say that my daughter and I really enjoyed watching a strong female role model in an action-packed adventure.
The Brave storybook app, recently released by Disney and Pixar, is a wonderful addition to your library. The first page allows us to choose if you want to Read and Explore, Follow Along, or play some of the interactive games. There is also a narration on/off button to record your own voice reading the story if you so choose. There are lots of options in this colorful and fun app.
The illustrations are wonderful and you are taken to Scotland on an adventure with Merida and her family. The animations are quite silly, like when the redheaded triplets jump over each other when you touch them. These animations are a nice addition and will keep your little ones entertained. There are puzzles, coloring features, and Merida’s Challenge is quite fun! Merida is riding on her gorgeous black horse trying to hit marks that you have to touch as she rides quickly through the forest. It is more challenging than you would think. Disney has put out a quality product with the Brave App and sure to be a new favorite.
What are some of your favorite apps to play with your kids?
Featured image courtesy of Flickr.
Melissa Northway, M.S. Human Nutrition, enjoys writing, reading, and yoga. Her daughter was the inspiration to write about a feisty redhead who likes to have adventures with her friends and loves the color purple. Penelope the Purple Pirate is a Top 25 iTunes app and the book was recently chosen as a 2012 Award Finalist from Readers Favorite. You can reach Melissa at www.melissanorthway.com and @melissanorthway.
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