Disney Creativity Studio comes with a "smart" stylus that interacts with the Disney Creativity Studio app and enables all kinds of Disney-related drawing activities and free drawing. We reviewed an almost-final version of the app and the stylus, and so there are still some refinements and additional features to come. However, for kids interested in drawing and Disney, even not fully complete, this is an impressive toy. The app is free in the App Store, and there's a lot you can do for free just drawing with a finger. But the stylus is really what this is all about and unlocks the magic of drawing like a Disney artist. With the stylus, you get a complete toolbox to create an awesome drawing experience. You can switch between different types of drawing tools: pencils, stamper, marker, and crayon. You can also change line thickness with five different choices. You have a wide variety of colors to choose from, and you can get magical effects when you shake the stylus and, just like a traditional pencil, flip over the stylus to erase. The activities include things such as dot-to-dot pictures, coloring, and tracing, but the piece de resistance of the app and the stylus is the learn-to-draw function. Young artists are guided step-by-step through the drawing of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy just the way the Disney artists do it. There's even a video you can watch that introduces the basic drawing concepts and techniques. We really love this part of the app and it's what makes it truly different. Using the stylus and drawing, you really start to understand the drawing process and can get a feel for drawing. You quickly realize that you don't have to be "perfect." Best of all, it's easy to undo anything so you can just try whatever you want. The technology is fluid and easy to use, and you can email your creations, then print them out. We found the stylus, even in the unfinished version, easy to operate and responsive, though you'll want to spend time familiarizing yourself with it for best results—like any piece of technology.
From understanding how to draw a character to the feeling of using the stylus to just relaxing and drawing, it's all pretty amazing. And it might inspire kids to create their own characters as well. The drawing is not necessarily easy to do, but that's part of learning any new skill. What we love is how completely engrossing and hard to put down this is.
The stylus, as noted, is very responsive.
There are a lot of drawing products out there for the iPad, but this one stands out not just for fun and entertainment but for the ability to help kids learn to draw and feel confident in their abilities.
The Disney Creativity Studio is for ages 4 and up. While little kids may be able to do the free drawing and games easily, we think that older kids will be more likely to take the time to learn the drawing and master the technology.
The stylus requires one AA battery.
We really recommend experimenting with the stylus. The version we tested was very responsive, so when you turn it over, it becomes the eraser. You don't even have to turn it completely over, so keep an eye on the screen to see what tool you're dealing with.
Also, you may want to experiment with how you hold the stylus. A nice relaxed grip tends to work best.
An iPad is sold separately.
1 AA battery required
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