A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about some key elements of storytelling. In both the guided and free play, kids must choose setting, characters, and other details that enrich a story. In the Story Play mode, kids can learn about how to start a story and about introducing exciting additions. Then they'll practice making up what happens next. In the free-play mode, kids let their imaginations run wild, as they're completely in charge of setting the scene and telling whatever story they like. Viewing and listening to their replayed story will feel empowering and may give kids ideas for further stories. Though the features and depth are a bit shallow, Frozen Story Theater lets kids practice literacy skills as they put together story elements and lets them feel empowered as they listen and watch their own creations.
Ease of Play
Both play modes are fairly easy to navigate, though younger kids likely will need help at first.
Violence & Scariness
For very sensitive kids, there are a few mildly scary pictures, such as an ice monster. There also are a few very mildly scary parts in the story, such as when Kristoff takes a lute with him in case of a wolf attack.
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Products & Purchases
Frozen Story Theater joins the hundreds of thousands of other products that use the Frozen film as inspiration. Unlike some other Disney products, this particular app does not have any issues of promoting other Disney products to kids and does not include in-app purchases. A simple, ambiguous button with the number 1 is protected by a parent lock, behind which parents can find, among other things, ads for other Disney products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Frozen Story Theater allows kids to narrate their own stories using characters, scenes, and props from the mega-hit movie. The app asks for permission to use your device's microphone so kids can record their voices telling stories. Kids can choose Free Play to construct stories on their own or work with Story Play for a guided storytelling journey and can save their completed stories to replay them whenever they like. Behind the parent lock, parents can find a pretty extensive guide for on- and offscreen discussion and activities around storytelling. Best used as an introduction to storytelling for fans of the movie, Frozen Story Theater is fairly limited, but kids who love the characters might not notice.
Is It Any Good?
Frozen fans will go crazy for this opportunity to intimately interact with their favorite characters and create magical stories, which makes this a cool addition to a collection of Frozen merchandise. As a story-telling app, however, Frozen Story Theater has some great aspects as well as some weak areas. Kids will love recording their own voices and watching their stories again and again, and there's a great parent's guide to help make storytelling a truly meaningful learning experience. However, the app's capabilities are limited. Story Play only partially covers important story elements: Character and setting are crucial, but surprise and prop are not exactly central elements of telling a story. Also, once kids choose a scene, characters, and so on and start recording, the only manipulations available are moving things around the screen and making them bigger and smaller. They can't, for example, change scenes or make characters or props enter or exit, which limits possibilities. Ultimately, Frozen Story Theater is a nice start to simple storytelling, especially for Frozen fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.