PIXEL'D

Common Sense Media says

Animate like a pro, but young kids will need adult guidance.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

With so many options, this app can be confusing for first-time visitors, but once kids get the hang of it, the creative possibilities are endless. There's an entire tutorial set at disney.com/pixeld, so kids who don't pick up on how to play here intuitively or experimentally can visit that website for detailed instructions.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

PIXEL'D features Disney characters, such as Disney Princesses and characters from Cars and Bolt. A "shop" tab on the main intro page links kids to in-app purchases to unlock expansion packs with even more characters. Purchases range from $1 to $3. A Disney button takes kids to a page with additional Disney apps to buy, videos, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids can share their creations via a variety of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube) directly from the app, and can partner up online with others to co-create art on the app. Parents can limit social network access in the app's settings.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids can create unique pixel art and animation on PIXEL'D, which also features lots of ways to share art online. This app is made for kids who are just starting to play with digital art, as well as kids who are more advanced; however, younger kids may get frustrated with the multiple options but limited direction on the app (there are tutorials on a companion website). Kids who get the concept quickly, though, are likely to have lots of fun creating some unique, amazing art. Parents of younger users may want to limit online sharing options and set restrictions on in-app purchases (for "expansion packs" that allow kids to use more Disney characters' images in their creations).

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling

Arts

  • drawing
  • film

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • imagination

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

PIXEL'D will likely be highly engaging for kids who are new to digital are and kids who are more advanced. Younger kids may require a parent's help to find instructions or could get quickly frustrated.

Learning Approach

Kids are encouraged to use their imagination in combination with the tools on this app to tell a story digitally through drawing and animation. Kids can work with others via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi collaboratively on drawings. 

Support

Younger kids or kids just learning may get frustrated with all of the options on PIXEL'D and need adult guidance. There's also a tutorial on a companion website. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling

Arts

  • drawing
  • film

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • imagination

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media

Kids can learn how to combine drawing and animation to tell a story through digital creation. By using the many tools on PIXEL'D, kids can use their imaginations to make new creations they can share with friends. Kids can work with their friends via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on a drawing, learning online collaboration and practicing cooperating with others in an online work environment. For younger users, a more limited version or more in-app instructions could improve this app. PIXEL'D is an engaging way for kids to learn more about animation and digital art creation.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

A blank canvas and a menu full of options become the starting points for kids to create animated pixel art. Using Disney characters and their own imagination, kids choose from many options to create animated drawings, stories, or scenes up to 20 frames long, which can then be shared online and in the app's gallery. Kids can create with a friend who is also using PIXEL'D in real time via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For kids who want to try creating animation, PIXEL'D could be the perfect place to start, although the difficulty level and social sharing will require parents to be more involved with younger kids' play. Many of the Disney characters featured on the app are geared toward younger kids, but parents will need to help those kids find tutorials and set appropriate settings for social sharing and in-app purchases.

Older kids and kids who are advanced in digital art will find lots of creative options and social sharing capabilities here. It may take a while to get used to the look of large pixel-style drawing on PIXEL'D, but kids can alter the size of the canvas to make it look less "pixelated." The little "pop" noise that kids hear as they draw across the screen adds to this app's fun vibe, where the art creation can be as silly or serious as kids want it to be.

Families can talk about...

  • If your kids are too young to post their creations on social networking sites but still want to share them with others, help them email them to a grandparent, friend, or teacher.

  • Help kids find the tutorials and walk through all of the features with them to help maximize their fun and creative options.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:July 30, 2012
Category:Entertainment
Size:17.80 MB
Publisher:Disney
Version:1.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of PIXEL'D was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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