A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
To play PLOTAGON, create a profile. Tap Discover to view other users' animated stories by categories (Top Picks, Serious, Funny, "Plotcorn," Political, or Challenges). For example, tap Top Picks, then tap on one of the story titles and the play icon to watch. Like or comment on videos. To make your own video, tap the movie camera icon, view the "example plot," and download character voices. Select a scene and add characters. Write dialog for each character, and add affect for each (surprised, sulking, bored). Switch scenes, add characters. After you're finished, write a descriptive caption for your story, and add hashtags. Tap Save Video to add more later, or Publish to publish to the app. Users can choose to upload videos to YouTube as well.
Is it any good?
There's a great idea buried underneath the low-quality videos on this animated story app. The 3D animation and ability to add characters' emotions will take storytelling to a more sophisticated place. As it stands, Plotagon needs a lot of improvements to its functionality before it's going to be a tool worth budding digital storytellers' time. Many of the stories currently on Plotagon include voices that sound robotic, word pronunciations that aren't accurate, unnatural character movements (viewers watch one character eating handfuls of air above a bowl of popcorn), and odd laugh tracks. Worse, even if a viewer wants to look past the tech gaffes, many of the videos posted on the Plotagon community site at the time of this review also lacked well-developed storylines. Stories about people showing up to meetings without clothing or thinking in the shower about online dating partners made the app's Top Picks. Ironing out the technical glitches and creating some high-quality promotional examples will help Plotagon be the animation story creator it wants to be.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how to create a compelling story on Plotagon. Besides character development, conflict, and suspense, what are some other key elements of a good story? View some of the stories on the Plotagon community and critique them together. What's missing? What works well?
Discuss your family's in-app purchase guidelines with your kids. If you don't yet have a family strategy for kids' in-app purchase requests, read Common Sense Media's Should I Give My Kid a Virtual Allowance? for some ideas.
Encourage your kid to read, read, read quality books. The best way for kids to learn how to develop a good story is to read good stories.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: producing new content
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (optional in-app purchases)
- Release date: May 7, 2018
- Category: Entertainment
- Size: 236.80 MB
- Publisher: Plotagon
- Version: 1.29.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 6.0 and up
For kids who love storytelling and animation
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.