Disney Art Academy

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Disney Art Academy Game Poster Image
Art software teaches how to draw favorite Disney characters.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to draw beloved characters from many Disney and Pixar films. It starts off with basic tutorials and tips and then layers in more advanced tools and techniques, including shading, facial expressions, and more. Kids will become confident in their drawings and can share them digitally or print them out (via an SD card). Players can apply what they learn here to drawing outside the game. Disney Art Academy could unlock the artist lying within kids, using some of their favorite characters to help them express their artistic abilities.

Positive Messages

Teaches kids how to draw using Nintendo 3DS stylus pen.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No protagonist in this game. There's a loose story, but player is the main character, who is asked to help draw Disney, Pixar characters. 

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

All about drawing Disney, Pixar characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Lion KingNemo, Elsa from Frozen, others. Disney has thousands of products tied to these characters, including movies, TV shows, video games, apparel, other merchandise. Also lets you share demo mode with other players to give them free taste of game.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disney Art Academy -- a joint effort between Disney and Nintendo -- encourages kids to draw their favorite Disney and Pixar characters or draw whatever they like in Free Paint mode. There aren't protagonists in the game, but players are tasked with drawing characters in a loose story mode. There isn't any inappropriate content parents needs to worry about, but players will be exposed to multiple characters that have vast merchandising.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Kid, 11 years old July 18, 2016

Disney Art Academy

This game is extremely fun, and it is easy to play. Kids will love drawing their favorite Disney and Pixar characters.

What's it about?

DISNEY ART ACADEMY is a Nintendo 3DS drawing program that challenges kids to draw more than 80 Disney and Pixar characters, such as Elsa and Olaf from Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Woody from Toy Story, Nemo, Cinderella, and others. Using the stylus pen on the touchscreen, kids will go through a (loose) story, get advice and lessons from animated helpers, and play around with various drawing tools (brushes, markers, pencils, pens, spray-paint cans), colors, effects, and add-ons (such as glitter and clouds). The game also has a Free Paint mode that lets you create characters without any tutorials -- yep, the training wheels are off for this mode. Artwork can be shared to Miiverse, on social media, or via local wireless or saved to the SD card, so you can pop it into a personal computer to see on a larger display or print out your creations.

Is it any good?

This is less of a game and more of a drawing tool to help young artists develop their skills. Ideal for kids who love animated Disney and Pixar films and TV shows, this clever Nintendo 3DS is easy to pick up but hard to put down, and it's a great learning tool. It offers more depth than you might think. Sure, you can start out as a beginner artist (focusing on shapes and coloring), but you progress through more advanced art lessons, including tips on shading, using different brushes and other tools, drawing character expressions to evoke joy, surprise, and more. Little ones will likely spend time with Magic Brush, which gives your art some flair with stars, clouds, glitter, and more. Villain design is fun, so don't expect only heroes in this game.

It's too bad most of the cut scenes are static images, like in a comic book, as younger players would love being rewarded with a short animated clip of the character they just completed (or, if it's possible, even seeing your creation animate). Because you get many characters to draw, a variety of tools to work with, and a couple of ways to play (including the tougher Free Paint mode), Disney Art Academy is great for budding artists and Disney fans alike.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. Is this game a great gift for kids because it's constructive rather than destructive? Is this a marketing tool by Disney to further market their mascots, movies, TV shows, and other merchandise to impressionable kids?

  • Talk about art as a hobby. What would be some good ways to continue to develop your skills outside the game?

  • Discuss appreciation of art. What types of art styles do you enjoy most? Why do you like certain styles over others?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love art

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