A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a safe, attractive gathering place for Disney fans -- as well as a major merchandising effort. Practically every activity has a product tie-in designed to get kids to buy stuff. (The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus juggernaut is a huge presence.) To participate in some areas of the site, visitors must watch a 15-second spot for Honda, Charmin, Claritin, or other products.
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What's it about?
The "23" in D23 refers to 1923, the year Walt Disney opened his first studio. Eighty-five years later, this site is the go-to portal for one of the most successful entertainment conglomerates in history. A massive undertaking, it's a kids' social network, a treasure trove of archival footage, a modern multimedia experience, and shopping -- lots of it -- all rolled into one.
Is it any good?
The commercialism aside, D23 is a terrific destination for young and old Disney fans alike. Grade schoolers new to social networks will enjoy setting up their own page personalized with a character like Donald Duck, and stuffing a virtual backpack with video clips and games saved as favorites from other parts of the site. (Just one beef: clicking on backpack objects don't bring them to the front, so you must constantly move windows around to see everything you've collected, a major inconvenience.) Parents will love the trip down memory lane afforded by old movie clips and black-and-white cartoon strips that are updated daily. Fans of all ages will have hours of fun exploring this site and playing the addictive games.
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