Magisto

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Moviemaking made easy, with photos, videos, and music.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site subtly encourages creativity and self-expression.

Violence

Videos generally don't feature graphic violence, but some feature motorbike and other stunts that could be dangerous. Select user comments have an angry, aggressive tone.

Sex

Comments include phrases like, "[y]ou are sexy." Videos on Magisto seem generally devoid of nudity, but typing Magisto and sex into a search engine like Google results in dozens of videos on YouTube with a "Created with Magisto" tagline and men and women gyrating. Google searches for Magisto and porn turn up extremely graphic YouTube clips.

Language

Some videos have dozens of comments that are completely swear-free. Other infractions range from iffy usernames like Butthead Fredrick to derogatory user comments with words like f--k and s--t.

Consumerism

The site is essentially ad-free but offers two paid subscription plans. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Kids won't see frequent references, but a few clips mention drinking and drugs. One video, for example, includes shots of beer cans; in another video, a band performs a song that contains a marijuana reference.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Magisto is an online video editor. To create a movie, kids have to register; they're asked for their full name, email, and a password. With the free version, kids can create clips that are 15 minutes or less with up to 10 brief videos and five photos. To create longer clips, they'll need a paid Plus subscription, which lets them load up to 25 clips and 20 photos to create videos that are 25 minutes or less. A Pro subscription includes all of the above plus HD downloads for movies you create on the site.
 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • presenting to others

Arts

  • film
  • photography

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • social media
  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The site is generally easy to navigate, but kids may get stuck along the way and not be able to find help. Still, they should enjoy blending their video clips and photos with popular songs.

Learning Approach

Though the site provides a creative outlet and some secondary lessons, its automatic tool does much of the work, so kids won't really learn technical skills. User comments are the only feedback and aren't generally helpful.

Support

Kids' creations are catalogued. Educational resources aren't really offered to help kids relate what they're doing to key concepts. Movies could, in theory, help them learn to take better photos, but they won't get any instruction.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • presenting to others

Arts

  • film
  • photography

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • social media
  • digital creation

Kids can learn to express themselves visually and create photo- and video-driven movies with music. Predetermined themes provide a background, which can help kids understand how to group and illustrate concepts; creating a title also provides practice with writing skills like clarity and brevity. Posting comments on other users' films can offer communication help. Magisto isn't exactly a crash course in moviemaking; kids do little of the customization, so it teaches them limited technical skills. Still, Magisto could be used for a fun art project with a dual purpose to show kids a new way to express their feelings.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Kids can upload videos and photos, choose a theme, and select a song from about a dozen pop hits or their own libraries to create a MAGISTO movie. The site uses artificial intelligence and analyzes speech, camera motion, and other elements to select key emotional moments from videos; kids can title their movies, and, only a few minutes after everything is uploaded, they'll receive an e-mail with a link to their finished films. Movies are automatically private; users can make them public, send the URL to friends, or share them on social media.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
Magisto, which was created by a scientist looking to organize photos into a short film after the birth of his first child, helps users create compelling, brief movies from uploaded video footage and photos. The tool is easy to use, but kids could stumble across a few roadblocks while making their movies. If users happen to get a length-related or other error message, they won't get much guidance on how to fix it; if they try to make a simple photo slide show, they'll quickly learn that they need to upload a combination of video clips and photos for the tool to work. Parents' biggest concern likely will involve the site's popular movies section. Although many movies center on tame content like kittens, kids could, in theory, come across inappropriate content. Because there's no easy way to search through the user-submitted videos, finding films with iffy images isn't all that easy; however, providing adult supervision can help ensure kids have a safe experience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how visual style choices affect the overall message. Does the Roaring Twenties option invoke a different mood than Love or other filters? Does it help display or detract from the information you're trying to share?
  • What kind of information is easier to explain using both pictures and words instead of only images or text?

  • Magisto movies are private by default, but kids can easily share them through Facebook or other social media sites. What kinds of problems could come from publicly posting a movie you made? Use our Social Networking Tips as a guide to discuss social-media safety concerns with your child.

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free, Paid

This review of Magisto was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Cool presentation tool has gallery with some iffy content.
  • Make and share DIY slideshows, but use privacy settings.
  • Create a bank of video memories with this digital tool.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old March 9, 2014

Its good

i like it because tis so simple and fun to make the movies. you can choose up to 10 videos and 20 photos for a free account. you then select the theme and music and its as simple as that. you just wait for an email saying that the movie is ready to watch and share. of course if you want to share it is up to you, but besides that its great, fun, cool, and very easy
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byemmygirl December 30, 2014
LEARNING

Magic

You can choose a theme for your videos. They always offer you the version that costs, which is annoying. The videos are cool and it is fun to find out how your photos and videos have turned out.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide