App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Disney animated films are kiiiiinda popular, and have been ever since Snow White was released in 1937. They’ve been going strong ever since. Countless books both official and not have been published documenting the company’s techniques, movies, and so on. However, I don’t think any of them, or even all of them put together, hold candle to Disney Animated.
Disney Animated isn’t a simple eBook. Oh no. It’s an interactive encyclopedia of all fifty-three of Disney’s feature length animated films. Ten different chapters explain the history of the animation giant, its methods (past and present), character development, music, and more. Each of these sections explains a core concept and offers up several detailed examples that can be viewed, and often directly interacted with, via a single tap. Curious about Disney’s animation techniques over the years? Check out the chapter on Animation and view dozens of samples from Lady and the Tramp, The Lion King, Tangled, and more. Or maybe take a stab at animation itself by doing some simple skeletal adjustments using a model of Vanellope from Wreck-it-Ralph. There’s a remarkable amount of information for Disney fans to appreciate here, and a significant portion of it is either animated, interactive, or both.
I know Disney is an animation powerhouse with an incredibly rich history, but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically immune to the perils of releasing a bad app. However, Disney Animated has been treated with every bit as much reverence as the films it documents. The interface is clean and intuitive. Every single feature is interesting in its own way; even Elsa’s Snow, which is basically just a snowfall simulator. And while some films haven’t received quite as much attention as others (i.e. The Princess and the Frog, Robin Hood, Oliver & Company, etc), they all have very detailed timeline entries, character spotlights, song samples, and little bits of trivia to learn.
I think it’s telling that the only thing I can honestly criticize is the lack of a proper search function. With more than fifty films to brush up on it would be nice to be able to find a specific favorite without having to scan through the whole timeline. That said, it can still be fun to “take a detour” and stop to read about a different movie along the way.
When I first started up Disney Animated, I wasn’t expecting anything more than a high-def eBook with a few interactive bits thrown in. Instead I was totally blown away by a remarkably detailed collection of stills, shorts, clips, samples, photos, and even written words on every single one of Disney’s animated films. It’s no exaggeration when I say that any iPad-owning Disney fan needs to download this, whether they’re kids at heart or have kids of their own.