The world’s largest publisher of children’s books and apps, Disney Publishing Worldwide, released Mickey’s Magical Arts World, an app that gives children curriculum-based tools to explore creative arts by making and doing. For the first time ever, children can create their own characters and bring them to life in real Disney cartoons alongside Mickey and friends. Children can also experiment with basic music concepts and practice art and design. Grounded in a research-based curriculum, Mickey’s Magical Arts World is available now on the Apple App Store, and is the second of five subjects scheduled for release this year as part of Disney Imagicademy, Disney’s new learning initiative for families with children 3 to 8.
“Following the successful launch of Mickey’s Magical Math World, we are thrilled to introduce the arts to Disney Imagicademy, our flagship learning brand, ” said Jeff Sellinger, senior vice president, Disney Learning. “Families have embraced Disney Imagicademy and the interaction it fosters between kids and parents. We are excited to be launching another cutting-edge product that blends curriculum with technology to make learning a family experience that children can both learn from and enjoy playing with.”
Mickey’s Magical Arts World exposes children to key elements of art and design principles and gives children the ability to personalize their own uniquely Disney-inspired neighborhood with their own characters, drawings, music and architecture. The more the child creates in their neighborhood, the more it comes to life.
Disney Imagicademy was developed in conjunction with academic and education experts to combine a research-driven curriculum with the Disney characters and stories families love. Research has shown that many of the skills critical for 21st century success can be acquired through creative arts curriculum. According to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH), creative arts teach children “how to think outside the box and address challenges with creative solutions.”
“Studies prove that the arts help cultivate not only social skills but cognitive reasoning and critical thinking abilities,” says Amy Kirkland, arts educator and general manager, The Broad Stage Performing Arts Center and one of Disney’s collaborators in developing Disney Imagicademy Mickey’s Magical Arts World. “Disney wants to ensure that arts continue to encourage every child to grow, play and use their imagination beyond their expected capacity, and I think that’s a truly magical thing.”
Disney Imagicademy Mickey’s Magical Arts World provides children with fundamental tools grounded in a wide-ranging creative arts curriculum, and features five experiences in one app:
- Mickey’s Sketch Artist – Children can follow a Mickey-guided tutorial or draw free-style to create characters and more, as they experiment with color, shape, line, and visual texture.
- Donald’s Costume Play – While exploring improvisation, storytelling, costume design, dialogue and character development tools, children can get their characters ready to star in Disney cartoons alongside Mickey and friends.
- Mickey’s Music Maker – Mickey’s marching band will help children create music and experiment with varying tempo and pitch. Featuring 13 different instruments, children can choose the sounds they like best, record their compositions and play back their masterpieces.
- Pluto’s Crafty Creator – Children are invited to six craft stations where they can explore different art tools, experience how materials work together and create and design unique digital toys.
- Minnie’s Art-chitect – As they design buildings with various colors and textures, children can practice key design principles including symmetry, balance, proportion, rhythm, and harmony. Children can customize and design buildings to truly personalize their neighborhood.
Mickey’s Magical Arts World will also connect to the Disney Imagicademy Parents app, giving parents the ability to connect and get involved with their child’s creative arts milestones. The Parents app reinforces the belief that parents are an important part of a child’s learning progress and features tools that give them the ability to see their child’s accomplishments digitally and remotely, as well as content to help them extend the activity and learning beyond the screen.
Mickey’s Magical Arts World and Disney Imagicademy Parents are available on iPad and iPhone on the App Store. Disney Imagicademy’s math-based app, Mickey’s Magical Math World, is available for download on iPad, and will be released for iPhone in March 2015.