I’ve been pretty up front in the past that I am a daydreaming, wanna-be Imagineer. I imagineer in my mind in furniture stores, when watching television, while reading, and even at other theme parks (shhhhhh!!). So imagine my delight when I learned I could flex my wanna-be muscles with a new Disney app: The TOY STORY Story Theater.
The app gives kids (and us kids at heart) the chance to create our OWN version of a Toy Story short. I have had such fun with this, before long, I just KNOW John Lasseter will be calling me to ask that I lend a hand on the next Pixar film.
The app has two story-telling levels: story play option and free play. In the story play option, the player is really “learning” how to use all the fun features of the app, while still having lots of freedom to choose characters, backdrops, events, and actions. In this option, you can select Woody, Jessie, or Buzz to be the main character, and then choose a location for the story to take place. From there, the app provides three basic scenes with a storyline. The artist selects actions and records sound effects. The finished product plays and automatically is saved into the “saved stories” section of the app, to be enjoyed time and again.
In the free play section, well…. it’s a rootin’ tootin’ creative good time. Here, the storyline is ALL YOURS. You can select (and resize) your characters, change backdrops, and select from eleven actions. You create your storyline, then record your voice, make sound effects, and playback your masterpiece!
I can imagine this could be great fun for kids and parents to play together, from writing funny storylines to making outrageous sound effects–there are endless possibilities to exercise your creativity. With the ability to record stories, you can also have a great time (and surprise your child) by recording your own story for her to enjoy–and asking grandma and grandpa or cousins to do the same. It becomes your personal storybook that archives a moment in time.
Additionally, this is an app that is perfect for ALL ages, as even children who are emerging readers can participate without needing to be able to read the directions. This is very empowering for a child, and allows them to own their work. My three children laughed themselves silly, making bizarre noises, doing unique voice-overs, and creating downright witty storylines. (Maybe they are future Imagineers???)
It would be great if this app would eventually allow users to share their stories, either via email or Facebook. I can imagine that a set of grandparents who do not see their grandchildren often would delight in receiving an email of a story they created, complete with their own little voices and sound effects. It would also be fun to be able to incorporate a picture of yourself into the app, so YOU can interact with Woody and Buzz. (Sorry, I just can’t help being an armchair Imagineer!)
Even more exciting: Disney Publishing has announced the inaugural Disney Story Theater Film Festival, inviting little filmmakers and their parents to tell their story for a chance to win a trip to Disneyland. You can find information on how to enter below.
Thank you, Mr. Lasseter, for this PIXAR practice opportunity. When you need a new Imagineer, you can find me here, daydreaming and playing with my iPhone…. To Infinity…… and Beyond!
Here’s how to enter the Disney Story Theater Film Festival:
- Parents take a 1-minute video created by their child in the new Toy Story: Story Theater app for iPad or iPhone and submit it to the contest at Facebook.com/DisneyLearning.
- Disney will select 100 outstanding videos in a semi-final round and fans will vote on Facebook for their favorite.
- The fan-favorite video will be selected as the grand-prize winner and will premier at Disneyland Resort in August.
The winning family will receive a trip for four to Disneyland Resort and will be honored at D23.
You have until June 23 to submit – and be sure to check out the official contest video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL1PB7QM-J8
Thanks to Disney Publishing for providing WDW Radio with a review copy of this app.