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Just as Disney has long made drawings come to life with its many classic animated films, the Disney Animated app makes what could have been a solid, static book feel exuberant and entertaining as an interactive experience, full of behind-the-scenes footage and touch-based activities. The iPad app explores the long history of Disney's in-house animation efforts, breaking down the process step by step while explaining its many aspects using more than just words.
Equal parts history lesson and breezy breakdown of making an animated motion picture, Disney Animated winds through chapters pertaining to story development, visual effects, and much more, with each blurb of text supported by pertinent examples. In some cases, these are simply still animation cels or sketches that you can tap to expand, though the hefty app (it's a 1.78GB download) is also filled with video clips. You'll be able to see how rough animatics are transformed into vibrant, finished clips on the big screen, as well as watch classic making-of clips, including one in which Walt Disney himself voices Mickey Mouse in the character's earliest cartoon exploits.
Interactive activities are sure to spark the imagination of younger users, as you can add and remove layers from animation cels at points, animate a 3D model of Vanellope from Wreck-It Ralph, and even create snow effects via the same animation algorithm used in the upcoming CG flick, Frozen. One of the most amazing features is an interactive color map that includes each tiny frame from every Disney animated film over the years, letting you see how animators use color to tell each story.
Not only does Disney Animated make learning about animation a fun process, but it's also a stellar historical document, as it includes info on all 53 of the company's animated features (sadly excluding Pixar's efforts) plus classic trailers for many of them. Touch Press has established itself as a leader in interactive iOS book apps thanks to titles like The Elements and Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy, and Disney Animated may be its most impressive work to date, putting its deep access to the Disney archives to fantastic use.
The bottom line. Opening up the Disney vault proves a tremendous experience in Disney Animated.
iPad running iOS 6.0 or later
Rich, interactive slides let you learn about animation through sight, sound, and touch rather than just words on a screen. Great historical look at Disney's rise, pioneering techniques, and creations. Incredible array of content held within.
Doesn't include Disney/Pixar efforts (only in-house projects).