APP REVIEW: ‘Toy Story: Smash It!’ is Flawless Spin on Mobile Classic

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Toy Story Smash It! Title: Toy Story: Smash It! (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
February 27, 2013
Cost:
$.99
Platforms:
Apple iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Android Soon
Pros: Familiar intellectual property, addictive play, well executed spin on popular mobile game franchise
Cons: Restart button isn’t immediate
Review: Toy Story: Smash It!, a new title from Disney Mobile and Disney Mobile Studio Prague, is a physics oriented game that’s sure to make any player anything but angry.

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Disney Publishing Announces ‘Disney Princess Dress-Up Sticker Book’ for Windows 8 Devices

Disney Publishing Worldwide announced today its release of one of the first apps for early readers in the Windows Store, ‘Disney Princess Dress-Up Sticker Book.’ From Cinderella and Ariel to Snow White and Jasmine, the app features Disney Princess favorites in an interactive story and dress-up sticker book complete with colorful illustrations, expert narration, and enchanting music.

‘The new touch interface of Windows 8 is highly conducive to creating deeply engaging storytelling experiences for children and their families,’ said Lyle Underkoffler, vice president, Digital Media, Disney Publishing Worldwide. ‘We’re thrilled to bring the “Disney Princess Dress-Up Sticker Book” app to life on Windows 8 and look forward to creating more content for our readers to enjoy on this platform in the future.’

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Disney Parks Releases (and Pulls) ‘Disney Memories’ App

'Disney Memories' app for iPhone and iPad 2 by Disney ParksYesterday, Disney Parks released its first official app for Apple iOS devices, titled ‘Disney Memories.’ Inspired by the ‘Let the Memories Begin‘ campaign, the free, well-intended app was practically imperfect in every way and was consequently ill-received by every one we asked in an informal poll. The description for the app was as follows:

Make your pictures come to life with Disney magic.

Plus, with the help of Disney Parks magic, some of your favorite Disney Characters might be even closer than you think. Whether you just met Mickey at a Disney Park, or you are dreaming of meeting Mickey for the very first time, this app will let you transform your pictures into very special Disney Memories you will want to share.

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NYCC: Disney Publishing Talks Tron, Pirates, Muppets, Epic Mickey and More (Spoilers)

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App

TRON, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Muppets and Epic Mickey were the topics of discussion today during the Disney Publishing Worldwide panel at the 5th annual New York Comic-Con which kicked off today in New York City.

Briefly touching upon TRON, preview pages of the prequel graphic novel TRON: Betrayal and The Art of TRON: Legacy were shared. Since the titles themselves as well as many of the other TRON: Legacy titles (mostly geared towards tweens) were made available to browse through at the Disney Publishing Worldwide booth, there wasn’t much more needing to be mentioned on the topic.

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First Look: ‘Toy Story’ Read-Along App for iPad from Disney Digital Books

img_5544 Although it’ll still be another couple of days before anyone can actually experience them on the new iPad from Apple, the iPad apps floodgates opened today and Disney quickly debuted and previewed a slew of iPad exclusives from all across the Walt Disney Company family.

Disney Digital Books has offered up a couple of its interactive storybooks in the form of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, even offering the former for free. The Toy Story 2 Read-Along is $8.99 but that also includes a one month’s subscription to the online service where hundreds of interactive Disney books are already online with more added monthly. In addition to the Toy Story iPad apps, Disney Publishing will soon be offering apps featuring stories from The Princess and the Frog, Phineas and Ferb, Winnie the Pooh and — of course — Toy Story 3.

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Disney Leaps Onto iPad with Apps from Disney Interactive, Disney Publishing, ABC and ESPN

As part of its ongoing strategy to provide original creative content where and how consumers want it, Disney will offer applications from all of its businesses on the new Apple iPad.

The ABC Player app extends the reach of ABC.com’s full episode player onto the iPad. iPad users will have the ability to watch free, ad-supported episodes from approximately 20 popular ABC series through a wi-fi connection. The application will also allow iPad users to purchase downloads of episodes via the iTunes store. The ABC iPad app brings the full experience of ABC.com’s Emmy Award-winning full episode player to a touch-screen, handheld device for the first time. Additionally, the ABC.com site is now optimized for the iPad, complete with full-functionality for all its features, including short-form video.

Disney Publishing Worldwide has built two original “Toy Story” read-along apps for the iPad, both combining Disney stories and unique activities with cutting edge technology. Each “Toy Story” read-along is an immersive multimedia experience – the books feature video from the feature films, karaoke and voice record features, the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, songs from the movies, original games, and even an interactive coloring feature that lets kids finger-paint with up to 10 fingers on the screen. The “Toy Story” app is free and the “Toy Story 2” app is $8.99 and comes with a one month free subscription to disneydigitalbooks.com. In addition, new “Disney Princess,” “Phineas & Ferb,” “Winnie the Pooh” and “Toy Story 3” apps will go live on the iPad later this spring.

Disney Online has built a custom iPad version of its flagship website, Disney.com, which focuses on exclusive video content. iPad videos featured at launch include new scenes from highly-anticipated Disney films “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” full-episodes of popular Disney Channel and Disney XD series “Hannah Montana,” “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Suite Life on Deck” and “Phineas & Ferb,” and a new Muppets music video, “Stand by Me.”

“The iPad provides a very compelling consumer experience, and we are pleased to have new forms of original, interactive content on this great device,” said Bob Iger, President and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.

In addition to the ABC player and “Toy Story” read-along apps, Disney, ABC and ESPN will launch the following applications:

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iPhone App Review: The Muppets Animal Drummer

The Muppets Animal Drummer for iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: The Muppets Animal Drummer (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
December 15, 2009
Cost:
$1.99
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: The Muppets; good graphics; great music and sounds; fun, addictive and simple gamplay
Cons: None
Review: From Disney Interactive Studios, Enorbus and the Muppets Studio comes The Muppets Animal Drummer, a rhythm based game that has its roots in the electronic board game Simon in which you must repeat Animal’s drumming sequence in (near) perfect rhythm, so it differs from the Dance Dance Revolution genre in that you must remember the sequence rather than reacting to it in real time.

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‘Prep & Landing’ Goes Digital with New Short, Online and Mobile Fun for Whole Family

Prep and Landing homepageThe elite unit of elves from ABC’s new holiday television special “Disney Prep & Landing” have taken their covert operation digital. Disney.com features an online command center for all things “Prep & Landing,” offering full-length streaming of the entire special starting on Dec. 9, and an original short “Tiny’s BIG Adventure.” Additionally, Disney Family.com is offering a variety of printables and holiday craft activities, while iPhone and iPod Touch users can take “Disney Prep & Landing” fun with them through a new mobile game (www.itunes.com/waltdisney).

“Disney Prep & Landing” features on Disney.com include:

  • Full-length “Disney Prep & Landing” special will be available for streaming

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iPhone App Review: Phineas and Ferb Arcade

Phineas and Ferb Arcade by Walt Disney for iPhoneTitle: Phineas and Ferb Arcade (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
December 3, 2009
Cost:
$1.99
iTouch?:
Yes (WiFi/Internet required for scoreboard)
Pros: Quick, addictive play, free preview available
Cons: Controls sometimes difficult, navigation buttons inconsistent
Review: In a series of 3 mini-games, Phineas and Ferb brings the number one show for kids ages 6-11 (not to mention popular with every other demographic) to the iPhone.

Here’s the plot: While Phineas and Ferb are trying to  build a snow mountain so they can snowboard in the backyard (S’no Problem),  older sister Candace goes surfing in the backyard tide pool trying to impress Jeremy (Cowabunga Candace!), all the while Perry the Platypus is acting as Agent P, trying to protect the secret hideout from infiltrators (Agent P’s Hideout).

Here’s the thing: If you’re a Phineas and Ferb fanatic, you might find yourself thinking those game names sound familiar — and they should. All three are actual almost-direct ports of existing games you can play online for free. Granted the controls are different given the nature of a personal computer versus an iPhone (and to be honest, in the latter two games, the iPhone wins in this respect), but gameplay is virtually the same which means if you aren’t familiar with them, you can try them out online first before buying the game (see links below).

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iPhone App Review: Prep & Landing

Disney's Prep & Landing for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: Prep & Landing (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 19, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes (WiFi/Internet required for some)
Pros: A couple of entertaining games/features
Cons: Long, frustrating gameplay with little payoff, promoted items missing
Review: On December 1, ABC will air its first ever original holiday special produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s the good news. The bad news is they want to charge you for downloading the promotional app and it falls way short on expectations and even promises.

After watching a surprisingly brief promo for the special, you are presented with two menu options. Kringle Academy is where you’ll find 3 mini-games and P&L Specialized Equipment is where you’ll find the ‘extras,’ which are often more entertaining than the games themselves, unfortunately.

As a  general rule with the game, sound effects are nil (Christmas carols are your only source of audio candy) and gameplay is exceptionally long with repetitive movements. There’s also no scoring system so you’re really only competing for ‘distance’ and colored rewards such as gold, silver and red (and other, ‘lesser’ colors) which seem to offer no benefit other than a virtual pat on the iBack.

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