Kids who love to design, and all things Disney, can learn how to draw Disney characters step-by-step with Disney Art Academy using a Nintendo 3DS gaming system. The game provides access to over 80 different Disney and Pixar characters. Kids can learn to draw newer characters from Frozen and Inside Out, or classic fan-favorites like Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
A great device to use for travel and entertainment, at home and on the go, is a Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system.
After launching the Disney Art Academy game on the 3DS, players are prompted to type in their name. Throughout the 40 different lessons, artists are guided with written instructions, as if they are being spoken to by a person, who is known as "Uncle."
No matter which character or lesson a person chooses, written instructions will appear in text across the top of the screen. While it is helpful to be able to read, the lessons are broken down into small steps, and each step has a video demonstration. Do not worry, kids who are not yet proficient readers will still be able to follow the drawing steps. For younger kids, parents should be nearby the first few times they use the game until the child is confident using the drawing tools.
Instead of using step-by-step line drawings, the activities use a lot of layering. These types of activities are very similar to what it is like to use Photoshop and other online picture editor or design programs.
While it is possible that afterward kids might be able to take a pencil and paper and draw some of their favorite Disney and Pixar characters, there are many digital editing skills embedded into the experience.
Being confident in these skills is a very valuable skill for kids to learn. This activity also provides educational tips that expose young children to concepts like symmetry, sizing, shape, shading, and volume. For those who can read there are some fun Disney facts included. There are many original movie illustrations that can be viewed as well.
It does not matter what the player's skill level is, there are templates and grids available to help beginners or those where art might just not come naturally. The templates offer lines to trace and the grids help artists learn to size and space their lines. This helps the final product look similar to the model.
When each lesson is complete, a finished result that another child may have drawn, which is not perfect, is also displayed. This helps to improve a child's confidence and motivation while they are learning the skills needed to be accurate.
As children work through each activity and lesson, they earn stamps, unlock more characters to draw and lessons to complete. Each lesson builds on skills from prior lessons and carefully introduces more tools, color palettes, and skills, as kids get more familiar.
Make sure children understand how to save their drawings.
It is easy to forget to save it. Many children like to return to the gallery and view their pictures at another time or use them to compare their progress with practice.
There are 80 different characters that could be drawn throughout this game. Kids may have to draw a character who is not their favorite in order to unlock different features of the game.
While there is a lot of drawing, those who enjoy fashion, design, makeup and accessorizing will happily add details to princesses like eye color, eye lashes, pretty bows and lipstick.
Aside from the lessons, there is a drawing area where kids can free-hand draw, paint or color in some character favorites.
No matter whether they are using the free-paint section or the lessons, there is a toolbox. The lessons will guide players towards choosing the right tools and colors.
There is a choice between 9 art tools, such as paintbrushes, markers, and an airbrush. There is even a magic brush that lets kids accessorize with glitter! The tools can be customized in terms of width, so kids can use more precision for shading and highlighting, or widen the tip in order to color in a larger area.
When pictures are finalized, completed art can be shared in the Miiverse or on social media. Images can also be uploaded to the device and taken with the camera on the 3DS.
The Nintendo 3DS allows players to game while viewing in 3D. While this game is played on the 3DS device, it does not offer a 3D viewing experience.
While it might seem that a large percentage of Nintendo games feature Mario and friends racing cars, competing with Sonic in the Olympics or fighting each other, there really is a wide variety of 3DS games that appeal to kids of all interests.
Consider purchasing this game to add to your child's collection, especially if you are headed on a family vacation to Walt Disney World or Disney Land. It is a great way to surprise a Disney fan, and play on the Nintendo 3DS is perfect for frequent travelers.
Buy Disney Art Academy for 3DS on Amazon.com. The game is rated E for everyone.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.