Introduce a child with a creative imagination to Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe and watch the artistic sparks fly. This PC game is a virtual art studio, loaded with tools and options, that makes traditional paint, print, and color programs seem boring. A child's imagination really is the limit.
Upon installation, which is a bit lengthy but accompanied by a catchy tune, a canvas with a sidebar toolbox appears. Basic knowledge of operating a computer mouse will be required, as this is the means for selecting tools and using them as well as drawing freehand. Kids can jump right in and experiment, or use the electronic manual included in the program for an explanation of each tool and what effect it will produce. Experimentation is just the beginning as children learn what the program is capable of doing by combining the different tools and effects to create their own original artwork and animated scenes.
Providing a multitude of options, the tools included bring each creative thought to life on the screen. Children familiar with paint programs will already know the limits of a paintbrush or pencil, but may be surprised to find they can change more than just colors as they can paint with watercolors, oil, or gouache. Spray paint, a glitter pen, and magic markers are some of the other more basic options. They can also choose to draw freehand lines or take advantage of the basic CAD style options to create perfect squares, circles, and lines, making it simple to create just about anything they think up. When it's time to color in a scene or drawing, they can choose from an array of colors as easily as picking a crayon from a box, only here they can create custom colors too.
Creating animated scenes is also a fairly simple concept. Choose from the supplied images of Mickey, Goofy, and other classic Disney characters. Place them on pre-designed backgrounds, or originals can be created. Stamp selections that can be inserted allow players to create silly pictures for fun or aim for perfection. Animation can also be achieved by using the Image Spray tool that looks like a miniature Windex bottle. With a few clicks the spray bottle provides several images to drop on the screen. This is an impressive option for kids who have different styles, allowing them to choose from several amazing selections, from the awesome to the gruesome. Explode fireworks on a backdrop of a night sky, grow vibrant red flower instantaneously, release creepy crawly spiders, or roll out eyeballs with dilating pupils. Every image from the sprayer briefly becomes animated and then a permanent part of the picture. Any image or drawing users insert can just as quickly be erased should they decide they aren't happy with it.
Subject to having the right equipment, the program will accept scanned photos for editing, and for those with Internet connections, images can be downloaded to add to their collection. Artwork can be e-mailed to family and friends or printed just the same. As a word of caution, unless parents wish to buy paper and ink in bulk, they will want to cut the power to the printer until they've given their approval since the option to print is always available and very easy for kids to do.
While computerized art programs many never replace the virtues of good old-fashioned finger painting, Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe offers so many options and abilities, it's sure to provide an outlet and encourage creative expression. Had templates for creating stationery such as cards, nametags, and letterhead been an included option, there would have been no need for any other kids art programs. Overall though, this title gives kids plenty of options with which to unleash their artistic abilities.
Graphics: Color schemes are well defined and the animation is terrific. To aid in the animation, Quick Time is provided with installation.
Sound: The use of each tool is accompanied by a neat sound, and every stroke has a sound effect. It can a bit loud, so turn down the volume.
Enjoyment: Should provide hours of fun for kids with artistic interests.
Replay Value: Almost endless as new artwork and creations can be made every time. The ability to download new images extends this ability.
People who downloaded Disney's Magic Artist Deluxe have also downloaded:
Disney's Mickey Saves the Day: 3D Adventure, Disney's Animated Storybook: Toy Story, Disney's The Lion King Activity Center, Disney's Hercules Animated Story Book, Disney's MathQuest with Aladdin, Disney's The Lion King Animated Storybook, Disney's Animated Storybook: 101 Dalmatians, Disney's Pocahontas Animated Storybook
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