Toontastic 2/9/12


Create your own cartoons through imaginative play. Language Arts and Visual Arts come together in one multimedia experience.
Through a webinar last week, and in casual conversation about iPad apps, Toontastic came up twice so I decided to check it out. Launchpad Toys introduces children to the story writing process with Toontastic. This free app starts with a narrator who explains what makes up a story. You start with the setup and can choose from four different scenes or draw your own. The narrator continues to guide you to select characters. Ten characters are available in the free version or you can draw your own. After choosing, or drawing your own characters and props you can animate your own story and record your voice.  Add a little background music and move on to the next scene. Add or delete scenes to make your story the length you desire. After you complete each phase in the story arc you can title and author your movie and play it back.  This app works without wi-fi but if you want you can watch movies others have posted online.  A globe appears with markers so you can explore stories written around the world. To post your own movies online an account is required. If you create an account you will receive one free playset from the Toy Store. Playsets are in app purchases which typically include one scene and three ‘toys’ which are usually characters. Since you can draw your own scenes and characters the purchase of playsets are really optional. The 10 characters that come with the app can be re-painted allowing one to customize easily. I was surprised to find the “Works for Schools!” badge at the bottom of the store. Toontastic writes it out that since your ‘Toy Store’ purchases are tied to your ToonTube account you only have to buy them once. It goes on to state that “After you purchase a playset on one iPad, it will be activated across all iPads logged into that ToonTube account.” I’m skeptical, but since it’s written out in black and white I lean toward believing it.  
A Parent and Teacher’s Guide is included with the app and a question mark at the top of the screen appears on each screen to help explain each step to the user. Overall this is a very nice app and I’m surprised I haven’t downloaded it sooner. Toontastic has a nice website to access ToonTube, which is where the uploaded movies can be shared. This is ideal for teachers with access to only one iPad so students can move to another computer to watch their creation at home or school.

Toontastic from Thushan Amarasiriwardena on Vimeo.