AnimationStudio_rnd9_v1Animated films and TV series are a staple in any household with kids of all ages. From Disney classics like Snow White to new favorites like Inside Out, animation engages kids while tugging at our heartstrings. With Crayola’s Easy Animation Studio, your kids can create their own 3-D animated videos that are 12 times faster than traditional stop-motion animation design.

Designed for kids ages 6 and up, the Easy Animation Studio includes a poseable mannequin, a mannequin stand, a device stand, a 30-page design book, 12 twistable colored pencils, and a free app.

First, get ready to play casting director. Kids can choose from 10 different characters to star in their video, such as a fairy, monster, pirate, superhero, or zombie. Once kids locate their chosen character in the design book, they can color it in any way they like using the included twistable colored pencils. But the fun doesn’t end with traditional coloring. Kids can download the free Easy Animation Studio app on an iOS or Android device and scan in their character creation to give it life on-screen.

Now, to get your character to start kicking and punching Jackie Chan-style, you have to find a spacious, properly lit tabletop and set up the mannequin. Kids can place their smart device on the stand directly in front of the mannequin so that the camera can capture the mannequin from head to toe. Once everything is all set up (some troubleshooting may be required), it’s action time!

MannyKids can move the mannequin in real time to create their own on-screen action sequence. Raise its hands, spin it around, make it punch or kick, and record every motion to compile a set of movements. Kids can also see how everything is coming together along the way by pressing the preview button. The best part about the Easy Animation Studio is that it automatically fills in missing poses for a smooth, full motion, so kids don’t have to spend hours making slight adjustments to the mannequin’s poses.

Walt Disneys-in-training can easily add pre-recorded movements to their cinematic works of art, such as a clap, a handshake, or a sweet dance move. The app also allows kids to introduce funky camera angles, swap out characters, save their favorite poses, and choose backgrounds that fit with the story, like a jungle or a futuristic city.

The app also allows users to add original audio to the movie magic. Kids can record their own sounds or phrases and finish off their film in style. If you are a perfectionist like me, you can even go back to your film and edit as many times you like to make sure you are getting everything right.

The world is quickly morphing into a digital universe. With the Easy Animation Studio, kids can enjoy their screen time while mastering some useful digital media skills. This creative tech toy allows kids to combine music, drawing, and action into a storyline, showing them the basic foundations of filmmaking at an early age. Who knows, he or she could be the next John Lasseter!