As one of the most iconic cartoon characters of our time, Mickey Mouse has been featured in various media: movies, TV, comic strips, video games -- you name it, he’s probably done it. Now, he is also the star in a new app from Disney, called Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up.
All Mashed Up
Dubbed as an app for the artist at heart, Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up sees kids teaming up with Mickey to finish a cartoon short. Throughout the app, they will be prompted to draw various things which will be added to the cartoon, and participating in a variety of mini games.
The cartoon, “No Service!“, is a slapstick comedy in which Mickey and Donald try to buy lunch for Minnie and Daisy at Goofy’s beachside snack shop, but are promptly refused service as they do not comply with the “no shirts, no shoes, no service“ regulation. They come up with a plan to outsmart the rule, but naturally it backfires against them in the most hilarious ways.
There are many things to do in this highly interactive app. Every few minutes or so, Mickey will stop the cartoon and ask kids to supply a missing object, such as a sign on the snack shop door or a fake ID for Donald.
He will also invite them to participate in a handful of mini games, for example plucking the longest feather from Donald’s body and tickling him with it, and playing pinball to collect Mickey’s clothes. Kids are also requested to help Mickey record sound effects for a scene.
At the end of the short, kids are once again asked to draw Mickey. The drawing will be used in the credit scene, where kids have their name displayed as credit for making the short together with Mickey. The drawing will also be saved in the Gallery.
Parents Need to Know
Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up is fairly easy to use. The entire app is narrated by a squeaky-voiced Mickey, and no reading skills are necessary. That said, kids are required to follow specific directions. Judging from the app’s content, I would say that it is suitable for kids ages 6+.
As I’ve mentioned previously, the app has a range of activities to engage kids. These activities may require different controls; for example, the tickling game requires rubbing the screen, and runaway umbrella game requires tilting the device.
Some activities are also timed, but not in a way that would pressure kids. All activities can be replayed endlessly before moving on to the next scene.
Finally, the app does not contain in-app purchases and third-party advertisings.
Things I Like
What I like about Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up is it encourages open-ended play. There is plenty of room to be creative as the app doesn’t limit what you can draw. On the other hand, it provides several examples just in case you’re drawing up a blank (ha!).
I also find it clever how the app manages to offer activities that blend well with the story. It certainly makes the app more engaging, as if we are really involved with creating the cartoon. Mickey as the narrator/guide is also quite expressive: he even feels ticklish when you draw on top of him.
One thing that I do feel could be improved is the drawing tool -- it would be helpful if it were a tad more sensitive. It was rather difficult for me to draw short lines, which usually ended up as dots. Not exactly a deal-breaker, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this fixed in future updates.
That said, I would recommend downloading the app on your iPad instead of iPhone, as I imagine it would be quite hard drawing on smaller screens.
Mickey Mouse: Mash-Up is a silly, interactive app in which kids get to experience what it’s like to be an animator. Drawing is a prominent activity in the app, and kids will have fun watching their drawings become part of the cartoon short. There are a handful of mini games to keep them entertained as well. Overall, it’s a great app for kids ages 6+.
App was provided for our honest review.