Sofia the First is a new character featured in a new Disney Channel television show out this year. She is the first princess specifically marketed to children as young as two, although anyone with a little girl will tell you that the Disney Princesses have already enchanted the toddler set without any help from little Sofia. Her story is very sweet, and thoughtful in many ways with a message about valuing what is on the inside, not the outside of a person and highlighting qualities like kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty, and grace.
In this app, readers will find a full storybook with exceptionally polished animation and very nice interactivity that is relevant and well paced. Narration is lovely, although it does not highlight as read. Lots of settings make navigation and set-up easy for reading or watching, making this an app that can please toddlers as much as older princess-obsessed youngsters. As with most Disney apps and products, this title has a lot of advertising for other Disney stories, along with links that easily leave the app for the web and appstore. This is a particular concern for parents of younger kids and I recommend locking the device out of the app store at the very minimum when letting a child play with this app unsupervised.
In addition to the story, there is also a top-notch extra bundled into this title, making it more like two apps in one. The puppet theater allows children to create their own stories with an intuitive interface, lots of fun options for characters and the ability to record and store each play. This extension activity puts emphasis on creative play and reader driven storytelling, although kids will tell you it's just fun. It also adds extra value to the app, making it a storybook that can be played with for hours, especially with multiple kids interacting and creating together. Overall, this is one of the better titles from the Disney Princess line of apps, despite concerns about advertising and links in an app aimed at such young kids.
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Disney Publishing Worldwide Applications
8 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 2 - 8
With the help of the three familiar fairies in charge of the Royal Training Academy — Flora, Fauna and Merryweather of Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty and on occasion, classic Disney Princess characters including Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Mulan, Tiana, Pocahontas, Merida and Ariel — Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn’t all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart. Sofia will wear plenty of pretty dresses and sparkly shoes, but the stories will focus on the idea that what makes a real princess is what's on the inside. The series will highlight character qualities such as kindness, generosity, loyalty, honesty, and grace. She has the Magic Amulet of Avalor that allows her to talk to animals, but is coveted by the evil wizard Cedric who wants to steal it so he can use it to take over the kingdom. [Source: Wikipedia]