Crowned as one of the best iPad Apps of the year by Apple, the GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine App is super-crazy and super-delightful. Designed used alongside the GoldieBlox Movie Machine engineering toy for girls (and boys!), I had the time of my life simply exploring this creative engineering and movie-animation app.
First things first: GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine is an innovative kit that encourages young girls to embrace engineering without overwhelming them with too many technical details. Revolving around a story that includes tools relating to the field of engineering, the user is able to explore concepts of building their own zoetrope, a pre-cinema animation device, while subtly learning about illustration and animation. In short, spatial skills, engineering principles like drawing, animation, zoetrope and problem solving are honed through the process of creativity in this sleek little app.
The interface of the App is easy and clean for kids, with the homepage featuring three main options: Make, Watch and Browse. The Make option allows you to get creative with 12 frames, which can be customized using different brush strokes, colors and stamps. In my short testing I created an animation that I was able to save as a GIF file and then exported it to some friends via email. Users can also print the animation to be used with the Movie Machine toy.
The Watch option takes you to a video link that ties up the animation story and the Browse option takes you through your saved files, tutorial animations (Learn) and Watch some animations.
If I have to be picky and really name one bad feature … then it has to be the background music, which can get annoying after some time. Nevertheless, I had a great time playing with the App; it took me back to my childhood carefree days.
If you know a young engineer that might be interested in creating their own movies and learning a thing or two about engineering along the way, the app is available for free over at the iTunes app store. For the Movie Machine toy, head over to GoldiBlox ($29.99).