Review by Polly Conway, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2013

Creaza Cartoonist

Versatile cartoon creator for silly or serious storytelling

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Grades
3-9 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: The characters and themes are well-drawn and extremely silly-looking, making them perfect for kid humor.

Cons: It would be nice if you could mix themes for even more creativity.

Bottom Line: Although the site could offer a little more guidance, it's totally fun to use, and the possibilities are endless.

It may be worth getting the iPad app, as it seems to have better guidance and functionality, but the site is serviceable, and with a little extra time, you can make it work for your classroom. The Ancient Greek and Roman themes would work great during a week of study on those periods, and any of the themes could fit into a creative writing curriculum.

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Creaza is a cartoon creation website that allows kids to make their own online cartoons and mini-movies. They can use pre-drawn characters and backgrounds, or draw their own directly into a panel, then add sound. There are lots of options, including using your own images as backgrounds.

With a username and password required for login, kids using the site should feel secure; their videos are private unless they choose to share through social media or email.

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Creaza Cartoonist can be really fun, but there's not a ton of help, which makes it tricky to figure out how stuff works. Make sure to watch the tutorial video, which is enough to get started using the program. The characters are nutty-looking and there's an odd selection of props for kids to choose from, but this really only amps up the creativity and silliness of the final cartoons.

Aside from the fact that kids will have to do a bit of experimenting to figure out how it all works, Creaza Cartoonist is pretty fun. The drag-and-drop interface is reasonably intuitive. Characters run from kooky (Little Red Riding Hood) to historical (Winston Churchill), but you can't mix-and-match between themes (which may be a good thing). Some fun features set it apart from other online cartoon tools; for example, once you choose a background, go up to the Background tab and decide if it will be day or night in this particular panel. It's a neat way to show the passage of time, and kids can also change the mood of characters in the same way. There are some weird idiosyncrasies; for example, the Animal options you have in the Manga theme are Hamster, Cat, and Robot Cat. That's it. Want to add some props? Choose from chocolate milk, a trash can, and a hover platform.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

With goofy, fun clip art to choose from and a relatively simple dashboard, kids should really enjoy messing around with the site's features.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

The way kids have to use their brains to plot out a cartoon story should help them out with future creative thinking. They're also able to share the finished product through social media or email, getting feedback from peers.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

There's a three-minute video tutorial that goes over the basics, as well as a simple but clear help page with instructions on how to put together a cartoon.


Common Sense Reviewer
Polly Conway Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Amy K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, PA
4
Fun site, great themes for digital story telling.

Overall this is a great product that can be used in many grades and classes. Students like the themes, and I like the ability to connect already themed movies to units that we do (Greece, Rome). You can upload pictures, videos, and audio files to embed in the projects. Students can also create mind maps with another of Creaza's tools. Storage is limited in the free version, though, and that is a downfall. Additionally, you can't download your files from the free version-- you have to show them from your account (which can be tricky for grading).

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