Website review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2019

Creaza Cartoonist

Movie and animation creator for silly or serious storytelling

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
22%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
4–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Arts, English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity

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Pros: The characters and themes cover a variety of historical and cultural settings, and many are silly, perfect for kid humor.

Cons: There could be more guidance inside the tool, and not all features are located in intuitive locations.

Bottom Line: Although the site could offer a little more guidance, it will help students learn the basics of animated movie creation while stretching their creative muscles.

Creaza Cartoonist can be worked into creative lessons -- for students to learn and practice making movies and animations -- and into subject lessons such as history, government, science, and writing. For example, 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. Or you could challenge students to put characters from different time periods together and consider how they might interact. It's a fun way to get students to present material they've learned, or to show off the results of projects where students have collaborated. Additionally, teachers can assign any of the premade activities if they're at a loss for where to begin, or they can create their own activities to assign to students.

All of your projects, assigned tasks, and uploaded files can be accessed from the dashboard. You can also manage your contacts there, organizing students into classes. It might be worth getting the iPad app as well, since it has the same functionality and can facilitate independent learning in classrooms with multiple iPads.

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Editor's Note: The web-based version of Creaza Cartoonist is now part of Creaza, which includes other tools for mind-mapping as well as video and audio editing. There's also a standalone Creaza EDU iOS app.

Creaza Cartoonist is an animation program that allows students to create their own cartoons, mini-movies, and other presentations. They can use predrawn characters and backgrounds, premade themes, or files from their computer, or they can draw their own objects directly into a panel. They can then add text, animation, built-in sound effects, and built-in music, and even record their own voice-overs. Each feature is customizable: Change character expressions; turn the background from day to night; move, resize, rotate, and flip objects; change opacity; add drop shadows or silhouettes; add and modify speech bubbles and text boxes; and change the duration and order of each slide. In addition, the site includes plenty of premade activities that can be used to get students past the challenge of a blank page. Finished products can be exported to MP4 format; during export, students decide whether or not to add the Ken Burns panning effect or transitions between slides.

Creaza Cartoonist's 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. Additionally, though, there are more serious elements, such as nature videos and political figures, and kids can upload all their own elements if they prefer. Characters run from kooky (Little Red Riding Hood) to historical (Winston Churchill), and kids can mix and match between themes, adding to the endless possibilities. Some fun features set it apart from other online cartoon tools; for example, once students choose a background, they can 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. Animation options aren't extensive, but students can be creative with how they move characters and objects around, resizing them, adding sound effects and text boxes. Students can also preview their video before exporting to make sure it will turn out the way they intend. Students should have fun using this tool as a way to tell their stories, present their homework lessons, or demonstrate understanding.

While Creaza Cartoonist can be really fun, there's not a ton of help. There are some basic tutorials on the website and the YouTube channel has additional video help, but students will learn best by playing around with all of the options on their own. Though students will have to do a bit of experimenting to learn their way around, the drag-and-drop interface is reasonably intuitive.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

With goofy, fun clip art and compelling video features to choose from, along with a relatively simple interface, students should really enjoy playing around and creating animated videos with the site's features.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Students will have to think critically about plotting out their animated stories and will learn technical skills during the creative process. They can share the finished product with their teachers and peers, facilitating collaboration.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Several short video tutorials -- along with written explanations -- go over the basics, with more available on the YouTube page. The site also includes a number of premade activities teachers can assign.


Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Amy K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, United States
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 ...
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Data Safety
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Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Unclear whether this product displays personal information publicly.
User-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
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Users can create or upload content.
Unclear whether this product provides processes to access and review user data.
Unclear whether this product provides processes to modify inaccurate data.
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Unclear whether data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
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