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spacer all reviews > > > interactive book software

Mulan Animated StoryBook

Disney

Ages 5 to 9

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
3.5
Kid Appeal
4.1
Ease of Use
4.5

Disney's Mulan Animated StoryBook Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Disney's Mulan Animated Storybook successfully brings impressive Disney graphics and lively sound effects from the big screen to the computer. The title is not deceiving, but Mulan breaks with the model of earlier Disney Animated StoryBooks (like Lion King, 101 Damations, Pocahantas, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame), and increases the number of clickable activities while reducing the amount of storybook reading.

Mulan and Mushu, her humorous dragon-friend (with voice provided by Eddie Murphy), take the user through an ancient China setting to gather magic scrolls which reveal Mulan's story of honor. Clicking key words in the scrolls displays alternative words, like a thesaurus, or illustrates the word with an animated graphic. As each scroll is read and collected, the story unfolds and is augmented with various games and activities. Our young testers felt that the storybook was better understood after viewing Mulan, the film.

Educational Value
The educational value of Mulan Animated Storybook is dependent upon the user taking the time to follow along with the story or read it aloud, and use the built-in thesaurus and word illustrations. However, there is not much text for advanced readers, or even 7 and 8 year old users. The thesaurus function was pointed out to a 7 year old tester, but she was not interested in using it.

The games and activities in Mulan Animated Storybook do have some educational merit and try to challenge strategy and memory skills. Four different levels for most of the games allow users to advance as their skills improve. The activities, Mulan Animated Storybook's strong point, encourage creativity. For example, a Dressmaker offers children an opportunity to view and learn about ancient Chinese costumes while they dress Mulan or print out her clothing for the included Mulan paper doll. At the Imperial Storymaker, users can choose a background and create their own story with paint, stickers, and music. Older users can match their completed masterpiece with a story of their own.

Kid Appeal
Kids will like Mulan Animated Storybook especially if they enjoyed the film. If the film scared them at parts, parents should know that Disney left the darkness out of the software version. The characters, music, story and setting are better received after viewing the movie. The program's educational strong points, dressing Mulan in Chinese garb and creating stories, were the activities liked best by our child reviewers.

Most users will also enjoy singing along to music from the film at the Imperial Storymaker. They can even sing karaoke style by themselves. Children will find the games entertaining because they are directly related to the film. Some of the games allow them to play along with a friend or against a character in the story

Ease of Use / Install
Clear and constantly available instructions make this program very easy to use even for not-so-experienced or younger users. Mushu guides users through the story, games and activities with helpful instructions and comical remarks. He will make kids laugh as they learn to deftly make their way around the storybook.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
This program is a story book, but without a lot of text. Overall, Mulan Animated Storybook holds entertainment value above educational value. It is a fun and in certain areas educational program for a child who is enthusiastic about the movie, but once the story has been told and the excitement for the film wanes, it is likely that excitement for the software will follow.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other interactive book software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows95, Pentium 90 or faster cpu, 20 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256 color VESA, PCI or other local bus video, 4X or faster CD-ROM, 16-bit Windows compatible sound card

Mac: System 7.5 or higher, PowerPC 75MHz or faster cpu, 20 MB hard drive space, 24 MB RAM, 256 color video display, 4X or faster CD-ROM

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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