In the Crosshairs: Disney Art Academy (Nintendo 3DS)

Last week, Disney Art Academy was released for the North America region and I’m very curious about it.

disney-art-academy-7 box art

Box art for Disney Art Academy

Since getting a Nintendo 2DS, I’ve been constantly on the lookout for any games that my girlfriend and I can both enjoy. One series that caught my attention is Nintendo’s Art Academy titles, with the DSiWare versions of Art Academy catching my attention. I was interested in the idea of an application on the 2DS/3DS that would allow me to learn different drawing techniques. However, I didn’t push through with the purchase because I didn’t find the DS graphics of those versions appealing enough, and I felt that the 2DS screens were too small for me to learn effectively.

I never really got into the Art Academy titles until Nintendo released a version of the game that had the Pokemon branding, and only after I had purchased the New Nintendo 3DS XL model. When Pokemon Art Academy was released, I almost bought a copy because I appreciated the graphics more (the title was made for the Nintendo 3DS) and because the art lessons involved drawing different Pokemon instead of random, generic objects. But I still didn’t get the title, as I didn’t feel that I’d get enough variety from it.

art academy titles

Box art of the previous Art Academy games that were released on Nintendo’s handhelds.

But when I heard about Disney Art Academy, I was stoked. Unlike Pokemon Art Academy, I felt that a Disney branded version would offer the variety that I needed. After all, Disney had different types of characters that ranged from cartoony animals like Mickey Mouse to the human characters from their feature length films. When I saw that the title also featured characters from Pixar films, I became more interested in it. Pokemon is a very popular brand, but I don’t think it can match the wide reach that Disney has.

And yes, I find the idea of learning how to draw all the different Disney characters to be very appealing. Here’s an image of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear drawn in Disney Art Academy:

daa - buzz lightyear

To infinity and beyond!

And an image of Woody, drawn in a different style:

daa - woody

You’ve got a friend in me!

Because the game is already out in Japan, there’s already some information about the features of Disney Art Academy available online. First, I found out that Disney Art Academy has 40 lessons on how to draw their various characters. In terms of the character selection, I heard that there are 80 Disney characters covered in the lessons that can be used as references, although it’s not clear to me yet if each of the lessons can make use of all the characters.

However, the main objective of the game is to teach players different drawing techniques, and in that aspect the game has tools and functionalities that simulate different real life art materials like ink pens, sprays, pastels, brushes, and more. So I’m guessing, and based on the screenshots that have been released thus far, that the game will allow you to do images that look like they were done in watercolors, oil paints, pencils, and so on.

daa - learn to draw

The upper screen shows your reference or guide while the lower screen functions as your workspace.

I also read that Disney Art Academy allows players to share their accomplished artwork through different methods – via Miiverse (Nintendo’s social media platform), Twitter, Facebook, local wireless transfer, and exporting through the SD card. I mean, what good is all that artwork if you can’t show it off to your friends, right? Although image sharing on the Nintendo 3DS, from my experience, is a little clunky as it is done via Nintendo’s Image Sharing website so I hope that what Disney Art Academy has is something better than most Nintendo 3DS applications have.

Oh and one other feature – Disney Art Academy will allow you to send trial lessons to other 3DS owners via the Download Play feature. Certainly not essential but definitely a neat feature especially for families who own more than one 3DS devices.

daa - more sample art

Some more samples of what you can draw in Disney Art Academy.

I’m a little concerned about how the game will translate the stylus strokes done on the touchscreen into your artwork in terms of precision. Reviews of the past Art Academy games have mostly been positive and I haven’t seen any complaints about this, but I’d like to see a review of the game itself to really decide if the game is worth purchasing or not. Disney Art Academy seems like it’ll offer stress-free fun without the pressure of needing to beat it, so I’m definitely considering it as an addition to my collection.

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