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it’s a small world (iOS) Review

it's a small world (iOS) Review
it's a small world (iOS) Review
it's a small world (iOS) Review

At a Glance...

Formats: iOS
Final Score
8/ 10

User Rating
no ratings yet


We liked?

  • Fun for kids
  • Culturally enlightening
  • Lots to interact with
  • Cute illustrations

Not so much?

  • Short experience

Final Fiendish Findings?

The iconic song and ride is now an interactive storybook application, and offers many “pages” of interactive scenes, each featuring a unique culture. You can also sing along, and listen to the song, in a variety of different languages. It’s a cute application and my kids loved it.

Posted November 30, 2012 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

You probably don’t have to like Disney movies, or even watch them, to know of their iconic song “It’s a Small World”:

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.
It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share,
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all.

it's a small world (iOS) Review

Thanks to devices like the iPhone and the iPad, the popular song, and Disney ride, is now available as something of an interactive storybook called “it’s a small world” (all in lowercase according to the app page in iTunes — perhaps to stress the app’s smallness?).

When I saw this in the App Store, I thought this would be a perfect application to share with my two youngest sons, 5 and 3, before their bedtime in place of a real book, as is often the pre-bedtime ritual.

Being a parent has a lot of benefits.  Most of those benefits are blaming things on the kids.  Take your pick:

  • “Sorry that we’re late, getting the kids ready took longer than we thought.”
  • “Oh, look at the time.  We need to get the kids home for bed.”
  • “One of the kids came down with cold, and we won’t be able to make it.”

Being a parent and a gamer also has it’s benefits, because I can let the kids review my games for me.  Okay, well, not really, but I have gathered their input, with their thoughts, of course, weighing more than my personal ones.  Thankfully with “it’s a small world,” I think we’re all in agreement that the application was pretty enjoyable.

it's a small world (iOS) Review

As with other storybook applications, the interface is pretty simple.  It’s mostly swiping and touching items, which makes characters and objects m come to life in a modern day version of a pop-up book.

“it’s a small world” has two real options: “Start” and “Sing Along.”  “Start” takes a line from the iconic song, and reads it to you while introducing to you an interactive scene.  Each page shows children from different cultures, and are filled with a lot of things for your kids to interact with: windmills will spin, balloons will pop, trains will chug along, and musicians will play their instruments when you tap them.

The “Sing Along” mode plays the song, and highlights each word karaoke style.  There are many languages that you can listen to “it’s a small world.”  My 5-year-old has been obsessed with learning Spanish words, and it was nice that I was able to have the song sung to us in English first and then again in Spanish, so that he could hear the difference.  By default, all of the languages are selected.

During the sing along, kids can tap the sky to set off fireworks and shake the stars that are hanging from the sky.

“it’s a small world” doesn’t take a long time to play through, but the kids loved every minute of it, and really liked interacting with the objects in each environment.  If you have two or more kids playing the application on a newer iPad, I’d recommend turning off the gesture shortcuts, as my iPad became confused when two sets of hands were trying to swipe various parts of the screen at once.  The gesture shortcuts allow users to swap between currently running applications by using 4 and 5 fingers on a screen at once.  I wish there was a way for the application to disable it without having to change the settings on the iPad, but it’s not really that hard to do.

it's a small world (iOS) Review

I’d definitely recommend it to parents of young children who are interested in technology.  These interactive books are like the pop-up books of my generation, and it’s a fun way to entertain the kids, in a semi-educational way.

“it’s a small world” is available on the Apple App store for $3.99, and can be played on both the iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch.  I highly recommend this one on the bigger screen, though.

Oh, and be prepared to have the song stuck in your head for a few days. :)

it's a small world (iOS) Review

Troy Benedict