You may be familiar with the PuppetPals app (or the sequel, imaginatively named PuppetPals 2). These apps let you tell your story through animation using a selection of puppets and backgrounds. We are huge fans of the app, and it features in our Key Apps page where you’ll find tips and a video guide. Whilst it’s a very useful app, the £3.99 price tag (£5.99 for PuppetPals 2) is hard for some schools to swallow.
Enter Toontastic. The Toontastic app is made by Google and is therefore free. There are no in app purchases. It also provides 3D-like characters instead of PuppetPals’s flat 2D versions, and has scrolling backgrounds full of detail (i.e. the characters can move from one room to another). Another great little extra is the ability to put titles and credits on your animation and to create several scenes in different locations.
Having said that, it’s not a full replacement for PuppetPals (which is why the latter remains in our Key Apps list). Whilst Toontastic gives you the ability to draw your own characters (which it turns 3D for you) it does not yet allow you to create characters from your own photos. This means that whilst it’s a big improvement on PuppetPals if your aim is to tell a fictional story, it can’t be used to tell the life stories of historical figures or to create puppet versions of yourself.
All in all, Toontastic is a (free) addition to your arsenal of apps, well worth using during fictional story writing units, but it’s not a fully fledged PuppetPals replacement.