The Challenge

Disney Publishing approached us to create entirely new reading and gaming experiences for the (just-released) iPad. This was storytelling on a completely new medium, which required research-driven UX, a deep dive into the brand, and incredibly creative solutions.

The Outcome

We created new, immersive mobile experiences that brought the magic of Disney to hand-held devices in an easy and intuitive way. The products we built showed the world how Small Planet can solve big challenges (and have fun at the same time).


iOS Development
Android Development
UX and Design


Amazon Fire
Google Play IAP Services
App Store IAP Services
Client Backend for Assets


Once upon a time…

…we partnered with Disney to pioneer immersive experiences, define how mobile engagement could work, and introduce completely new ways for kids to enjoy classic tales.

But we didn’t just create the same thing over and over again. Our multiyear engagement involved multiple products appealing to multiple audiences. The scope and technical demands of each app varied wildly, which meant we had to learn fast and stay nimble.

#1 Overall

on the app store
Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award
#1 in the iPadEntertainment category
#1 in the iPadKids category
#1 in iPhone and iPadBooks categories


Something Truly Special

Each title in the Storybook Deluxe series featured at least one unique game that brought a plot point to life. The scrolling interfaces featured a “record your own narration” feature, word highlighting, embedded animations, and activities like puzzles and coloring.

Everything about the Storybook Deluxe series was new, and it proved we could mix complex UX and innovative storytelling to deliver something truly special for a global audience. It also established us early as problem solvers in the mobile space.

Every design and development team we assembled thereafter, regardless of what’s being made, works in tandem to find elegant solutions to knotty issues.


Free Play

Disney then trusted us to create free play toys under the “Disney Princess” banner. Charmed Adventures, Palace Pets, and Royal Celebrations all celebrated the strength and resilience of the Disney princesses.

Using Unity to build captivating worlds for Charmed Adventures, we created kingdoms for children to play in and explore freely. Interactive and story-driven, the Palace Pets app was a terrific success, reaching #1 in the Entertainment category.

Royal Celebrations offered open-ended play and used image recognition software to unlock premium content by scanning a special key printed on the product packaging of Disney’s Royal Celebrations dolls. The app pushed our testing methodologies out of the digital and into the physical, establishing a reliable link between the two worlds.


Global Audiences

Those successes led to even more fun in a series of Puzzle Books we developed for Disney. Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and other classic characters guided readers through read-along adventures, jigsaw puzzles, coloring books, and animated activities.

A couple of the Puzzle Books were localized into a bunch of languages (as were the Storybook Deluxe and Palace Pets apps), the first of many times Small Planet would design, develop, and test products for a global audience.


The “Happiest App on Earth”

Finally, we were asked to capture the magic and scale of Disneyland Resort. This “Happiest App on Earth” would give users the chance to interact with attractions and characters in a way no app had done before.

Disneyland Explorer, a panoramic recreation of the entire Magic Kingdom, featured highlights from over 130 attractions captured in slideshows, videos, 360-degree panoramas, and mini-games.

We visited Disneyland several times, exploring every attraction and sketching designs, supervising photo shoots, and mapping out the best way to translate the in-person visitor experience to mobile.

The first release of Disneyland Explorer was a smash hit, becoming the number one overall app on the App Store.

“The Toy Story 2 app was even featured onstage by Steve Jobs as an example of what’s possible in this new medium, and we were incredibly proud.”


Small Planet CEO

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Let’s see what we can build together.

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