cowboys & aliens - the kids

Educational Children's Story App

Cowboy, Indian, and Alien Kids Meet, Play, and Share

The Challenge

Platinum Studios Comics, owner of the Cowboys & Aliens comics, approached ISBX to build an interactive and educational ("edutainment") storybook App based on the theatrical release of the Cowboys & Aliens movie, directed by Jon Favreau, and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. The storybook app, called Cowboys & Aliens: The Kids, needed to present the story in a high engaging and interactive experience, with the ability for parents to narrate the storybook to their kids, including the option to record their own voice or allow kids to enjoy the story on their own.

The Solution

ISBX met with writer Scott Mitchell Rosenberg to consult on the design and development approach while carefully addressing and integrating the writer's ultimate vision. ISBX proposed utilizing its experience in image manipulation by integrating its Picturizr Platform into the application. The experience allowed kids to take photos of themselves using the onboard camera and underlay the photos on the faces of the various storybook characters. The users could then share these images by posting them to Facebook or Twitter. In addition to this, the storybook App was designed as an immersive and fully interactive experience, comprising of a multitude of features including:

  • On-Page Animations and Sound effects
  • Full Narration & Read Along Feature
  • Capability to Repeat Individual Words
  • Pronounce Individual Characters in the Alphabet
  • Coloring Book Feature


The application was launched in conjunction with a comprehensive PR campaign, including promotion in entertainment trade magazines, Variety, as well as reviews by several reputable technology news sites, like Daily Motion. ISBX also leveraged its relationship with the community to encourage downloads and App reviews. The App made the Kidspot Top 50 and was nominated for two AIMIA awards, as well as a "People's Choice" award, and through an interview with ISBX's President, Eric Wise, was featured in's weekly podcast.

A partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation also guaranteed that proceeds from every App purchase were donated to the charity.

The launch was incredibly successful, with significant media, press and news coverage. Downloads soared in the immediate months following launch and the App remains a very actively used application, nearly three years after its launch.

  • iTunes App Store - iPad and iPhone App
  • Google Analytics Integration
  • Custom Animation Framework
  • Paid App Download
  • Marketing Website
  • Facebook and Twitter Integration

downloads in less than four weeks