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Disney buys kids website Kerpoof

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The Walt Disney Company said Thursday it has paid an undisclosed amount for Kerpoof Studios, a creator of online tools that kids can use to make artwork, write stories and create short movies.

Kerpoof’s technology has been integrated into Disney.com, enabling users to create artwork around properties including Mickey Mouse and characters from the films “Cars” and “The Little Mermaid.”

Disney said it will continue to run Kerpoof.com. Kerpoof will remain in Colorado. The company’s co-founder Krista Marks has been named general manager of Disney Online Kerpoof Studios.

Disney has made several recent investments in Internet companies, with the biggest being Club Penguin, which Disney acquired in 2007 for as much as $700 million.

Kerpoof is a mostly free site containing art objects, 3-D backgrounds, blank pages and writing and drawing tools that can be manipulated by children. It has become popular among elementary-school teachers. Users can upgrade their options for about $45 a year.

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