Disney buys kids Web site Kerpoof

Property allows kids to create artwork, movies

Disney said Thursday that it has paid an undisclosed amount for Kerpoof Studios, a creator of online tools that allow kids to use computers to make artwork, write stories and even create short movies.

Kerpoof's technology has been integrated into Disney.com, allowing 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, and that company will remain in Colorado. Kerpoof co-founder Krista Marks has been named GM 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 mostly a 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.