Google Home Brings Sound Effects and Music to Disney Children’s Books

A new sponsored feature aims to enhance stories read aloud

Google Home is teaming with Disney and Penguin Random House. Google
Headshot of Patrick Kulp

Google is teaming with Disney and Penguin Random House’s Little Golden Books to add more pizzazz to bedtime stories.

The companies debuted a sponsored feature on Monday that will match sound effects and music to various points in 10 Disney children’s books when read aloud. The app, which marks Google Home’s 10th partnership project with the House of Mouse, fits with the search giant’s push to better integrate its smart speakers into everyday family home life.

The Little Golden Books available upon release include a mix of Disney classics and contemporary hits: Mickey’s Christmas Carol (Target exclusive), The Three Little Pigs, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Coco, Jack Jack Attack, Mickey Mouse and his Spaceship, Moana, Toy Story 3 and Peter Pan.

A guitar strum sounds off, for instance, on a given cue in the picture book adaptation of Disney Pixar’s Coco, and when the reader pauses for any reason, the device plays background music until the story is picked back up again. The program also recognizes if the storyteller skips around in the book and adjusts accordingly.

“We hope that it’s something that parents will do with their kids each and every day,” said Kelsey Gliva, product marketing manager at Google Home. “As we look to the future, thinking about the context of the family and ways that we can enhance routines that they already do is something that we’re really interested in.”

Past Disney features on Google Home have included a Mickey Mouse-themed choose-your-own-adventure game, a Toy Story toy activity and Star Wars trivia.

The partnership also spans a retail marketing placement that will group Google Home devices with the select titles in Walmart, Target and Barnes & Noble store displays.

“We know that parents and their kids are sort of fearless when it comes to assistant technology—they ask lots of questions and they engage, and we know with Disney’s iconic character voices, it’s a really fantastic way to bring this to life,” Gliva said. “So it’s a no-brainer to continue working with them.”

@patrickkulp Patrick Kulp is an emerging tech reporter at Adweek.