A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
GOANIMATE lets people create short, animated films and publish them on the Internet. The online software is easy to figure out and simple to use, and the cartoon characters can be made to perform a wide variety of actions and show plenty of entertaining emotions and reactions. People can choose from a collection of stock characters, many drawn from well-known TV shows or video games, or upload their own graphics. Want to watch Captain Kirk chug a martini, or make Underdog throw a punch? What about a scene with Dracula, an alien, a devious young boy, and a pair of dancing girls in bikinis? With enough imagination, almost anything is possible.
Is it any good?
The tools are simple, but they are not very sophisticated and the end results will never pass for actual cartoons. Once created, the animated shorts can be watched on the site, and the extensive collection of user-created features is a bit like a low-end, animated YouTube. The site seems to be aiming at a specific age group. Young children may not have the patience to fully utilize the software, and older teens and adults might be too mature to enjoy the process or the finished products. But it could be plenty of fun for teens, who are probably technologically adept enough, and imaginative enough, to produce reasonably entertaining films and share them with their friends.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about digital creativity. Do you think it is more fun to make cartoons using your own graphics, or to use the ones provided by the site? Which is easier? Which ones are the most popular on the site?
Will other people be entertained by cartoons that include your custom graphics? Will your friends enjoy your cartoons if they feature people they know?