A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site has closed its doors. Seasoned animators and novices alike can upload their animation work, art, games, and photos. Then users can view and critique each other's work. There's a filter that seems effective at keeping out the potty talk, and there are strict guidelines for what type of content can't be posted, including obscene, pornographic, hateful, racially offensive, and vulgar content. However, some not-so-good-for-kids content (female cartoons with really large breasts, for example) does get posted.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
The world of hip, creative animation comes to life on MYTOONS.COM -- a slick, easy-to-navigate community where users create their own homepage, upload their work, and have it streamed for free. Whether teens are aspiring professional animators or just love artsy toons, they'll find a treasure trove of ways to dig into the world of animation and show their work to a peer audience. (Disney fans may want to look elsewhere as you won't find any Bambi-style art here.)
Is it any good?
The site has sponsors like Animation Magazine and the animation itself sometimes has hints of promotional monikers attached by its creators, but none of the ads blatantly intrude on the site's overall look or main attractions. Comments posted on various works are refreshingly supportive and constructive compared to other social networking sites, and users can delete comments left by others on their own profile page. There's a filter and there are also guidelines about content that explicitly take into consideration that a lot of animation fans are young teens.
Some of the allegorical animation may be a bit deep for some teens to get, and other games like "The Urinal Game" or "Kitten Cannon" may be too shallow for some parents to appreciate, but overall this site is a gem among online community sites, especially for tooning teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why a site like this one -- built around the users' love of animation -- is a more positive tool for social networking than some of the general teen online community sites out there. How does sharing an artistic or professional interest help build community? How can viewing other people's work help improve your own?
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