Even YOU Can Animate

Go Animate

“Historically animation was only achievable by the highly skilled animator, but with GoAnimate, animating is possible for everyone to do.”

I’ve watched the demo at GoAnimate.com. Now I’m going to watch it again. And later, I’ll watch it some more times. Seriously, it’s that awesome bad.

(Thanks, Warren Leonhardt)


  • http://kittyhasfleaz.blogspot.com Felicia Spano

    I wasn’t aware that zooming in was a special effect. . . .uh…huh.

  • tom

    Is this what they used to make “Fairly Odd Parents”? I’m thinking it is.

  • http://www.jjsedelmaier.com J.J. Sedelmaier

    I’m scared to visit the site. She’s got 3 hands. . .

  • Tom Pope

    They don’t do “Fairly” with this, but… it’s only a matter of time. Seriously.

  • Classeye

    You gotta give em kudos for choosing an epic song to bring out the irony.

  • Dr. Pepper

    I’m trying to think of something that could be said to make this funnier, but it’s just not coming …

  • http://meridiandream.com/films/emerge/ jim m.

    I think the positioning of the site is bad, but I really like the idea…

    I used to play a game for the Apple II/e called “Story Maker”. You basically do the same thing – add characters, add text, make cheesy animations. As a kid, it was a lot of fun, and I think it could help kids with some valuable storytelling skills.

    But their idea that it will “dethrone” animators as the only ones creating animation is kinda silly, and one I don’t think even the creators of the site intend.

  • Fred Sparrman

    What the heck is wrong with this? Should they be instructing people to go out and buy stacks of paper and cels if they dare to want to create animation?

    Sure, the end result is very far from artistic, but that goal doesn’t seem to be within its sites anyway. Looks like fun, and I dare say it’ll inspire some people to get into animation in a serious way.

  • leticia

    yeah….its gonna be in the adobe package one day…

  • Kevin

    Don’t let the network executives see this, it might give them ideas on how to further ruin Saturday morning cartoons! I’d rate this as an OK product for personal noodling around on one’s home computer but as far as replacing a traditional animator and associated persons I’d say that’s laughable.

  • http://www.pegbarproductions.com Simon Stahl

    Wow! This animation package is even better than PowerPoint!!

  • Norman

    There is no ‘Be a Network Executive’ program. Someone should use this piece of crap to make one. It won’t take over two minutes.

  • Jason K.

    See–this is where you guys (the Brewmasters) really miss out on opportunities to make Cartoon Brew an exciting, more involved place.

    Sure, this is pretty awful. But wouldn’t it be fun if the Brew community could have a go at the program, and stretch its primitive tools to breaking? I feel the Brew should move less from a monologic community and more to an interactive one. In which we, the readers, contribute creations and intimately involve ourselves with the animation world we talk about–the good parts and the bad. Instead we set ourselves apart from it. Which is so obsolete. Historic platforms are breaking, guys, because of programs like these you choose to mock. And there’s nothing wrong with mocking them, just as long as everyone is not so serious and isn’t afraid to be a little clever and maybe prove their ineptitude (or maybe how amazing things can even be produced by ‘inept’ tools) by mass experimentation. What is the purpose of this website? A haven for animators/animation enthusiasts to return to repeatedly and seethe and crack injokes, or an evangelical asset to inform people who normally don’t give a rat’s ass about animation? Can’t it be both?

    Just sayin’.

  • Ryan

    Remember Microsoft’s 3D Movie Maker? Used to make a lot of fun little films with that thing. I’m with Jason K on this one.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Uh…I don’t think it is bad at all. I agree individuals using this are no more animators than those using a desktop publishing software are Graphic designers but it’s meant to be fun for the layperson with its clipart animation. I think the tie-in with social networking is brilliant. Sure alot of folks will think they are really animating but what’s the harm? Nobody will die or lose an eye. Hopefully it will whet appetites for those who want more control in their animation to pursue the real principles behind animation.
    The ones who may be worried are the ecard makers when individuals can make real personal messages (quality may be damned) and not simply upload their face to an otherwise hi quality generic greeting.

    “Historically animation was only achieveable by the highly skilled animator, but with GoAnimate, animating is possible for everyone to do.” That’s just marketing; telling folks what they want to hear.
    I think it’s a clever idea with the potential for success.

    BTW, Goanimate people, you misspelled chihuahua.

  • http://electronghosthouse.com/ Paul K.

    The evolution of emoticons continues.
    Even though some of the canned animations are stuttering and weak cliches, this site has it’s value. Perhaps non-animators will begin the grasp the complexity of quality animation. Or at the very least, there will be more lowest common denominator animation fans, thus increasing the general inclination to its preference.
    Now I’m off to make an obscene animation and send it to everyone I know.

  • http://chiacheese.blogspot.com Chia

    Interestingly, someone’s animating these characters, designing them and designing the backgrounds. It’s not the animators and artists being cut out but rather the writer, director and producers. If it was marketed that way, I wonder if the reception would have been different.

  • http://www.coffeeandcookies.blogspot.com Jesse Jordan

    Their demo reminded me of “Hammer Man” which was also, ironically, funny for all the wrong reasons. However, I really appreciate Jason K. and Gerard de Souza for finding a positive angle.

    By the way, what exactly IS militant music? It sounds cool.

    BONUS: someone posted the title sequence to “Hammer Man” on YouTube here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8WYh8uz3pQ

  • Grant Beaudette

    You can even put characters behind the furniture?! Sign me up!

  • http://www.spumboard.com Taco Wiz

    This seems like a good idea for YouTube and such. But if this is used for TV purposes, I will put a gun to my head.

  • Braid

    I think its funny how everyone commenting on this is uptight about a piece of software thats obviously not an industry standard tool like Flash or Maya, Its like yelling at a baby because its not smart enough. So what, if the animation isnt “Disney” quality, so what if the designs or backgrounds arent ivan earle quality, i mean when i was younger i had no clue about how animation worked, or had money to take traditional classes, and the fact that theres something out their that can inspire people to tell stories though pictures sounds pretty damn good to me. Secondly i dont think its here to “destroy” the jobs of the everyday animator, dont worry everyone i think your jobs are secure, if your worried about that, id be more worried about the economy destroying your chances of a job rather than a piece of software like this. The other thing is you dont have to use the content thats provided to you, if your such an animation expert, upload your own flash work to the software and make something yourself, or just use flash yourself, if you can afford it. Everyone is dissing technology now adays when it does nothing but help independent traditional animators. Unless everyone can afford an oxberry in their homes.

  • http://www.cartoonsolutions.com Ryan Simmons

    This is a fun, quick and easy tool for kids or the artistically-challenged to get their creative juices flowing without being hindered by their own drawing ability or having to worry about ponying up hundreds of dollars for an animation program. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all! The fact that Amid and so many others here automatically look down on this without considering the benefits to others is just annoying. Think about it – if you were a kid and wanted to get into animation and you found this tool online, you’d eat it up! Great springboard for those who want to move up to the next step of creating their own characters and stories on their own later on.

  • Drew K

    Personally I think that if this gets kids interested in animation and storytelling, then good on them.

    When I was a kid I used to mess around with creating my own basic stories using a game called “Cartooners” on the PC.

  • Michael

    The program itself doesn’t bother me; I know if I would’ve found this a while back, I wouldn’t be able to leave it alone. What makes me cringe is the possible effect it could have on kids wanting to get into animation. If they think Fairly OddParents et alia are what “animation is”, then this program (and its mission statement) is just reinforcing that lazy, wonky trend in their heads. Our only hope is that they find Cartoon Brew or John K’s blog or one of the other great animation resources out there (best case scenario: they pick up a copy of Preston Blair’s Animation book).

  • http://www.tjrmusic.com TJR

    This is nothing. I talk to kids who really think they can play guitar because they have Rockstar the game.

    I can see where indie music artists like myself might actually be able to use something like this to insert some quick (and yes, crude) animation snippets into some of the 0 budget music videos that we make and post on youtube to promote our songs.

  • http://www.milowerx.com Mike Milo

    Well that’s it… I’m done… We can’t compete with this. I’m retiring! The industry’s doomed! DOOMED I tell you!

  • Saturnome

    Hey, the very first animated thingie I ever made was with The Simpsons Cartoon Studio. Good times.

  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    Look at the bright side, y’all: Many young kids will use this, and some of them with enough talent will get so frustrated with the crappy limitations of the program, that they’ll want to learn more about traditional skills in animation.

    I think this is the equivalent of those “follow-the-dots” and “color-by-number” books. What? You telling me you NEVER had one of those during your whole childhood?? ;-)

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    this makes me miss the old HYPERSTUDIO 4.0 animation software that was available on apple pc’s back in the early 90′s

  • http://klangley.blogspot.com Kevin Langley

    So that’s how they make “Totally Drama Island”.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Being reminded of Hammerman again (that opening alone doesn’t justify the first five minutes of an episode alone). I can see this being of use for anyone who have probably done every other net meme under the sun, so expect a further evolution from brickfilms, YTMND’s, Machinima and YTP’s. It’s all about being devious in your spare time.

  • danny

    Braid (and some other bright-eyed folks here), spot on comment. The knee-jerk, negative reaction here to this is ridiculous. Using goanimate would have taught me a great deal about digital animation techniques had it been available when i was a kid. i see it as an excellent gateway device to the world of digital 2d animation, and a very clever, fun and sophisticated use of flash. let’s see some of you trolls create even a basic interactive flash animation engine. while i think we can all expect that plenty of trite garbage will be created using the goanimate site, i guarantee that the available tools could be used to craft content that would put some of you whining, elitist phonies to shame.

  • http://www.hunteachother.com Max W.

    From THIS ‘UM, to THAT ‘UM!

    Never heard the word “them” said as “um” so many times in my life!

  • Lucy

    My favorite part is the constant blank stares on the characters… They mimic my own as I watch the demo video.

    ….Seriously, these make e-cards look like works of art.

  • Jayster

    This is cool, I advise everyone to sign up and have some fun with it.

  • http://www.fooksie.com Fooksie

    Wow.
    First, let me say that the backgrounds look great. The city scape, even the inside of the airliner looked nice.
    It is a pretty impressive engine. The scene where the alien was placed behind the desk looked effortless, which is what people want.
    Instant results, instant fame, without the hard work.
    I’m sure that someone with talent could stretch this program to produce something worthwhile.
    On the positive side, once people get their fill of this cookie-cutter animation, those of us who actually studied animation and create it may get get a call to ” put an alien behind a desk”…that’s 10% more in your face.

  • Russell H

    “Historically animation was only achieveable by the highly skilled animator, but with GoAnimate, animating is possible for everyone to do.”

    “I’ll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone’s super—no one will be!”
    –Syndrome, THE INCREDIBLES

  • Scotty A

    Learning to draw, apparently, is not a prerequisite.
    Wow. That demo got annoying in under 30 seconds.

  • http://www.rudyagrestaartandmusic.moonfruit.com Rudy Agresta

    Nothing more than a moving version of COLORFORMS! Maybe good for the kiddies, but unfortunately the brainless, unartistic execs will see it as a way to save money and eliminate jobs!!

  • Karl Marx

    If Hitler had this tool, he could’ve invaded Poland for much less money, and on schedule.

  • Celia

    where are the four fingered glove animal characters? Human cartoons are boring.

  • http://www.warrenleonhardt.com warren

    I’m surprised at how many people took this post as a knock on the site. I’m the guy who passed it on to Amid, saying it is awesomebad. Note that ‘awesome’ is the first part of the description! It’s awkardly positioned (bad) by the delivery of the demo (the music, the ‘wwwhhhoaaas’ and all that), bUt I think this is awesome! Think about it – for all those who say they could make a tv show with their eyes closed – here you go! Do it!

    If I was a kid or someone thinking of animation as a career, I’d start with this, then go through the exercises in Eric Goldberg’s excellent book, then Nancy Bieman’s excellent book – and bring those lessons back to this site! Bust the machine! Then go to college and push the instructors’ curriculum.

    Listen – this is the start of what Ralph Bakshi was talking about in that oft-linked speech in San Diego Comic Con. Honestly! It’s all in this box you’re staring at. There are fewer and fewer excuses for not improving one’s abilities, or developing some. So the animation is stock, who cares if you’re just starting out and trying to tell a story – the story content is all wide open. This is a rudimentary version of that game Spielberg came out with, where you can edit your own film from stock stuff.

    It’s only bad if some exec takes this seriously as a viable option to producing a show properly. Which they won’t. OR WILL THEY? But it’s too funny (and fun!) not to point out. It can be taken so many ways – and it has…cartoons are fun, hey?

  • Baron Lego

    Tools of mediocrity for the masses! Yee-haw!
    It’s really only a matter of time before most television animation looks like this (some of it now isn’t too far off) .

  • ed

    I don’t understand this post at all. In fact I don’t really understand Catoon Brew’s overall aim in posting about animation related news. Seriously – is this site a place for celebration of all things animated or a place to deride and pour misplaced scorn over what Amid and Jerry consider to be tosh? Amid’s narrowminded post, IMHO, clearly has a dig at the hard work of another person. Warren – We all know what the phrase ‘awesomebad’ means, and it doesn’t mean something is good, regardless of the use of the word ‘awesome’! Clearly this programme is not going to deliver the type of animation people currently consider to be ‘sophisticated’, be it in whatever format. But its potential to introduce people to animation is perfect – when I was in my teens I used a similar programme called ‘The Complete Animator’ on the PC which allowed you to manipulate sprites and draw and animate very badly. It ran in VGA. It only allowed 256 colours. It was low-tech, but it was so much FUN and I learnt LOADS from it. I’m glad to see other Brew readers have spoken out about this piece and have spoken up in GoAnimate’s favour, since I’m am becoming fed up with this type of post being featured here; this is not the first time Amid and Jerry have reported on something PURELY to say how bad it is, as if they are some sort of quality barometer, almost tittering behind their hands as they laugh at some poor sod’s lack of vision or ability to know when something is good or not. In the future guys, please don’t post scornful articles like this – celebrate all things animation, don’t deride them.

  • Michael

    ed: Everyone is a quality barometer. It’s called having an opinion. In fact, you did exactly what you say Amid and Jerry do by criticising their post. What are you? Some kind of “King of All Blogosphere” who decides which posts are ‘good’?

    About “awesomebad”. He broke it down for you.

    Seems like most critics of CB accuse it of being elitist or full of bitter animators, but then they go on vicious insulting rants, telling the posters that their opinions don’t count because they aren’t positive (even if they are). Who’s really the bitter, elitist animator?

  • http://www.growdesignwork.com Bran Dougherty-Johnson

    Agh. My eyes! My ears! I couldn’t last through that whole thing …