Save the Tiger with GoAnimate's Super Rica and Rashy

It's a surprising fact that there are actually more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild. It's not that wild tigers aren't prolific breeders the problem is that they're being hunted and their habitat is being destroyed faster than the tigers can cope with.

Some subspecies of the tiger, such as the South China Tiger, are already considered 'functionally extinct' - meaning they haven't been seen in the wild in over 25 years and therefore are most likely extinct.

I've always had a soft spot for charities like the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature a.k.a. World Wildlife Fund) so when GoAnimate launched it's Creating for a Cause competition I thought this was a great opportunity for me to actually support one of their projects.

2010 is the Chinese Year of the Tiger and the WWF is determined to double the number of tigers in the wild by the next Chinese Year of the Tiger in 2022. With an estimated 3200 tigers left in the wild it can be done since tigers generally give birth to 2-3 cubs every 2-2.5 years.

One way the WWF is raising money is through their Adopt a Tiger Program. This is what my animation focuses on with Paul Dini and Misty Lee's Super Rica and Rashy wanting to adopt a tiger of their own. My animation below draws a parallel between the big cats and Tasmanian Tigers that were also, largely hunted to extinction.

Save the Tiger - Super Rica & Rashy by etourist

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

The Tasmanian Tiger is a marsupial that was officially last seen in the wild in Tasmania in 1930 with the last known captive Tiger dying in 1936. Since then there have been thousands of unconfirmed sightings, some as recent as 2006 but for all intensive purposes the Tasmanian Tiger is functionally extinct. A victim of legal hunting (they were considered a threat to livestock and a bounty was placed on them by the Tasmanian government) and habitat loss.

Real Tigers are facing similar threats only they are being hunted illegally and being used to make Tiger products for sale in markets around the world.

As well their habitat is being eroded by logging and development - something else they have in common with the Tasmanian Tiger. Read more about Tiger threats.

All money raised by WWF will be used to:
  • establish and manage effective tiger conservation areas
  • reduce the poaching of tigers and their prey
  • eliminate the trade in tiger parts and products
  • create incentives that will encourage local communities and others to support tiger conservation
  • Build capacity for tiger conservation.
As far as GoAnimate's competition goes, if you're viewing this prior to April 14th, 2010 be sure to watch my animation above (and share it too). The final four animations with the most views will go into the running to win a Wacom Graphics Tablet and the winners charity will receive a donation of US$100 and two weeks advertising on GoAnimate's homepage.

Havock: A Hancock Parody on GoAnimate

Ever since GoAnimate introduced their Character Creator I've been wanting to find a good reason to use it rather than to just make a series of characters for the sake of making characters.

I'm a big fan of actor, Will Smith and had just recently watched his movie Hancock - the story of a washed up Superhero with little respect for himself or others. The character seemed just the ticket for some kind of parody and a great excuse to get busy with GoAnimate's Character Creator.

So that's Will Smith as Hancock (pictured on the left) and above right is about as near as I could get with the Character Creator - bearing in mind that the Character Creator is a little limited when it comes to clothing but quite flexible when it comes to faces.

Fortunately, because I made a parody, there's no real need to get either the likeness or outfit exact. It only has to look enough like the original character so that people know who is being referenced.

Probably a little surprisingly it took me a while to come up with the name 'Havock'. Originally I was going to keep the name 'Hancock' but discovered GoAnimate's language censor didn't like it - substituting symbol letters so that the name read more like 'Hanc$&k'.

Then it hit me that the ideal name for my parody character was 'Havock' since creating havoc seemed to be a general characteristic of this superheroes actions.

Obviously there was no way I could parody the whole film so I chose a couple of key scenes from the movie and then wrote my own story. Watch the animation below to see what I came up with.

Havock - Dog of a Day by etourist

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

I had a lot of trouble writing the script for Havock because I never really had any idea of what the story would be from the outset. All I knew is that I wanted to do some kind of parody. So I started out trying to reproduce the opening scenes of Hancock where a child approaches the superhero, who is semi drunk and lying on a public bench, and points out to him a police chase in progress being shown live on the news (which is playing on some TV's in an electrical store opposite the bench).

At that point I knew GoAnimate's Underdog/Saturday Morning Cartoon themes had a bank background and thought it would be great to show Underdog's Riff Raff robbing a bank and having Havock point out that the scene on the TV was just a cartoon.

That's where things got stuck and I went away and made what has become one of my most successful animations to date with over 11,000 views, Harry Chalk - Secret Agent.

The break from Havock really helped. When I finally came back to it a month or so later I had a brainwave... what if, after Havock has just declared the vision on the TV to be a cartoon, you saw Riff Raff drive by in the background? I tried this out in the GoAnimate studio and the first time I saw Riff Raff drive by I actually laughed out loud. For me, that was it, and that's how Underdog became a part of the story.

This idea also opened the way for me to parody the other scene from the original movie that I really wanted to include - the train crashing into Hancock. It's such a funny scene in the film. Now that I had Riff Raff driving around it easily lead into setting up this scene in my parody.

It wasn't all smooth sailing from there though. Having the Underdog plot line running parallel to Havock's in the background took a while for me to come up with and is actually inspired by episode four of my Men In Black series. In that episode Evil Genius, Rashy, is doing his own thing in the background as the main story unfolds.

I also struggled with how to end the animation because once Underdog turned in Riff Raff there was nothing left for Havock to do - which is how the subtitle 'Dog of a Day' came about suggesting that Havock was having a particularly bad day.

Back at the scene in the bar I tried a number of endings including ones where Havock had some luck with the Blonde women and having Underdog (as Shoe Shine Boy) utter the last line "Maybe you should try a desk job?".None of which really worked so I just ended it how I did with the barman saying the closing line.

All up, Havock was very difficult to script. That aside it has been well received on GoAnimate with several people asking if I'm going to turn it into a series. I'm not sure if I will. Maybe if the right story comes along?

Kung Fu Cat - Custom GoAnimate Character by Cool34606

GoAnimater, Cool34606 demonstrated that it is actually possible to create completely new characters on GoAnimate by using a series of still, prop images instead of animated flash characters. The character he came up with was Kung Fu Cat (pictured).

I liked the character's design so much that I asked Cool if I could feature him in an animation of my very own. Having experimented with 'flip image' style animation in Sneep Watching I was interested if I could make Kung Fu Cat look cool using the same technique with all the various poses Cool had drawn for his character.

I knew Cool was something of a Street Fighter fan - and I had intended doing a really big fight scene of some sort however, having just completed my first flash background (a conference room with a white board) using Koolmoves I was itching to use it. This is what I came up with...

KFCC "Fight Clubs" by etourist

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

I tried really hard to make Kung Fu Cat seem really cool because I was aware that the whole joke of this animation was kind of stripping all these characters of their masculinity and putting them in touch with their more sensitive and creative sides.

I didn't want Cool to think I was making fun of his character in a negative way. I do genuinely like the character. Which is why I had Dahlism proclaim that Kung Fu Cat must be good at the end - to further emphasize that I thought the cat was cool and not weak.

As I mentioned this animation also features my first flash background created with Koolmoves. I recently bought this software and have been learning how to use it, not just for backgrounds but also to make custom flash characters for GoAnimate.

I've started work on creating a flash version of Kung Fu Cat with Cool's permission - just as a practice project. I hope to feature the character soon. I also hope to review Koolmoves as well, once I've really got a handle on how to use it.
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