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Domo - Big In Japan

I haven't heard of Domo before but apparently this cute little monster (he's the one with the big, red gaping mouth and sharp teeth) is big in Japan.

My research reveals he started out as station mascot for a popular Japanese TV network and has kind of spring boarded into other things from there including ads for the shopping variety store, Target.

Domo has his own web site called Domonation where you can learn more about him and his friends, Mr Usaji (Grey Rabbit), Maya and her son Mario (the two bats), Tassanna (yellow 17 year old female weasel) and others.

The Domonation site has partnered with GoAnimate to create a section where you can create your own animations, using the GoAnimate Application, called Domo Animate. It's completely separate from GoAnimate's main site but works exactly the same (except that you can't upload your own custom props, backgrounds or sounds).

I was recently invited by GoAnimate staff to join the site and contribute to some already great content created by other highly regarded GoAnimate members so that the site would have plenty of inspiring content for its official launch.

After watching a few of the official Domo Animated shorts that can be seen on the homepage of the Domonation web site I got the impression that Domo's popularity has been garnered through thirty second short 'gag' animations. Hence this is what I decided to produce after noting that many of my contemporaries had gone the 'how Domo came to be' angle (possibly because they weren't that familiar with the character either?).

My first animation latches on to the idea that Domo just loves watching television. He's so addicted to it he'll even get interested in the snow between channels...

DomoNation.com: Channel Changer by etourist

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

My second animation is an attempt to recreate an actual Domo Animated Short where Domo and Mr Usaji are playing baseball with Tassanna watching on. In the short Domo gets hit in the head with Mr Usaji's pitch...

DomoNation.com: Batter Up! by etourist

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

My version does differ in that the story is changed slightly due to not being able to have a sports commentator narrating the scene... hence instead of the concluding slow motion replay I have Domo chase a smug Mr Usaji for hitting him in the head.

The actual challenge of creating the baseball animation was editing the pitch of the baseball so it looked much cooler than a simple side view. I think I achieved a much more effective and dynamic pitch of the baseball.

My final animation is using that old classic 'fart' humor. Let's face it, a well timed fart is funny. Since Domo farts when he's nervous I figure he'd probably be very nervous about appearing on the very first episode of his cooking show...

DomoNation.com: Domo Cooking (Internally) by etourist

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

I actually don't like the Domo Cooking animation a heck of a lot because I would rather have done much more of a cooking show (as opposed to a fart joke). Unfortunately there are so few props, sound effects and character voices in the Domo Studio Library that I hit the limitations of the site really quickly.

At the moment that is the problem with the Domo Animate site. Not being able to upload your own props, backgrounds and sounds means that, creatively, you hit a wall of limitations very quickly. This is some what off putting but at the same time presents a challenge for how to get around the limitations and still be able to tell the story you want to tell.

For example, in my first animation, Channel Changer, I used Mr Usaji's ears as his arms to change the channel on the TV remote because there is no animated sequence for him even picking up the TV remote let alone using it.

However if you are a Domo Fan who wants to create your own Domo Animated Shorts then Domo Animate is probably the only place you'll be able to do it. I don't imagine a Domo Theme will be added to the original GoAnimate site since that would, ultimately, make Domo Animate obsolete.

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