Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Online animation at its finest

To some, the Internet is known as a great gathering of information for everyone to use and share. Of course, the rest of the world knows it's a way to kill an otherwise boring day. Well, I have found a new website to help us carry the fight: Homestarrunner.com is the newest weapon in the battle to stave off boredom.

When I first went there, I was amazed by the sheer amount of imagination and creativity inside. Behind the neat, but slightly annoying, Flash intro there seemed to be no end to the variety of entertaining material...from short movies and interactive cartoons to games and an animated home page with over a dozen themed variations. The site features a rich cast of hilarious characters – including the site's namesake, an armless simpleton named Homestarrunner – put in seemingly normal situations that, of course, go horribly awry.

I was surprised by how much the site had to offer. The cartoons vary across an amazing number of topics: holiday cartoons, an “old” silent movie, and an answering machine. There is a Halloween cartoon where the characters dress up in costumes from my childhood – the laughter caused internal bleeding. One series of cartoons, updated every Monday, is devoted to Strong Bad, one of the more sinister characters on the site, checking and replying to his email from fans. There's even a Halloween movie where you give the characters the worst possible treats and then listen to their commentary.

When thinking of what to write about this site, I jotted down a series of phrases to help me organize my thoughts. The only one I havn't used yet, and the one applies most, is “ingenious waste of time.” I have seen a lot of websites attempt to do what Homestarrunner.com does, but they pale in comparison. From design to story and execution, this site has so much going for it. I look forward to see what they do with it in the future. fb

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