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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

I ran across a fascinating site the other day and immediately had the boys try it out. It’s called Xtranormal.com, and it’s the fastest way to create your own animated movie that I’ve ever seen.

Click on the Make Movies button right under the site name, and you’ll see 6 different styles of movie that you can make. All you do is click on a character, type in whatever you want him/her to say, and then click the plus sign to switch to the other character and enter their lines.

You can drag and drop in commands to change the camera perspective, have the characters make certain movements (raising arms, etc) and even add some sound effects. By the way, it didn’t take us long to find the fart command.

TechnoBoy figured it out faster than me (go figure) and had a movie made in about 15 minutes. It was great watching the boys work on their movies. Turns out, this is a fantastic writing challenge. Not only do they have to come up with dialogue that makes sense, they have to spell the words properly and use correct grammar and punctuation.

The voices are computer-generated, so the program will literally speak what you type. If you put in “u” for “you”, then the computer says “uh”. And yes, an evil smile crept across my face as I realized that they couldn’t use texting shorthand to get the job done.

Here’s The Mercenary’s first movie.

So? Try it for yourself! Let me know what you think.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to tell great stories.