Yesterday I had my 8,000th round of dental work done (soon, my mouth will be more valuable than my college education). All the numbing drugs the dentist used left me shaky, so I camped out on the couch with the kids while the shakes wore off. As I absentmindedly scrolled through my phone, I came across a BuzzFeed article about an app that uses photos to create animated cartoon avatars. “That sounds interesting,” I thought, and downloaded it.

We will never be the same.

The app is called, “Huanshi – My Idol.”  Oh, and it’s entirely in Chinese. (There’s an English version coming, and a guide for English speakers that I literally just found right now…I probably should have done some googling earlier.)

The kids and I had no idea what we were doing, but we uploaded their faces (using pictures with as little hair on/across their faces as possible) and clicked on symbols until we got the results we wanted. And it’s kind of insane how much they look like them:

Animated Annabel

Animated James

Annabel picked out the clothes, hair, etc. for each of them, and then we started having fun taking pictures of their cartoons in different poses.

Animated James

animated annabel

Animated James
Well that’s terrifying.

But the best part is that you can insert the cartoon characters into movies. Almost every option is in Chinese, which didn’t damper the fun at all. I mean, look at Annabel shredding this song:

Killin’ it!


There are two songs in English. The first was a real crowd-pleaser with my kids:

The male version actually has a deeper voice, which I’m sure James really appreciated.


Then there’s the option to have the avatar dance to Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back and it’s…I mean:



We spent a good hour playing around on this, and as hilarious as these images/videos are, the best part was seeing my kids cracking up. James and Annabel were both laughing so hard they could barely speak. And since the app is on my phone, they had no choice but to snuggle up next to me.

Still though, that image of James with the candy…super haunting.