Lions are fucking awesome. These animals aren’t called king of the jungle for nothing, and it’s not hard to see why they’d instantly became status symbols to human kind, from monarchies to incestuous Game of Thrones houses alike. I mean, just look at this thing:
This is a portrait of raw, unadulterated power. Each step a lion takes pulses with animalistic prowess. They are creatures always teetering on the brink of fighting or fucking everything, sharpening their claws while they flick their tongues and stare at you with an unwavering kind of focus. Then, there’s the other side of a lion—the one that’s almost indistinguishable from the modern house cat. For several moments on end, lions forget they’re king of the jungle. No matter how old they get, curiosity can drive a lion into an almost gentle kind of play style. Because if a lion isn’t killing the thing it’s reaching its 16 cm paws out to grab, it’s probably nudging it with inquisitive care.
In summation: lions are the shit. So, by the transitive property, Chill the lion—an interactive WebGL 3D animation of an awesomely chill lion by Karim Maaloul—is also the shit. Described as an “experiment,” you first meet Chill (officially this little lion’s name, by my decree) while he’s looking on at your cursor with delighted anticipation. His big brown nose bulges out of his little yellow face as he tracks your movement, and you just wanna give those big brown eyes anything and everything they desire.
Then, you see the direction to “move the fan and press to make wind,” which, “the lion will surely appreciate.” Mr. Chill certainly does appreciate it. His rounded mouth shoots upward into a wide grin and he closes his cat eyes in sublime pleasure. His mane, made out of a low poly, origami-like material, flaps in the wind. Though there’s no sound, you can practically hear him cooing his satisfaction through the screen. You can even make Mr. Chill dance a little fan dance in celebration of the cooling effect, making his little butt wiggle in place.
But, though I love Mr. Chill with all my heart, I couldn’t help but think of more things I wanted to do with him throughout the day. So, without further ado, here are some suggestions for a 2.0 version (hey, there’s an option to edit the coding!)
Jess’ list of improvements and features to little lion dude
- A little sailor suit and/or bow tie
- A lioness companion (after all, the lionesses are the ones hunting and keeping the pack alive)
- The option to reverse the fan, so his origami mane can be pulled over his cutey face
- A box
Listen, I’m going to level with you; I spent way too much of my day cooling this goddamn virtual lion. In fact, at one point, I decided to take a break outside during my workday and, as I sweated in the sweltering heat, I still thought to cool down my digital companion before myself. Like the IRL lion, there is something at once majestic and cute about Mr. Chill. He is essentially hypnotoad. You could hang out with him all day, but you probably shouldn’t… and it doesn’t really matter either way because you have no choice since he’s already sunk his adorably lethal claws into your brain.
Play with Mr. Chill yourself on any browser here.