StoryCorps Gets Animated, Literally

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The oral preservation society StoryCorps premiered its original animated short series on the PBS documentary show POV (Point of View) this week.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from 60,000 plus people who told their stories in recording booths across the country. In its first foray into television, the radio-ready massive audio archive was mined for five accounts of personal, touching conversations had between two people. Then, the stories were set to animation.

So far, the result is intimately powerful: an autistic son asks his mom if he's living up to her expectations, a dying husband tells his wife that he feels guilty when he utters the words "I love you," and a World War II veteran reflects on a German soldier he killed at the Battle of the Bulge.

PBS plans to premiere a new episode each Tuesday, culminating on September 7, when it will broadcast a double feature presentation.

Below are the videos which StoryCorps and POV have released so far. Our recommendation before watching? Grab a tissue.


The Icing On The Cake
Blanca Alvarez and her husband risked crossing the border to immigrate into the U.S. and then struggled to make ends meet. They hoped to shelter their children from these harsh realities, but Blanca's daughter Connie reveals how much children can really see of their parents' lives.

The Icing on the Cake from StoryCorps on Vimeo.



The Human Voice
The great oral historian Studs Terkel was an inspiration to StoryCorps, and he was also an early participant in the project. In this animated short, he speaks out on what has been lost in modern life and where he sees hope for our future.

The Human Voice from StoryCorps on Vimeo.



Germans in the Woods
Joseph Robertson was an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and began fighting his haunting memories.



Q & A
In early 2006, 12-year-old Joshua Littman, who has Asperger’s syndrome, interviewed his mother, Sarah, at StoryCorps. Check out their one-of-a-kind conversation below, which touches on everything from cockroaches to how Sarah feels about her son, Joshua.

Q&A from StoryCorps on Vimeo.



Danny & Annie
Brooklynites Danny, an Off Track Betting clerk, and Annie, a nurse, remember their life together—from their first date to Danny's final days with terminal cancer.

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.


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Comments [2]


Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.
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Mar. 07 2013 04:08 AM
Leonore Tiefer from New York City

The animation is amazing, but, really, it is the audio that tells the story. These two stories of love and the adjustment to life's vicissitudes are exemplary, but I have heard dozens of others just as good. Thank you, thank you, Story Corps! "The story of Annie and Danny" should be an opera, the only medium, I think, that lends itself to sustained arias and duets about love love love. Where is Verdi when you really need him?

Aug. 21 2010 10:50 AM

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