Google's offering to users on Feb. 14, the day of hearts, is a sweet animated narrative doodle over a minute long and has Tony Bennet crooning "Cold, Cold Heart" as a soundtrack.
Google's first narrative doodle tells the story of a young boy as he tries to woo a young girl who is busy jumping rope. The unsuccessful suitor tries a number of ways to get the girl to notice him. He goes to Google to search for traditional methods like flowers, chocolates, and colorful balloons but they all fail to sway the young girl. Finally the boy discovers that all the girl wants for Valentine's is a jump-roping partner.
The short is the brainchild of Google's team of illustrators and the animation was done by Michael "Lippy" Lipman, a freelance artist who does animation work for online games.
"The animation alludes to that universality" of love, Lipman who is based in San-Francisco, told the Washington Post's Comic Riffs. "These characters are archetypes, with no dialogue, so it can play around the world."
"It was like this wonderful creative breeze blowing into my work room, after a long time in the desert," he added. "Creating games is fine, and it's fun. It's a nice living. It's just not the same as telling stories. That was the beauty of this piece."
Lipman only had five weeks to work on the Google Doodle after the storyboards were created by Google's Doodle team.
"The idea was to come up with something different - not static," said Willie Real, the doodler who conceived of the concept. "I worked in animation for five years, and I've always wanted to do something along those lines. We just started brainstorming and coming up with ideas."
Although the short does promote Google, the boy does use the search engine to look for ways to woo his beloved; the doodle is really about Valentine's Day and the universal value of love. The doodle ends with half-dozen tiles showing different couples, including a cat holding hands with a dog, an astronaut embracing an alien, a princess and a frog and a gay couple holding hands before an altar.
Google is really pushing the envelope with their Google Doodles and fans should expect more from the team.
"We want to try new things and just have fun with the home page," Real said. "We always want to surprise and delight our users."
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