National oral history project brings stories of everyday Americans to life in animated shorts airing on PBS’ “POV.”
StoryCorps Animated Shorts series is back on public television, following the success of its first two seasons on PBS’ award-winning documentary series POV (Point of View).
StoryCorps Animated Shorts feature the stories of everyday people, told in their own voices, and brought to life with animation from the Rauch Brothers. The third season takes viewers on a journey of inspirational memories, from a son remembering his father’s hard work and dedication, to a man honoring his brother who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion, and a tale of triumph about a kid who became a hero when his name stumped his teachers.
StoryCorps is a nonprofit oral history organization that has recorded the stories of more than 40,000 people from all walks of life. Every Friday morning, millions of listeners tune in to NPR to hear stories from every corner of the country. Now PBS viewers can enjoy these animated shorts on POV.
POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series. StoryCorps Animated Shorts will have their national broadcast premieres as part of the one-hour “POV Short Cuts” on Thursday, August 9, 2012, at 10 p.m., along with the Oscar-nominated The Barber of Birmingham and the Student Academy Award-winning Sin Pais (Without Country). Check local listings for the date and time in your area. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds StoryCorps Animated Shorts.
“POV Short Cuts” features three StoryCorps Animated Shorts:
Eyes on the Stars—
On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina.
Facundo the Great—
Ramòn "Chunky" Sanchez was raised in a small farming community in southern California in the 1950s. As was common practice at that time, teachers at his local elementary school Anglicized the Mexican American students' names. Here, Chunky remembers a new classmate who proved to be the exception to the rule.
A Family Man—
In 1955, John L. Black, Sr., started his job as a custodian for the Cincinnati public school system. He regularly put in 16-hour days to provide for his wife and 11 children. At StoryCorps, his son Samuel talked with his wife, Edda Fields-Black, about his father's lasting legacy and the power of a look.
StoryCorps' original animated shorts series are also available on DVD from PBS Distribution. The DVD collection, StoryCorps Animated Shorts, includes conversations between a boy with Asperger's syndrome and his mom; a feisty grandmother regaling her family with tales from her youth; two Brooklyn characters remembering how they fell in love and learned how to let go, and three of StoryCorps’ September 11 shorts, which recently won the Peabody Award.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.