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Google Doodle celebrates real American love stories

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Google Doodle Ira Glass
Google Doodle Ira Glass

Google is pairing up with Ira Glass, host of This American Life, for this year’s Valentine’s Day Doodle. The search giant has produced more than 2000 illustrations over the course of 16 years, ranging from gay rights to Doctor Who. Today’s Valentine’s Day version was the result of a chance meeting between Ira Glass and Google’s Doodle team at the company’s headquarters. Glass has supplied six snippets of audio based on true American love stories. The stories include fun tales of marriage, a first kiss, and middle school love.

TIME takes a rare look at Google’s Doodle team as they prepared for today’s drawings, detailing the sketching and ideas involved in the perfectly timed animations, and how six pieces of heart-shaped candy came to life. Google now has a team of three full-time engineers and 10 artists dedicated to creating its Doodles, all tasked with a creative focus on producing short animations or illustrations for events and memorable moments in history. Unfortunately, Google has restricted today's animated Doodle so visitors outside the US will simply see a chocolate making version instead. Out of the six animations, one of the best stories is "blind date," but you can hear and watch all of them at