Google’s Valentine’s Day doodle tries to save the pangolin

Google's Valentine's Day doodle tries to save the pangolin – CNET

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Think of Valentine’s Day and the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t wildlife conservation.

But that’s one of the themes of Google‘s Valentine’s Day doodle, which premiered on the search giant’s homepage early Monday. It’s one of the most in-depth Google Doodles the company has ever created and includes an interactive video game. It took about a year to develop and involved a six-person team of animators and engineers.

The doodle stars two lovestruck pangolins, scaly mammals native to Asia and Africa. They look like a cross between armadillos and anteaters. Google notes in the game that pangolins are the most poached and trafficked mammals in the world. The game also includes a link to a World Wildlife Fund page, which invites people to donate to protecting them.

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Google’s Valentine’s Day Doodle took almost a year to develop.


Richard Nieva/CNET

“If they’re endangered, they really have to meet,” Helene Leroux, the head artist for the Doodle, said during an interview at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. “So it was a perfect theme for Valentine’s Day.”

Step foot in the Google Doodle office and you might think you’re at Pixar. A large blow-up version of Baymax, the health care robot from Disney’s “Big Hero Six,” greets you in the hallway. Desks are lined with Star Wars and Batman toys. There are tiny drawers full of sticker versions of past doodles. And most of the desks have Cintiqs, giant tablets artists use for digital drawings.