‘Everywhere Tales: Anansi and the Magic Gourd’ Highlights the Beauty of West Africa

    Sesame Workshop releases African-inspired animated Anansi story on their YouTube Channel

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    Everywhere Tales: Anansi and the Magic Gourd is set in a world fashioned entirely from paper art, Anansi finds a magic gourd that takes sounds, so he decides to use it to steal the noises of the animals in the jungle and have a quiet nap. Of course, no Anansi story is complete without the whole scheme backfiring on him, so he eventually returns the sounds to the animals. Clever trickster Anansi the Spider is a beloved character in West African folklore and worldwide, and renowned papercraft artist Helen Musselwhite has brought a new look to his timeless tales.

    Set in a world fashioned entirely from paper art, Everywhere Tales: Anansi & the Magic Gourd is sure to spark wonder in children and adults alike. The short is available now on the Sesame Studios YouTube channel.

    “We’re thrilled to introduce Anansi the Spider to a new generation of children with a story that is fun and engaging while still deeply rooted in Anansi’s West African origins,” said Lindsey Miller, who wrote the screenplay and co-directed with lead animator Simon Barreto. “We wanted to take a fresh approach to animation to really highlight the beauty of Anansi’s world, so we felt that papercraft was the perfect way to bring him to life.”

    This Anansi short is unique both in design and animation style, representing West Africa beautifully and authentically by taking inspiration from its art and music.

    Inspiration was drawn from traditional African art as well as working closely with a native Ghanaian-American voice-over artist and musician to make sure that every aspect of this project honors the rich culture that it has drawn from.