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We designed an interactive animated video that provides a basic explanation—including the risks, benefits, and alternatives—of anesthetic procedures. We hypothesized that this video would improve patient understanding of anesthesia, reduce anxiety, and shorten the interview time.Two hundred eleven patients scheduled for cancer surgery under general anesthesia or combined general and epidural anesthesia, who were admitted at least 1 day before the surgery, were randomly assigned to the video group (n = 106) or the no-video group (n = 105). The patients in the video group were asked to watch a short interactive animation video in the ward. After watching the video, the patients were visited by an anesthesiologist who performed a preanesthetic interview and routine risk assessment. The patients in the no-video group were also visited by an anesthesiologist, but were not asked to watch the video. In both groups, the patients were asked to complete the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory and a 14-point scale of knowledge test before the anesthesiologist's visit and on the day of surgery. We also measured interview time.There was no demographic difference between the 2 groups. The interview time was 34.4% shorter (video group, 12.2 ± 5.3 minutes, vs. no-video group, 18.6 ± 6.4 minutes; 95% confidence interval [CI] for the percentage reduction in time: 32.7%– 44.3%), and knowledge of anesthesia was 11.6% better in the video group (score 12.5 ± 1.4 vs. no-video group score 11.2 ± 1.7; 95% CI for the percentage increase in knowledge: 8.5%–13.9%). However, there was no difference in preanesthetic anxiety between the 2 groups.Our short interactive animation video helped patients' understanding of anesthesia and reduced anesthesiologists' interview time.