Bunnies are cute. But a new short film by virtual reality animation company Baobab Studios reveals that animated bunnies who save you from an alien attack in virtual reality are even cuter.
Invasion! is six minutes of immersive, animated fun that puts you, the viewer, right in the narrative. Look down, and you’ll see a fluffy bunny belly where your human stomach should be—and watch out when fellow bunny Chloe comes right up to you to sniff around.
The team at Baobab is headed up by CEO Maureen Fan—who worked on Toy Story 3 and was previously the vice president of games at Zynga—and chief creative officer Eric Darnell, who wrote and directed all four Madagascar films. Fan cofounded the company in 2015, after leaving Zynga and working on an Oscar-nominated short film, The Dam Keeper. When creating Invasion! with Darnell, Fan says they ended up making lots of changes from the original story script to adjust for virtual reality, like figuring out how to plan sound so people would turn the right way in the movie. “VR is a new art and new tech where you’re trying to figure everything out from scratch,” Fan said. “It was that experience of thinking you know something and realizing you don’t know anything.”
Episode one of Invasion! is now available for download and accessible on Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear. It will soon be available for HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, Hulu VR, and Sony PSVR. But the story doesn’t end there: More episodes of the series are expected to be released later this year.
“With VR, most of the writers right now want to focus on the sexiness of the tech, but we believe that at the end of the day what matters is the story,” Fan says. “When the tech novelty goes away, people are still going to care about the characters.”
Watch a sneak peek below: