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Go behind-the-scenes with ‘Henry,’ the next animated 3D short film from Oculus

Talent from Pixar is leading the Oculus charge for non-gaming VR entertainment.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 29, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 6:32 am CDT

Soon you’ll be in the movie with animated characters, rather than just watching them on the screen.

Oculus has announced the second short film from Oculus Story Studio, founded in 2014 and staffed with veteran filmmakers from Pixar. Henry, a 10-minute short directed by Pixar animator Ramiro Lopez Dau will ship for free with the Oculus Rift in 2016. It’s another clear statement that Oculus is shooting for ubiquity, not just gaming.

Henry was announced via the release of a behind-the-scenes video. You can clearly see Pixar’s heritage in the footage, particularly in the eyes of the titular star. Elijah Wood will narrate the tale of how Henry the hedgehog scares his friends away on account of being covered in spikes. The Oculus audience will find themselves face-to-face with Henry as he addresses the problem.

The short follows Lost, Story Studio’s first film, which premiered at Sundance this year. Story Studio is facing a bevy of challenges in moving cinema from a 2D plane in which the cinematographer exercises absolute control, to presenting stories in a 3D world where the audience can look at whatever they want.

Saschka Unseld has discussed the lessons learned in making shorts like Lost and Henry on the Story Studio blog. He also discusses the origin and goals of Story Studio in another video posted on the blog.

Oculus Story Studio is producing several more animated shorts, Bullfighter, Dear Angelica, and a third film that is as yet untitled. 

Oculus told the Daily Dot that it takes about six months to produce one of these films. The Oculus hardware is due to ship in early of 2016, so not all three remaining films may be ready by that time.

Illustration via Oculus

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*First Published: Jul 29, 2015, 7:01 pm CDT