|Description: A cartoon illustration of Henry, a hedgehog, looking |
at the viewer, smiling and waving hello.
Sure, the team could have gone with something more action packed or gritty or science fictionish or, well, game-like, since this short will ship for free with the rollout of the virtual reality Occulus Rift system to consumers. In a WIRED featured article entitled "The Most Important Movie of 2015 Is a VR Cartoon About a Hedgehog" (seriously), the team explains that they wanted to give the experience an emotional connection, too:
It wasn’t just that Story Studio needed Unreal to do something it wasn’t made for. They also wanted to do things that had never been done in movies, period: they want Henry to look you in the eye, no matter where you are in his virtual world. At its core, Henry is a simple story... There are emotional ups and downs, and when Henry experiences a certain feeling, he looks at the viewer to share his sadness or excitement. This is an incredibly rare thing. It’s also unnerving; the first time I tried an early demo, I immediately felt like a voyeur, as if I was spying on this poor hedgehog during his sad solo birthday. But in VR, the whole point is that you’re meant to feel as though you’re physically there ... it’s weird if Henry doesn’t [notice]. “It’s just like ‘Why don’t you look at me? I’m right here!'” Unseld laughs. But when he does it carries an emotional connection, an empathy, that even those abused action figures in Toy Story 3 didn’t quite muster.You can read the whole article here and read more about Henry here.