Earlier in the year virtual reality (VR) specialist Oculus VR revealed a brand new division that is entirely devoted to immersive film experiences named Oculus Story Studio. The group was announced along with its first project, Lost, directed by former Pixar employee, Saschka Unseld. At the time it was also confirmed that the team was working on a number of other VR films. Among them was a bright animation simply named Henry. Today Oculus VR has provided further details about this new addition to the Oculus Story Studio library.
A short video looking at Henry can be seen below. The piece is described as a ‘heartwarming comedy’ that stars a cartoon hedgehog. Oculus VR has once again recruited a former Pixar member for directing duties, this time in the form of Ramiro Lopez Dau, who worked on both Brave and Monster’s University. Henry himself was created by both Kendal Cronkhite, Oculus Story Studio’s consulting production designer with experience at Dreamworks and Bernhard Haux, another character artist from Pixar.
As Dau explains in the video, Henry simply wants to be able to hug people, though is prevented from doing so thanks to his spikes. The story picks up on his birthday, when he makes a wish to find some new friends. At least some of the movie takes place in Henry’s home, with viewers able to use VR to explore different areas. Oculus Story Studio hopes Henry himself proves to be one of VR’s first popular characters. The company will be hosting a premiere event for the film on 28th July in Hollywood, California. Those interested in attending can sign up to an official newsletter to be in with a chance.
A microsite for Henry has been launched and the character has even taken over the main Oculus Story Studio page. Perhaps the most exciting news is that Henry will come free with the Oculus Rift itself when it releases to consumers in the first quarter of 2016. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all projects from Oculus Story Studio, reporting back with the latest on them.