Baobab Studios, based out of Redwood California are the six-time Emmy winning creators of interactive VR shorts like CROW: THE LEGEND,INVASION!, and BONFIRE. It was founded by Eric Darnell, a director and screenwriter on all four films in the Madagascar franchise, which together have grossed nearly $3 billion at the box office. They have worked with actors, singers, and celebrities such as John Legend, Oprah, Constance Wu, Diego Luna, Ethan Hawke, and Ali Wong. Their new feature is no different.
The Baba Yaga stars Daisy Ridley as a Magdala, the VR viewers sister. After your mother, the Chief of the village, falls ill both you and Magdala enter the forbidden rainforest, uncover its hidden mysteries, and get the cure from Baba Yaga.
The Oculus app will feature interactive elements at key moments of the story that will let you influence the direct and even the outcome of the short.
The chief of the village is played by Glenn Close, the Baba Yaga is played by Kate Winslet, and her enchanted Forest is played by Jennifer Hudson. Baba Yaga is directed and written by Eric Darnell and co-directed by Mathias Chelebourg. It is executive produced by Jennifer Hudson, Maureen Fan, Larry Cutler, and Kane Lee.
In a quote on Baobab Studios website, Daisy Ridley had this to say about the interactive VR short:
“Baobab is at the very forefront of VR and interactive animation, so it’s been exciting to work with Eric and the team to bring such a beautiful story to life. I love playing Magda, because she is brave, vulnerable and fiercely protective of her family all at the same time. The idea that the viewer will be able to genuinely interact with my character in this magical world and help steer the course of the narrative is so amazing”