Baba Yaga debuts on Oculus Quest this week
The interactive film experience Baba Yaga will be available for Oculus Quest on January 14th.
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|From Baobab Studios:|
Generations ago, a group of settlers were ship wrecked on a mysterious forested island. It had no sign of civilization, though it had everything else needed to survive and start a new life... but as the villagers hack away at the land’s natural resources, they soon discover that deep in the forest lives a powerful force of nature, Baba Yaga (voiced by Kate Winslet). When your mother, the Village Chief (voiced by Glenn Close), falls deathly ill, it's up to you—Sacha, the eldest and heir to the village throne—and your sister Magda (voiced by Daisy Ridley) to do the unthinkable: brave the enchanted Forest (voiced by Executive Producer Jennifer Hudson) to find the cure for your mother. Sometimes a force for evil, sometimes a force for good, the enigmatic witch Baba Yaga uses her powers to protect the forest from the villagers’ encroachment. The fate of humanity, nature, and your mother rests in your hands.
Brave the evil witch to save your family and village through love, magic, and the power of nature. Enter a new dimension of interactivity where YOUR choices matter and fall in love with our enchanting animated world. When the Village Chief falls deathly ill, it is up to you and your sister Magda to do the unthinkable—enter the forbidden rainforest, uncover its hidden mysteries, and get the cure from Baba Yaga.
With multiple endings, each play-through of BABA YAGA is different from the last. The VR experience is designed to play either with hand-held Touch controllers or by utilizing Hand Tracking on the Oculus Quest. This versatility provides a new level of immersive, personalized interaction throughout the story.
The VR immersive experience is a contemporary portrayal of the Eastern European legend breathed to life with illustrative 2D pop-up animation, as well as hand-drawn and stop-motion styles, creating a modern visual language for VR inspired by classic animation. Leveraging Baobab’s award-winning animation pioneers and interactive gaming veterans, BABA YAGA blends theater, cinema, interactivity, AI, and animation into a unique experience that explores themes of empowerment and environmentalism. The VR is executive produced by Jennifer Hudson, Maureen Fan, Larry Cutler, and Kane Lee.
In BABA YAGA, the viewer—YOU—are invited into a haunting fairytale world completely reimagined where your choices determine the ending of this story of love, fortitude, and magic. Sometimes a force for evil, sometimes a force for good, the enigmatic witch Baba Yaga (Winslet) uses her powers to stop the villagers whose settlement encroaches upon her enchanted Forest (Hudson). You are Sacha, the eldest and heir to the village throne, and sister to the young and willful Magda (Ridley). When your mother, the Village Chief (Close), falls deathly ill, it is up to you and Magda to do the unthinkable—enter the forbidden rainforest, uncover its hidden mysteries and get the cure from Baba Yaga. Ultimately, every decision Sacha makes matters… perhaps even whether humanity and nature can live in balance.
Additionally, due to the strong environmental themes inherent in the VR experience, Baobab Studios partnered with the United Nations on its climate change and sustainability initiative, creating a BABA YAGA campaign for the UN ActNow app to engage and educate users on ways to take action in safeguarding Earth’s natural resources. To further emphasize reforestation awareness, Baobab and Conservation International are co-sponsoring a final community challenge to be featured in the app this month, reinforced by a donation for the nonprofit’s Protect an Acre initiative.