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Baobab Studios Announces New ‘Bonfire’ VR Experience

New immersive experience directed by studio co-founder Eric Darnell stars comedian, writer and actress Ali Wong.

NEW YORK -- Annie and Emmy Award-winning VR animation studio Baobab Studios has announced their fifth project, Bonfire, starring comedian, writer and actress Ali Wong. Bonfire is an absurd alien adventure written and directed by Baobab co-founder Eric Darnell, who co-directed and co-wrote all the films in the Madagascar franchise and Antz!. Wong is the latest Hollywood talent to collaborate with the studio, joining Baobab’s exciting and diverse roster of storytellers including John Legend, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Banks, Lupita Nyong’o, Ethan Hawke, Constance Wu, Diego Luna, and Tye Sheridan.

With a vision to create the most immersive storytelling experiences by melding user interactivity into the narrative, Baobab has turned the viewer into a character in every one of their experiences. Each of Baobab’s previously released projects have pushed the role of the viewer to new heights. Starting with Invasion!, which was the first VR story to make you a character. Then with Asteroids!, where the user had control over the story direction and character. Most recently with Crow: The Legend, users played an omnipotent spirit with the power over the world. But in Bonfire, Baobab has pushed the technical limits with its real-time rendering, artificial intelligence and interactive narrative systems to create a new virtual reality experience, where the user plays the leading role.

“We wanted to put the viewers in the middle of a story where they can develop believable, meaningful relationships with other characters so that the viewers feel that their interactions with these characters have legitimate stakes -- that their decisions really matter,” explains Darnell.

In Bonfire, the viewer plays the leading role. As Space Scout 817, you are on a mission to discover a new home for the human race after it has made a mess of Earth. The stakes are high. Too bad your piloting skills lack… precision. In fact, you crash-land at night in a mysterious clearing of an unknown planet three-hundred light-years from Earth. Your only source of light is your makeshift bonfire. Beyond its glow everything falls to darkness. And what are those strange noises coming from the alien jungle?

You have only your instincts and your robot sidekick, Debbie, to guide you. Voiced by Wong, Debbie’s companionship comes with a signature wariness. When a chance meeting with a local inhabitant further steers your mission off course, you learn that unexpected encounters just might result in lasting friendships. In this intimate setting, you have the opportunity to embrace, explore and influence the world around you, and, perhaps, make new friends. In the end, the choice is ultimately yours: Will you follow your captain or your conscience?

Source: Baobab Studios

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.