Pixar debuts into virtual reality with Coco VR

It’s fun to roam around in skeleton avatar and occasionally take off your own head!

Disney Pixar’s latest animation film Coco releases in theaters this week. One of Coco’s central themes is ‘Dia De Los Muertos,’ a Mexican holiday that honors the dead. The film follows the journey of a young boy named Miguel. Before the release, viewers can get to know the main characters of the film through Coco VR—a social VR experience that Pixar is offering through Oculus Rift for free. Coco VR will be available for Samsung Gear VR on November 22.

Coco VR is not a game where participants have objectives to meet. Pixar is calling it a social adventure as a user can immerse in the highly interactive VR environment with three other friends and explore the land of the dead.

“It’s an opportunity to step inside a Pixar film and go on an adventure with a friend,” said Marc Sondheimer, a Pixar producer. “We wanted to teach people a little about the film […] learn about the holiday, the festival, and the traditions.”

While in Coco VR, you can sport a skeleton avatar. Get your look customized in a costume shop. Choose from different skulls and clothes. Check the look on a mini version of yourself. After that you are ready to explore the festive town. There are a lot of activities to do, e.g., opt to walk over to a concert, the cinema, an art gallery, take a gondola ride and have an ariel view of the city. There’s even a photo booth where you can take a virtual selfie.

Choose skull and clothing for yourself and check the complete look in the mirror or on a mini version of yourself in Coco VR. (Source: Pixar Studios)

Coco VR has been created by Pixar, Oculus, and VR design company Magnopus. Oculus blog says that The Coco film team worked closely with their VR counterparts to create assets and animations that stayed true to the movie, while Magnopus brought the art to life in VR, adding social and interactive layers. Oculus collaborated with both teams, providing creative and technical feedback from early development through to completion.

Coco VR promotes the idea of social VR through which you can go to virtual places for hanging out with friends. Facebook had also introduced its social VR app ‘Spaces’ this year. Microsoft acquired AltSpaceVR, a social VR platform, this Fall and almost brought it back from being dead. Exploring virtual reality space sounds fun when done with multiple users.