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Baobab’s ‘Baba Yaga’ Lands On Oculus Quest Jan. 14th | by NoPro Newswire | Jan, 2021

Baba Yaga made quite the impression on the festival circuit this past year, carrying on the tradition of immersive animated work found in Baobab Studios’ previous works like Bonfire and Invasion!.

The all-star cast of Baba Yaga adds heft to the proceedings, but what makes this an exciting release is that like Fable’s Wolves in the Walls, this latest from Baobab lifts heavily from the language of immersive theatre.

Consider this part of the immersive canon.

$5.99 on the Oculus Quest platform starting this Thursday.

LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2020) — Directed and written by Baobab Studios co-founder Eric Darnell (Madagascar franchise, Antz) and co-directed by Mathias Chelebourg, BABA YAGA stars an all-female cast: Oscar winner Kate Winslet (The Reader, Ammonite), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Ophelia), Oscar® and three-time Grammy® winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, and the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect), and three-time Golden Globe winner and seven-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close (The Wife, Albert Nobbs). BABA YAGA is available exclusively on Oculus Quest beginning January 14, 2020.

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 YAGAblends 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.

BABA YAGA made its world premiere at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.


Product Information

Release Date: January 14, 2021

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.

Synopsis: 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.

Release Date: January 14, 2021

Platform: Available exclusively on Oculus Quest, https://ocul.us/2L43aV4

Format: Interactive VR

Price: $5.99

Rating: 7+

Length: 27 minutes (Oculus Quest)

Director: Eric Darnell

Writer: Eric Darnell

Co-Director: Mathias Chelebourg

Cast: Kate Winslet, Daisy Ridley, Jennifer Hudson, Glenn Close

Executive Producers: Jennifer Hudson, Maureen Fan, Larry Cutler, and Kane Lee

Producers: Maureen Fan, Nathaniel Dirksen, Jeremiah Graves

Distributor: Baobab Studios


Founded by Maureen Fan, Eric Darnell, and Larry Cutler in 2015, six-time Emmy® Award-winning Baobab Studios is the world’s leading independent interactive animation studio. With a mission to inspire you to dream and bring out your sense of wonder by making you matter, Baobab Studios has released five projects to date — “Invasion!”, “Asteroids!”, “Jack, Crow: The Legend”, and “Bonfire” — all to critical acclaim and commercial success. Named Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Company, its awarding winning work (traditional, VR, and AR) has been viewed millions of times and is known for starring such diverse talents as John Legend, Oprah, Constance Wu, Diego Luna, Liza Koshy, Tye Sheridan, Elizabeth Banks, Ethan Hawke, Lupita Nyong’o, and Ali Wong.

Instagram & Twitter: @BaobabStudios

Hashtags: #BabaYagaVr #Baobabstudios #makingYOUmatter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/baobabstudios/

Website: https://www.baobabstudios.com/

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