"Henry" is meant to showcase Oculus's potential. "Henry" is meant to showcase Oculus's potential. "Henry" is meant to showcase Oculus's potential. (Photo: Oculus VR)

Oculus VR teases technology with new animated short 'Henry'

The Pixar-like film is about a hedgehog who loves hugs.

Oculus VR has released a new animated film, a short titled "Henry" that is meant to showcase the technology’s potential.

A product of the Oculus Story Studio, launched last year at the Sundance Film Festival to develop virtual reality "movies” for the Oculus headset, it tells the tale of Henry, a hedgehog who loves hugs. Unfortunately, his prickly spikes often scare his friends away. Then, on his birthday, he makes a special wish that changes the equation.

The film was directed by Ramiro Lopez Dau, formerly of Pixar. It's getting positive reviews from those who are able to see it, a group limited to a select few at the moment by the fact that the headset won't be available to the public for another year.

The virtual reality headset has piqued the film industry's interest because of the groundbreaking user experience it promises.

“Some people try to compare the Rift’s VR experience to a 3D movie,” explained Dov Katz, a Tel Aviv University alumnus who helped develop the headset. “While there are elements of 3D involved, the effect and experience are far different, because in the movies, the effect is external – meaning that you are just watching it – while with VR you are totally immersed in what is going on.”

Here's a behind-the-scenes video of the making of "Henry" that Oculus released this week:


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