Technology 5 min read

Pixar Coco VR Lets Oculus Rift Users Explore the Land of the Dead

Sarunyu L /

Sarunyu L /

Coco VR, Pixar’s first venture into virtual reality experience is now available on Oculus Rift.

For years, the CGI film production Pixar has captured the hearts of children and adults alike because of its 3D animation movies set in different enthralling worlds. Some of the company’s famous creations include Inside Out, Toy Story, Cars, and Finding Nemo. Now, Pixar will be bringing its latest film offering to life through Coco VR.

Coco VR is Pixar’s first virtual reality experience that will enable Oculus Rift users to explore the colorful Land of the Dead depicted in the animation studio’s upcoming movie, Coco.

@DisneyPixar released its first-ever venture into #VR experience, #CocoVRClick To Tweet

The new film is based on Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebrations observed every November 1st. It’s an original work from Pixar which follows the adventures of a young boy named Miguel who will set off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery, leading to an extraordinary family reunion.

Coco is set to be released in cinemas on November 22nd. To help promote the film, Pixar entered into a partnership with Oculus to produce Coco VR.

Coco VR: To Attract More People to try VR

Pixar’s virtual reality experience was first announced back in October. However, it was only made available yesterday for all Rift headsets.

To set the record straight, Coco VR is not a game.

Users won’t have to accomplish any tasks or objectives. According to Pixar, it’s a social adventure where an Oculus Rift user and friends will embody skeletal characters and explore the Land of the Dead.

“You are stepping into a Pixar film.”

Yelena Rachitsky, Executive Producer of experiences at Oculus said:

“But in addition to that, you’re also able to experience things in this that you can’t in the film . . . You’re able to create a deeper, richer world beyond — and the parallel to — the film’s experience.”

Virtual reality is one of the newest and hottest trends in technology today. Facebook, Google, and Samsung are just some of the tech companies known to invest millions in VR. However, certain barriers like the price of VR devices are keeping virtual reality technology from going mainstream.

By partnering with an animation studio like Pixar, Facebook’s Oculus Rift hopes to make VR more appealing–eventually attracting more people to invest and try the technology.

“Their films are nearly perfect. We’re not going to replicate what they do on film,” Rachitsky went on to say. “And so we really leaned into the audience experience . . . making it highly interactive, and highly social and highly fun.”

This is not the first time that virtual reality experience has been used by film productions to tease their audience. Lionsgate created a VR experience for the Power Rangers while Warner Bros. also built one for Blade Runner 2049. Pixar’s parent company, Disney, also made two VR experiences for Moana and Beauty and the Beast.

How Coco VR Works

What separates Coco VR from these other VR experiences is that it’s more social and interactive.

At the beginning of the VR experience, the Oculus Rift user will get a short introduction from Miguel, the star of the movie, about Dia De Los Muertos. However, Miguel will leave the room before he can finish the explanation.

Coco VR experience begins with Miguel giving introductions about Dia De Los Muertos
Coco VR experience begins with Miguel giving introductions about Dia De Los Muertos | Pixar Studios |

The place goes dark, and before the user knows it, he will be transported to a wardrobe room. The Rift user will find himself standing in front of a mirror in complete skeleton getup.

Coco VR enables Rift users to customize their look freely. According to Engadget:

“A small version of yourself is perched a top the dresser, along with a rack of skulls and clothing items. You can drag and drop different skulls and clothes onto to that tiny representation of you, to see how you look. There’s also that aforementioned mirror where you can check yourself out in more detail.”

Coco VR lets you customize your look freely
Coco VR lets you customize your look freely | Pixar Studios |

What’s more amusing is that any user can remove their head and walk around in a disembodied state.

Stepping out of the wardrobe will bring the VR user in what appears to be a town square. A user may utilize the Touch joystick to teleport around or to change directions. Options to walk over a concert, cinema, an art gallery, a gondola ride, or just merely roam around a fountain are available. There’s also a VR photo booth where Rift users can try on glasses and mustaches.

Pixar producer Marc Sondheimer said:

“Our primary goal was to let people go on an adventure. We thought of it like a theme park for your headset. We are really proud of the social aspect.”

Coco VR is an Oculus exclusive and will soon be available on Samsung’s Gear VR headset next week alongside the opening of Coco in U.S. cinemas.

Will you try Coco VR and explore Coco’s Land of the Dead?

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is the current Managing Editor of Edgy. She's an experienced SEO content writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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