Transforming animation into virtual reality offers certain advantages, beginning with the fact that the basic environment already looks slightly unreal. The avatars for the players, for example, resemble cartoon characters. Approximating live-action fare, Fattouh said, is “always going to be a very hard bar to hit.”
The VOID isn’t the only VR entity experimenting with different niches. SPACES has teamed with National Geographic on a VR theatrical experience — unlike “Terminator” or “Ralph Breaks VR,” which are also walk-through attractions — that’s designed to be both exciting and educational.
Players in this relatively new medium are experimenting with a variety of wrinkles, in-home and out of home, but the meat of virtual reality remains action, much of it tied to popular movie franchises. The VOID has already announced plans for six virtual-reality collaborations with Disney, including a Marvel experience slated for next year — when, conveniently, the studio will release the next “Avengers” sequel.
Curtis Hickman, the VOID’s chief creative officer and co-founder, said “Star Wars” was always his dream project for virtual reality, but he also expressed enthusiasm about the possibilities associated with animation, noting that the key is for the visuals to be driven by the story. As for taking people into this virtual version of the Internet, he said, “It feels like a place we’ve been, but we’ve never been.”
“Ralph Breaks VR” will be offered at VOID Experience Centers beginning Nov. 21. Tickets range from $29.95 to $36.95 and vary by location.