Celebrate the life and genius of French illusionist & film director Georges Méliès in this adorable Google Spotlight Story.
If you’ve logged onto the Google homepage at some point today you may have already noticed a particularly interesting Google Doodle posted above the search bar. A common practice for the multinational technology company, Google has been utilizing what they refer to as “Google Doodles” for years as a way to celebrate holidays, highlight significant events or even as a way to honor the lives of various influencers. Usually there’s a custom image, some animation, maybe even a hidden game or two.
However its Google’s latest logo alteration that has tranformed this ongoing practice from cute, to downright impressive. As part of a collaboration between between Google Spotlight Stories, Google Arts & Culture and Cinémathèque Française, this latest addition to the Google Doodle catalogue is the first to incorporate 360-degree video with Back To The Moon, an adorable VR short spotlighting the brilliance of French film director, illusionist, actor, mime, sfx artist, magician, and overall outstanding human being, Georges Méliès.
A pioneer at the dawn of cinema, Georges is responsible for developing multiple technical as well as narrative film methods that would end up help build the foundation for what we now consider modern cinematic production. He would also go on to help in the canonizing of the science fiction genre thanks to his early use of special effects, a practice still foreign to most at the time.
Available today in order to coincide with the release of one of his most popular films, 1912’s À la conquête du pôle (The Conquest of the Pole), Back To The Moon follows the antics of an animated Georges as he goes toe-to-toe with a dastardly villain out to ruin a romantic enounter between Georges and a lovely damsel who may be in less distress than originally thought.
The charming 2 minute short is chock full of references to Georges previous work, such as a scene including a series of stars, a moon and a rocket ship which serve as a callback to A Trip to the Moon. At one point Georges animated character jumps through an enormous playing card, a clear reference to his 1905 classic, The Living Playing Cards. There’s also a handful of other credits to past work such as 1989’s The Four Troublesome Heads, 1904’s The Mermaid and 1900’s L’Homme-Orchestre (The One-Man Band) just to name a few.
“We are always trying to find new ideas,” spoke “Back to the Moon” spoke co-director and experienced Google Doodler, Helene Leroux. “This is the first VR experience that we did for Doodles.”
To check out this insanely endearing immersive experience yourself, simply head over to the official Google homepage. Be quick however, as this particular Doodle will only last 48 short hours. You’ll also be able to access the experience in VR mode via the official Google Spotlight Stories app on iOS & Android, the Google Spotlight YouTube channel and SteamVR. For additional goodies as well as some exclusive behind-the-scenes content (including a few fascinating details on how he accomplished some of his most mind-bending tricks) visit g.co/BacktotheMoon.
For more details on the life and accomplishments of Georges, check out his impressive Google Arts & Culture exhibit over at goo.gl/hbBkHy!
Image Credit: Google Spotlight Stories