On Thursday, May 3, 2018, Google launched its first-ever virtual reality (VR) doodle, in a tribute to French illusionist and film director Georges Méliès. The doodle, through its 360-degree interactive view, honours Melies groundbreaking cinematic work, taking the audience through his famous works. Its release coincides with the 106th anniversary of film À la conquête du pôle (The Conquest of the Pole).
The doodle is an animated story called “Back to the Moon”', a collaborative work of The Google Doodle, Google Spotlight Stories, Google Arts & Culture, Cinémathèque Française and Nexus Studios.
“A charming illusionist, an adventurous queen of hearts and an evil green man journey through early cinema, film magic and love. Back to the Moon is an animated, interactive Doodle celebrating the artistry of film director and prestidigitator Georges Méliès,” mentions summary on Google Spotlight Stories Youtube channel.
In order to get a 360-degree view on the web, users need to move the mouse around by clicking on top left corner icon. The doodle can be best viewed in a VR headset or Cardboard, or Daydream. The entire 2:10 minute doodle is an animated film based on original art assets used by Méliès.
In 1902, Méliès' film A Trip to the Moon presented a never-before seen cinematic experience and took the world by storm. He pioneered several technical and narrative developments in the initial days of cinema.
In 2011, Martin Scorsese's historical adventure drama film Hugo was released, focusing on the later life of Méliès played by Ben Kingsley through the eyes of a young boy Hugo. The movie reconstructed of some fantastical elements used by Méliès in his films.