Google honors Georges Méliès with first virtual reality doodle

Méliès was an illusionist and filmmaker who popularized several special effect techniques

Have you peeped Google today? It’s all about Georges Méliès, a famed French illusionist and filmmaker.  

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The search engine site, which sometimes uses its homepage to honor prominent figures, is highlighting the influencer with its very first virtual reality doodle.

The artist was born December 8, 1861 in Paris, France. Although he received a formal, classical education, he gravitated to drawing and theater at a young age. His notebooks were often covered with sketches and portraits. 

Upon receiving his baccalaureate, he joined his family’s shoe business while exploring his interests in the arts. He studied stage magic, cartoon and film. 

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Pretty soon, the pioneer was a well-known illusionists, developing unique creations for theater shows and later for film. He was the visionary of more than 500 flicks, including “A Trip to the Moon” and “The Impossible Voyage,” and was the owner of the first glazed studio designed for the cinema. He was often the star in his own movies, too.

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Méliès was inventive as he sought ways to advance cinematography and technology with special effects. He helped popularize techniques, such as time-lapse, dissolve and hand-painted color, and his work “shined with dynamic fantasy, boundless imagination, and an irresistible jubilation,” Google wrote.

He continued to create until his later years, and on January 21, 1938, he died of cancer. Since his death, he has been honored numerous times. The group The Smashing Pumpkins released a video for their 1995 single “Tonight, Tonight,” which was inspired by Méliès’ “A Trip to the Moon.”

The 2011 film “Hugo” was partly based on the artist, and in 2015, he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Now Google is paying tribute. 

“Méliès brought magic to filmmaking through dozens of tricks and illusions,” the Google doodle artists said. “What better way to pay homage to this then by using one of the most innovative and immersive tools we have for storytelling today: Virtual Reality!”

Check out the doodle archive to see his animation.

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