Baobab Studios is the leading VR animation studio.  Our mission: Inspire you to dream by bringing out your sense of wonder.  We will immerse you in fantastical worlds, introduce you to characters to fall in love with, and let you interact with these characters.  

Founded by Eric Darnell (Director of all 4 Madagascar films), Baobab's Emmy-award winning VR animation, INVASION!, starring Ethan Hawke, launched to substantial critical acclaim and has become the top downloaded VR app. In a first, Hollywood is taking IP from VR to become a feature film: Roth Kirschenbaum Films (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman) has signed to adapt INVASION! into a feature film.   

Baobab’s 2nd VR animation, ASTEROIDS! starring Elizabeth Banks was an official 2017 Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival selection and won Best VR Experience at the Unity Vision Conference.  Baobab's latest Crow: The Legend, starring John Legend, Diego Luna, and Constance Wu premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and Cannes this year.  

Baobab Studios has raised $31M from leading media and tech investors.



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Maureen Fan, Chief Executive Officer

Maureen has held leadership roles in film, gaming, and the consumer web. She was most recently vice president of games at Zynga, where she oversaw three game studios, including the FarmVille sequels, which contributed to 40% of the company's revenues. Previously, she worked on Pixar's "Toy Story 3" film and at eBay in product management and UI design. Her most recent collaboration, "The Dam Keeper," directed by Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo, was nominated for the 2015 Oscar Best Animated Short. She received her undergraduate degree in an interdisciplinary program in computer science, art and psychology from Stanford University graduating Phi Beta Kappa and earned her master's degree in business from Harvard university.

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Eric Darnell, Chief Creative Officer

Eric's career spans 25 years as a computer animation director, screenwriter, story artist, film director and executive producer. He was the director and screenwriter on all four films in the "Madagascar" franchise, which together have grossed more than $2.5 billion at the box office. He was also executive producer on "The Penguins of Madagascar." Previously, Eric directed DreamWorks Animation's very first animated feature film, "Antz", which features the voices of Woody Allen, Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken, and Sharon Stone. Eric earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in experimental animation from The California Institute of the Arts.


Michael Hutchinson, Chief Scientist

Michael Hutchinson has spent the last 10 years working in artistic and technical roles in the animation industry. Most recently, he was the technical lead for all character technology at DreamWorks Animation. In this role, he designed and built next-generation character rigging technology for the award-winning Apollo/Premo platform, and architected the facial animation system used in all upcoming DreamWorks Animation films. He has co-authored several papers in graphic and character animation and is co-inventor on two patents. Michael earned his undergraduate degrees in computer science and character animation from Southern Adventist University.

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Larry Cutler, Chief Technical Officer

Larry Cutler brings deep technical leadership over the past 20 years in the area of animation creation and development. Larry currently serves on the Digital Imaging Technology Subcommittee for the Oscar Technical Achievement Awards. He was most recently the Vice President of Solutions at Metanautix, a big data analytics startup company (acquired by Microsoft). Prior to that, Larry spent 10 years at DreamWorks Animation where he served as Global Head of Character Tech and held several leadership positions in the areas of character development, animation workflow, rigging, and character simulation. Larry began his career at Pixar Animation Studios as a Technical Director on the films Monster’s Inc., Toy Story 2, and A Bug’s Life. Larry holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University.


Board of Advisors

Baobab works with a coalition of industry experts with such advisors as animation innovator Glen Keane (The Little Mermaid, Tangled); Paramount Animation President Mireille Soria; David Anderman, former Lucasfilm COO; Pixar Animation Studios co-founder and alpha channel co-inventor Alvy Ray Smith; Pacific Data Image co-founder and former DreamWorks Interactive CEO Glenn Entis; and Twitch co-founder and COO Kevin Lin.