When you sit down to watch a movie, how many times do you wish you could steer the story in a different direction? Your kids, being imaginative, may even have more twists and turns in mind while watching a movie!
Netflix is enabling just that—giving its viewers the choice to push the story in one direction or another. The movie then becomes your own personal adventure!
Netflix interactive stories put you in charge of the story
This kind of storytelling, in Netflix’s terminology, is called interactive “branching” narrative.
The streaming company has launched two such narrative episodes, “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile,” where Netflix users are in control of how the stories unfold.
For example, if your child chooses to watch “Puss in Book”, it pauses 13 times to offer them choices; also, it has two different endings available. As kids watch the story unfold, they are offered different choices for the characters. Each choice leads the story in a different direction. Because of these multiple narrative possibilities, children can watch these titles again and again, with different results.
“The intertwining of our engineers in Silicon Valley and the creative minds in Hollywood has opened up this new world of storytelling possibilities on Netflix,” the streaming company’s representative said in a recent statement.
The entertainment company said that it has launched this kind of interactive series after doing extensive research and after talking to many kids and parents, collecting qualitative data to better understand if this was something viewers would like.
Netflix interactive stories create a two-way conversation between characters and movie-watchers
“The children’s programming space was a natural place for us to start since kids are eager to “play” with their favourite characters and already inclined to tap, touch and swipe at screens,” Netflix said in a press release. “They also talk to their screens, as though the characters can hear them. Now, that conversation can be two-way. It’s really about finding the right stories – and storytellers – that can tell these complex narratives and bring them to life in a compelling way.”
While “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” have already been launched in June and July this year, Netflix’s third branching narrative “Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout” is in the works, and is scheduled to be released next year.
Netflix’s interactive titles are available on most of its TV platforms, as well as on iOS devices. However, they are not supported on the Netflix website, Android Devices, Chromecast and Apple TV as of now.
About Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale
Produced by: DreamWorks Animation Television
When Puss is sucked into a magical book of fairy tales, he must get to “the end” of all the stories in order to escape. But the dastardly and mysterious Storyteller tries his best to make Puss’s journey difficult, using Puss’s friends as fairy tale characters and offering him (and viewers) a series of choices that dictate the direction of the story. The viewer must eventually choose between two main storylines – Sinbad the pirate or the Evil Queen – that lead Puss through different adventures and ultimately two distinct endings to his story.
About Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile
Produced by: American Greetings Entertainment
Animation studio: Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
Champion truck-racing dog Buddy and his handyman ferret pal Darnell test potentially awesome (but mostly terrible) ideas in this interactive adventure. You’re the one who gets to tell them which absurd stunt to try next!