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OpenAI's Sora Releases 'The Origin of Toys 'R' Us' Film

OpenAI's Sora Releases 'The Origin of Toys 'R' Us' Film
Image by Toys 'R' Us.

The rise of AI in media and entertainment has sparked debate about tools like OpenAI's Sora potentially replacing human creativity. However, if the AI-generated Toys 'R' Us origin story is any indication, we might only need to worry about enduring such creations.

WHP Global, Toys 'R' Us's current owner, collaborated with Emmy-nominated Native Foreign to produce "The Origin of Toys 'R' Us" using Sora. This short brand film debuted at the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Despite its brief runtime, the film is both perplexing and unsettling. It depicts young Charles Lazarus, the chain's founder, conceiving his retail concept and mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. However, the narrative unfolds in a surreal, cosmic dreamscape. The result feels like a hollow AI persona dressed as a 1950s child actor, set loose in the debris of a toy store at the universe's edge.

The story shows young Charles in his father's bicycle shop before drifting into a fantastical dream. This dream world resembles a whimsical planetarium filled with generic toys, where he encounters a strangely rendered Geoffrey the Giraffe.

Watch full video on Toys 'R' Us website.

Sora, OpenAI's text-to-video AI model unveiled in February 2024, can generate minute-long videos from text prompts. It's not yet publicly available.

Toys 'R' Us's actual situation is less optimistic than the brand film suggests. After declaring bankruptcy in 2018 and closing all stores, WHP Global acquired the brand's parent company in 2021. They've since announced plans to expand into airports and cruise ships, starting with Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Macy's department stores.

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