When you search for Avengers 4 spoilers or GIFs from Gymkata on Google today, you’ll see an unusually elaborate Google Doodle. Titled “Back to the Moon” (which you can also watch above), the short is essentially a sequel — 115 years later! — to one of the most famous and important science-fiction films in history: A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès, the man who is widely regarded as the father of sci-fi cinema.

Méliès was a magician by trade, and when film was introduced in the 1890s, Méliès used his knowledge of illusion and slight of hand to become one of the early pioneers of motion picture special effects. He directed hundreds of shorts over his career, many of which incorporated versions of his magic routines, with tricks enhanced by invisible movie edits and dissolves.

Over time, the tricks and the films got more elaborate. In 1902, he made his most famous work, A Trip to the Moon, about a group of space travelers who are literally shot out of a cannon at the Moon, where they encounter all kinds of strange creatures. Loosely based on the work of Jules Verne, A Trip to the Moon is now considered the first true science-fiction film.

In keeping with Méliès’ trailblazing spirit, the “Back to the Moon” short is not only a film, it’s also the first ever 360-degree/VR Google Doodle. (You can watch it in VR on mobile and Google Cardboard in the Google Spotlight Stories app.) All in all, it’s a lovely tribute to one of the most important filmmakers in history.

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