In February, Universal Studios Hollywood debuted a new area that transforms Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom from a 16-bit fantasyland into a 6,040-square-metre landscape. Super Nintendo World (a follow-up to a similar attraction in Tokyo) is filled with giant toad­­stools and colourful warp pipes that lead to side quests like a themed restaurant and kart-racing ride. 

Even as virtual reality gaming gains momentum, there is still something special about knowing that the environment in front of you is built out of more than just pixels and code. That’s a principle that Barbie director Greta Gerwig understands well. While making her cinematic tribute to the toy doll, Gerwig and her production designer, Sarah Greenwood, avoided using CGI for…

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