Blog Post #10: Brickfilms part two!

In case you missed it here is my first blog post about brickfilms, in which amateurs film Lego bricks with stop motion.  It seems that Lego found this trend, and decided to use it to their advantage! Lego took a brilliant fan idea and pushed it to the limit with better technology, writing, and gags, to turn fan art into advertising without coming off as cheesy or copycatting.

The format works best with known properties, so we’ll start with Star Wars:

These people know what they’re doing (and not in a technological sense). They are completely aware of the sheer silliness of this venture.  Taking a property like Star Wars in Lego form, with its barely articulatable characters, and making it funny and enjoyable is awesome. The humor comes from the Star Wars cannon, and the silliness of a child’s mind (R2-D2s umbrella for example! A droid needs one?). Like the creators of Shawn of the Dead, they know their genre has moved past any hope of being taken seriously and go for the absurd. But in staying true to the Star Wars world, they use familiar settings and exactly the same sounds. Within the Lego world, whenever anything takes a hit or needs to come apart, the item splits into its Lego components to suit the story’s purpose.  Highlights to watch for: the snowman stormtrooper @ 1:39, Indiana Jones looking through junk at the Jawa sandcrawler (with a Racor in the background!?! and Ewoks?) @ 2:20, and the bathrooms marked “women” “men” and “droid” @ 3:35. The final scene is also worth rewinding more than once.

This one is called Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick:

These cartoons show that the creators are fans of older cartoons, too. The slapstick style and quick pacing reminds me of many Tex Avery cartoons and Hanna Barbara’s work as well. And the map overlay with silly place names @ 1: 14 is a fairly standard gag. Pure absurdism reigns all over the place, check what Indy throws from the truck @ 2:26. Also check the reflections in the mirror @ 3:38. They know how silly this is, and that’s what makes it great.

So they took an interesting idea people used their toys for, fostered it with their fanbase, and then made these shorts to encourage them (and sales!). I think this is a brilliant use of animation for entertainment while trying to boost sales. Bravo, Lego. =)

My comments for this week are here and here (The second is still awaiting moderation at this point).

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6 Responses to “Blog Post #10: Brickfilms part two!”

  1. katherinesays Says:

    Haha these were pretty off the wall. I especially liked the Indiana Jones one! I liked the part where Indy and Marion build an elevator to get out of the snake pit. These are quite the creative masterpieces! Gotta love it when the animators/creators add some humor to their works! Your previous post was neat too, it takes a lot of work to do stop motion!

  2. joegayk Says:

    I have seen these before, and you’re right; it’s pretty freakin brilliant. I have to say also, nice job on your own animation- it compliments your post! As far as animating with Lego’s goes, object animation is always an interesting route to take. This might be a bit of a stretch, but even the animated short Logorama (that won best animated short at the Oscars) sort-of uses this idea. It used popular logos to create its own universe; people were AIM icons, windows butterflies were flying through the air etc.. That is a particularly “heady” example, but either way object animation like you wrote about and created is an interesting way to exhibit and explore otherwise normal objects.

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  4. bonbonhistory Says:

    I absolutely love these and I was surprised I had not seen them before! I am a big fan of the Lego Nintendo DS games which are Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, and coming out May 3rd is Lego Harry Potter. They also have Lego Rock Band and Lego Battles but I have not played those. The games following a movie plot are much funner to play with since I know the plots. These games have little 1-2 minute animated slides like a comic book that show the storyline and they include the slapstick humor too. They are pretty easy too which is great for me because I am not good at video games for the most part.

    And just as how Indiana Jones was rummaging through trash in the Star Wars video, you can see other characters when you unlock certain parts in the game. An ewok shows up in the Lego Indiana Jones game which is fairly amusing! Great post!

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