Vox: How fan films shaped The Lego Movie

June 16, 2017

Vox: How fan films shaped The Lego Movie

The 2014 film was an animation feat — but it was built on the legacy of homemade fan movies.

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When you watch installments of the Warner Bros. line of Lego movies, it’s hard not to be struck by how realistic the animation is. It isn’t quite traditional stop motion — but it sure looks as if it could be. That’s largely thanks to the work of the animators at Animal Logic, a Sydney-based visual effects studio that has worked on The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie, and the upcoming The Lego Ninjago Movie. Powered by live action filming techniques and a close attention to detail, the studio has helped reinvent what Lego animations can look like. But they owe a lot of that aesthetic to the influence of fan films. Since the early 1970s, enthusiasts have made home movies with their own Lego sets. They’re called Brickfilms — and they’ve grown into a sizable community producing great movies and helping many young animators get their start. The Lego Movie animators learned from what made those home movies so good by embracing the limitations of the medium, and creating a world that anyone could could rebuild at home.

Check out some of the Brickfilms we showed in this video:

The Magic Portal: https://youtu.be/jde4qHbCtSg
Journey to the Moon: https://youtu.be/SW583kCiOWo
Matrix 2003: https://archive.org/details/Matrix2003
Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Lego: https://archive.org/details/MontyPyth…
Tapporalli 2020: https://archive.org/details/tapporalli
Predator Montage: https://archive.org/details/PredatorM…
ONE: A Space Odyssey: https://archive.org/details/oneaspace…
Krieg der Steine: https://archive.org/details/KriegDerS…
Batman Begins Montage: https://archive.org/details/Batman_Be…
Delivery: https://archive.org/details/DeliveryH264
Star Wars Brickfilm: https://archive.org/details/Danstarwa…
Victim: https://archive.org/details/Victim_h264

For a great explainer on how to make your own Brickfilm at home, check out this video: https://youtu.be/ukFWYe-ZeTw

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