YouTube / Spite Your Face Productions
YouTube / Spite Your Face Productions

15 Creative LEGO "Brickfilms"

YouTube / Spite Your Face Productions
YouTube / Spite Your Face Productions

Brickfilms are animated films made using LEGO bricks, usually employing stop-motion animation. When The LEGO Movie came out last year, it was not stop-motion animation (it was actually well-designed CGI), but it was in many ways the ultimate brickfilm. Today, let's take a look at what you can do with a camera, some LEGOs, and a lot of time.

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wow. Just wow.

2. 2001

What if 2001 had been just one minute long, and created using LEGOs? Well, here ya go.

3. Star Wars: The Han Solo Affair

Billed as Episode V 1/2, this is a somewhat goofy original (and apparently licensed!) Star Wars film. The creators discussed their creative intent in a Tumblr post.

4. The White Stripes: "Fell in Love With a Girl"

Directed by Michel Gondry, this brickfilm uses bricks to the extreme, eschewing minifigs in favor of a very brick-centric view.

5. Queen: "We Will Rock You"

Not the same intensity as The White Stripes, but nice use of a Harry Potter minifig. I wish we'd gotten to see some Freddie Mercury strutting during Brian May's solo! (Also, where's John Deacon?)

6. Star Wars Battle of Hoth

This was my introduction to brickfilms back in December. Filmmaker Kévin Ziolkowski recreated the intense snow battle from The Empire Strikes Back using various sets of LEGO Star Wars toys.

7. Star Wars Luke vs. Vader

Ziolkowski made this three years after the Hoth battle scene above, now focused on intricate character movements and glowing lightsabers. The Force is strong in this one.

8. The Dark Knight Trailer

This charmingly low-budget version of the trailer uses plenty of camera movement. Big bonus points for all the simulated LEGO gunfire.

9. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Prepare to get meta. A brickfilm about the making of a brickfilm.

10. Breaking the Fourth Wall

Like many brickfilms, this is director Jaiden Deutschlander's first time creating animation and working with stop-motion. Not bad!

11. The Two Doctors

Two franchises collide. This is an adorable silent film, somehow with only 211 YouTube views.

12. The Good Old Days

A smart, funny short film with a point. And it's less than three minutes long!

13. I Am Legend Trailer

Could have used more stop-motion, but points for building all those sets.

14. Jaws

The shark special effects make this pretty impressive.

15. 2010 World Cup - U.S.A. vs. England

Finally, LEGO sports! Though I can't imagine what it would take to animate the rest of the match, aside from the very few goals. Yikes.

Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin
This LEGO Box Could Be Key to Detecting Deadly Nerve Gas
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new way to detect deadly nerve gases, and it involves LEGO.

The new detection device, described in a study published in the journal ACS Central Science, uses chemical sensors, a box made out of LEGO bricks, and a cell phone to identify the presence of odorless, tasteless nerve agents like VX and sarin.

Chemical weapons like sarin are extremely dangerous—even at low concentrations, a direct whiff of sarin can kill you in just minutes. So being able to identify them in the field is vital, and it has to be done fast.

The chemical-identifying sensors, developed by UT Austin chemist Xiaolong Sun and his colleagues, fluoresce in different colors and brightnesses to indicate which nerve agents are present in the air, and in what concentrations. Unfortunately, depending on where these tests are taking place, it’s not always easy to see how bright the fluorescent glow is. Expensive equipment designed to detect these changes in the lab just isn’t feasible on the battlefield or in a war-torn region.

An open black LEGO box sits in the lab in front of a chemical test plate.
Vivian Abagiu, University of Texas at Austin

The 320-brick LEGO structure, meanwhile, is portable and quick to assemble. It acts as a black box that blocks out light around the sensors. The top of the box has a hole in it, over which the user places a smartphone’s camera lens. Using a standard lab test plate and a UV light inside the box, the fluorescent changes can be photographed with the phone and analyzed with UT Austin's free software to determine what type and concentration of nerve agents are present in the sample.

While 3D printing could produce a cheap equivalent of the LEGO box, the toy bricks may be more accessible. Not everyone has access to a 3D printer or the same printing materials as researchers might use in the lab—but LEGOs are available across the world for a relatively low price. The software necessary to analyze the samples is available for free on GitHub, and the researchers include the LEGO assembly directions within their study.

Build Your Own Harry Potter Characters With LEGO's New BrickHeadz Set

Harry Potter is looking pretty square these days. In a testament to the enduring appeal of the boy—and the franchise—who lived, LEGO has launched a line of Harry Potter BrickHeadz.

The gang’s all here in this latest collection, which was recently revealed during the toymaker’s Fall 2018 preview in New York City. Other highlights of that show included LEGO renderings of characters from Star Wars, Incredibles 2, and several Disney films, according to Inside The Magic.

The Harry Potter BrickHeadz collection will be released in July and includes figurines of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, and even Hedwig. Some will be sold individually, while others come as a set.

A Ron Weasley figurine

A Hermione figurine

A Dumbledore figurine

Harry Potter fans can also look forward to a four-story, 878-piece LEGO model of the Hogwarts Great Hall, which will be available for purchase August 1. Sets depicting the Whomping Willow, Hogwarts Express, and a quidditch match will hit shelves that same day.

[h/t Inside The Magic]


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