There are many reasons why you should watch THE LEGO MOVIE (Lord/Miller, 2014) at least once (and I am certainly not talking about the worn-out "special one" fantasy formulas).
Some things that I keep being fascinated by are A) the film makers' total commitment to make their computer generated blockbuster look like a real brickfilm, and B) how they adapt techniques and stylistic devices of hand drawn cartoons into three dimensions in order to compensate for a conceptual lack of motion blur. And C) there is an annoyingly jolly unicorn-kitten called, well, Unikitty.
So without further ado, my latest animation analysis video essay:
(works best in full screen)
This video essay was first published (and is also available) with German voice-over narration for "film bulletin" here: filmbulletin.ch/full/artikel/2017-5-2_brickfilm-meets-tex-avery/
Introducing the Animation RulesTHE LEGO MOVIE does a really great job in establishing not only its setting but also its basic animation style and premise. After a classic pre-credits scene introducing the main villain, the super weapon and the prophesy about an average Joe becoming the great saviour, we enter the main story on an extreme close-up on Emmet's eyes. Emmet is said average Joe, of course.
Here, we clearly see that Emmet's face is two-dimensionally animated and basically flat on the yellow surface of a typical minifigure head piece. In the next shot, we see a close-up of Emmet's rigid hand that tries to turn off the alarm clock which shows us right away how in this film the materiality of plastic LEGO pieces will not be digitally bent. After that, most of us will - subconsciously, at least - assume that this is a concept the film adheres to. Especially after we see that Emmet's flexibility is restricted by the available joints in his body parts...
|2 poses held for 2 frames each.|