Lego-inspired 'Star Wars' Episode VII prompts budding filmmakers

A Lego version of the latest 'Star Wars' film inspires one mom to combine old-school bricks with new-school tech to create a stop-motion masterpiece for her family to share.

Screenshot from YouTube

Those who really love a film tend to pay homage to it in a Lego blocks reboot of their own design. An amateur brick makeover of the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer published on YouTube Nov. 29 is enough to inspire a family build session of cinematic proportions. 

Going by the theory that each new generation builds on the achievements of the one that came before, it seems only fitting that parents and kids together can step up their family brick building to include stop-motion animation.

Those who either have boxes full of Lego bricks from their childhood or kids who have piles of bricks cluttering the landscape can easily build on the tradition of translating our favorite films into Lego scenes.

There is actually a very useful website called Brick Films, dedicated to teaching people how to make a Lego movies of their own to share with the world in a beyond the build experience. 

One of the earliest brick film was made in 1973 by Lars & Henrik Hassing of Denmark, the homeland of the famous bricks

One of the earliest screen-to-brick efforts was inspired by the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and uploaded to YouTube on May 25, 2006. It was actually produced by SYF for Lego and Python Pictures.

Back in July 2014, Greenpeace weaponized this tradition when it posted a video on YouTube, a parody of “The LEGO Movie” using the kid-friendly film to raise awareness about Shell Oil drilling in the arctic.

Here are three of the most entertaining, kid-friendly "Lego-ized" popular films:

Having those videos as points of reference you can then go off script and create your own Lego movie with kids as the master builders.

For my family, this is a fun challenge combining old-school Lego building and tech for my four sons who have been handed down a sizable collection of Legos from their dad.

As kids, my husband and his brother were master builders who made working car engines and clocks out of the bricks with no instructions and only their imaginations to guide them.

They amassed several enormous cardboard boxes of traditional red bricks, white bricks and sundry parts that my mother-in-law was ecstatic to see transferred to our sons 20 years ago.

Now our boys ages 11 to 21 have amassed their own collection of Lego sets from Bionicles and NBA to Rock Raiders and Minecraft.

However, our sons have the ability and savvy to make stop-motion videos with a cell phone tool as simple as the Vine application, which allows you to simply tap the screen to take a shot and then strings them all together into a film.

In fact, the very first thing I did with my Android phone when I installed Vine in June 2013 was to make a video titled “Jedi Pawn Wars” with my son Quin, a chess set, and some “Star Wars” soundtrack music. 

If your family simply isn’t Lego-minded, you can always resort to a complete flip of the entire concept by making your own Lego movie using kittens, as this family on The Pet Collective YouTube channel did back in February 2014

It really doesn’t matter if the build and film look like a Spielberg production or a disorderly kid classic. All that matters is building something new together.

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