TwoMorrows Publishing releases the 28th issue of BrickJournal, the magazine for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages. For this issue, editor Joe Meno has gone behind the bricks of The LEGO Movie, to talk to the film's designers about the creation of everything from characters and sets, to vehicles and the movie's "extras."
Having already grossed $363 million at box offices worldwide, The LEGO Movie is a runaway hit, with a sequel already planned for 2017. Much of that success has been pinned on the film's endearing new characters, including Emmet (the generic minifigure construction worker who proves to be more than just another face in the LEGO crowd), Wyldstyle (the action-adventuress of the film, and girlfriend of LEGO Batman), and heart-warming fan-favorite Unikitty. The development of the characters is examined in-depth in this issue, with LEGO VP of Design Matthew Ashton, and Senior Designer Michael Fuller.
"There are 183 characters in the movie, so there was a lot to keep track of," Ashton recounted. "We had a huge chart on the wall of our design studio to keep a record of who had been approved and who was still work in progress." Many of the figures were designed the same way LEGO does when creating actual toys, being hand-sculpted and 3D-scanned, with accessories created in digital 3D programs, so the movie would look like real LEGO minifigures had come to life.
"The regular minifigures were the easier characters to develop, as some were based on existing characters," Ashton recalled of characters like LEGO Batman. For many of the original new characters like Emmet and Wyldstyle, the directors had a very clear vision of what they wanted them to look like—but not always. "Unikitty wasn’t even part of the story to begin with. Cloud Cuckoo Land had been imagined long before her, and was originally ruled over by another character. We felt the team was missing someone who could make you beam with joy and make your heart melt." So Ashton and Fuller worked with the film's directors to come up with what they felt were the "cutest, cuddliest, fluffiest things in the universe." Their top two picks were "kittens and unicorns—we decided to combine the two!"
In addition to detailing the character creation process, the issue looks at the creation of real-world versions of the digital sets from the film, including how fans competed to have their LEGO creations featured as "extras" in the film, how one builder had to create the film's colossal "Coliseum" scene for the movie's premiere, and how Warner Brothers commissioned a UK firm to recreate the film's Bricksburg town layout for a touring LEGO Movie venue—in a little over three weeks.
BrickJournal #28 also presents an overview of other brickfilms by moviemakers The Brotherhood Workshop, a new column on LEGO Mindstorms building, its regular feature on minifigure customization by expert Jared K. Burks, step-by-step “You Can Build It” instructions, and other articles for anyone with an interest in LEGO. It ships March 26 directly from TwoMorrows Publishing, and will be available at all LEGO retail stores and Barnes & Noble bookstores in early April. It can also be ordered at any comic book store using Diamond Comic Distributors Order Code: JAN141556
You can check out a digital preview of this issue right now by clicking here!