Propelled mainly by the popular LEGO-themed video games like LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman and LEGO Indiana Jones, the tiny yellow Minifigures that accompany LEGO sets have taken on a life of their own in recent years.
The Creation of Minifigures
Each with unique personalities, the minifigs have been a LEGO staple since 1978. That’s when seven different figures were released for the Castle, Space and Town play sets. Then some minifigures had stickers on their torso instead of printed graphics and until 1989 the minifigs only had basic facial expressions. With the introduction of Pirates that same year, new facial expressions were introduced and pirate minifigs even got hook hands and wooden legs.
They stayed yellow until 1997 when LEGO released a Western-themed play set and an Indian Minifigure. (LEGO claimed it kept with the basic yellow skin tone for several years to demonstrate human equality.)
In 2003, LEGO introduced the first minifigs with natural skin color as part of an NBA Basketball line of play sets; these minifigures were also the first to represent known personalities. By then LEGO had produced more than five billion minifigures. Today there are more than 3,800 different minifigs.
Bringing LEGO Minifigures to Life on the Big Screen
LEGO fans will be super excited to hear Warner Bros. and LEGO are bringing the tiny toys to the big screen. But the popularity of the tiny yellow action figures is certainly not a surprise those same legions of LEGO fans who have been making stop motion LEGO movies with Minifigures for years.
The LEGO movie promises some interesting situations, like LEGO Batman and the LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the same turf. And any movie that puts Superman and Abraham Lincoln together has to be good! Right?
You can make a your own LEGO movie at home, as learning the process of stop motion animation is pretty simple. You grab an image of an object—in this case, LEGO minifigures—in an action pose. Now slightly move an arm or leg. Now grab another image. Now move the arm or leg again.
Continue the process until you’ve animated the movement of the arm. You can speed up or slow down the action by adding more or less images between keyframes.
While you work on your YouTube masterpiece, check out the LEGO movie trailer: