Writen, Driected, and Animated by Hudson Ludy
“The Great Samurai Squabble” is a story from the dimension of the LEGO Ninjago universe in which every living being is a Brickhead for no discernible reason. We join Brickhead Lloyd dressed in his golden garb and Brickhead Nya in her samurai suit as they enjoy their evening meal together. Heard in the distance can be the sound of screaming…wings flapping…and roaring. It can only mean one thing. A dragon! This is what all their Ninja training has lead up to. Will Lloyd and Nya conqueror this mighty foe?
Before I started animating “The Great Samurai Squabble”, I decided to see if anyone else had tried animation with “LEGO Brickheadz” and it turns out, there are barely any brickfilms containing Brickhead animation (outside of the stop-motion build variety). I was on my own for this one. But animating Brickheadz can’t be that much different from animating minifigures…right? Wrong.
During production, I found that lighting set-ups, as well as animation, took a lot longer than I was expecting. About three times the size of a minifigure and a lot heavier, Brickheadz become a lot harder to maneuver. And I found multiple times that they’re very easy to bump…off the animation table and onto the floor where they shatter into a million pieces. Ouch.
However, there are some things a Brickhead can do that a minifigure can’t. For example, moving eyebrows. In my film, I used sticky tack to attach 1×2 tile plates to my figure’s faces to represent eyebrows, and thus it became very easy to have emotive facial expressions with my characters. Fun! I was also able to achieve blinking by replacing the piece holding their eyes. Both these things are very hard to do on minifigures.
I wrote an article for the brickfilming website, Bricks in Motion detailing my experience making this film in detail. For further reading, visit their site here.