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A brickfilm is a film or Internet video made by either shooting stop motion animation using construction set bricks like Lego bricks (and figures) or using computer-generated imagery or traditional animation to imitate the look. They can sometimes also be live action films featuring plastic construction toys (or representations of them).[1] Since the 2000s The Lego Group has released various films and TV series and brickfilms have also become popular on (social-) media websites. The term “brick film” was coined by Jason Rowoldt, founder of the website[2]


1960s-1970s – early brickfilms[edit]

The earliest known brickfilm was a German advertisement for Lego, released around 1960. It features various brick-built animal characters, including dogs, cats, and camels, all animated using stop-motion. Little information is known about the advertisement, other than it was released for German cinemas. A display featuring the advertisement is located in the History Collection of Lego House, in Billund, Denmark.[3]

The first known amateur brickfilm, En rejse til månen (Danish for 'Journey to the Moon'), was created in 1973 by Lars C. Hassing and Henrik Hassing.[4] The six-minute video featured both stop motion animation and live action, and was recorded on Super 8 film. It depicted Apollo 17 and was made for their grandparents' golden wedding anniversary. The film was later shown to Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, who had a personal copy made, though the film was not released to the public until May 2013, when the creator uploaded it to YouTube.[5]

Other early brickfilms are known to have been created from 1975 onwards. Many were independent projects while others were promos or advertisements made by Lego itself.[6][7]


A well-known early brickfilm was made between 1985 and 1989 in Perth, Western Australia by Lindsay Fleay, named The Magic Portal. It was captured on a Bolex 16mm camera with 16mm film and features animated Lego, Plasticine, and cardboard characters and objects, mixing both stop motion animation and live action footage, with Fleay making a live action appearance.[8] The Magic Portal had high production values for a brickfilm of its time, with a five-figure budget granted by the Australian Film Commission. However, due to legal issues with The Lego Group, it did not see a wide release for years. The Lego Group eventually backed down on these charges.[9]

More early brickfilms were produced in the Lego Sport Champions series,[10] officially commissioned by The Lego Group in 1987.[11][12][13] During this time, Dave Lennie and Andrew Boyer started making "Legomation" using a VHS camera and professional video equipment.[14]

An early brickfilm with no involvement from The Lego Group to be widely released was a music video for the UK dance act Ethereal for their song Zap on Truelove Records.[15] Released in 1991, the film was shown across the MTV network and other music channels and was the first time a full-length stop-motion brickfilm has been released across public channels.[16] The film again attracted the attention of The Lego Group's legal department. The film was directed by filmmaker David Betteridge[17] with animation direction handled by Phil Burgess[18] and Art Direction by Daniel Betteridge.[19] The story was an interpretation of scenes from Apocalypse Now adapted to the rave culture of the late eighties, following three heroic Lego men as they battle and overcome evil. The film's budget was £3,000 GBP, enabling the filmmakers to shoot on 35mm film using a hand-cranked camera built in 1903 and modified with an animation motor. Originally scheduled to take two weekends, the film's production took three and a half months to complete.

In the late 1990s, the age of film and video brickfilms ended as digital cameras became more and more accessible. Also, the internet allowed brickfilmers to produce and distribute their work more easily.


Throughout the 2000s, brickfilms increased in sophistication and garnered some media attention.[20] Higher-end films would often feature digital effects, created frame-by-frame with image editors[21] or inserted via video compositing software. In 2000, the brickfilm Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World was accepted to over 80 film festivals, including Sundance.[22]

The Lego Group officially encouraged the creation of brickfilms with the release of Lego Studios in 2000.[23] Since then, The Lego Group has used various brickfilms and TV series to help advertise new themes and sets.[24] The founding of in 2000 provided a centralized location for brickfilmers to share their work online. The site did not directly host its members' films, but rather allowed members to link to webpages where they could be downloaded or streamed from.[2] These actions both significantly increased brickfilming's popularity through the mid-2000s.

The Deluxe Edition DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail contained an extra in the form of a brickfilm of the "Camelot Song",[25] produced by Spite Your Face Productions. Throughout the early 2000s, Spite Your Face Productions created several viral brickfilms in collaboration with The Lego Group, including The Han Solo Affair[26] and The Peril of Doc Ock.[27]

In 2005, Lego released the official computer-generated brickfilm Lego Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick to tie in with the release of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. It premiered on Cartoon Network and was later included on the second DVD volume of Star Wars: Clone Wars TV series.[28]

In the mid-2000s, brickfilms became more widespread upon the rise of YouTube. In 2007, Lego hosted the Lego Star Wars Movie Making Contest,[29] further publicizing brickfilms online.

In 2010, The Lego Group produced and released Lego's first official feature-length film, Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers. Since then, Lego has produced four more brickfilm-like feature films, The Lego Movie (2014) The Lego Batman Movie (2017), The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017), and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019). The Lego Group also produced multiple animated series for multiple franchises like Ninjago, Star Wars (e.g. Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (2016–17), Friends or Legends of Chima (2013–14). While these are created using primarily computer generated animation, they are styled in such a way as to emulate the look of stop-motion brickfilms, even being influenced by some popular brickfilms such as The Magic Portal. Lego additionally also releases video games (e.g. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007)) featuring Lego bricks and minifigures.

For years, almost all brickfilming was created using digital cameras and webcams.[30] However, since the advent of stop-motion apps on mobile devices, brickfilming is accessible to many more people. After the release of The Lego Batman Movie, The Lego Group produced a stop-motion animation themed construction set which was compatible with smartphones and encouraged the art of brickfilming (853650).[31]


Modern brickfilms are captured with digital still cameras (sometimes in the form of webcams, DSLRs or camcorders with still image capability). The most widely used framerates for brickfilms are 12, 15, or 24 frames per second. Animators also tend to use a standard 4-frame minifigure walk cycle.[32]

To capture images for the animation, most brickfilmers prefer to use dedicated stop motion software, such as the free Stop Motion Studio, Boats Animator, and Eagle Animation, or professional software such as Dragonframe. Afterwards, compositing software such as Adobe After Effects can be used to add visual effects and a video editor can be used to compile the frames with audio tracks and complete the production of the film.


The Lego Group produced various short films, feature films and video games featuring Lego minifigures and bricks. Most of these are based on other already existing franchises like Star Wars or DC Comics. These films are created using primarily computer generated animation, they are styled in such a way as to emulate the look of stop-motion brickfilms.

Multiple video games also feature Lego minifigures and bricks are inspired by brickfilms.

Brickfilming communities and festivals[edit]

Communities[edit] by Brick à Brack is an online community dedicated to brickfilming. Founded December 16, 2000 by Jason Rowoldt, was the first internet brickfilming community ever created. The website hosts a brickfilm directory, threads for filmmakers, technical articles, resources and organizes many brickfilm contests.[33] In 2007 the site was the Internet's "main hub for Lego filmmaking", according to the Wall Street Journal.[34] was acquired by the French non-profit organization Brick à Brack in 2022. This group also contributes to many Lego events to share brickfilming with other fans of Lego.[35] It is currently one of the largest active brickfilming community on the Internet.[36]

Bricks in Motion is an online community focused on the art of brickfilming. It was originally founded in 2001 as the personal website of pioneering brickfilmer Thomas Foote,[37] and the current incarnation was founded by Jonathan Schlaepfer in 2008 as a new community-focused brickfilming website, featuring a forum and later a film directory.[38] Starting in 2008, it became the main home of the English-speaking brickfilming community at the time, following an exodus from[39] The current administrators are Chris Wynn and Sean Willis. It is one of the largest and most active online communities. Bricks in Motion annually hosts the two largest community-run brickfilming contests, the Twenty-Four-Hour-Animation Contest (abbreviated to THAC)[40] and the Brickfilm Rapidly All Week Long contest (abbreviated to BRAWL).[41]

Brickfilm Day is an online community known for its annual Brickfilm Day event,[42] in which participants submit a brickfilm or a video about brickfilming, all to be released on one day. The first Brickfilm Day festival was in 2018,[43] celebrating the 45th anniversary of En rejse til månen (Danish for Journey to the Moon). They have organized several brickfilm community projects, such as recreations of popular movie trailers and scenes. Brickfilm Day does not have a dedicated website, but does have a community on Discord.

Film festivals[edit]

There are multiple film festivals in the brickfilming community that are dedicated entirely to the screening of brickfilms, usually as part of a wider Lego convention. A few notable festivals are the Brickworld Film Festival, based in Chicago,[44] Cine Brick, a Portugal-based brickfilming festival,[45] and Steinerei, a German brickfilming festival.[46]


The official Bricks in Motion documentary poster

In 2014, The owner of the Bricks In Motion website, Philip Heinrich, and his production company, Ergo Possum, started a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource the funding of a feature-length movie, Bricks in Motion, a documentary that follows brickfilmers from around the world and showcases their diverse personalities and their love for the craft. It reached a total of $12,800 and started production in 2014.[47] Production was completed in December 2015, and the film was released on various streaming services in 2017.[48][49]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Non Lego characters (Page 1) - Updates & Feedback - Forums - Bricks in Motion".
  2. ^ a b "Jason Rowoldt". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on February 27, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  3. ^ "We interviewed the First Brickfilmer..." YouTube. 2023-05-12. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  4. ^ "Animation : 954". 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  5. ^ "En rejse til månen (Journey to the Moon)". YouTube. 1973-05-16. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  6. ^ "The Brickfilm Archival Project (Page 4) – General Film Discussion – Forums – Bricks in Motion". Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  7. ^ "The History of Brickfilms: 1970s & 1980s – More Lego animations than you might think!". YouTube. 2018-02-10. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  8. ^ Furniss, Maureen (2008). The animation bible : a practical guide to the art of animating, from flipbooks to flash. New York : Abrams. pp. 243–244. ISBN 978-0-8109-9545-1.
  9. ^ Haubursin, Christophe; Cardiff, Morgan (2017-06-15). How fan films shaped The Lego Movie (YouTube video). Vox. Event occurs at 5:36. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  10. ^ "Legosports". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  11. ^ "Lego Sports Champions(1987)". BrickFilms. Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  12. ^ "Olympic Lego Animations: Then and Now". 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  13. ^ "Lego Sport Champions". Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  14. ^ "Archived Document". Archived from the original on 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  15. ^ "Truelove".
  16. ^ "Vintage Lego Brickfilm" – via
  17. ^ "David Betteridge". David Betteridge.
  18. ^ [self-published source]
  19. ^ "Production Design". Production Design.
  20. ^ "In This Film Industry It Really Helps To Be a Blockhead -". 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  21. ^ "Masking and bowling". YouTube. 2007-08-27. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  22. ^ New offering from Lego for auteurs of bricks New Straits Times, Jan. 18, 2001
  23. ^ "Lego & Steven Spielberg MovieMaker Set – PC World Business". 2001-02-10. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  24. ^ "Lego Ads". YouTube. 2008-01-28. Archived from the original on 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  25. ^ "Monty Python Lego". Spike TV. September 13, 2001. Archived from the original on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  26. ^ "Han Solo Affair release page". 2002-08-05. Archived from the original on 2002-08-05. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  27. ^ "The Peril of Doc Ock release page". 2004-07-03. Archived from the original on 2004-07-03. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  28. ^ "Star Wars – Clone Wars, Vol. 2 : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Retrieved 2013-08-25..
  29. ^ "Lego Star Wars Movie Making Contest rules". 2007-07-27. Archived from the original on 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  30. ^ "Brick Films". Archived from the original on 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  31. ^ "The Lego Batman Movie Batman Movie Maker Set 853650".
  32. ^ "Minifig Walking Tutorial". Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  33. ^ "LegoStop-motion animation videos & movies". by Brick à Brack.
  34. ^ Lavallee, Andrew (2007-10-06). "In This Film Industry It Really Helps To Be a Blockhead -". Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  35. ^ "Retour sur l'exposition de Puissance Brick à Chelles". by Brick à Brack.
  36. ^ "Users". by Brick à Brack.
  37. ^ "". September 28, 2001. Archived from the original on September 28, 2001. Retrieved April 28, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  38. ^ "Bricks in Motion". December 31, 2008. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  39. ^ "Brickfilm Chronicle article on the exodus". 2008. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  40. ^ "THAC 2023 accepted entries list". 2023-01-07. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  41. ^ "BRAWL 2023 accepted entries list". 2023-06-24. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  42. ^ "Brickfilm Day YouTube channel". YouTube. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  43. ^ "What is Brickfilm Day?". YouTube. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2023-08-08.
  44. ^ "Brickfilm Festival". Brickworld.
  45. ^ "Cine Brick". Cine Brick.
  46. ^ "Steinerei - Das Brickfilmfestival bringt die besten Stop-Motion-Filme aus Lego-Steinen ins Kino".
  47. ^ "Bricks in Motion – A Documentary about Lego Filmmaking".
  48. ^ Possum, Ergo (January 18, 2016). "Watch Bricks in Motion Online" – via Vimeo.
  49. ^ "Watch Bricks in Motion".
  50. ^ "Bricks in Motion – A Documentary about Lego Filmmaking". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  51. ^ Possum, Ergo (2017-01-28), Watch Bricks in Motion Online, retrieved 2018-04-28

External links[edit]