Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is Also Thwacked Zarathustra by Thomas Foote.

Also Thwacked Zarathustra follows the story of a pack of monkeys that are terrorized by a hungry T-rex. It was made in 2001, when a slurry of other 2001: A Space Odyssey were also released. It premiered at Brickfest 2001. Thomas Foote, an American brickfilmer, was an early member of the Brickfilms.com community and was active roughly from 1999 to 2004, producing brickfilms such as The Big Match and Jake Technic. His personal site, BricksInMotion.com eventually lent its name and URL to our own beloved site.

Watch Also Thwacked Zarathustra on YouTube

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SPOILERY DISCUSSION BELOW!

Also Thwacked Zarathustra is a perfect distillation of what brickfilming was like in 2001. Namely, creative experimentation, 2001: A Space Odyssey homages/parodies, and monkeys. Brickfilming was still very new. Heck, people were still figuring out what brickfilming even was. Most 2001 parodies rely on decent knowledge of the film to appreciate the parody, but Also Thwacked Zarathustra works on its as a slapstick comedy (though music fans might appreciate the bonus pun of the name). The animation is lighthearted and fun, with moments of impressive creativity (the T-Rex eating the monkey at 0:52). With only music and grunts from monkeys, a swath of emotions are skillfully presented, including fear, indifference, anger, sadness and celebration. I also like how suddenly dark this film gets: at the end of the film, that first monkey is still eaten, and that T-rex is definitely dead.

What are your thoughts on Also Thwacked Zarathustra? What did you like about it? Did you have a favorite moment?

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

That was great. Sure, the animation wasn't the best, sure the camera quality was low, but WHO CARES?! Those classics are awesome, and I'd love to see some more brickfilms today that have such a simple story, and such a simple set, but still are a complete film. I am enjoying this series, can't wait to see next week's film. mini/smile

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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

This was pretty good, and it went in a direction I didn't expect.

I'm surprised Friedrich Nietzsche didn't make a cameo

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

I really loved the animation of the T-Rex's tail, as well as eating the monkey. The pun in the title is also quite clever, and I do enjoy a good pun. A charming film, for sure.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

I absolutely love this new feature as I hate to see how easily old brickfilms become largely unknown and I am very happy to see this wonderful film featured. For those who don't know, Thomas Foote is a legendary brickfilm pioneer who had an active online presence before Brickfilms.com even existed, discussing LEGO animation on LUGNET from January 2000. In early 2000's discussion, he could be seen to be thought of as a master of LEGO animation. He also developed programs designed to aid brickfilmers. Respect to the man who, among other things, lent this site its name!

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

rioforce wrote:

Sure, the animation wasn't the best

Actually, I think this film has pretty fantastic animation. The part where the T-rex grabs, shakes and swallows the monkey shows a great attention to detail. It also imitates life really well: anyone who has seen a dog shake a rat after capturing it, or a snake swallowing a mouse will recognize similar motions in the T-Rex. This reminds me a lot of when animators use other animals as reference to bring characters to life, like how Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon is modeled after a cat, and Maximus from Tangled is modeled after a dog.

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Also Thwacked Zarathustra (Jan 9, 2015)

Nathan Wells wrote:
rioforce wrote:

Sure, the animation wasn't the best

Actually, I think this film has pretty fantastic animation. The part where the T-rex grabs, shakes and swallows the monkey shows a great attention to detail. It also imitates life really well: anyone who has seen a dog shake a rat after capturing it, or a snake swallowing a mouse will recognize similar motions in the T-Rex. This reminds me a lot of when animators use other animals as reference to bring characters to life, like how Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon is modeled after a cat, and Maximus from Tangled is modeled after a dog.

That sort of came out wrong, actually. I didn't mean that the animation was bad, in fact, I really enjoyed it. I meant that the easing and smoothness wasn't the greatest, and it's not up to the "standards" we have set today. But it is still a very good animation, and was wonderful to watch. It had so much life and character, even though it's animation wasn't as smooth as we see today. mini/wink

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