Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: Men O' War (April 3, 2015)
This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is Men O' War by Isaac Botkin.
Traditionally, nearly all brickfilms are made with actual, physical LEGO (or similarly) pieces, using stop-motion to make the characters and objects move. Over the years however, brickfilms made with digital LEGO and computer animation have been made. Men O’ War, animated by Isaac Botkin, is one of the most impressive CGI brickfilms. Released in 2006, this brickfilm made a splash and was eventually nominated for a Best Visual Elements award in the 2006 Brickfilms Achievement in Motion Pictures Awards. This is Isaac Botkin’s only brickfilm, and was made with the help of many other members of the Botkin family.
SPOILERY DISCUSSION BELOW!
Men O’ War utilizes its CGI world well, with impressive CGI waves of water all rendered to look like LEGO. This effect would be nearly impossible to pull off in stop-motion without spending hours on a single frame, but thanks to CGI the effect is impressive (and would even be seen many years later in The LEGO Movie, though the direct influence of this brickfilm is unknown). Except for minor liberties (the same liberties taken by The LEGO Movie like head tilting), the movement of the minifigures is true to actual minifigue movement. The story is fun and reminiscent of a fun children’s cartoon, and the original music and excellent sound design draw us into the world. Those two doubt CGI brickfilms are true brickfilms should look no further than Men O’ War.
What are your thoughts on Men O’ War? What did you like about it? How do you think the use of CGI made things easier or harder to accomplish, compared to stop-motion? Did you have a favorite moment?