Topic: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Watch Now: YouTube
Released: May 9, 2020
Content Advisory: mild violence, no language, no sexual content

The 2000 release of the LEGO Studios Steven Spielberg MovieMaker Set is the clearest turning point in brickfilming history, greatly influencing LEGO animation to become a widely practiced hobby. This video chronicles the history and impact of the LEGO Studios theme, both in regards to brickfilming and in regards to how the theme fits in the overall LEGO canon. It also aims to cover some of the general brickfilming practices and struggles of the era, and features interviews with David Pagano of Paganomation and Kevin Ulrich of BrotherhoodWorkshop, explaining how LEGO Studios helped to influence their hobbies and eventual careers.

This video is the culmination of coming on half a decade of on-and-off researching, collecting, and contacting. I cracked some of the longest-running mysteries in brickfilming for this video, as prior to my hunting, it was unknown to the community who created Dino Cop, and who created the brickfilms included on the LEGO Studios software CD. Trying to find the answers to those felt like banging my head against two separate brick walls, but we had a bit of a mantra that we could not make this video without that information, and so I persevered and eventually found the right chains of people to contact to get the answer to each. Additionally, before I got on the case, there were only two Studios contest finalists known to be available, but now all nine are located. Similarly, there were only two of the user-submitted films from the LEGO Studios website known to be around, but now all but one are located. Also, Scary Thriller: Director's Cut was only around in horrendous quality, and Dino Cop wasn't around in the best quality either, but I managed to acquire higher quality copies of those films for this video (in addition to the Dino Cop theatrical trailer, which I never even expected to be able to acquire).

An absolute godsend for making this video were a number of LEGO Studios brickfilm YouTube playlists compiled by Bernardo Ensoli (who seems to have seen and commented on just about every LEGO video on YouTube). Further Studios films shown came from my own searches of YouTube,, Brickshelf, and from having compiled archives of the old online brickfilm directories and many brickfilmers' filmographies for the Brickfilms Wiki. Sebastian Segura also assisted in tracking down some examples of Studios films featuring specific things I wished to show.

Directory Link

List of links to films and other videos which appear in this video:

SETUP / PRE-RELEASE (first 7 minutes)
Journey to the Moon (1973)
Lego Animaatiot77 80
Projekt RH (1980)
Lift-off! (1985)
The Magic Portal (1989)
Fast Forward (1994)
Heart of Darkness (1995) … R0TUU/view
LEGO Studios promo
LEGO Jack Stone commercial
LEGO Scala commercial
LEGO Znap commercial
LEGO Galidor commercial
A New Computer … ZQWEE/view
LEGO Island gameplay by Mr. Eight-Three-One
LEGO Mindstorms promo
LEGO Mindstorms commercial
Great Inventors Part 1: The Wheel … BrU1k/view
Words of Wisdom … tON3c/view
LEGO City Trash Truck 2
Corporal Dan: Revelations
Tim & Ralph Episode 24: “Sweet Dreams”
The Funhouse … tZVGM/view
Steven Spielberg at the 1999 Academy Awards 
Beyond the Eleventh Dimension
Mediocre Hour: Episode 2 – Stop-mo, Slow-mo
Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair review by PushingUpRoses
LEGO Studios promo
FAO Schwarz in-store content
The Season of Giving
Black Friday
Dino Cop
LEGO Studios 'Making of Dino Cop' commercial
Dino Cop theatrical trailer
Jewel Quest … l4cTg/view
Jurassic Bark … FSLVk/view

RELEASE (minutes 7 to 14)
The Failed Attempt
Trash Day
The Hat … l1ZTA/view
Kill Your Speed
Der Kampf der Giganten II
You're Toast
LEGO Mindstorms Vision Command intro
The Duel
The Bohrok Awake!
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Donut … F6QVE/view
Police Videos
The Letter
Yeehah Stunt Action … pEcG8/view
T-Rex in the Studio … hNaHM/view
LEGO Studios CD tips and tricks videos
Shark Bite … x2cFU/view
On Location … NxNTA/view
Jewel Quest … l4cTg/view
The Pirates (1989)
Interrailer (1990)
The Bank Job … RvTEk/view
Thank You
The Three Mini Figs
One Night
Trouble In Chicago
Dino Suspence
Darth Binks
The Crocodile Hunter
Catch Up, Heinz
The Brick … hSdWc/view
007: Brick Fire
Mount Everest
James Bond and the crazy bus
Space Race
Street Soccer
The Dead Musketeer
A Windy Day
Neat things you can do with your movie kit
B Boy Skelies
The Great Hike
Monty Python and the Holy Grail in LEGO
The Han Solo Affair
Fell in Love with a Girl
LEGO Studios Backlot review by theChubbyPirate

CONTESTS (minutes 15 to 28)
Clips from finalists of the LEGO Maniac's Coolest Home Video Contest are available in this compilation:
The Mysterious Secret Treasure of the Lost Pyramid … F3TVk/view
LEGO World 2007
The Dream
Little Guys!
Space Police Log 01: Interrogation
Adeventures of Max: Galaxy Squad
The LEGO Movie 2 Moviemaker kit demonstration
Little Guys... In Space!
Adventures in Legoland
Riddle of the Sphinx
Where Does All the LEGO Go?
Western Trouble
Jungle Joe
Planet LEGO Attacks!!!
Al, Alien Hunter!
The Phantom of the Opera
Red Brick Saga #1 – Pirates of the Caribbean
Maximillion and Truth
Very strange Pepsi Twist commercial
Country Buildin'
The Final Tapir
TBC News
Heavenly Balls … -6kTG/view

FURTHER STUDIOS SETS (minutes 29 to 33)
LEGO Studios polybag collection video by BrickTsar
LEGO Studios Nesquik polybag video by just2good
Star Wars Wrestling
Jedi De-Fence
LEGO Studios Jurassic Park III Raptor Rumble video by BrickQueen
LEGO Studios Jurassic Park III Spinosaurus Attack video by TheyMightBeBricks
Le avventure dell'Uomo Ragno – La rapina in banca 2
Jurassic Park IV
Spiderman: Der Banküberfall
J-Park … gvA8A/view
LEGO Spider-Man
Never Have Picnic in the Dark
A Matter of Life and Death
The Mad Doctor
Scary Movie
LEGO Frankenstein
LEGO Wampir nadciaga &
The Mummy
The Haunted Hotel
Inside the Lab
Monty Python and the Holy Grail in LEGO
The Han Solo Affair
The Peril of Doc Ock
Spider-Man … FlN00/view
Scary Thriller … Y4cG8/view
Scary Thriller: Director's Cut

INFLUENCE (minutes 33 to 47)
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Machine
BIONICLE Adventure: Tahu Infected
The Other Great Train Robbery
Cowboyleif og Jakten på Sleipejon
Bart Gaat Sporten
Jacked … dDeGc/view
I Predict a Riot
The Italian Job &
Survivor Archipel-LEGO
Godzilla Reloaded
The Flight of Prometheus
T-Rex City
The Secret Temple
Super Awesome Car Stunt
One Hero at a time
Bank tyveriet!
Trouble In Georgeville
Die Killer-Katze 2
Der Zeitreisende Bankräuber
Jack and Jay
LEGO City commercial
The Wars of Darkness &
Dan the Arctic man's guide to the bar
Beverly Brick Cop … 9nMGc/view
Die Megaputzer und der Betrunkende Untermieter
Crystal Quest
Space Adventure (1989)
TE (1990) … 1zQlk/view
StarLego (1990) … hDRVE/view
The Parasite (1994)
Artic Sabotage
“LEGO Movie” by Cracypilot417
The Bride of Dracula
LEGO Combat
Crash Landing
An Unusual Reconcilliation
The Thing From Uranus
Breakfast of Zen … BkX2c/view
Ghost Train (1999)
Jet Car … plU00/view
The Chase … 05Tms/view
Brain Damage … NoWm8/view
The Thing (Part 1)
Labor Union Riot
Taxi … lBNEE/view
T-Rex Attack! … A4Skk/view
Egyptian Comedy … NRd3M/view
Jedi Chronicles: The First Duel
Vecna's Lens: Part I
Alone … FrTGs/view
A Grand and Merry Chase
Work and Pray … JGOXM/view
Mummy … I4QUk/view
Macabre Manor (original LEGO Studios version) … ZTOHM/view
Macabre Manor (remake) … h0WWc/view
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Lumberjack Song
Arachnids II
Sniper Man
Halloween (Part 2)
The Hilltrix
Johnny's Island
The Quest for the Camera
Josh's New Webcam
The Cam
Diplomacy II
The Citizen of the Year
Rise of the Empire … lBM00/view
Animation Class: Lesson 1 … hnR3M/view
Hand of Fate … 1LVlk/view
LEGO bil
Tom's 2. Film
Jerry Springer
Star Wars: Beta Squad
Spider-Man 2
Pharaoh's Quest: The Curse of Amset-Ra
Jungle Quest
Happy Droid Days of Summer
Star Trek: More Tribbles More Troubles
Minilife Chronicles: The Ninja
Cretaceous Camp
Super-Brilliant Sheriff
The Cleaners
Christmas Stress
LEGO Spider-Man
LEGO Indiana Jones
LEGO Island
Welcome to Darkmoor
Squad 42: Dissolution
PITCH – Part 1
LEGO Minecraft Survival Day 68
The Yellow Brick Horse
LEGO War … lBSjg/view
Little Guys... In Space!
The Magic Picnic
The LEGO Movie – acquire this one yourselves lol
Vengeance of a Different Sort
Benny n' Lee in: Parallel Panic
Mord in der Manege
Goin' Solo With Solo
KODIAK teaser trailer
NINJAGO New Creation Episode 16 – Finale
The Warehouse
Worlds Apart
Bricks in Motion (documentary)
The Battle of Helm's Deep
The Aggravation of Smaug
Paws of Destruction
Lightsaber Duel
End scene from Johnny Thunder and the Lost Island of the Dinos … 823306205/
Most other early Brotherhood Workshop films are not available online at the moment
Kaz and the TIE fighter
LEGO Masters promo … 1561981953
Little Guys... In Space!
CyberSlam – Not online at the moment
Build Free
LEGO Dimensions: Sonic Meets Michael Knight
“Don't Talk” PSA
Castle War
Les Miserables
The Bohrok Awake!
The Oval Portrait in LEGO
Dancing on the Moon … BSVkU/view
War of the LEGO Guys
The Gauntlet … Z4WjQ/view
LEGO RPG: The Movie
LEGO Fights
The Italian Job &

SHOWCASE (minutes 47 to 52)
The LEGO Chainsaw Massacre
The Big Night Out … 5UeWs/view
Batman: Revenge … yZo3EeqOSd
Resident Evil
Spiderman- Born to be wild
The Wars of Darkness &
Fart Competition: Part 4

Last edited by Penta (June 20, 2024 (01:19pm))

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

I loved watching this! Honestly, this is TV quality documentary work. And it's great to see so many brickfilms and the history of it all, compiled into one place. You had my attention throughout. Wonderful watch. I look forward to the next part!

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

What a huge amount of work, but it was really worth it, we love the result.
We really enjoyed every episode of the History of Brickfilms. All of them are very very interesting.
Thanks for making this and we're looking forward to next episode!  mini/smile

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

This is a venerable work!
I can understand how much time you spent on researching and finding things.

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Fantastic work! Very informative and very entertaining to watch. You can see all the hard work that has been put into this amazing video. I love it! I love your work. I'm looking forward to the next part. Seriously, you could teach brickfilm history at a university.
YouTube Channel : All My Links ↑Click for newest animation!↑

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

This is incredible work for one guy. Not only impressed by all the information you were able to gather and share, but the fact you could put it all together and make this wonderful piece of work. It flows really well and tells the story it wants to tell. Great work!

Can't wait for the next installment mini/tongue.

Yes, it's homemade, fresh from the toaster oven.

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

I thought I knew a lot about brickfilm history but that mindstorm shower scene really suprised me mini/lol

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Aye, this was really well done and very informative! Keep up the great work!

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

This was great, I really enjoyed it. There's some absolute classics showcased here I had completely forgotten about, so it was great to see them again after all this time. I physically cringed at seeing Fart Competition again after nearly 20 years. What was I thinking?!?

Ten years later...
So...what did I miss?

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Wow...yet another masterpiece of Brickfilm history! As others have noted, the combination of incredible historical detail in a smooth, entertaining package is a rare and marvelous feat.

This brought back so much nostalga, as the early 2000's was when I began collecting and playing with Lego. I remember those contests and sets! It was great to see current community members beginning to join the hobby and thee interviews added much personality and detail. Great job!

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

What an excellent documentary. The research you have put into this is very in-depth, and I can't wait to see the next installment. This is a must-watch for any fan of brickfilming who is interested in how it started out. As someone who discovered brickfilming in 2003, it was wonderful going down memory lane and rediscovering so many old films through this video.

I remember getting one of the LEGO Studios sets for Christmas in 2001 or 2002: the Exploding Bank set. It was my first dip in using LEGO to tell stories, although it took a could of years before I got into brickfilming. Back then, I had no idea that there even was a LEGO Studios kit! I don't think it was marketed very well in the Netherlands.


Something I would like to touch upon a bit more is how much of a hassle it was to view a brickfilm back then. (This is based on my experiences in 2003-2004, but it also applies to the 2000-2002 era.) The internet was in a very early stage. Video compression was still primitive, meaning either you had a huge file size, or an awful image quality. (In many cases, both. More experienced brickfilmers would usually offer high-quality  and low-quality versions to download.) Internet speeds were also a lot slower back then, so even small files could take a while to download. It would generally take much more time to download a video than to watch it.

That is, if you could get the video to play at all. Because oh boy, if you didn't have the right codec or software installed, you went through all that trouble for nothing. If it was a .AVI or .MPEG, you could usually watch it in Windows Media Player. That is, if you had the specific video compression installed. I remember the hassle of downloading DivX and XviD codecs, but there were probably many others. There were also alternative codecs: QuickTime and RealMedia were big, but they required their own software (QuickTime Player or RealPlayer) to play the files. As a 13 year old Dutch kid whose English was limited to the very basics, it was very difficult to navigate through all this. I missed out on a lot of brickfilms because either they took too long to download, or I couldn't get them to work.

And all that was just to watch a brickfilm! Imagine being a young brickfilmer who is trying to share his films. The LEGO Studios software did probably help a lot, although I have never used it myself. Instead I relied on free software like Anasazi Stop Motion Animator, VideoMach (2.7.2 or die), and Windows Movie Maker. Even with this software, you had to have a decent grasp of video compression to get a usable video file at the end.

And then you still had to find a way to get it onto the internet! There were virtually no platforms where you could just upload your video file. A lot of these early brickfilms were shared by people who had their own website, or had a Geocities page. (Small aside: this also meant that you needed to build your own website. I think a lot of us pre-YouTube brickfilmers have some HTML knowledge because of this.) In later years this got a little bit easier. I recall being used a lot to upload video files, but Brickshelf wasn't a very reliable host. It had a tendency to go down for days at a time with no word about whether it was gone forever or not.

You youngsters have no idea how much trouble we had to go through to scratch our leggo muvvey itch! shakes fist at sky


Last of all, a (very incomplete) selection of some of my favorite films from the 2000-2002 era. These are the films that pop in my mind whenever I think of those times.

A Christmas Carol in Bricks and The Barber of Sevilla. Both of these were made by Yellowhead Studios, a Dutch brickfilmer. ACCIB was probably the first brickfilm I ever watched; a television program had a short item on it, interviewing the director.

Brain Damage, in my opinion a quintessential example of the "fight film with cool music" genre that was really quite popular back then.

Twelve Bucks. A very cinematic experience, especially at the time. Young me didn't quite understand this one the first time.

The Gauntlet and Rise of the Empire, both by Jay Silver, another big figure. Rise of the Empire was one of those films that blew your mind, because the quality was so much above most films from the same era.

Amazone, another film by a Dutch creator.

Also Thwacked Zarathustra

The Animator. Not much to say about this one except it's short and sweet.

Fart Competition: Part 4. Reading this thread it sounds like WeirdEars isn't too proud of this series, but I am not ashamed to admit I still laugh every time I see it.

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Thanks everyone for the great response, and thanks Bert for the detailed post. That is definitely a tricky concept I plan to navigate in the next installment. There are many aspects to it that I must try to explain in a way that makes sense to people who have never encountered such topics. When I first found in 2002, I also tried to download multiple films but mostly couldn't get them to play. Being of single digit age, I had no idea what was going on, but one of the few that did work for me was Taxi by Flash1015 (a LEGO Studios film), so I guess LEGO were onto something by using mpeg format.

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Great work on another exciting and informative installment! I actually own a small hand full of those old LEGO Studios sets, and have been thinking about getting more. They all look so cool - and it's awesome to, even now, spot some of those elements (the cardboard backdrops, dino foot and head, etc) in brickfilms.

Glad you showed off some of the Hanger films and Batman Revenge too - I enjoy both of those, and think they're definitely underappreciated. Batman Revenge, especially, was very inspirational to me.

Also, I think it's a cool tidbit of history to know that LEGO at one point planned for the whole movie making competition to become a yearly thing. Obviously, the non impressive sales of LEGO Studios coupled with their back and forth struggles with bankruptcy at the time prematurely ended this - however, just think how cool it would have been had they been able to have continued this yearly brickfilm competition? We'd be at what, they're 18th or 19th installment by now? Ha ha.

All around excellent video. Very well researched and put together (as usual) and a very entertaining watch. I think it's cool to highlight some of the brickfilms & brickfilm friendly sets from this era, as although they were made in the internet age, a lot of films from this time period (and even since) are at risk of being lost forever through website closures, forum restructurings, and creators simply taking their videos down. I'm glad we still have a lot of this history because of the efforts of not only yourself but of the brickfilm archive too!

A few years ago I made the decision to start experimenting more with non-LEGO elements in my films, partially out of the intrigue some of these older films gave me. A lot of them utilize clay, model train kits, and other accessories in set design and environments - and I really like the look it gives. Perhaps it's a little less toyetic than exclusively using LEGO, but I think it's really cool.

Looking forward to the next video, but no rush. Took me a while to get around to watching this one (and I'm so glad I did) and I'm sure the next episode will be just as great - if not more so. So glad someone's preserving and presenting brickfilming history (and pre history mini/tongue) in a professional TV doc style format. It's like I'm watching a History Channel series just about my favorite hobby.

Thanks for making this series! Here's to the future! mini/bigsmile

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

This is in my opinion the best entry into the series.
To keep it short and sweet I simply love this documentry.
I watched it atleast 10 times from begining to end and it's shear rewatchability is just inhuman.
Has to be one if not my favourite documentry, and I've watched a lot of documentry films.
I hope part 5 gets to be the best one, cause man am I excited!

Re: The History of Brickfilms: LEGO Studios

Thank you very much. I do feel proud of this one; I think it will always remain as the best one. I am currently working on the next installment, which I consider to be a "bonus" one, as it's not the next in chronological sequence, and it's about one specific topic.