The LEGO Movie 2 co-director talks making mini-dolls move

In an in-depth interview, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part co-director Trisha Gum has talked about the animation process and how mini-dolls move differently to minifigures.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part continues to play in cinemas everywhere, with the animated film depicting the continuing adventures of Emmet, Lucy and the gang. Trisha Gum co-directed the film with Mike Mitchell, and has spent time giving a detailed interview to Animation World Network.

After working on The LEGO Batman Movie, Trisha became involved with all aspects of The LEGO Movie 2. As with the previous films, everything was digitally constructed from a library of LEGO bricks that also exist in the real world. “Everything that you see in the movie was actually physically built from a brick, but done in the computer. Everything was built with a LEGO brick that exists. There’s a brick library, which we used when we designed a set – the art and modeling teams made that set from actual physical bricks in the computer,” she says in the interview.

“Every set had physical limitations, as well as the characters, who had certain hair moulds and face rigs. There are a few new characters we designed, like the Queen and Sweet Mayhem, where we got to make new wigs and faces, things like that. We started with a base of bricks, minifigs and different characters that had been developed in the past, and springboard off of that.”

The LEGO Movie 2 The Second Part movie stills 9

She also discussed the differences in bringing mini-dolls to life compared to minifigures: “Because we had singing and dancing numbers as well as new characters that were more complicated than the minifigs, we really had to explore how they were going to move differently. The minifigs are one thing, and, like I said, the simplicity of their movement and their limitation actually is what makes them super-charming.

“We also had what are called mini-dolls, which are from the Friends line and have never been seen in a LEGO movie before. They have similar limitations, but they’re different enough that, for example, their feet don’t separate, and their wrists don’t rotate. We had different limitations with them. When we were doing a musical number, we actually called in some choreographers who had dancers emulate how minifigs would move. They came up with dance moves for us, but the dancers were actually using the limitations of the minifigs. We found that because we’re working within the rules of how the figures would actually move, it made them more charming when it felt like they’re actually a dancing minifig.”

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is in cinemas now.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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