Category: Lego MOC (My Own Creations)

Pixars 22 Rules Of Storytelling - Stakes Lego

Pixar 22 StoryTelling Rules Now In Lego!

I have Emma Coat’s 22 Pixar-Inspired Rules For Storytelling pinned (actually not virtually) on my wall behind me as the rules inspire me to create stories like Pixar does on a good day. Now someone has gone one step further and re-created the  rules in Lego.

Last year Emma, who is a former visual artist at Pixar Studios (of Toy Story I,II,III, Wall-e, Finding Nemo fame), tweeted these rules as a way to help storytellers understand how Pixar chooses, develops , writes and finally produces a story through their studio process.

The 22 rules are simple, tweetable (her Twitter handle is @LawnRocket) and for a storyteller, ooze with elegant truth.

If you are interested here they are in words from her Blog:

  • Pixar To Infinity And Beyond#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
  • #2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
  • #3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
  • #4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
  • #5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
  • #6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
  • #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
  • #8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
  • #9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
  • #10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
  • #11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
  • #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
  • #13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
  • #14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
  • #15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
  • #16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
  • #17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
  • #18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
  • #19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
  • #20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
  • #21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
  • #22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

And now in Lego by Popular culture Lego Artist ICanLegoThat




The rest can be found at

Lego Animals – Marine, Land and Farm Animals In Lego

Lego animals can add life to your collection (no pun intended) and a sense of realism to Lego based natural environments and dioramas- and for a medium that is mostly plastic colored rectangular bricks, Lego can depict nature in a very effective way.

Just take a look at this great model by Matt and Anita Henry – The “train” actually works too!

Lego Wagon Train by Matt and Anita Henry
Lego Wagon Train by Matt and Anita Henry

The Natural Lego World

Lego can be used to create myriad natural and man-made environments including ocean, rivers, forests, savannas, mountains, aquariums, zoos and farms.

But, while the surroundings and backgrounds of these environments can be created using regular bricks, it is often the addition of animals that can add the extra life to a setting – allowing it to truly feel populated and authentic rather than merely bricks of plastic.

Lego Animals

While Lego has included animals in their sets for decades, they have often been creatures constructed from bricks rather than individual molded figures, in the same vein as minifigures. Over the last decade the company has slowly been creating more and more unique Lego animal figures, much to the delight of fans.

Lego Animals – Land Animals

Lego Farm Animals in Set 7189

While horses have been around the longest (since 1984), Lego has gradually introduced more and more animals to their menagerie.

In 1989 Lego Pirates saw the release of monkeys, birds and sharks – three essential animals in pirate lore!

In the 1990’s Lego Adventurers began to introduce wild animals like elephants, crocodiles, scorpions and snakes, polar bears.

2009-2011 saw the release of  a large number of Lego animals.

The adoption of the Farm sub-theme (part of Lego City) increased the scope of the Lego animal world as did the Prince Of Persia licence which incorporated more exotic creatures such as camels and ostriches.

Lego Kingdoms sets like Mill Village Raid and Medieval Market Village were the first to feature chickens, pigs, cows and goats.

With 2012 Lego City sets moving out to the forest we will also see the first Lego Bears introduced and hopefully the range will continue to grow as both kids and adult fans certainly love to feature animals in their creations.

So which land based animals have been featured in Lego sets over the years?

  • Ant
  • Bat
  • Lego Animals - ChickenBear
  • Bird
  • Butterfly
  • Cat
  • Camel
  • Chicken
  • Cow
  • Crocodile
  • Dog
  • Duck
  • Elephant
  • Frog
  • Goat
  • Lego Animals - GoatHorse
  • Monkey
  • Mouse
  • Ostrich
  • Owl
  • Pig
  • Polar bear
  • Pony
  • Rabbit
  • Rat
  • Scorpion
  • Snake
  • Spider
  • Wolf

Lego Animals – Marine Animals

Lego Marine Animals in Set 6243

Marine animal figures have appeared in Lego sets for decades, mainly in City themed sets that were centered around the sea (Coast Guard, Marina, Divers) as well as Aqua-based Adventure sets (Aqua raiders, Aquazone, Atlantis) and Pirates themed sets.

Like the land animals, the Lego marine animals have evolved over the years and recent versions often have printed features, as in the case of the shark from the Agents theme and also 2009’s Brickbeard’s Bounty.

This latest shark is also larger than other previously released sharks and can actually swallow a minifigure whole-eek!

▪ Clam/Oyster
▪ Crab
▪ Dolphin
▪ Fish
Lego Animals SharkJellyfish
▪ Lobster
▪ Octopus
▪ Sawfish
▪ Shark
▪ Starfish
▪ Sting ray

Where To Find Lego Animals

You can certainly find certain Lego sets that feature a larger percentage of animals but a more affordable way to add animals to your collection is searching for them on Bricklink or ebay.

Both these sites allow collectors and fans to purchase individual animals for very reasonable prices. We have found that Bricklink offers a greater range and better price but check both out for yourself.

Lego animals are a wonderful way to add ecological diversity to your Lego world – but I’d keep that Lego shark away from your minifigure collection, he’s wearing a worrisome grin!