LEGO Day of the Dead

Inspired by Paul Hetherington’s brilliant use of Ninjago skeleton heads in his Fun Haus, I set out to capture the pageantry of the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. In Panama, where I grew up, Dia de los Muertos was a somber and not particularly memorable afair. So I embraced the Mexican way. No one does it better.

This was my fist attempt at portraying dance with LEGO and it was challenging. Capturing the energy of an Aztec dancer was difficult. I really enjoyed trying to replicate the flowing skirts of the female dancers and give them movement using LEGO bricks. I’m happy with how they turned out. I just wish I’d had time to work through a couple more prototypes of the skeleton marionettes common in Day of the Dead processions. I even got to work in the Mexican wrestler minifigure.

Best for the story but hardest for me was when I went from recreating Day of the Dead customs in LEGO into personal history. My dad passed away over three years ago. Depicting our family’s reality since his passing, in the excruciating slow process stop-motion affords you was painful. But worse was hearing the loss in my mother’s voice as I listened to her last line over and over again trying to reduce all the static in the recording. More masochism than therapy.

So there you have it. My Day of the Dead LEGO stop motion movie. Enjoy and remember your loved ones.

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