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The Order of Oddfish

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90-Second Newbery, Lego Edition!

February 27, 2012

I’m in Portland now! I’m staying with my friends Joe and Madeleine, who are being very good to me. I’m in town to screen the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival on Saturday, March 3, at Portland’s Central Library from 3-5 pm. (With co-host Laini Taylor! Special guest Dale Basye! Other surprises! More on that later.) Leading up to the event I’m appearing at schools and libraries in the Portland area; details on my events page.

So all this week I’ll showcase 90-Second Newbery videos I’ve received from the talented folks of Portland. Today’s theme: LEGOS.

Let’s start with the video above, Kieran, Lach, Christian, and Ackley’s adaptation of Sid Fleischman’s 1987 Newbery Medal winner The Whipping Boy. They use a mixture of Legos and live action to tell the story of the kingdom in which it is “forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne.” A poor boy, Jemmy, is plucked from the streets to serve as “whipping boy,” and his job is to take the physical punishments really deserved by the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat. I enjoyed this movie! Especially the doleful way in which the whipping boy says “I hate this job” and the resourceful use of Legos for the outside scenes. The story was briskly and amusingly told. Great job! The filmmakers will be at Saturday’s screening, I’m told. Looking forward to meeting them!

The next video is also done using Legos—and it’s of E.L. Konigsburg’s 1968 Newbery Medal winner From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The attention to detail, and the way they male the Legos “act,” is masterful! Good spoken performances all throughout, and of course the dance at the end was choice.

And like any good film, it ends with someone being eaten by a dinosaur:

This was done by by Molly, Rachael, Matt, Grant, and Miriam; you can check out Molly’s website here. Thanks so much for this video! They will also be attending the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival in Portland on Saturday.

The next one is by Clay, Craig, and Ryan at Robert Gray Middle School in Portland. It’s a Lego-animated version of Jerry Spinelli’s 1991 Newbery Medal winner Maniac Magee:

I thought the “baseball” sequence in here was particularly resourceful. Clearly a lot of labor and ingenuity went into this, and it shows! Well done! (The school has done several more videos for the film festival, too! You can see all the 90-Second Newbery videos submitted by the Robert Gray Middle School here.)

Finally, here’s a stop-motion Lego version Where the Mountain Meets the Moon that is not from Portland, but Utah—and I just realized I had not yet featured it on my website! It’s by the ambitious young Parker Todd. His musical choices (“Eye of the Tiger,” etc.) were quite appropriate, and he did a smooth job of boiling down the plot to a short amount of time—not an easy task! Well done, Parker!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival this Saturday in Portland! Here are the complete details of the day.