This Is the Oldest Known LEGO Movie

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 7 2014 12:37 PM

The Oldest Known LEGO Movie

Lars and Henrik Hassing were 12 and 10, respectively, when they made their "brickfilm."

Lars C. Hassing/YouTube

The LEGO Movie, reportedly “poised for one of the best February openings ever,” can be seen as, among other things, Hollywood’s belated move into the “brickfilm” business. You have probably seen a few brickfilms, even if the term is new to you: They are movies made with LEGO bricks, typically animated with stop-motion techniques. Some brickfilms recreate scenes from and trailers for other movies; many tell their own tales. Over the years, a very active brickfilm community has developed online.

And while brickfilms are perfectly suited to the YouTube era, they predate the Web video age by several decades. Indeed, it is widely believed that the short movie below, titled En rejse til månen (Journey to the Moon), is the earliest known brickfilm. It was made by Lars and Henrik Hassing in 1973, when the two cousins were 12 and 10, respectively. They made it, Lars says on YouTube, where he uploaded the movie last year, as a gift for their grandparents’ golden wedding anniversary. He and his cousin were inspired by NASA’s Apollo program. Hassing makes no mention of Georges Méliès, whose Le Voyage dans la lune seems like another possible inspiration. Maybe the minds of innovative filmmakers just naturally drift moonward.


The cousins were eventually able to show their film to Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, president of LEGO (and son of the company’s founder). “He liked it and had a copy made. We, in turn, got a LEGO factory tour and got some big sets to take home.”

En rejse til månen was “filmed in Super 8 without sound,” Hassing explains. “Most of the film is stop motion animation, but there are also scenes with movement using a fishing line.” Lars’ little sister Inger, 10, helped “with the landscapes of papier-mâché.”

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

The Ludicrous Claims You’ll Hear at This Company’s “Egg Freezing Parties”

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
The Vault
Oct. 1 2014 10:49 AM James Meredith, Determined to Enroll at Ole Miss, Declares His Purpose in a 1961 Letter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 10:44 AM Everyone’s Favorite Bob’s Burgers Character Gets a Remix You Can Dance to
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 10:27 AM 3,000 French Scientists Are Marching to Demand More Research Funding
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.