The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie Music Maker

Click to view: appcloud.warnerbros.com/lego/legomusicmaker


Join the block party! The blocks drop as smoothly as the beats in the award-winning Lego Movie Music Maker, a rich HTML5 addition to any Lego Movie fan's digital toybox. Fans mix up Lego bricks representing sound beats on an interactive timeline, and watch as their favorite characters jam to their custom tunes.

The Lego Movie Music Maker was created in collaboration with Warner Bros. as an interactive music experience to help promote The Lego Movie. Emmet, Batman, Wildstyle and Benny are brought to life with over twenty authentic dance moves driven by music from the film. The experience has been a fan favorite, and was also selected as FWA's Mobile Site of the Day.

The goal of the experience was to give fans of all ages the opportunity to interact with their favorite characters through a fun and familiar music mixing activity. The use of sound effects, character animations and user driven actions made it an immersive experience. Fans were able to create a multitude of music mixes and watch their favorite characters jam out to moves ranging from "Gangnam style" to the moonwalk to the classic chicken dance. Once a music mix is created, fans have the option of sharing with friends, or saving it for later. The HTML site was built for desktop, tablet and mobile, giving fans the ability to enjoy it on any digital platform.


Fans choose a character - Emmet, Batman, Wildstyle or Benny - then select from three different songs including the hit "Everything is Awesome." Once the character and song are chosen, it's time for the mixing and dancing to begin!

As this was an experience for all ages (but mostly kids), we wanted to present the gameplay in a simple, easy to understand way. For this reason, we decided to go with a recognizable "garage band"-style interface. We also made sure to create a set of visual step by step instructions that helped readers and non-readers learn how to play.

From there, fans would lay down beats on the existing tracks. The combination of beats resulted in unique dance moves, encouraging fans to lay down different beats and combination of beats which would launch highly delightful dance combinations.

At any point in time, the musical mix and related dance can be shared with friends or saved for later. Given the target audience (kids), the sharing functionality is code based.


For the characters, we started with base, flat models provided by Lego. We then textured, rigged, lit and animated the 3D models in Maya. Additional depth was added by creating numerous unique facial expressions which further amped up the fun and excitement. The stage environment we created rounded out the experience, with our DJ spinning beats in the background.

Because the dance moves were an integral part of the experience, we wanted to make sure those were authentic, fun and addictive. AvatarLabs got lucky in this department - we happened to have two Art Directors on staff who were also professional dancers! The two of them filmed 21 popular dance moves for both male and female characters and modeled them for us in video, which we then replicated in 3D. Each of the moves was customized at runtime to fit the BPM of the different songs. Translation: you'd better stay off the dance floor when Lego Batman does the moonwalk!

As far as the music, we chose two songs in addition to the title song that would work with dance moves as well as have the ability to have different sound beats laid on top of it. We also chose the tracks to give the user a choice of distinct styles - pop, techno, and R&B. We worked with a sound designer to create different instruments / beats to lay on top of each track which included percussion, strings, keyboard and voice effects (Emmet's voice exclaiming "awesome!") Each set of beats is different, and specifically tailored to each of the three pieces of music.

We knew that a large portion of the users would be accessing the site via mobile devices. For bandwidth reasons, playing video or music on mobile requires user interaction. We wanted to give our fans instant access to the full experience, or risk losing them. To address this risk, we came up with a technical solution wherein we were able to begin playing audio without direct user interaction in order to give fans full access immediately. Fans enjoyed endless hours of fun on every device. Because this needed to work flawlessly on multiple platforms, this was heavily QA'd - in fact, this was one of the most heavily tested projects we've executed to date.


The Lego Movie was #1 at the box office three weeks in a row, and the sequel has been announced.


- FWA Mobile of the Day
- Webby Nominee Interactive Advertising: Media & Entertainment