Continuing our coverage from the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment premiere of LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash, here is our interview with Rick Morales, the director of DC’s latest animated LEGO adventure!
Steven Biscotti: How is the approach different to LEGO based characters, as opposed to a straight DC Animated Universe movie, or even a Marvel property?
Rick Morales: Well, it’s funnier and there’s a lot more humor involved. I think that’s a big thing and then you layer on the LEGO aspect of it and LEGO has its own brand of humor, as well. Obviously if we’re dealing with a humanoid Superman and then you’re dealing with a little LEGO Superman, there’s going to be limitations in how you animate them. But all those limitations add up to the charm of the character you end up seeing on screen. The difference, I’d say, is that it’s funnier, and we get to come up with more gags and sight gags. That’s the difference.
SB: Was there any character you had the most fun with on Justice League: Cosmic Clash in regards to those gags? Maybe where you felt you were able to do it without necessarily feeling that it was too over the top? Or where it was just perfect enough?
RM: Well, you know what? My favorite character is Superman. I like his earnestness, but in Justice League: Cosmic Clash? I think my favorite is Brainiac. Just what we were able to do with him and the take Jim Krieg had on him. You’ll see it in the film – the multiple personalities gag, the flying off the handle stuff that he does; I just think it will connect with a lot of people that watch it.
SB: We saw the trailer and the clips and the movie looks like it’s a lot of fun. I was wondering what the process is on a film like Justice League: Cosmic Clash as opposed to maybe one of the other DC Animated movies?
RM: So this is CG. All of the DC Animated movies we’ve been doing are normally 2D. So there’s different sets of things you need to account for. On this it’s asset builds, the number of sets built. Essentially on this, everything needs to be constructed. And it’s also LEGO so in designing that and locations, we need to account for scale. Everything is made out of these little LEGO bricks and all of the bricks have very specific mathematics to them. Maybe occasionally we’ll fudge it, but what you’re seeing on film is us trying to represent LEGO as closely as it could be. That’s a big thing with just building. When you’re working with CG, you have a lot more camera movement and what you could actually do with the camera. In 2D, there are maybe certain things you won’t necessarily be able to get away with because you’re dealing with line drawings. If you start to close in on a character and then pull out, that line quality is going to break up. We don’t have that concern here [with LEGO or CG]because they’re all rendered, CG, and it’s going to be what it is. Process wise it’s still the same and as far as the pre-production stuff, like storyboards, and everything starts with the script and storyboards, we go through design rounds and what not – all that stuff is pretty much the same. Once we get into animation and start working with an overseas studio, that’s when it’s a little bit different because the great thing about CG is we get to see a lot of the different stages of the animation and get to comment on it. I think process wise it’s not all that different, but in pre-production, that’s where it’s a little different.
SB: I’d like to conclude with your choice of a classic expression that you feel would best describe Justice League: Cosmic Clash?
RM: Well I think Jim is right. It’s not a ‘sock.’ I’d go with ‘bam.’
SB: There you go! That’s a ‘bam’ for Justice League: Cosmic Clash!
In LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash, the brilliant, hyper-obsessive-compulsive, super-computer Brainiac is combing the universe for new additions to his collection of worlds when he stumbles upon a ripe planet for his taking – Earth. But Brainiac quickly discovers Earth has a “firewall” – the Justice League. When Brainiac cleverly displaces several members of the Justice League to other time periods in Earth’s history, Batman, Flash and Cyborg must build and use the Cosmic Treadmill to race across time to retrieve their comrades – while members of the Legion of Super Heroes attempt to hold off Brainiac’s assault. Only time will tell in this battle for the fate of the Earth and the Justice League!
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and the LEGO Group, LEGO® DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash is NOW available via Digital HD, and willl be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on March 1, 2016 on Blu-rayTMCombo Pack and DVD. The Blu-rayTM and DVD releases will include an exclusive Cosmic Boy LEGO®figurine, while supplies last.
JUSTICE LEAGUE and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.