“As a kid, I was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and cartoon series. I even had a collection of Turtles action figures, plushies and even a pair of Turtles shoes”, says Wawer.
Wawer recently put up some of his TMNT Lego stop-motion animation work on YouTube. The first three episodes of his series are totally fun and very Turtles faithful….
” My instinct told me that there should be Lego series online,” says Wawer. “I was skeptical about the new Nickelodeon series when it first premiered, but gave it a try anyhow. It was a very different Turtles animated series than what I was used to watching when I was a kid in the ’80s,” continues Wawer.
Shellheads who check out Wawer’s TMNT Lego series will notice a few things about his work instantly…
“I think that is some sort of trademark in my work,” says Wawer. “I love to play with light and I want the scenes to be darker than how they appear in any of the Turtles live action movies.”
When Wawer first decided to create his internet Turtles Lego series he set out on a journey of rediscovery. Wawer first went back and took a look at the Turtles animated series of the ’80s and from there went on to study up on the Turtles by spending hours and hours reading through all of the content on various TMNT websites before he went and studied the 2003 Nickelodeon animated series. All of these incarnations of the Turtles inspired Wawer to create his Turtles Lego series.
Wawer says, “The first episode had to be small. I decided that I would feature Rapheal and Leonardo because I could only afford to buy the Turtles lair Lego set.”
Wawer set out to create the first episode of his Turtles Lego series when he sat down and wrote out a small storyline, and what turned into a fun short little experiment for Wawer turned into something that he would use as the basis for not just the first of his Turtles Lego series but for all future episodes.
“I was inspired by one of the Turtles comics,” mentions Wawer. “I thought about scientist Kirby O’Neal. So I decided to base my first episode about that storyline, keeping in mind that I could revisit it in future episodes as to introduce April to everyone.”
After finishing up a screenplay for the first episode of his Turtles Lego series, recording the dialogue, shooting it, and editing it, Wawer had gotten ahold of all of the Turtles Lego sets that are for sale on the market.
“I wanted to do something more action packed in Episode 2,” says Wawer. “Originally, I wrote a story for Episode 2 that was a continuation in the sewers, but I found that this would be too boring since Episode 1 hasn’t really very action packed itself.”
For Episode 2, Wawer thought it was important to show the scale of his Turtles Lego project. He wanted to show those that could see his series on YouTube that it wasn’t a small project that he was undertaking and that dialogue wasn’t the most important facet to his Turtles Lego
Wawer mentions, “I decided to take the Turtles out into the streets. So I decided that I wanted to create a New York City street.”
Wawer tells TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com that by the time that he started production on Episode 2 that he had enough Legos in his collection to make fifteen full size houses. To round out the city/street scenes in Episode 2 of his Turtles Lego series Wawer used five digitally made Lego houses. He created these by printing them out on paper and then gluing them onto some cardboard.
Wawer also says that car chases are fun but the Turtles are more about fighting, so when he set down to write Episode 3, he wanted it to pick up right were Episode 2 left off.
“Each episode in my Turtles Lego series contributes to a bigger story,” says Wawer. “My plan is to release nine or ten episodes in the near future. I want them to equal out into a season. In the meantime, my friend has come on board to help me. He is helping me flesh out the storylines for all of the episodes that I’m planning on creating in the future.”
With three episodes available on YouTube now, Wawer is busy finishing up Episode 4. He tells TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com that Episode 4 will be a cross over with BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985), but that it will actually help develop the storyline for Krang. He also informs us that the animation in Episode 4 will be even more alive than we’ve seen in his previous work.
“I see myself improving with each episode,” says Wawer. “Animation wise, each episode must be better than the previous. I want to keep the quality of my work high and I do that my not allowing myself any shortcuts. It takes me about eight weeks to make one episode.”
When he’s not creating totally awesome TMNT Lego animation, Wawer has a regular job and a family with two children. He tells TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles.com that his kids know that his Lego Turtles are HIS toys and that they know that they can never play with them.
“I hope to introduce them to animation one day. But in the meantime, my toys are my toys.”
All Three (3) Episodes Available Here: