As “Normal” as Any Minifig Could Be – Week 6 Story Critique

This week, I wanted to keep things playful and start circling back to my interest that “There is no normal.” What better way to find a playful way to look at a resonant topic than to have stop-motion Lego minifigures share their message while tickling the funny bone. This week, I chose The School of Life’s “No One is Normal.”

Critique

 Involvement:

The School of Life is actually a retail website with whimsical yet philosophical products that celebrate the human love for self-help. Their products range from books on “How to be Bored” to the “Emotional Baggage” tote and luggage tag. This video belongs to the Self curriculum which looks at the human condition. Because of their study of the human condition, the creators of this video are strongly involved with this topic as it has become a more prevalent topic in recent years as old definitions of normal lose relevance. Also the sheer amount of time it takes to create stop-motion animation represents a significant investment on the part of the creators.

Literacy Dimensions:

The primary literacy dimension in this video is the use of stop-motion animation to animate the minifigs. As you watch the video, the main figure moves, changes expressions and clothes, “interacts” with other minifigs, and  takes on the characteristics of a typically flawed person. What I found particularly well done were the smooth transitions between facial expressions and how hard it was to spot exactly when the change occurs.

Relevant Online Space:

This video, hosted on both the author’s site, schooloflife.com, and on YouTube. While I found it perfectly situated on the author’s site, because of some of the adult themes I would be carful about pointing young audiences to the video on YouTube.

Suggestions:

The only suggestion I would make would be to be careful when including mature themes (thoughts about incest, references to porn, etc.) presented by what are essentially children’s toys.  A younger audience may see the minifigs and assume that the content is suitable for all audiences when some parents may find it objectionable.

Overall, I really liked how this video pointed out that there are so many things which, if looked at in a vacuum of other people, may make each of us feel like we’re abnormal when they only really make us just like everyone else. The only normal people are inherently abnormal and we should stop making such a big deal about our quirks.

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