I’m something of a Luddite. For example, I am one of the five remaining persons on the planet older than five years of age who does not own a smartphone. Perhaps among the five remaining creatures. I mean, heck, even the monkeys have them these days. Check out this LEGO build of Rafiki snapping a selfie by alego alego; the Lion King mandrill has expertly posed for a silly picture, squinting one eye. I didn’t know that you were allowed to do that; I thought it was all duck lips, all the time. The shaping on the face is brilliant, making good use of some blue horns for the signature mandrill stripes and lots of car wheel wells around the eyes. But my favorite detail is definitely on the back of the phone. Appropriate for a monkey, the fruit branding is not an apple but a banana. Or maybe some tech company has re-branded and I, living in my stone-age hut, have yet to learn that.
Look who’s laughing now… It’s Shenzi, Banzai, and the cackling Ed — the trio of villainous hyenas from Disney’s 1994 animated classic The Lion King, created in LEGO bricks by Timofey Tkachev. The sculpting here is excellent — each beast well-posed, and their different faces captured perfectly through a variety of building techniques and parts. The key to success lies in the choice of scale — these shady characters are surprisingly large, giving Timofey space to nail all the details. And while simple, the surrounding landscaping enhances the presentation of the central figures, suggesting the bleak elephant’s graveyard, which surely stretches to the horizons around them.
The Lion King‘s characterization of these hyenas received a mixed reception back in 1994, with some critics accusing Disney of racist caricature in the voice acting and dialogue. Disney never acknowledged any of this criticism, but Scar’s hyena lieutenants were quietly rewritten, and mostly renamed, in the 2019 live-action remake. Whatever you might think of the original movie’s depiction of this trio, it doesn’t affect the quality of the LEGO building on display here.
Our very own Elspeth has combined her passion for LEGO and Broadway theater to create iconic scenes from the stage. She’s picked four classic productions and created scenes of one of the climactic moments.
To start us off, let us journey beneath the Opera Populaire with the Phantom of the Opera. I absolutely love the candelabra. The build wonderfully matches the iconic scene of the Phantom taking Christine to his lair for the first time.