By Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
Tyler Walsh was working on a Lego stop-motion video with his two boys when an idea came to him to try a similar project with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent speech to children.
Trudeau took a moment during a March 22 press briefing to speak directly to kids. He thanked children for doing their part to help during the pandemic by sacrificing their usual daily routine.
That 90-second soundbite provided the audio bed for Walsh’s video, which features the bearded PM in Lego form. The video had over 243,000 views by Monday afternoon, just a day after Walsh uploaded it.
He has since heard from many parents who felt it was a big hit with their children.
“They can now bring their kids in to watch it and their kids will be entertained by seeing a bunch of cool Lego characters,” Walsh said. “But also there’s a really poignant message there.”
Walsh added a soft music bed underneath the PM’s monologue and selected pieces from his family’s Lego collection — he estimates it would fill two or three plastic storage containers — to put it together.
He said he has received plenty of positive feedback on creating an appealing alternate form for the content.
“I’ve received so many messages from parents saying, ‘I tried to show (my kids) that speech when he made it. I don’t know if they got it, but we’ve watched this one three times,”’ he said.
Walsh added he has also received messages from educators around the country.
“Teachers and teaching assistants (are) asking if they can use the video to post on some of those online platforms that kids are learning from right now,” he said. “So they’re using it as an education tool and a messaging tool, which is really neat.”
A former video producer, the 38-year-old digital and content marketing manager took about 12 hours to complete the project.
“This was particularly attractive because it was such a positive message,” Walsh said. “And it’s something that people kind of needed.”
Walsh said he was quite pleased with the finished product, but wasn’t expecting it to be such an online hit.
“What I love seeing is that there’s so (many) positive comments and likes and people taking the time to actually write really nice things about it,” he said from Winnipeg. “Which you quite often don’t see on the internet. So it is really nice to see that part of it.”
He said he may try to do a French version of the video as well, and has had suggestions to try other projects involving politicians like U.S. President Donald Trump.
However, next on his to-do list is finishing off the original project he had started with sons Jack, 12, and nine-year-old Noah. It’s a grand battle between characters from a number of different realms, including Star Wars and Ninjago.
In the meantime, the online buzz keeps building.
“I did just get a retweet from the Lego group,” Walsh said. “So that made my year.”
This is really great, Tyler. I think my kids – and a whole lot of others – will get a kick out of this, all while hearing how they can help out too. Thanks for helping spread that message.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 6, 2020