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When Barrels Fly is an animated entry for Bricksinmotion.com's THAC 8 contest and was the screen debut for Ulysses S. Powell. It was made in one day for the said contest, but did not win.


Film DetailsEdit

  • Release Date: December 18, 2010
  • Running Time: 2 min.
  • MPAA Rating: n/a
  • Director: Andrew Bermudez
  • Producer: Andrew Bermudez
  • Writer: Andrew Bermudez

Plot SummaryEdit

WARNING: This section contains spoilers. If do not want to find out what happens, skip to the next section.

The film opens in the desert in 1882 with Ulysses S. Powell, a Union soldier, wishing he could fly. An out-of-control wagon smashes into a rock and sends the barrel inside flying. It lands on a distant scorpion, giving Ulysses an idea.

Later in the town of Legorado, Ulysses unveils his flying machine that he has christened the "Mega Wing." Everyone laughs at his contraption, which he puts to the test. However, the control lever breaks off, causing more laughter. Upset, Ulysses buys all of the dynamite at the general store and straps it to the bottom of the Mega Wing. He lights it, causing it to explode and send the Mega Wing high in the air.

Up in the air, the Mega Wing and Ulysses travel through a time portal. When they emerge, the Mega Wing crashes into a prehistoric jungle. Ulysses emerges unharmed, but is chased into a cave by a T-rex. Inside the cave, he meets Amelia Earhart, who has also just arrived there.

In the 1930's, Ulysses' descendants listen to a broadcast about Amelia Earhart disappearing, which prompts the dad to remember the disappearance of Ulysses S. Powell. His son begs him to tell the story.

Production HistoryEdit

While not formulated at the time, an entry to THAC 8 was announced on November 26, 2010 right after Wonders of Buoyancy was released, being described as a contest entry that will be made in 24 hours.

The film itself was produced in its entirety on December 17, 2010, from script to screen. In the original script that was quickly written, Squidward Tentacles from Plankton Strikes Back! was going to make a cameo, but this sequence was deemed too ridiculous. Other than that, the script stayed virtually the same. However, time travel was added to the film during brainstorming.

This film was a truly collaborative production, as sets were rapidly built as filming was conducted. One trick was to make sure that the two mod elements, M and/or a red brick and green brick touching, were visible in every scene, so the sets had to be built with the mod elements integrated. Despite the challenges faced, the film was completed on time. It was released the following day.

In September 2017, it was officially confirmed that this film will be re-edited and re-released for Digital Decade. It will return in January of 2018.

Audience ReceptionEdit

While it did not win the contest, it did become one of the twenty-five finalists and did receive praise for its concept. Because of its success, Ulysses S. Powell became a major Mustache Maniacs Film Co. character, appearing in both Late for the Soccer Match and the Project U film A Future in the Past.

CharactersEdit

Locations Edit

The following locations are featured in When Barrels Fly.

  • Legorado
  • Cretaceous Period
  • 1930's Living Room

CreditsEdit

Tropes Edit

WARNING: This section contains spoilers. If do not want to find out what happens, skip to the next section.

When Barrels Fly contains examples of the following tropes.

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Ulysses' desire to fly ends up sending him back in time, with no way home.
  • Cattle Punk: While the Old West town of Legorado is reminiscent of real life Old West towns, the Mega Wing falls under this category.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Essentially the main technical reason that Ulysses is sent back to the Cretaceous Period of all time periods.
  • Historical In-Joke: Why is Amelia Earhart in the Cretaceous Period? Because she mysteriously disappeared and traveled through time before reaching Howland Island, of course!
  • Homemade Inventions: Ulysses builds the Mega Wing with nothing but a giant barrel, some metal sheets, a dowel, and a propeller.
  • In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous: Ulysses winds up in a cave with legendary aviator Amelia Earhart.
  • Our Time Machine Is Different: While not designed to travel through time, the Mega Wing is essentially a modified barrel with wings and a propeller.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: While the time portals can be controlled, the wormholes themselves are capable of sending anything that enters to another time (and even a different location in space).
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: When Ulysses first shows off the Mega Wing, his attempts to start it end in failure.
  • Portal to the Past: The time portal is this.
  • Radio Voice: At the end of the film, this is used for the Radio Announcer.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: The only dinosaur that Ulysses encounters is a T-Rex.
  • Time Travel: The Mega Wing does this when it is catapulted into the air.
  • Thirsty Desert: The film starts here.
  • Trapped in the Past: Ulysses ends up time travelling more by accident than anything else, and then the Mega Wing smashes to pieces when it lands.
  • Weekend Inventor: The character of Ulysses S. Powell.

TriviaEdit

  • The film was the screen debut of Ulysses S. Powell.
  • The name of the general store in Legorado is Brick-a-Thon, the name of the Bricklink store that sponsored THAC 8.
  • Although not really suggested, this film is loosely based on the LEGO Wild West product line.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit

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