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Preston Mutanga, a 14-year-old from Toronto, Canada, has made a big impact on the animated film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Despite being relatively unknown, his work as an animator has contributed to the movie’s impressive $235 million and counting box office haul.

Mutanga’s journey began when he recreated the film’s trailer shot-for-shot using LEGO blocks. He uploaded his LEGO remake to Twitter on January 2, catching the attention of the film’s producers, Chris Lord and Phil Miller. Lord and Miller, who are known for their work on “The LEGO Movie,” were amazed by Mutanga’s talent and decided to reach out to him.

“We found out that it was a 14-year-old kid who made it, and we were like, ‘This looks incredibly sophisticated for a nonadult, nonprofessional to have made,'” said Miller in an interview with The New York Times. “It blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world.”

Mutanga’s interest in animation began when his father introduced him to a 3D software called Blender. He quickly became hooked and taught himself various techniques by watching YouTube videos.

Despite being located in Toronto, Mutanga collaborated remotely with Miller for several weeks to create a LEGO sequence for “Across the Spider-Verse.” Miller would provide feedback and guidance through video meetings, helping Mutanga refine his work.

Reflecting on the experience, Mutanga said, “One new thing I learned was definitely the feedback aspect of it, like how much stuff actually gets changed from the beginning to the final product.”

Lord added, “‘The LEGO Movie’ is inspired by people making films with Lego bricks at home. That’s what made us want to make the movie. Then the idea in ‘Spider-Verse’ is that a hero can come from anywhere. And here comes this heroic young person who’s inspired by the movie that was inspired by people like him.”

While Mutanga is still in high school, he is one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a full-time animator. “I adored the first movie and was so hyped for the second one, so getting to work with the people who actually made this masterpiece was honestly like a dream,” he shared.

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