Jim Ned student’s LEGO short films win UIL state for traditional animation

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MERKEL Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A 17-year-old self-described “LEGO addict” has found a way to turn his hobby into a thriving YouTube channel, a freelance career, and a Texas state UIL championship.

It was back in 2016 that Jim Ned student Konner Frazier began experimenting with LEGO stop-motion animation.

“He started doing just some very basic LEGO stop-motion animation,” said his mother, Jenny Frazier.

His early videos may have lacked polish, but the self-taught writer, builder, director, and editor continued to hone his craft through the years before entering into UIL competition in 2018.

This year’s submission, “Fun in LEGOLAND” follows a grandfather/grandson duo as they road trip to LEGOLAND in California, a subject matter that is very close to home.

“He had been to LEGOLAND with his granddad a couple of times as well,” said his mother.

Frazier’s grandfather passed away recently due to complications from the novel coronavirus.

As Frazier’s mother said, “This video even means more, really.”

They had expected to go home with 3rd place or lower this year, but fate had other ideas.

“Looking at the top 3 results and I didn’t see mine on the bottom 3. That’s when I got really excited,” Konner says. “But after seeing like, the two, and I wasn’t in 2nd or 3rd place, that’s when I really got hyped. It was just insane.”

“We kept thinking, ‘Uh-oh, his is the next one up,’ and we just got all the way to first place,” Konner’s mother said.

But a successful YouTube channel and 1st in state aren’t going to slow him down. Frazier is currently working on his first paid gig, a 30-second commercial for the James McCoy Drugstore in Abilene.

It’s a pastime he’s looking to make his full-time career. Next stop will be animation school somewhere in Texas.

“He’s found several, but they’re way too far away for this mom,” said his mother.

No matter where Konner is, he says he will continue to do what he loves.

“It’s just part of my life, and what I want to do in life,” he says.

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