A 14-Year-Old Animated THAT Top ‘Spider Verse’ Movie

spider-man: across the spider verse preston mutanga 14 year old animator lego
Credit: Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse seemingly came out of nowhere and exploded box offices. It’s already made over $235 million and is gaining constant and high praise all over social media. Fans of the film especially love the exquisite and innovative animation design, heralding it as “wonderfully creative” and “visually dazzling.”

It turns out that one of the genius animators was a 14-year-old kid from Canada.

spider-man: across the spider verse preston mutanga 14 year old animator lego

Credit: Sony Pictures

How Preston Mutanga, 14, Got Hired to Animate on Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Born in Minnesota to immigrant parents from Cameroon, 14-year-old Preston Mutanga currently lives in Toronto, Canada. With a passion for comics, animation, and Lego, Mutanga started a fun project that eventually got him noticed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writer-producers of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. 

In January of this year, Mutanga posted a Lego version of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’s movie trailer, which he built and animated himself. Lord and Miller also directed The Lego Movie (2014), and when they came across Mutanga’s trailer, they were seriously impressed. Check it out below!

After later deciding to include a Lego sequence in the Spider Verse sequel, they knew who they wanted to animate it. The New York Times reported Miller’s reaction,

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. It blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world.

14-Year-Old Spider Verse Animator is Self Taught

Preston Mutanga’s parents are luckily very supportive of their son’s dreams and undeniable gift. His father introduced him to Blender, a 3-D software that he immediately took to. Then Mutanga says he simply “watched a lot of YouTube videos to teach [himself] certain stuff.”

spider-man: across the spider verse preston mutanga 14 year old animator lego

Credit: Sony Pictures

After vetting and confirming his son’s wild Hollywood offer was real, Theodore Mutanga literally built Preston a new computer and invested in a professional graphics card. In between homework and school, Preston chatted virtually with the production team for feedback and gained a huge highlight on his resume for a future career in animation.

The New York Times quotes Phil Lord:

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.

spider-man: across the spider verse miles morales animated

Credit: Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is in theaters now starring the voice talents of Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy, Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara, Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, Issa Rae as Spider-Woman, Daniel Kaluuya as Spider-Punk, Jake Johnson as Spider-Man, and more!

Keep your eye out for Preston’s Lego sequence toward the beginning of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse!

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!