"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
The film opens in the desert in 1882 with Ulysses S. Powell, a former 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 flying through 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.
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 would be re-edited and re-released for Digital Decade. It returned on January 26, 2018 in an all-new re-edit that replaced all of the audio, the time travel sequence, and more.
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.
- Ulysses S. Powell (Andrew Bermudez)
- General Store Owner (Al Bermudez)
- Amelia Earhart (Teresa Bermudez)
- Squidward Tentacles (cut from film)
- Radio Announcer (Teresa Bermudez)
- Father (Al Bermudez)
- Son (Andrew Bermudez)
- Cretaceous Jungle
- 1930's Living Room
- Andrew Bermudez - Director; Writer; Producer; Animator; Voice Actor; Editor
- Teresa Bermudez - Assistant Director; Assistant Writer; Voice Actor
- Al Bermudez - Voice Actor
- Dylan Johnson - Composer
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
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 trope.
- Coincidental Broadcast: The family at the end only listens to the radio to hear about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Essentially the main technical reason that Ulysses is sent back to the Cretaceous Period of all time periods.
- Explosion Propulsion: Ulysses S. Powell uses dynamite to finally get the Mega Wing into the air.
- The Freelance Shame Squad: The townsfolk of Legorado laugh at Ulysses S. Powell when they see the Mega Wing and when he fails to start it.
- George Lucas Altered Version: On January 26, 2018, this film was re-released to correct several issues and to update it for the modern day. The changes that were made to the film are:
- The front end logo was replaced with an updated logo. The Drawn to Life Animation logo was also added.
- The film's music soundtrack was re-scored by Dylan Johnson.
- The film received a new title treatment, along with a new poster.
- All of the lines for Ulysses S. Powell, Amelia Earhart, Dad, and Son were re-recorded.
- The entire film was upgraded to HD, with the imagery corrected to match the new resolution.
- A new shot of Ulysses' point of view from inside the telescope was added.
- The sound mixing for the entire film was overhauled.
- The entire time travel sequence was re-shot and overhauled to match the then-upcoming film A Future in the Past.
- The opening and end credits were scrapped and remade from the ground up.
- 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.
- The Storyteller: The dad at the end of the film begins to tell the story of Ulysses S. Powell to his son.
- 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.
- 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.
- Although this film has a G rating, this is not reflected on the new version of this film's poster.