Daniel Hashimoto is giving dads everywhere a run for their money.
That’s because Hashimoto has made a viral sensation out of his son, James, (now known as “Action Movie Kid”) by turning everyday activities into scenes worthy of a big budget action film. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Hashimoto is an animator at DreamWorks with some serious skillz.
It all started with this 11-second video of James in Toys ‘R’ Us, playing with a toy lightsaber — that magically came to life. The video, which was uploaded in March 2014, now has over 28 million views:
See? Pretty cool stuff.
Two years, dozens of videos, and millions of views later, “Action Movie Kid” is a household name — and we are officially jealous of how next-level the Hashimoto “home movies” are.
In a recent episode of The Star Wars Show, Hashimoto opened up about what inspired him to make the videos. When he became a dad five years ago, he decided he wanted to put an unconventional spin on the typical home movie.
“A lot of our friends were posting videos of their kids on Facebook,” Hashimoto explains. “And we had just had James and he was really wonderful and we had home videos of him and so I thought, ‘I’ll combine these two passions a little bit, I’ll try to put out fake home videos of James doing dangerous things so that all of our friends could get a good giggle out of it.'”
It should come as no surprise that Hashimoto has been involved in visual effects and film-making since he was young, saying:
“My very first memory is of watching Return of the Jedi where I was fascinated by the fact that you could make these things manifest themselves on film, and so I got really into finding out how they were made. I watched the [From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga] documentary, which was wonderful and it inspired me to go into visual effect film-making — and I’ve done it for the last 25 years.”
Watch the full video to see how cute James is running around the Lucasfilm campus in San Francisco, CA, find out how Star Wars has been a massive bonding tool for Daniel and James, and lots more: