The LEGO Movie
Everything is awesome
The LEGO Movie will one day be required viewing for every elementary public school nationwide, or at least it should be. The movie joins Wreck-It-Ralph as a movie enjoyable to children for its sweet insanity and adults for the nostalgia and unexpectedly deep messages. Building from a simple premise into a wildly creative and even emotional climax, the movie could stack up with some of the best animations aimed for kids 3 and up.
Emmett Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt) loves being part of the team. His yellow head and plastic body match everyone else’s, and the two dots and curved line for his face is the most generic in the LEGO universe. He follows the same instructions as everyone else in his daily life as a construction worker (or, as we real life humans would call him, LEGO builder), but unfortunately he’s too plain to make any friends. This changes when he meets Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), an identity conflicted Master Builder who believes Emmett is the chosen one to save the LEGO world. As it turns out, LEGO president Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell), who, innocently enough, just so happens to own every LEGO company, business, TV show, and pretty much everything else.
Aided by wizard Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman), our plastic heroes leave the familiarity of the city to explore new LEGO sets. On the way there they meet Wyldstyle’s boyfriend, a toddler-friendly version of angst-y Batman (voiced by Will Arnett, who, as far as I’m concerned, will forever be a better Batman than Christian Bale and Ben Affleck combined), who is in the middle of writing emo techno music about having no parents. Batman takes them to a meet up place on top of the rainbows in the sky where dozens of pop culture characters and actual people (including but not limited to Superman, Wonderwoman, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Lebron James, and Abraham Lincoln) gather, all rendered into mini figure form.
Their plan is hindered when Lord Business sends Bad Cop (voiced by Liam Neeson) out to stop them, after gluing the Good Cop side of his head behind his helmet. In order to stop Lord Business, Emmett has to become a Master Builder and learn how to build his own creations without an instruction booklet.
The movie’s unique animation looks like Claymation combined with CGI, and perfectly captures the style and quirky personality of the toy it represents. Usually there’s more happening on the screen than there is time to take it all in, combining Transformers-like intricacy with its blocky visual style. It may take a short time to get used to in the first few scenes, but it’s charm soon makes you feel like you’re living out a childhood LEGO adventure once more.
Aimed towards kids, but possibly more satisfying to pop culture educated young adults, or anyone who played with LEGOs or any toy as a child, The LEGO Movie is a rare achievement that actually has something to offer to everyone. Laughs are as common as LEGO pieces here. The story sheds the clichés it starts out with and builds into something wonderful and refreshingly original. It tells kids to be creative, and reminds adults they can be, too.