I get the feeling that by the end of this year, we’ll all collectively be bowing down before Chris Pratt. First, he’s the voice of Lego everyman, Emmet Brickowski and is at the center of everything that is awesome about THE LEGO MOVIE.
THE LEGO MOVIE could have been a half-assed movie. We’ve seen a lot of those, cheap, badly written yawners that parents and critics sit through in mortal agony. But THE LEGO MOVIE… well it was built better.
The stop-motion animation geek in me would’ve loved had this been a physical media movie, but CG completely has Legos down. This animated film is beautiful. In particular the lighting and use of color… they’re outstanding.
Two days ago, I opened a piece of mail that had something wrapped in bubble wrap. As I unwrapped the object – my eyes began tearing up and my hands began shaking. I was a recipient of a one of a kind, Harry Knowles mini-figure. I state this, because I had Lego Harry with me when I went to the theater today with Father Geek and Yoko. We waited in a kid-filled line to see THE LEGO MOVIE in 3D. When I got two people away from buying tickets, the manager came out and looked at me like I was a fool waiting in line – and he let the three of us into the film. It’s always cool to see free movies, but I was actually looking forward to taking a picture of my LEGO MOVIE ticket being held by Lego Me. Perhaps I’ll get to pay when I take my nephew to see THE LEGO MOVIE, oh yes, I will see this again!
THE LEGO MOVIE is at it’s most evident… a love letter to LEGO-MANIACS!
Your love of Legos is not required to love this film, but I can’t imagine watching it without that love. I’m a 42 year old Man-Child – that still enjoys Legos. I have a Lego Guggenheim and Bag End in sight from my computer here. But when I was a kid, one long deep dresser drawer (covered in Marvel Super Hero Stickers) was filled… not with clothes, but Legos. Mostly a ton of yellow and red bricks and big green bases. But then in through the seventies the Galaxy Explorer and Space Transport and Space Cruiser and Space Shuttle and Moon Landing and Space Buggy and Space Scooter and Lunar Landing plates all got released – so then… I started creating alien planet backgrounds and built space ships and Lego rayguns and robots – and this all interacted with my die-cast ships and cars and Action Figures – and just like this movie – characters and situations kept bleeding into one another. Friends would come over and we’d build and destroy wantonly. My Shogun Warrior GODZILLA fought many Robots while trashing legoscapes.
Legos were my key play dreamscapes as a child. Trying to build an X-wing, before there were X-wing sets… well, it was basically impossible. But my Lego Spirit of St Louis would result in my learning to scream like Jimmy Stewart. Legos were a world of no licensed properties, but as I got older – that began to change… and once my nephew came to Lego Age… the world of LEGOS… well, you know. It’s insane. He’s been spoilt with amazing sets from many worlds of imagination – and he follows instructions and gets all jazzy with his cross-creations. Again, Dwarves fighting with Anakin and orcs against Harry Potter, pawn of Lord Vader and his Zombie hordes (technically the Zombies aren’t Legos, they’re from another series and light up!!!).
The world we get introduced to in THE LEGO MOVIE is vast. There’s a metropolis, an old west, Middle Zealand (which makes me howl laughing) and on and on and on. There’s a prophecy about a chosen one that will free the Legoverse – and then we’re in the “modern Legoverse”. Everyone follows instructions and Emmet is a young worker that follows instructions – to do everything. How to be popular instructions, how to build a skyscraper instructions. The “Master Builders” are a group of minifigs that can free build from parts around them to create New things. I love that this is a thing. I was totally a master builder that had to build from the geometry out.
Emmett isn’t really socially connected to any of his fellow average construction crew members, and one night he sees a beautiful exotic minifig named Wyldstyle. She’s voiced by the goddess Elizabeth Banks, we’ll learn later that she’s dating BATMAN voiced by Will Arnett!!! Batman is amazing in the film, so funny. SO FUNNY. I do think it is interesting that we didn’t have any of the real ‘villain’ minifigs other than the robots and Man Upstairs! No Joker, no Orcs, no Ring Wraiths… but you’re gonna get a whole lot of hero figs. Won’t get specific – as discovering them is a huge chunk of the joy of seeing this movie.
The key though is Emmett. Pratt makes him funny and sympathetic. He’s a simple fig, hasn’t seen much of the world, certainly has seen no action before this. He’s never been asked to think on his own, to be creative. But when he sees that world and those characters become a part of his life, he tries his best to seem to belong, but he can’t quite shake that he’s way out of his league. He has a massive crush on Wyldstyle… but, she’s dating BATMAN. Can you imagine that love triangle? You don’t have to, it’s here!!!
I really love that the lesson is to conform to the establishment mindset to subvert and free the system through seeming normalcy. Sure, you could just see it as the Trojan Horse thing, but this is a NEO tale. A chosen one, and like most Chosen One storylines, Emmett doesn’t believe it and those close to him don’t see it either… but rest assured, he’s the one. And that is AWESOME! The song EVERYTHING IS AWESOME, is so so so so sooooo awesome! The beat is perfect to jump a minifig to!
They fully exploit the unexpected artistry that Legos inspire, along with beautifully intricate sets. The internet has made Legos so much fun. I love the animated Lego videos. So seeing a super trippy high polished Lego animated film… it is, simply awesome. In particular, I loved seeing this movie with a Saturday afternoon audience. The kids were vibrating out of their seats with excitement, they giggled, laughed and exclaimed at the film – and everything was awesome.
There was a moment in the film where something happened – and I made this three year old happy cue sound that made my wife grab me to make me self-aware… because… this film regresses you in the best fucking way! The song, EVERYTHING IS AWESOME is an anthem for the denial generation, of which I’m a card carrying member.
There’s another part of the film when the Spaceman (Charlie Day) gets to make his own spaceship – and the physical animation of the character was so friggin ecstatic and it elicits a giddy energy that manifests as machinegun gigglesmiles. Because… the excitable pent up ecstacy of creation is just fully realized and EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!
I really can’t wait to take my nephew back to this… and then I have to go to the Lego store to get some changes of outfits for my Harry minifig. Not nearly enough Hawaiian print shirts in the Lego world. Yet.
This film has been melting cynics left and right. Which is so crazy cool! You have to see the film! With your fellow Legomaniacs!