The Lego Movie
Every once in a great while, a movie comes out that truly connects with you. Last year the coming-of-age tale, The Way Way Back, was what really connected with me for reasons that I don’t particularly want to go into in this review. Now already in February, I may have found the one that truly connects with me for 2014. The Lego Movie is the exact definition of my childhood. If you have ever owned, played with, or grew up around the titular toy, you will find a very deep connection to this film, and even if you haven’t, you’ll gain a ton of enjoyment out of it as well.
There was rarely a moment I wasn’t laughing during the duration of this film. It was one of the cleverest and intelligent animated movies I have ever seen. There are certain jokes that I look back to and still laugh at. This is one aspect that a lot of animated fair is missing these days, an intelligent script. It’s all cute, but when you get right down to it, there’s nothing much for you to hold on to, especially the parents, but The Lego Movie has that; oh, it has that. Not only will the kids be highly entertained, the parents will find something in it as well. I love a good movie like that; where the whole family can enjoy it, though for completely different reasons.
What the kids will surely enjoy is the beautiful animation. The animation in this film is top-notch. Half stop motion, half computer generated, the animators created a completely Lego world that is extraordinarily fascinating and downright genius. Everything in the world is made of Legos; the water, the explosions, the smoke, it’s kind of breathtaking. The kids will also love the likable characters, but so will the parents. It features a ton of cameos and a fantastic voice cast that consists of such A-listers as Will Arnett, Will Ferrel, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt. Each of the characters, even the cameos, are so genuine. This movie may only be an hour and a half, but they pack a ton of development in that time. I have said, and believe, that voice acting isn’t exactly the same as regular acting. I mean, anyone can talk into a microphone with an abnormally cartoonish and over exaggerated voice, but the actors in this one take the most precious and careful precautions while doing it, never just phoning it in and it shows. Every character has so much life that it makes it horribly difficult to dislike any of them, even the ones who are in it for barely two minutes (Jonah Hill as Green Lantern). It’s also not always animated, thanks to its incredibly creative and smart finale that will have you weeping.
What the parents will surely love is the writing. The script is the high point of this movie. It was a laugh riot the entire film and never once let its guard down. While all the laughs are a major part in my enjoyment of this movie, it wasn’t what really made me fall in love with this incredibly colorful world. What made me practically sob inside and, yes, tear up a bit on the outside as well was the overall message the movie sends off and it’s incredibly touching ending. The finale really hits you, and it hits you hard. It’s a great message as well that will surely gain the parents approval. I don’t want to divulge into it too much in fear of me spoiling it for you, but the whole moral of the movie is that you shouldn’t just be like everyone else and “read the instructions” (like in the Lego kits), you should tread your own path, create something new, and don’t settle for anything other than what makes you truly happy. It’s a lesson that will inspire creativity through kids, and hopefully, even some adults. Me being a kid who would never read the instructions, this message hit me right at home with an incredible power. Lego better not sell Lego Movie themed building kits or I’m going to be pissed…who am I kidding, they probably will.
The Lego Movie also sports a biting satire. It will most likely fly right over the kids’ heads, but older viewers will definitely find pleasure in watching the surprisingly effective take on American culture and the effect it has on the citizens by dumbing down society. There is a very popular fictional television show in the movie called, Where Are My Pants. It’s a show that consists of a man continuingly asking people where his pants are, and everyone loves it. I think that description explains itself. It also delves into dystopian subject matters as well, with a ruling government power that has essentially brain washed the rest of his kingdom into believing he’s a just ruler with his promotion of funny TV shows and promises of free tacos. It actually got to the point where I felt somewhat uncomfortable while watching it. Of course, that won’t be a problem for the kids, but it’s sure to keep the adults engaged.
If you came from a childhood like I did, you will have one immensely enjoyable experience with The Lego Movie, not just because they’re Legos, but because this movie so accurately depicts the true purpose of the wonderful bricks of plastic. Legos are not made to be preordained, which is something the company has lost sight of recently. They are a toy that promotes creativity and brain power and is an essential piece of any childhood. Although Legos seem to be simple, they are the farthest from it. Legos are actually somewhat enigmatic. There are a million things you could do with a Lego brick, and it’s just your job to find out what that thing is. This movie promotes that message, that beautiful and nostalgic legacy that Lego needs to continue.
The Lego Movie is a highly intelligent, beautifully animated, surprisingly satirical, and is quite possibly one of the funniest movies of all time, and one of the most touching. It is a movie that makes you cringe and wish you could go back to the good old days. You know, the time when nothing mattered and you could run off and create a sculpture of little colored blocks and feel that insatiable and simple sense of accomplishment? In a way, this movie is a sort of time machine, or a teleportation device that allows you to revisit those wonderful days of being a kid; sitting on the living room floor, those colorful and astonishingly complex little pieces of plastic in which you and your imagination used to run off with for hours day after day.