The Lego Movie – More than just Building Things

The Lego Movie - More than just Building Things

Matthew Schroh, Reporter

It happened in November with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It happened in December with Disney’s Frozen. And now, in the early months of 2014, another movie has taken the world by storm: The Lego Movie. This toy movie shares the same directors as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which did fairly well at the box office and with critics. But can The Lego Movie share its charm?
So many people doubted The Lego Movie when it was first announced back in 2009. Everyone thought this was just a ploy by the LEGO company to sell more toys and sets to the young kids, while their parents groaned, took a sip of their coffee, and forked out money from their wallets. In a way, these people were correct – the movie is one big commercial for LEGO… but that isn’t saying much, considering this is the case for any movies based on toys or games.
The story follows Emmet, a standard construction worker figure that lives in Bricksburg. He drinks overpriced coffee, watches “Where Are My Pants” (a TV show in which every episode is a minifigure saying “Honey, where are my paaaaaants?), and singing “Everything is Awesome.” But his life changes when he realizes he is “The Special.” He and a group of “Master Builders” – Lego minifigures that can build anything out of anything – have to use the Piece of Resistance to stop Lord Business, an evil tyrant who rules over Bricksburg and some other sets (including the Old West and Middle Zealand) as President Business. All in all, the plot is original and creative.
The animation is breathtaking as well. You’d think that the movie is made entirely of stop-motion Lego bricks, but shockingly, it is almost completely computer animation. The animators did an outstanding job of making the movie look exactly like LEGO, from the crack on the spaceman Benny’s helmet to the shining plastic of the Piece of Resistance.
The characters are likeable and funny. Emmet is hilarious, mainly because he has no idea what he is doing for the first half of the movie. Wyldstlye – the girl Emmet has a crush on – is much more developed and interesting than most movies’ generic love interests, and her name is often played for laughs (Wyldstyle? What are you, a DJ?). There is also Lord Business, who is voiced by Will Ferrell, making all of his evil schemes dark but still funny. Vitruvius is a senile old man, but he is also sort of a mentor to Emmet as he struggles to learn the ways of Master Builders. Other main characters include Good Cop/Bad Cop, Lord Business’ accomplice and a spoof on the buddy-cop movies, Unikitty, a unicorn-cat who is a homage to anime nerds everywhere, Batman (yes, the Batman), Wyldstyle’s jerk boyfriend who is still funny, Captain Metabeard, a massive pirate robot, and Benny, a crazy spaceman who is obsessed with building spaceships. Much like the plot, the characters are well-thought and creative, and not a single one is too one-dimensional.
In my opinion, the movie is great. With well-thought characters, clever humor, beautiful animation, and an original storyline, kids will be dragging their mothers and fathers to the nearest Lego store, and the parents may actually be racing there themselves. I believe the movie did so well is because of the toys they decided to use. Unlike Care Bears or Hot Wheels, there is little sex-bias in Lego. Boys and girls alike can all build whatever they want, from the Death Star to a passenger train. Imagination is endless, and as a result, LEGO became one of the most popular toy brands on the planet. So it’s no wonder The Lego Movie has made over $372,532,000 worldwide.
The Lego Movie is an unforgettable movie that will be remembered by LEGO fans and some non-LEGO fans for years to come. The LEGO fans will obviously adore all the references, from LEGO Star Wars to Batman, while the non-fans will praise the story and humor. With such a well-developed plot, great humor, breathtaking animation, a nice moral, and memorable characters, The Lego Movie is a fun, kind-spirited family flick that will be enjoyed as long as LEGO keeps creating new sets.