The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is an animated movie from 2014 starring the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and Morgan Freeman, and jointly directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.  Given its ridiculous premise, many people were opposed to the movie from the get-go.  After all, it is named after a toy, and it would not be hard to visualize a company using a movie as an overblown advertising stunt.  The Lego Movie, is thankfully far more entertaining than expected, and actually manages to be quite thought provoking in some cases.

The Lego Movie is animated with use of computers to the best of my knowledge, but done in such a way that it appears in a stop motion style; a bit of a tribute to all of those amateur productions that con be found on youtube.  I shudder to ponder how meticulous this must have been, but the hard work shows.  Minifigures (or are they just figures?) reflect light realistically, and interact with their environment, exactly in the way you would expect a lego person blessed with life to act.  The characters’ jerky and spastic movements are  incredibly engaging.  Normally, I would see this lack of fluidity as a downside to the viewing experience, but simply because of its originality, it can be quite enjoyable.

Much of the credit for the movie’s success is owed to the excellent writing of Lord and Miller, who have penned one of the most absurdly hilarious scripts ever to be read by voice actors.    The dialogue is extremely juvenile, in the best way possible.  If you’ve seen the whole movie, then you understand why.  The humor is that special sort that amuses children, just as much as adults.  Children will laugh at the one liners and jokes.  When Emmett declares that he is the worst man for the task before him, but claims there is a but coming on, Gandalf the Grey of all people replies, “you’re a butt“.  Adults will find humor in the many pop culture references, including cameos by the likes of Shaquille Oneal, and Han Solo.  This is truly a movie for everyone, in terms of content appropriateness, and entertainment level.

Most of all, it is the movie’s unique final twist that sets it apart.  All the arbitrarity, convenient plot points, and strange conversations are explained with the revelation that the entire plot has been concocted by a child at play rebelling against his father, who sees legos as something to be made stationary; looked upon, but never played with.  Thus, a parallel is established between the lego story, and that which unfolds in real life.  The Young boy is represented in the master builders, who are imaginers, creating whatever they are inspired too, using legos elastically and creatively, while the Evil Lord Business represents the boys father, who uses krazy glue (creatively cast as a weapon of mass destruction) to restrict the legos only to their intended purpose.  Thankfully, the boy and his father reconcile, and the former realizes the error of his ways, in a sweet moment of familial understanding.

This is one of the most ambitious movie’s ever made, and one of the most entertaining childrens pictures as well.  Far from the envisioned corporate promulgation, the film actually takes a stab at the company’s business model, ridiculing those who use directions and conform to playset parameters as mindless drones, and while this may be an overeggageration, it is certainly a powerful concept, and an inspiring message for both children and adults alike, to trust their imagination’s and realize their dreams through effort and teamwork.

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