“The Lego Movie” Review: Warner Bros. Animation Is Back!
I have to admit, when I first read the announcement 8 years ago of a feature film based on the Lego construction toy, my exact thought was “How in the world are they going to pull this off?” It wasn’t until sometime in 2012 when I read about how the film would be made (the style of animation they use is based on the popular stop-motion Lego web clips seen on YouTube), and that actually made me interested. Usually, movies based on toy lines prove to be really bad (the one exception was the first Transformers movie which I found to be very entertaining, the two sequels after that were awful, but the new Age of Extinction featuring Mark Wahlberg looks promising), but The Lego Movie – featuring the voices of Chris Pratt, Liam Neeson, Will Farrell, Will Arnett, and Elizabeth Banks – turned out to be colorful fun for all ages, and is just what Warner Bros. needed to resurrect its feature animation division, which had been struggling to find a hit for quite some time. Sure, Happy Feet was a moderate hit when it was released in 2006, but its preachy plot about global warming turned me off. The sequel was even worse due to the gay-crill plotline in the middle of the film. The Lego Movie however is a different story, it manages to tell its story without ideology and with care.
The story follows a construction worker named Emmett (Pratt), who in the beginning of the film, has a daily routine of following instructions (similar to reading instructions to building a particular Lego playset), he later accidentally meets up with a girl named Wyldstyle (Banks), who is on the run from the evil robo-police, led by Bad Cop (Neeson), while they both run from the robo-police, Wyldstyle tells Emmett about a prophecy where the Special has the power to save the Lego universe, who is controlled by President/Lord Business (Farrell). This man essentially runs the entire Lego world as a monopoly, overpricing coffee, producing shows such as Where Are My Pants? (A parody of the many trashy reality shows that are pushed down our throats by liberal television producers), and putting out mainstream pop music that floods the radio today. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the movie, the plotline ends up coming from the imagination of a young boy in a live-action sequence, and it turns out that President Business/Lord Business is based on the child’s father (also played by Farrell), who is too focused on work. We later end up with one of the most heartfelt moments that we will ever see in a family film. Moments like this in film are now more important than ever as families have disintegrated in America.
Overall, The Lego Movie might sound like a 100-minute toy commercial on paper (it still managed to have me buy a Lego set based on the film), but is one of the best and smartest animated movies to come out in a long time. Warner Bros. Animation, perhaps best known for the Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies short subjects, never really had a hit on their hands when it comes to full-length features. Happy Feet may have been a moderate success, but the sequel’s liberal propaganda killed all hopes of becoming a franchise. The Lego Movie turned out to be a big hit for Warner Bros., so big that they’re planning on doing a sequel and a spinoff focusing on the Ninjago line. The film’s success is well-deserved. Here’s hoping when the Lego sequel comes out, it’s as good as or better than the original.