Growing up, my brother, sisters, and I amassed an extensive Lego collection. Each of us would get sets for birthdays and Christmas, and together we would build. As we grew older, my sisters and I would delve into other things, and my brother Michael would benefit. Now, all the Legos are his.
Even as an adult, he has turned his room into a space station, a boat dock, and anything else imagined. Before his recent departure to boldly go on a two year mission in Oklahoma for the LDS Church, he had spaceships, boats, buildings, structures, monsters, towers of mini-figures, and anything else imaginable covering his desk, dresser, and book cases.
At Christmas time, our ceramic Nativity set would have Lego Bionicles protecting Baby Jesus along with the angels. Our Christmas tree would have various Lego creations helping decorate it. For the rest of the year, various Lego decorations would appear randomly on the wall unit and book cases.
In other words, the Lego Movie is a look inside my brother’s head.
What I did not expect while watching it was to find a reflection of myself.
Post-Modernism both questions what is real, true, and absolute, as well as playing with inter-textuality. If the Lego Movie isn’t Post-Modern, I don’t know what is.
Story A of the Lego movie is set in an animated world and is the heroic journey of regular-guy Emmett and his quest to stop Lord Business from destroying the world with his super weapon: The Kragle.
Story B is set in ‘reality’ with a boy attempting to play with his dad’s Legos, while his dad wants to maintain complete and absolute order, not giving in to the creativity that Legos can unleash.
In many ways, The Lego Movie is The Matrix, with Emmet replacing Neo, the boy and Vitruvius combined to be Morpheus, Wildstyle as Trinity, and Lord Business as Agent Smith/The AI. There are layers of reality, and only the main hero is able to see both completely. Also, there are robots.
Built within this multiple-layered-reality are iconic figures like Batman, Star Wars characters, as well as eclectic combinations such as Unikitty.
And with all of these complicated layers, at their core, both stories are great and have heart. We as an audience become invested in Emmett’s journey and in the son-father bonding story. We care about the characters, and what is at stake. We care about the ability of Master Builders, both mini figures and human, to be creative and use Legos to their maximum potential.
What could easily be an idiotic, obnoxious character, is redeemed by a layer of innocence and wonder brought by Chris Pratt’s voice acting. Emmet is an Everyman, a character who represents all, and his specialness is in his non-specialness. It is through his perspective that we are swept through the fantastic landscapes of Lego City, and the wild west, and more.
3. Detail and style of animation
The animation, though CG, feels lovingly hand-crafted. It is purposely a little choppy in parts, and every Lego piece both actually exists, and is portrayed as accurately as possible. There is a lot of craft to enjoy in this film, especially when characters are building things on the fly.
4. Double-Decker Couch
I want one of these.
5. Authoritarian Dystopia
The authoritarianness of this movie is both well-done and hilarious. Everyone has instructions of their daily routine, listens to the same song all day, and watches the same show (Where Are My Pants?, which could be a huge hit starring Ashton Kutcher).
Lord Business is a magnificent evil tyrant, and his henchmen robots and police officer are great. There is just enough menace and sameness to build a formidable and dangerous enemy. A hero cannot be great unless there is a great villain.
6. A Great Ensemble Crew
Batman is a vain, though handsome and formidable teammate. Wildstyle is both love interest and guides Emmet into the larger world. Vitruvius, as played by Morgan Freeman, is a just-quirky-enough wise guide, without overdoing his role at Emmet’s side (this rhymes, so it must be true). Unikitty is strange, adorable, and apparently great at disguises. Benny The Spaceguy loves SPACESHIPS! (More on this later).
7. The Movie Knows It’s Ridiculous
And plays this to its maximum potential.
What Didn’t Work
1. Double-Decker Couch.
Throughout the movie, this couch is derided by other characters and seen as Emmet’s lack of creativity. However… umm… Who doesn’t want a double-decker couch? This thing, once again, is amazing.
2. This movie is SPASTIC!
All of the candy-colored ridiculousness is fun, but can be a bit exhausting. Either this is a sign I was tired when watching it, or I’m trying to stretch to find legitimate criticism of the film.
I think it’s the latter, because… umm… The movie is fun, has deeper substance than it would first appear, and matches its main theme song (which is more ominous after watching the movie):
What We Have To Look Forward To
1. Another Lego Movie! Which will probably involve Duplos.
2. More movies about children’s toys. Hopefully they will be as intelligent as this film.
3. More movies by the team that brought us this movie and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Good job, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Let’s see what giggly, spastic adventure you can launch next.
Finding Myself In The Film
As I mentioned at the beginning, I did not expect to find myself in the film. After my brother and his girlfriend saw the movie, they decided everyone had their Spirit Lego. My brother’s is Lego Batman, his girlfriend’s is Unikitty, my youngest sister is Wild Style. They told me which one was mine, but I was hesitant.
Once I saw the movie, I realized this was true (even though it doesn’t rhyme).
My Spirit Lego is…
Benny the Spaceguy
Throughout the film, Benny randomly shouts, “Spaceship!” and begins building a spaceship… because spaceships are cool. He’s a bit spastic, always optimistic, random, and loves spaceships.
Evidence he is my Spirit Lego:
- I try to see the positive in most situations
- As long time readers of the blog have figured out, I can be a bit random. I’m not very spastic, though, except when I get excited by things like spaceships.
- Star Trek: Into Darkness won my 2nd Annual WIT awards because… SPACESHIPS!
- My favorite part of Thor: The Dark World was… the bad guy’s spaceships.
- My computer’s name is Spaceship HUD, and I have the interior of an X-Wing cockpit as my wallpaper
- Boba Fett is my favorite character from Star Wars because he has a space helmet, and a spaceship.
- My car is the Spaceship Spork, and I made a matching outfit for Halloween.
And for fun, here’s The Lego Movie: How It Should Have Ended:
And, Batman’s Song:
- What did you think of the Lego Movie?
- Who’s your Spirit Lego?
- How did you celebrate May the Fourth?
Here’s a few of the exciting videos shared for May the Fourth:
And, as a bonus, the trailer for Gotham. So far, it seems to fit nicely in the Batman universe:
Side Note: Batman? Star Wars? Legos? Spaceships? The only thing that would make this post perfect is if it had a dinosaur: