We have had countless films exploring toys coming to life, most notably the Toy Story trilogy and The Indian in the Cupboard. Now the greatest toy that was ever invented finally has a movie — and it's pretty darned good.
The Lego Movie is co-directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs fame. Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, and countless others, the film follows the story of Emmet Brickowoski (Pratt), a construction worker who is thrust into an adventure to save his world from destruction.
There is a lot to like in The Lego Movie. Not only were the laughs non-stop, but it was a film suitable for all ages. Children will be wowed by the visuals and fast pace of the action, while older generations, especially those who grew up with LEGOs, will find even more things to like in the form of Easter Eggs and witty dialogue.
The animation is impressive. While there have been other CGI short films involving LEGO mini figures, they cheated with the physics of how the figures move. Limbs were pliable and would bend, so much so that the figures barely looked like LEGO characters, save for their heads.
The Lego Movie adheres to the rigid structure of the mini figure, and a lot of the laughs come from the characters inability to move in certain ways. The characters are also meticulously textured, a detail brought out even more when viewing the film in 3D (which I would recommend). Details such as the blotches of paint that make up the characters facial features, as well as plastic residue around the edges of their form are also visible.
Instead of realistic-looking special effects, the pyrotechnics, smoke, and water splashes are also made up of LEGOs. In short, the visual style of the film is very impressive and appropriate.
I won't spoil the ending, but the film is heartwarming and sends an important message about uniqueness, being creative, and being true to yourself. While some may call this film a 100-minute advertisement for LEGOs, it is an enjoyable experience and offers more than just showing the wide variety of toys you can buy at the store.
I wouldn't be surprised if The Lego Movie is nominated for an Oscar next year for Best Animated Film and/or Visual Effects. Not only is it a technical and narrative joy, but it made me want to bust out my old LEGO sets and start building.Our Rating: Observe