Animated LEGO feature is hilarious ‘block’-buster

By Katie Sittig-Boyd
Staff Writer

Photo: Forbes
Photo: Forbes

“The LEGO Movie” just premiered this past Friday, and it is a delightful experience for virtually anyone. When I went to see it, the theater was crammed with everyone from ten-year-old LEGO enthusiasts to their parents to an abundance of college students. And there is no shame in that, college students. It is a fantastic movie.

The story centers on Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), a LEGO figure who is so good at fitting in that he is a nobody in the homogeneous LEGO society featured in the story. His skills include following instructions, following instructions, and, well, following instructions; his favorite song and restaurant are exactly the same as everyone else’s.

In spite of being ostensibly ordinary, Emmet learns that he is the “MasterBuilder” foretold by a mystical prophecy and now has the responsibility to stop the evil President Business (Will Ferrell) from destroying the world with the ever-ominous “KRAGLE.”

Virtually every part of the storyline fits very neatly into the category of “frequently used trope,” yet the movie is so self-aware that it turns every seemingly predictable plot twist into a comment on the genre’s own stereotypes and tendencies.

It’s easy to get caught up in the high-energy humor of the movie, and better yet, the gags in the movie aren’t overwhelming; they’re well balanced with a thoughtful storyline. The voice-acting cast, featuring the talented Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, and Charlie Day, is varied and adds to the hilarity of the movie.

The CGI animation is also incredible. Every scene was designed to look as if the entire background was made solely out of LEGO blocks, and the movement was animated to appear as closely to stop-animation as possible. And anyone who has played with LEGO figures will note that the characters move in the movie almost exactly as they do in the “real world.”

Nods to pop culture–and past LEGO products, including the 1980s Space Guy–are absolutely everywhere in “The LEGO Movie.” Everyone from superheroes making not-so-cameo appearances to famed architects and sculptors have their time on the screen. Visual and verbal gags abound; it’s hard to watch the movie and not burst out laughing.

From the art, to the level of detail, to the non-stop shenanigans in Middle Zealand and Cloud Cuckoo Palace, “The LEGO Movie” is an absolute delight–definitely something to build your plans around watching.