The Lego Movie is a film written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The film follows an ordinary Lego minifigure named Emmet (Chris Pratt). Emmet is an average Lego—he always follows the rules and gives into the mindless lifestyle that is demanded of him. However, when he is mistaken for an extraordinarily special person that has been prophesied to save the world, he is thrust into a thrilling quest with a band of Lego strangers to take down the evil despot, Lord Business (Will Ferrell).
Traditionally, I am not a huge fan of animated features. My feeling is that most of the modern animated films, with only a few exceptions (e.g., most Pixar films), are senseless, poorly written stories that are meant to simply target children and achieve immense box office success through that exploitation. I have no issues with this business tactic by the animation studios, but my point is only that it does not make for good film. However, The Lego Movie breaks the mold for modern animation storytelling. It does an incredible job of appealing to young kids who play with Legos with its music, humor, and positive story, but I was most impressed, as a twentysomething, with the film’s ability to appeal to adults. The jokes, plot, and character arcs are obviously appropriate for children of all ages, but they seem hilariously crafted with those of my age group in mind. Additionally, the story ever so gradually tugs at the heartstrings of anyone that has ever played with the world-famous toys in their life. It not only allows children to see their favorite toys on the big screen, but it also brings back a wealth of memories from days gone by from adults’ (and specifically, my) creative adventures with Legos. The film has won a number of awards already for being the Best Animated Feature of 2014, which is why I am appalled that it was snubbed by the Oscars in that category. In recent memory, this is the worst snub the Academy has made.
Everything discussed in the previous paragraph is directly attributable to the well-crafted script and the exceptional direction from the film’s creators, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. This duo has a unique filmography, writing and directing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and directing both 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street. Their experiences with animated films (they also wrote the script for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) is starkly different to that of their R-rated Jump Street comedies, but the Lord-Miller team gets the best out of both worlds for The Lego Movie. It is a remarkable achievement that has already garnered its creators a series of spin-off films that are in the works, not to mention a sequel to The Lego Movie. These guys are becoming a staple in the world of animated film, and we are all luckier for that.
The script is as solid as it gets, but naturally, it still needs a group of talented actors to breathe life into its characters. Voice acting is always a unique challenge, but Lord and Miller put together an all-star cast for the task. The film has a wide range of standout performances from its actors, including Chris Pratt as Emmet, Will Ferrell as Lord Business, Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle, Will Arnett as Batman, Nick Offerman as Metal Beard, Alison Brie as Princess Unikitty, Charlie Day as Benny, Liam Neeson as Bad Cop, Good Cop, and Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius. Make sure to check this one out if you are looking to see a perfect comedy—it is by far the year’s best. At the very least, you will be left with one of the greatest songs in film history stuck in your head…”Everything is awesome!!!” The Lego Movie is rated PG for mild action and rude humor.
The Lego Movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj4GeCk5SBk
Academy Award nominations for The Lego Movie:
Best Original Song: “Everything Is Awesome” (Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson)