Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Review 2/21/2014 - The Lego Movie

All I can say is that those involved with the making of The Lego Movie really knew what they were doing.  It's not hard to see why it has received so many glowing reviews and why it has topped the box office for both weeks since its release.  This is a movie made to appeal to both the young and young at heart(sounds better than just calling myself old), girls and boys, fans of Lego toys and . . . face it, everyone loves Lego. 

I'll skip any description of the plot (take a look at the movie's Wikipedia page if you'd like - and get into why I absolutely loved this movie.

Four things really struck me about The Lego Movie.  

The first is the simple fact that they not only made a Lego movie that appeals to today's children, but basically made the Lego movie that, as adults, we would've wanted to see as children.  There is a constant sense of wonder to the whole package that perfectly encapsulates what it was like to play with Lego bricks as a child.  

The second is the absolutely amazing stop-motion animation of the film.  As it is, stop-motion animation is a rarity today.  With the relative ease of resorting to CGI(as has been done with Lego's straight to video movies for its different toy lines), practical effects are quickly discarded.  Now, this movie is not without its moments of CGI, but nearly the entire thing is made using real Lego bricks, and the results are incredible.  The scope of the sets, the action . . . it all just blows me away when considering the amount of time and care went into building the world in the movie.   There is one scene where the protagonists are out on the ocean, and days later, I am still taken aback by the scope of what had to be put into the animation of the undulating motion of the water.  

While movies such as Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline also display the beauty of using stop-motion animation, something about The Lego Movie seems more impressive.  It may be that I've always been more impressed when I see giant Lego models(such as Rivendell below) than realistic models of the same.  Whatever the reason, The Lego Movie is truly a spectacle to behold.  

The third is just how self-aware this movie is.  This is a world made up of Lego bricks.  At no point does it try to convince its audience otherwise.  

Fourth and final is the heartfelt ending.  Personally, I didn't see it coming.  The general message of The Lego Movie involves being yourself, not conforming for the sake of being like everyone else around you.  At the end, however, after an entertaining and exciting climax, there is a scene that really tugs at the heartstrings, especially if you're a parent.  I'd explain, but it's probably best left to experience.

So, if you can't tell, I fully recommend that you see this movie unless A)you're anti-consumerism to the point that the thought of a movie based on a toy line makes you want to vomit, or B)you have absolutely no inner child at all.   


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