Bursting with colour, creativity, and of course bricks, this pop-culture cashgrab is as smart as it is stunning.
The iconic Danish brand alone guarenteed this film's financial success - but what could have been your typical dumbed down kid's movie is actually a masterful construction of wit, satire, and nostalgia that the whole family can enjoy.
In fact, The LEGO Movie is perhaps moreso written for adults than children. It's a movie that is very self aware, and the majority of the film's gags revolve around the limitations of the brand in question. For a film that is essentially an hour and a half long commercial, it surprisingly has a lot of social commentary, even poking fun at the consumerism it's based upon. There's several little nods throughout the narrative that can make anyone who's ever played with those iconic bricks feel like a kid again.
That's not to say that The LEGO Movie is without a plot - considering the brand has hundreds of licenses under their studded belts, it's actually admirable to see the writers haven't let their game down; the band of minifigure misfits are perfectly cast and, dare I say, hilarious to see interact with one another (Liam Neeson as a police officer with an unusual case of bipolar disorder takes the cake) and the inclusion of multiple third party characters makes this universe even more imaginative and similar to that of many children's experiances with LEGO. The third act is nothing short of breathtaking - after a year with so few good animated films, who'd have thought a movie based on colourful pieces of plastic could actually be incredibly touching? It's a moral that can identify with millions of LEGO users across the world, and one that is perfectly bittersweet; for both the young and young at heart.
The animation is also top-notch, with the stop motion indistinguisable from it's computer generated counterpart. It's a feast for the eyes, though can be overwhelming at times - the second act feeling like a mass of multicoloured bricks sprawled across your carpet. If you can recover from this seizure of creativity however, the rest of the film is incredible to look at, and you can see the craftsmenship that went into creating each individual world. From an ocean made out of translucent blue studs to every alarm clock reading 7:00AM, it's a "Master Builder" paradise.
Far from following the instruction manual of children's films, The LEGO Movie is a creation that is made with true precision in both writing and visuals. Despite the ocassional overwhelming nature of it's detailed setpieces, the mass is constructed into an ending you can't help but marvel at, and builds the foundations for many brand-based, family friendly films to come.