Every once in a while, a film comes along that unexpectedly levels you. You think you’re about to see a fun film that’s mainly geared towards kids so you don’t expect more than a happy child by the time the credits roll. Once you see the film, you quickly realize that having low expectations wasn’t necessary. Over the past several years, an increasing number of animated films have successfully been able to provide heartfelt entertainment for just about everyone.
As adults, our expectations for entertainment become conditional. Once we leave the finite era of childhood behind, we lose more than just our baby teeth and chubby cheeks. We lose that childlike wonder fueled by unlimited imaginations. We forget how easy it was to be entertained for hours by creating entire universes with something as simple as plastic blocks.
I mean this with the most sincerity possible, THE LEGO MOVIE is not a film geared towards kids. Of course it’s easy to make that assumption given the fact that is animated film about toys come to life, but that’s only a small part of what this film is about. And yes, it is completely appropriate for children of just about any age. However, this movie transcends every single demographic that exists. This is not just an animated movie about Legos; it is so much more.
There are certain aspects of the film that I can’t reveal because the marketing and trailers have done such a good job of keeping it under wraps that it’s best to experience it with fresh eyes. There are several great and unexpected cameos from not only the Lego world but pop culture itself. The nostalgia level in this film is off the charts. If memories of your childhood don’t flash in your brain while watching, then I’m sorry you had such a horrible childhood or long-term amnesia.
Anyone who has read any of my reviews knows that I’m one of the biggest haters of 3D. While THE LEGO MOVIE does nothing to permanently change my position on the gimmicky format, this film has the best use of 3D I have ever seen. It is stunningly seamless and was clearly something that was taken seriously during post-production. I highly recommend seeing this film in 3D.
All of the performances are nothing short of excellent. Chris Pratt as Emmitt and Elizabeth Banks as Wild Style share the bulk of the dialogue but every supporting character and actor contributes perfectly to this story. The animation is at a completely different level. We all know how good Pixar is at creating characters who can emote with just as much power as a human being. While this isn’t a Pixar film, the Warner Animation Group just sent a shot over the bow. I could never have predicted what these tiny plastic figures could do in the hands of the amazing animators.
If you don’t find yourself enjoying and being moved by this film, then you’re obviously someone that just hates things that are great. While others may try to make comparisons to the other animated films that have come before, this movie is unique to the point that those comparisons may be futile. There is no doubt in my mind that this movie will be a huge success for WB and the first big step in a new blockbuster franchise for the studio for years to come.
THE LEGO MOVIE is not about toys. It is a movie about us. It is a movie for us. It is an amazing adventure that helps us temporarily rediscover the greatest gift that the human race has ever developed – our imaginations.