‘The LEGO Movie’ builds individuality

By Hannah Bates

“The LEGO Movie” has all the signs of being just another cookie cutter animated movie. It could have easily been a lazily written commercial for LEGOS. However, “The LEGO Movie” is a pleasant surprise for a February movie, a month not usually known for its high quality films. While the story is entertaining, the animation is also very impressive. The style imitates what a stop-motion film made with LEGOS would actually look like, with details like flames growing block by block instead of looking like real fire.

In the film, Emmet is a regular guy making his way through life by following whatever society tells him to do, diligently following instructions on what to do. One day, he comes across an intriguing young woman at the construction site at which he works after hours. At the site, he accidentally stumbles across the Piece of Resistance, which holds the power to prevent Lord Business, who rules over society, from cementing everything into place as he desires by using the Kragle. The young woman at the construction site, named Wyldstyle, then takes Emmet on a journey to places he’d never imagined outside of his everyday life to foil Lord Business’s plan.

Beloved characters from other film franchises pop up throughout “The LEGO Movie.” One of the main characters is Batman, and other superheroes, athletes, and movie characters appear unexpectedly throughout the movie. All the surprises keep the movie seeming fresh and never slowing down. While kids will not care much about the performances, adults will recognize many of the actors from popular sitcoms. Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”), Alison Brie (“Community”), Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”), and many others give delightful performances. More serious actors such as Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman turn in surprisingly funny performances, especially Neeson’s Good Cop/Bad Cop performance.

Even though “The LEGO Movie” is a fast-paced and silly movie, the message it promotes is always important for kids and adults alike. The story encourages individuality and the value of not conforming to the norms of society. When Lord Business tries to stifle the creativity of individuals, the protagonists show that innovation is always better than conformity, and that an ordinary guy can change the world. But the quippy dialogue and likable characters keep the message from ever coming off in a heavy-handed fashion. It never once seems like “a very important episode” of a TV show. All in all, “The LEGO Movie” is a beautifully animated, charming movie that anyone could enjoy.

Students have mostly positive sentiments toward “The LEGO Movie.” Deanna Reichardt enjoyed the film because, “It let the audience into the mind of a child and into the imagination.” She was also amused by the concept of master builders who were LEGOS that could build whatever they imagined.

Grace Filipski said, “I was excited to see ‘The LEGO Movie’ because I grew up playing with LEGOS. I was astounded by the creativity in the movie.”

Ellen Reynolds did not enjoy the movie as much as the others, but still said “It was a good kids’ movie.”

Even some SAU faculty members are raving about “The LEGO Movie.”

“I saw it with my kids and it was a big surprise because it hit me on a number of levels,” David Baker, KALA operations manager said. He was impressed by how the movie sends the message that parents can learn from their children and how the mutability of the lego world has parallels to our own lives.

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