Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s 2014 animation The Lego Movie could hardly be identified as entertainment solely for children. The great thing about this film results from the world-wide adoration that Lego blocks have gained over the past fifty years. Generations of spectators had the opportunity to reminisce about the times they built tall towers from the colourful blocks and positioned the lovely mini-figures around their constructions. Indeed, certain spectators may recognize the characters due to actually owning half of the film’s Lego cast. The aesthetic choices certainly emphasize the playful mood due to the stop-motion animation effect generated through the modern computer software. Yet the selection of Lego figures is more of a complement to the overall message and success of the film. The real humour results from the general social commentary that The Lego Movie introduces in an ultimately kind matter. The utopian, or rather dystopian society, depicted in the film is treated with childlike optimism while it implies the very real concerns regarding consumerism and governmental control. In no way is The Lego Movie openly criticizing society, yet certain sequences do make the audience laugh at their own environment. The short scene regarding ‘the overpriced coffee’--the price of which is exaggerated to $37--is absolutely hilarious and accurate for the majority of mature spectators.

With characters like Lord Business (above; voice by Will Ferrell), The Lego Movie (2014) is rife with social commentary on consumerism, making it a film for both children and adults alike.

With characters like Lord Business (above; voice by Will Ferrell), The Lego Movie (2014) is rife with social commentary on consumerism, making it a film for both children and adults alike.

By the film’s ending, the Lego characters justify their true essence as play-figures for children, or in this case adult obsessions. This interesting plot twist, in which the Legos actually appear as toys and the highly ordered society is depicted from a child’s point of view, takes the controversy to a whole new level. Since the audience could now associate Lord Business with the father figure, literally ‘The Man Upstairs’, their peaceful conflict resolution is in no way cliché or simple.

Yet the comic approach towards our ‘well-constructed society’ isn’t nearly as impressive as the film’s apparent parody of most superhero features. ‘The Great Prophecy’, which actually appeared nonexistent, is a common trait in numerous sci-fi and super hero movies that amplifies the protagonist’s significance in the story. The Lego Movie has it all: the chosen one, Emmet, the magister Vitruvius, the evil robotic minions, pirates, cowboys and the one and only Batman. The parallel universes actually are the various Western, Marine and Space themes that the beloved Danish toy has been advertising for ages. Although The Lego Movie is self-conscious in its narrative and depicts a stereotypical super hero story, the manipulation of these well-known Lego features evokes a sense of nostalgia for the myriad of creative opportunities that these toys grant people of different ages. Like the comic ghost of Vitruvius and the eccentric 1980s spaceman, this blockbuster persuades parents to support their children’s elaborate ideas and with that remember their own.

The one and only Batman stars alongside Emmet and Wyldstyle, voiced by Will Arnett, Chris Pratt, and Elizabeth Banks respectively in The Lego Movie (2014). 

The one and only Batman stars alongside Emmet and Wyldstyle, voiced by Will Arnett, Chris Pratt, and Elizabeth Banks respectively in The Lego Movie (2014). 

Comment