12017898693_63b7cbcf67

The initial display from IndyLUG at the Greenfield Brick Expo- After seeing the film today, we know there’s a lot that needs to be added…

I’m and old school animation guy… classic Warner Brothers animation, Disney, & Pixar are all my favorites.  While I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of the more recent stuff I haven’t really been a fan of other studios attempts at creating an animated film.  Some have been good, but I compare animated films to super hero films and you’ve got Marvel that has figured it out, and DC that hasn’t (this coming from a DC comics fan).  I think I’ve had the misfortune of seeing a few failed attempts at telling an animated story from Dreamworks, or whoever and just left shaking my head.  The studios idea seemed to be if we use famous people and throw in a song by a popular artist (along with a few fart jokes) it will make us enough money to cover the costs.  I feel bad for parents who have young children and have to sit through Ice Age 16, Madagascar 25 or whatever.  Again I’m generalizing so don’t come back with a “What about…”  There have been some good movies, but nothing consistent, like what Pixar had done.

Being an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) when the hype started about “The Lego Movie” I was cautiously optimistic.  The trailers seemed amusing which could be that they cut the trailer to include only the funny parts.  The cast, while stars, weren’t necessarily Hollywood A-listers (although I stay away from tabloids so they could be and I don’t know).  The thing that kept coming to me as I watched the trailers was it looked like it was going to be fun.  It looked like they were taking themselves seriously, but not too seriously.  When the Lego kits for the movie came out, they continued with this theme.  Almost a child-like whimsy built into to each set.  I started to really look forward to seeing this film- and that scared me even more.  I was scared that I was setting the bar too high and that nothing could be as good as what I was expecting.

I was wrong.  This film not only met those expectations, but surpassed them.  I was lucky enough to get a couple of passes to a screening this morning since I had contributed to a display at the Greenfield Brick Expo and was amazed at how it appealed to everyone in the audience, and this could have been a tough audience since a large portion were AFOLs.  Frankly, I don’t want to give anything away and I suggest you avoid spoilers because there are some twists that really make the film more than just 100 minutes of animated Lego Minifigs.   I also suggest you see it as soon as you can, before you can’t avoid reviews that ruin the film for you.

Here’s the basic plot, most of this can be pulled from the trailers-  It takes place in a Lego world where our hero – Emmet is just a construction guy doing his job.  There is a group called the “Master Builders” who are looking for “The Special” someone who, because of prophecy, will save the world from Lord Business and his evil plans (destroy the world on Taco Tuesday).  Emmet, our “hero”, gets mistaken for “The Special” and must try to save the world, with the help of others (the trailer shows an old wizard guy, a girl dressed in black, and Batman- yes, Batman).  Sounds a little like “The Matrix”? I would agree as to the general premise, the nice thing is they tie everything up in 100 minutes, not three movies, and since it is geared to kids, adults can pretty much understand what’s going on.  By the end you care about the world, you care about the characters, and it has a couple good morals (one for kids, and one for adults although the one for kids works for adults too)-  If I told you it would ruin it for you so I won’t.

The thing that stood out for me is that I am seriously considering seeing this film again, in a theater.  Most films I can wait until they are on Netflix, or I spend a couple bucks to rent them from iTunes  (I did this with The Avengers & Man of Steel).  This one I’m thinking about going back to the theater when it opens, paying a lot of money, and seeing it again, just to catch what I missed-  and then I’m thinking about buying a copy to own when it’s available…that says something about this movie, since I haven’t done either thing for any film released in the last decade.

SO what are your thoughts?  For me it was “AWESOME!” Your mileage may vary.