Everything is awesome: when you see The Lego Movie.
[DON'T WORRY - NO SPOILERS]
I was surprised when I first heard about the Lego Movie. My initial reaction was: “Wait, how it has taken this long for a movie like this to come out?” Not only has this been a beloved toy for decades, the pure merchandising opportunity alone made me think this is something that would have existed long ago – or at least in 2 or 3 different forms by now.
But here we are, and it is a move doing just as well as anyone probably suspected. Actually better, considering it grossed $69.1 million on its first weekend.
The question then becomes how. On the surface this movie has all the components of a pretty good children’s movie that adults will enjoy too:
1. For the kids it has funny Legos running around in cool and awesome action sequences
2. For the adults it has a killer cast and crew of people. Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman…just to name a few.
3. For the kids it has a great message in believing in yourself to do something great
4. For adults it has plenty of nostalgia appreciative humor (Old Lego sets, Star Wars references).
5. For kids it has fun, catchy songs.
6. …For adults it has fun, catchy songs.
It has a plot that on the surface seems pretty cookie cutter. The hero of this tale is Emmet played by Chris Pratt. He is an ordinary construction worker who lives a pretty average life. Until he meets the girl “Wyldstyle” (Elizabeth Banks), discovers something called the “Piece of Resistance” and finds out that he is in fact – “The Special” – the most interesting, most awesome, coolest guy in the whole universe. He then has to figure out how to use the Piece of Resistance to stop the villain, Lord Business (Will Ferrel) who is trying to destroy their universe.
So on the one hand you have your pretty standard ordinary guy becomes extraordinary to save the world and get the girl. On the other hand you have a tale of believing in the power that you can do something great.
Pair that with a killer soundtrack, cool animation sequences and more nerdy inside jokes that you can count.
Again – all of this has the opportunity to make a pretty good movie. Yet the movie does exactly what Emmet himself set out to do – they somehow made pretty decent extraordinary. I think they successfully pulled this off because of the idea of imagination. If you strip away the plot and the animation and the music, at the core of all this you have exactly what the toy they’re portraying is about: The story of imagination. When you make your story about a core value that everyone can relate to, you have the power to strike a chord in everyone’s hearts. Kids feel inspired to create; adults feel the power of not forgetting their child-like selves, yearning for creativity.
As Willy Wonka said: If you want to view paradise / Simply look around and view it / Anything you want to, do it/ Want to change the world? / There’s nothing / To it
Of course, the nerdy references don’t hurt either. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.
If you’ve already seen the movie, make sure to check out the blooper reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?