Going into the movie theater on Saturday afternoon I honestly didn't know what to expect from The LEGO Movie. I suppose part of me expected the movie to cater to the target LEGO audience 6 to 13-year-olds, but I hoped deep down for something more. I wanted the LEGO Movie to transcend the product, to show the rest of the world what those of us in the LEGO community already know - that the LEGO system of play is thoughtful, complex and beautiful.
Not much was known about the LEGO Movie plot going into the release weekend. What we did know was that the movie featured average-Joe Emmet Brickowoski somehow joining forces with the fearless Wildstyle in hopes of saving the LEGO world from Lord Business' evil plans. What they delivered was one amazing, and sometimes bizarre, adventure that criss-crossed many of the classic LEGO themes including city, old west, castle, and pirate. While watching the movie I kept thinking that the plot felt like it was taken from the imagination of my 9-year-old self playing with bricks down my basement.
The animation is top-notch with every element of the landscape and characters rendered in great detail. Each minifigure was brought to life with tiny, lifelike movements of their hair, hands, and limbs. Explosions, lasers, and even water were made from digitally rendered LEGO bricks. The animators used LEGO bricks to painstakingly create all of the structures, vehicles, and environments seen in the movie. I kept wishing I could pause the movie and look at just how everything was built. That being said things on screen got a little overwhelming at times, which made it hard to tell what was going on, but maybe these eyes of mine are just getting old.
So, was LEGO able to break away from historically terrible toy-themed movies? I fully believe so. From the prospective of an adult fan of LEGO the movie succeeded in reminding me of why and how I fell in love with LEGO bricks in the first place. I appreciated the throwback LEGO themes, unexpected cameos and humor that only adults would get. But this is also a family movie and the directors gently remind us that as a community of adult LEGO builders we should help inspire our children, the next generation of LEGO enthusiasts, to think beyond the instruction sheet.
I give The LEGO Movie 5 out of 5 Nerdlies.