The Lego Movie Review

I initially was like "meh" about this movie when I first saw the trailer in the theaters since it was about Legos, which I thought to be constricting and limiting, and clearly a comedy film, which I don't particularly like to go to actual theaters for. I hadn't been watching the trailers either and it wasn't until recently when a friend showed me the second trailer was I like "Wow" due to the quality of the textures, which I will go into more later. Trailers! Most memorable is Laika's Box Trolls trailer where they showed the creation process of creating a stop motion movie. It was beautiful. Mr. Sherman and Peabody again which I am looking forward to, and the other trailer for an animated movie is Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return. Kind of iffy, particularly how cartoony and kid-oriented it seems and the story isn't based on previous books.

The Lego Story is about Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrel) disliking the chaos that is created from the combination of multiple sets of Legos, without instructions, to create hodgepodge of creations. Lord Business steals the "Kragle" from Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman) and sets in motion his plan to ensure everything will be exactly as he wants the world to be. Vitruvius prophesies that there will be a "special" who will find the Piece of Resistance which is capable to stop the Kragle. Eight and a half years later, Emmet, the most ordinary character with no special qualities becomes the one to find the Pieces of Resistance and he goes off on an adventure attempting to escape from the clutches of Lord Business and to get the Piece of Resistance to the Kragle in order to save the world. The movie does a good job at hiding exactly what Lord Business' plan entails and what the Kragle is. It turns out that the Kragle is a tube of Krazy Glue with the "zy" and "u" scrapped off. The Piece of Resistance is the cap to the tube of Krazy Glue. Through all the adventures and towards the end of the movie, we find out that the Lego world is a reflection of the real world, that was actually live action, and a child's imagination as a little boy, Finn, plays with his father's Lego set that he was not supposed to touch.

Distributed by Warner Bros., the animation is done by Animal Logic over in Australia, which I know them for the Happy Feet movies and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.

When I first heard about a Lego movie my reaction was "meh" in that everything is just going to be plastic and very limited. What got me to go see this movie in the theaters is how ridiculously detailed the textures were down to the small scratches and dents that appear in the plastic by default and additional ones through usage. Everything was done very exactly, such as seams along edges from when the plastic is molded and scratches around the paint. There was some nice subsurface going on so that light can pass through thinner areas of the plastic. Animal Logic had an interesting tool that allowed them to take individual blocks of Legos and actually build everything that can be seen in the world. Which is great as texture artists probably didn't have to paint thousands of individual Legos that seemingly looks the same and only a few variations. The "dynamics" in the movie were hilarious and amazing in that things like explosions and water were still made out of Legos which seems quite a feat to do. "The Void" wasn't made out of Legos which I found strange at first but once I realized what it actually way, the drop off the table where the Lego world is sitting on and into the real world, I was like "Okay, that makes sense then".

The animation was quite interesting. While limited, due to the lack of joints and possible deformations of Legos, the animators were able to achieve lively and hilarious performances. The movements were kept very much in the style of how a Lego character is limited, although there were a few instances where I saw an arm reach out horizontally. I did feel the choice of how the characters wear clothes was strange though and wasn't what I was expecting. If you want a figure to change clothes when playing Legos, you take off the head and actually switch bodies. Instead what happened was Emmet through a shirt up into the air, jumped through it, and it magically was worn. Everything else was kept very Lego-like with hair being taken off, Good Cop/Bad Cop having a second face in the back, and heads being able to turn 360 degrees.

Towards the end of the movie felt to be confusing and have somewhat fallen apart with inconsistencies and large stretches of inference. There was the small tube of the Kragle that can somehow be a world ending weapon and is able to somehow create an endless amount of super glue and putting the Piece of Resistance, the cap on the Kragle automatically stops the TAKOS machines spraying the super glue everywhere as if the Kragle was merely a power source, how Emmet could move in the real world although like a demon possessed toy, and how Emmet miraculously gained Master Builder powers on his return to the Lego world so that he can create a giant robot to save the world. Overall I found the movie to be enjoyable though. Usually I dislike Will Ferrel movies as I don't find him funny, just stupid, but like Megamind, I didn't mind him so much. The story had a nice message of the flourish of creativity and that everyone is special. I particularly like the aspect of how, since the world is made of Legos, if you have the creativity you can just take things all around you to create something. The movie is doing extremely well. It has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The sequel has already been announced and it seems like the second movie, with the arrival of Duplex blocks at the end brought by Finn's sister, might be something about allowing others, even though extremely different, into your world of imagination.

Apparently there are some theaters that are giving away limited edition Lego characters. Below is a photo taken by a friend, Mark Angoncillo of the one he got at Regal Cinemas. Unfortunately I went to Century Theaters where they did not have this gift.