Hassan Sayed `15
When I first heard about The Lego Movie, I didn’t know what to think. I had seen the trailer maybe once (many months before the movie was released). And considering the recent heavy inflation of Lego set prices coupled with the increased branding of the company, I thought it would just be some sort of ploy to help The Lego Company push and market its products by appealing to a horde of younger fans. But following rave reviews (specifically comments from fellow Edsmen and a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes), I decided to give the movie a go. And it was most definitely worth it.
The storyline follows Emmet, an everyday construction worker Lego mini-figure who is suddenly swept into part of a massive plot that threatens the existence of the entire Lego world. Of course, Emmet’s job is to save the day. The film’s plot seems cliché, but quite arguably, the plot isn’t even the point the film is trying to convey. Rather, it’s a medium through which the onscreen Lego characters convey an unerring blast of creative ridiculousness, marked by unerring, fast-paced events and a mix of absolute enormity, creativity, and stupidity represented in the characters’ actions.
The most outstanding element of the film is the animation and all the details associated with it. Every single portion of the movie is made out of an existent Lego brick, from the massive skyscrapers to the clouds to a “double-decker-couch.” Even fire-blasts from guns are pieces (they’re pieces of grass colored orange). The other amazing part of the animation is that it looks and feels like a stop motion animated movie. This common technique among filmmakers (usually making actual Lego movies) employs taking a picture of a toy in one position, then moving it slightly, taking another picture, and repeating the process. When all the images are combined together, they give the illusion of movement. The CGI animation of The Lego Movie is altered through the dropping of movie frames to make the movie actually seem like it was stop-motion animated. The lighting has also been altered to make it seem like the movie is taking place in a room where ceiling lights are being reflected off of pieces, adding to the realism of feeling the characters move like they are actual moving toys.
The Lego Movie, in its combination of over-the-top-ness, stellar animation techniques, and creativity, is one of the most innovative and original animated films to hit the cinema since the original Toy Story. Even though it’s technically a children’s film, there’s most definitely enough substance within it to make it appeal to all ages. And I don’t say that lightly; I didn’t feel weird walking into the theatre with a large group of teenagers, and leaving it, I felt even less awkward. To sum up the film in the titular words of its end credits song: “Everything is Awesome.”
Edsman Rating: A+