What do you get when you take a beloved toy that can be made into anything and turn it into a movie? Forget "Transformers." The answer is the ingenious, crowd pleasing made-for-everyone must-see entertainment simply titled "The LEGO Movie" that's now available on DVD. That same simplicity is behind the brilliant concept that serves as a launching pad for a funny and rip-roaring animated adventure that includes affectionate movie parodies and a host of well-known characters both real and fictional as you've never seen them before.
Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) is a basic construction worker brainwashed by state sponsored pop culture. His lack of a personal identity makes him invisible to all those around him. Short on imagination and big on following instructions, he tries to manufacture a life by performing all the steps in a poor self-help manual. Fortunately, everything changes instantly when he is mistaken for the hero who will thwart the secret weapon of Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) with a special item known as "the piece of resistance."
The very cleverly realized and extensively detailed animation is start to finish amazing. Every aspect of the many amusing worlds of LEGOland, including fire, smoke, dust and soap bubbles, is made in the style of the popular interlocking plastic building blocks. There is so much going on visually that repeat viewings may be necessary for all the puns, inside jokes and peripheral action, such as a fellow making his own bubbles while bathing in a water tower, to register.
Mundane real world objects such as band aids and nail polish remover become instruments of torture when they fall into the wrong hands. The simple and upbeat original song "Everything is Awesome" is a perpetual groove you'll be singing in your sleep. There's also real heart and soul and truth here that earn "The LEGO Movie" a spot right alongside "Toy Story." And the conclusion will knock your socks off and leave adults reaching for a tissue!