Don’t let the PG rating on “The Lego Movie” make you think that it is something just for the kids -- like the “for ages 8-14” on Lego boxes, it’s just a suggestion. “The Lego Movie” is a whirlwind of a good time for everybody. Both hilarious and touching, the film ends up packing an important message not just for the kids, but for the adults too.
“The Lego Movie” centers on Emmett, the most ordinary person in the universe, who is perfectly happy to go about his life by the instructions. That is until he meets Wyldstyle and finds the piece of resistance. Emmett learns that he is the prophesized “special” and that he is the only one that can save the universe from Lord Business’’ evil plan.
Nostalgia is high for anyone who has every played with Legos, from the different worlds to all the special edition characters that you could play with, to the precise and often confusing instructions. But even if you were deprived of these awesome building blocks as a kid, you are easily able to jump into the world writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller created. Lord and Miller hit the essentials, but went above and beyond by making a movie featuring Legos with a strong message.
Emmett spends much of the movie in amazement by what Wyldstyle and the other master builders are able to make from nothing. However, Emmett doesn’t need to change and become like them. The film shows, a little on the nose because this is the message that is more important for the kids, that you don’t need to be like someone else to be special, you can be just by believing in yourself. Emmett save’s the world not by taking what he’s learn from the other master builders, but from doing what only he can.
For the adults, “The Lego Movie” is there to remind us that it’s okay to be like a kid sometimes and just have fun. Not everything has to be in its proper place at all times; let loose, use your imagination. Being able to teach and entertain kids and parents is the staple of any great animation film, and it is clear that “The Lego Movie” fits the bill.
The core of the movie is only increased by the fantastic qualities it has on its surface. First off the animation is beautiful, it nearly looks like a stop-motion film where they used real Lego pieces. The voice acting is incredible. Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Will Arnett provide the biggest laughs, but it is Chris Pratt that steals the show. He does a fantastic job voicing Emmett, bringing a huge amount of heart to his character. Plus the jokes, both visual and verbal, are hysterical.
“The Lego Movie” feels like a distant cousin to Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” from 2012. Though both movies rely on pop-culture for a lot of their humor, the film’s themselves will be something that hold up extremely well over time because of the points they have to make go much deeper than most would expect from a “kid’s” movie. Like the indestructible blocks that served as inspiration, “The Lego Movie” is something that will be around to enjoy for a long, long time.
(This review first appeared on lenoirauteur.com)