Like a decent portion of the American public ($69.1 MILLION, and bringing with the news a slew of amazing Lego puns), I went and saw “The Lego Movie” this weekend, and it’s one of the most amazing films I’ve ever seen, live action or otherwise, kids-centric or otherwise, whatever or whateverotherwise.
There is nothing simple about this movie. What could’ve been a very, very dumb film (like, c’mon; “Lego Movie”?) is instead a technical marvel, and a story that reaches across generations to celebrate play, something that’s increasingly becoming commodified and trademarked and “studied” in an effort to, what? Calculate the greatest possible efficiency for children’s minds? Anyway, if you’re worried about corporate branding! or the bastardization of yet another game for a stupid film idea!, settle your skirts and defer from judgment for just a minute:
Legos are, at their core, blocks, but more than that, they represent the potential for unlimited creativity. Like Minecraft, another game which focuses on building at its core, the goal isn’t necessarily to make any one thing with Legos. It’s to build anything, with everything you’ve got. Sure, there are designed sets, but as the film makes clear, these aren’t sacrosanct boundaries, merely suggestions that can easily be transgressed by the simple act of blending them together.
And what “The Lego Movie” does is blend, blend, blend. It’s literally a fantastic narrative, and though in its core, it’s grounded in a very specific reality, it’s less about the Legos themselves than it is about what it’s like to engage in creative thinking, and how these little plastic blocks can serve as a catalyst for such thinking, no matter who you are and whatever it is that you’re trying to create.
The movie’s making money by the bucketfuls, and very might well spawn a franchise. But don’t bemoan this fact; instead, let’s celebrate the fact that there are still films out there that take having fun seriously, that play on fantasy without losing sight of the reality at their cores.