TL;DR: The LEGO Movie is awesome. Go see it.
My girlfriend and I aren’t big on Valentine’s Day. Instead, we prefer to celebrate Half Price Chocolate Day. And for HPCD this year, we went and saw The LEGO Movie.
Now, I’m a huge LEGO fan, so I was in an interesting headspace leading up to this movie. I was of course predisposed to like it, but I was also worried about getting my hopes up. After all, I saw what they did to Transformers.
But somehow, they finally got a nostalgia-fueled movie about a kid’s toy right.
The movie was awesome. Not only did it manage to capture that unique feeling of playing with LEGO, it also had a really good message. And I loved the art style: while they used CGI, everything looked like it was made out of physical bricks. Everything. Even the water and explosions were rendered with gentle wear and scuff marks. And all the characters move like they were actual minifigs (read: not much) In fact, I would say this is the first CG movie that fooled me into thinking it was real (or at least stop-motion).
A word of warning: the theme song WILL get stuck in your head.
Now, if you haven’t seen it yet (you totally should), you may want to go elsewhere. I’m going to venture into more spoiler-y territory. You have been warned.
Okay. Anyone still here? Good.
All throughout the movie, I was thinking “Man, this feels a lot like the kind of story some kid would cook up with a big mix of differently-themed LEGO sets.” Well, lo and behold, that’s exactly what it was! It turns out that the LEGO collection was his father’s, who had an obsession for keeping things “just so,” going to such an extreme as to glue pieces together.
Now I don’t know about you, but gluing LEGO bricks together is a cardinal sin to me. I’m willing to make allowances for actual art made with purpose-bought bricks, but gluing a personal collection? Never! So for me, the dad was definitely the villain of the piece.
But I can see where he’s coming from. For most of my LEGO career, I was vehemently pro-segregation. I kept each and every set I had in its own little tub, with the directions and everything. Whenever I wanted to play with LEGO, I would build a set from the instructions and then go to town. Eventually my collection got large enough that I had to start mixing sets, but even then I only mixed sets from the same theme together. That has changed in recent years, as I have since started sorting my collection by piece type and color, the better to be creative with. But I digress.
I enjoyed the movie’s message that there can be a time and a place for following directions. After all, there are some cool LEGO sets out there. But if everyone followed all the directions all the time, we wouldn’t have any of the awesome MOC’s that are out there.
Sorry, got distracted by all the LEGO links I posted.
Anyway, you should totally go see The LEGO Movie if you haven’t yet. I may be admittedly biased, but it’s become one of my new favorite movies.
Even if the theme song has been stuck in my head since I saw it.