If you told me two years ago that one of the best movies of 2014 would be “The Lego Movie,” then I would never have believed you and probably would have scoffed derisively. I’m so smug. That said, “The Lego Movie” surprisingly didn’t just turn out to be a fantastic movie, but one of the best movies of 2014. It’s an animated adventure filled with heart, laugh out loud comedy, and very relevant commentary about individuality, and the inherent magic and beauty behind collecting and creating. First and foremost, though, it’s an excellent animated adventure for all ages.
Star Chris Pratt gives a hilarious performance as the loyal working drone Emmett Brickowski. He doesn’t question his life, and has a blast pretty much conforming to what every one of his fellow workers are listening to or talking about. The problem is Emmett doesn’t stand out, and is on the search for something that can help him find a unique sense of worth. Meanwhile the evil Lord Business rules over Lego world’s freedom and sense of creating with his brand of super glue, and is in search of the mythological “Piece De Resistance.” Emmett meets the heroine Wildstyle and teams up with Lego superheroes to find the piece before Lord Business does. Emmett goes along with Wildstyle (Elizabeth Banks) to keep Lego land safe, all the while exploring the mythological “Master Builders” and what they mean to his world.
Packed with an all star cast, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller compose a very original adventure that surprising enough isn’t a commercial for Lego. They also bring together an array of hilarious supporting characters and villains that help fuel the fast paced but memorable adventure. One of the better characters is Good Cop/Bad Cop, as played by Liam Neeson, an enforcer for Lord Business whose personality shifts make him a formidable foe. There’s also Charlie Day as Benny the Astronaut, and Will Arnett who has a blast as Batman. Almost every Lego property has a cameo or supporting role in the narrative, and the writers use them to their full advantage with surprise cameos that will keep older fans bowled over with glee. “The Lego Movie” is just a fantastic film. It embraces its pop culture roots, while also telling a genuine story that’s funny, exciting, and sweet in many instances.
The “Everything is Awesome” Edition of the “Lego Movie” release comes in a clear case packed with a 3D photo of Emmet Brickowski, as well as an exclusive LEGO Vitruvius Minifigure for collectors. Though the release consists of exclusives for the HD audience, there is a commentary with the directors and the cast on the DVD as well as the Blu-Ray. The commentary is a blast with some fun stories, a ton of jokes, all with accompaniment by the entire cast including Pratt, Banks, and Charlie Day. “Batman’s A True Artist” is a music video about Batman explaining his life as an orphan. “Michelangelo and Lincoln: History Cops” is a fun minute long grindhouse stop motion trailer for the new mismatched cop team! “Enter the Ninjago” is a two minute long fun look at the Ninjago series and their use on the movie.
“Behind the Scenes: Bringing LEGO to Life” is a twelve minute Behind the Scenes hosted by Emmett Brickowski who shows us what it was like to film in Lego Land. For folks that want to sing along to “Everything is Awesome,” there’s a fun sing along for the awesome to celebrate being awesome. “Introduction with Senior Designer Michael Fuller” is a fun tutorial for kids on how to build their own Lego mobiles, and to inspire them in to creating something original. With a downloadable Digial Designer, you can also learn how to build the double Decker couch, and Emmett’s Car! “Behind the Scenes: Stories From The Story Team” is a four minute is a fun look at the development process from storyboards to the final cut of the movie.
“Fan-Made Films: Top-Secret Submissions” is a three minute compilation of the mini movies made by LEGO’s “Re-brick” community, many of whom got their own small movies featured in the actual film, itself. There’s a two minute faux “Outttakes” reel for fans that love the Pixar bloopers, as well as a four minute audition reel and various content. There’s also the minute long “Alleyway Test” which tests the LEGO landscapes, a three minute reel of deleted scenes really just storyboard scenes never featured in the movie. Finally there’s “Dream Job: Meet the LEGO Builders” is a thirteen minute exploration of the actual LEGO Master Builders, all of whom build props and vehicles for the film, and how they created such interesting set pieces.