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Film Review: The Lego Movie

Updated on August 1, 2017

Background

In 2014, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller released The Lego Movie, based off the Lego Construction Sets first created in 1949. Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Cobie Smulders, Jadon Sand, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Shaquille O’Neal, Wil Forte, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris McKay and Jorna Taccone, the film grossed $469.2 million at the box office.

Synopsis

In a universe made from Lego bricks, Emmet Brickowski is an average Lego construction worker living a happy and upbeat life where he always follows the instructions. One day, he crosses paths with a strange woman named Wyldstyle and gets a mysterious piece stuck to his back. Now, he must use the piece to save the world from the evil ruler Lord Business.

Review

The Lego Movie is one of the best animated films ever made, taking an almost absurd premise of a film set in a Lego universe and mixing an almost nonstop comedic tone with a fun story and brilliant animation. The film is almost entirely done through the use of computer-generated imagery, but at the same time, has a stop-motion style, making the viewer feel like they’re actually enjoying a film where the animator is manipulating the Lego bricks themselves. Doing so wonderfully gives the film the depth it needed to succeed, with nearly every single set piece, character, vehicle and item made out of them and allowing the film to throw its audience into a world of nothing but Lego. It also allows the action to flow seamlessly and have it so every piece matters whether they’re part of an ocean wave, explosion, or randomly thrown together vehicle. Further, those items not constructed out of Lego bricks stand out more, giving them more weight and pointing to an even larger world ruled by who the Lego characters call “The Man Upstairs.”

It makes the film’s story just as fun as it should be, too. While it utilizes a lot of clichéd tropes such as an evil overlord with a dastardly plot, a secret society working to topple him, a prophesied chosen one and the journey for said chosen one to become who he is meant to be, all of them actually make perfect sense within the context of the film’s universe. As such, in the middle of all the comedic zaniness, it manages to slap its audience across the face with a message of the important role imagination can and should have in everyone’s lives, thereby taking a previously deconstructed notion of how everyone being special means no one is and revitalizing it with the notion of a person being extraordinary because of a limitless imagination.

Alongside all of this, the film does manage its own deconstruction and reconstruction of the very idea of there being a specific Chosen One. The goal of stopping Lord Business is thrust upon Emmet when he finds the “Piece of Resistance” and becomes the Chosen One. Yet, he’s just an ordinary guy and the film goes out of its way to show him being a Chosen One doesn’t make sense and portrays the responsibility of the role as pretty damaging to a normal person and those around him. Additionally, Lord Business and Wyldstyle both express their disappointment at not being as “special” as Emmet for being a chosen one. However, Vitruvious later claims he made the whole thing up to give people hope and as Emmet attempts to fulfill being a Chosen One, he becomes a hero and is able to teach people to be their own Chosen Ones, bringing about the aforementioned revitalization of the originally deconstructed idea of everyone is special. It’s the perfect way for the film to bring about its message, highlighting the power of creativity and how awesome everyone and everything can be if they work together and let that creativity flourish. Notably, the film shows how ironic the song “Everything is Awesome” is at the beginning where it makes not questioning anything because everything is awesome a focal point of the song’s meaning. After the deconstruction and reconstruction, it takes on a whole new meaning by being the inspiration for everyone to tap into their own creativity.

Though the story and its deconstruction and reconstruction of the Chosen One concept are the main aspects of the film, it wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without the amount of comedy it employs. Except for a few moments, the comedy is unending and almost never misses its mark, zooming straight on to the next gag in the few times it actually does. Whether it’s everything Batman does or just the mere existence of some characters, like the two-faced Good Cop/Bad Cop, it’s hilarious and part of what makes the film so good.

5 stars for The Lego Movie

Awards won

BAFTA Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

BAFTA Children’s Award

  • Best Feature Film

AARP Movies for Grownups Awards

  • Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Saturn Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards

  • Best Edited Animated Feature Film

Annie Awards

  • Outstanding Achievement in Writing in an Animated Feature Production

ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

  • Top Box Office Films

Austin Film Critics Association

  • Best Animated Film

Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards

  • Best Visual Effects for Animation (Chris McKay, Amber Naismith, Aidan Sarsfield, and Grant Freckelton)
  • Best Visual Effects for Animation (Grant Freckelton, Aidan Sarsfield, Chris McKay, Amber Naismith – producers)

Awards Circuit Community Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

Behind the Voice Actors Feature Film Voice Acting Awards

  • Best Female Vocal Performance in a Feature Film in a Supporting Role (Alison Brie as the voice of “Unikitty”)

Black Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Black Reel Awards

  • Outstanding Voice Performance (Morgan Freeman “Vitruvious”)

Boston Online Film Critics Association

  • Best Animated Film

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

Cinema Bloggers Awards, Portugal

  • Best Animated Film

Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Denver Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)
  • Best Animated Film

Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Top Ten Films

Florida Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Georgia Film Critics Association

  • Best Animated Film

Gold Derby Awards

  • Animated Feature

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Best Animated Movie of the Year

Golden Trailer Awards

  • Best Animation/Family TV Spot (For the TV commercial entitled “special cast”)
  • Most Innovative Advertising for a Brand/Product (For the mini behind the scenes video “Behind the Bricks”

Heartland Film Awards

  • Truly Moving Picture Awards

Houston Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Animated Film
  • Best Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)

IGN Summer Movie Awards

  • Best Animated Movie

Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society’s Creative Arts Awards

  • 3D Feature – Animated

International Online Cinema Awards

  • Best Animated Feature (Tid with The Tale of Princess Kaguya)
  • Second Place – Best Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome!!!”)

Iowa Film Critics Awards

  • Best Animated Feature
  • Best Song (Episode: “Everything is Awesome”)

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Key Art Awards

  • Third Place – Best Audio/Visual Technique (For its copywriting in the teaser trailer “Assemble”)

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Sierra Awards

  • Best Animated Film
  • Best Family Film

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

  • Second Place – Best Animation

Matchflick Flicker Awards

  • Best Toyline Adaptation

National Board of Review Awards

  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Top Ten Films

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Film

New York Film Critics, Online Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

North Carolina Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Film

North Texas Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Film
  • Best Body of Work

Online Film & Television Association Awards

  • Best Animated Picture
  • Best Music, Original Song (For the song “Everything is Awesome”)
  • Best Titles Sequence (For the closing credits sequence)

Online Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

PGA Awards

  • Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

Phoenix Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Animated Film
  • Best Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Awards

  • Artisan Award (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)

Seattle Film Critics Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Film

St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

SXSW Film Festival

  • Film Design Award – Special Jury Recognition

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards

  • Second Place – Best Animated Feature

Utah Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

Village Voice Film Poll Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Animated Feature

Nominated for

Academy Awards

  • Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)

Golden Globe Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

BAFTA Children’s Awards

  • BAFTA Kids Vote – Feature Film

Annie Awards

  • Best Animted Feature
  • Outstanding Achievement in Animated Effects in an Animated Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated Feature Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in Editorial in an Animated Feature Production

Australian Screen Sound Guild Awards

  • Feature Film Soundtrack of the Year

Awards Circuit Community Awards

  • Best Original Song (“Everything is Awesome”)

Behind the Voice Acting Feature Film Voice Acting Awards

  • Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film (Chris Prat as the voice of “Emmet”)
  • Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film (Will Ferrell as the voice of “Lord Business”)
  • Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Feature Film (Elizabeth Banks as the voice of “Wyldstyle/Lucy”)
  • Best Male Vocal Performance in a Feature Film in a Supporting Role (Liam Neeson as the voice of “Bad Cop”)
  • Best Male Vocal Performance in a Feature Film in a Supporting Role (Morgan Freeman as the voice of “Vitruvious”)
  • Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film (Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Charlie Day)

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Song (Song: “Everything Is Awesome”)

Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards

  • Actor of the Year (Chris Pratt)

Cinema Audio Society Award

  • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures – Animated

Críticos de Cinema Online Portugueses Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Empire Awards

  • Best Comedy

Georgia Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)

Gold Derby Awards

  • Original Song (for “Everything is Awesome”_

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Best Comedy of the Year
  • Biggest Surprise of the Year
  • Best DVD of the Year

Golden Trailer Awards

  • Best Animation/Family (for the second theatrical trailer “The Special.”)
  • Best Animation/Family TV Spot (For the TV Commercial entitled “Who Are You?”)
  • Most Original TV Spot (For the TV Commercial Entitled “Something for Everyone”)

Grammy Awards

  • Best Song Written for Visual Media (For the song “Everything is Awesome!!!”)

Hollywood Music in Media Awards

  • Best Original Score – Animated Film

Hugo Awards

  • Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form

Image Awards

  • Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Morgan Freeman)

International Cinephile Society Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Italian Online Movie Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film

Kids’ Choice Awards Blimp Awards

  • Favorite Movie Actor (Will Arnett)
  • Favorite Animated Movie

Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards

  • Best Sound Editing – Animated Feature

Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Eighth Place – Best Film

Online Film & Television Association Awards

  • Best Voice-Over Performance (Liam Neeson for playing “Bad Cop/GoodCop”)
  • Best voice-Over Performance (Chris Pratt for playing “Emmet Brickowski”)

Online Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Picture

People’s Choice Awards

  • Favorite Family Movie

Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Picture

Publicists Guild of America

  • Maxwell Weinberg Award – Motion Picture

Russian National Movie Georges Awards

  • Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

San Diego Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Animated Film

Satellite Awards

  • Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media
  • Best Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)
  • Best Screenplay, Original

Seattle Film Critics Awards

  • Best Music, Original Song (Song: “Everything is Awesome”)

Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Movie: Animated
  • Choice Animated Movie: Voice (Chris Pratt for playing “Emmet Brickowski)

Visual Effects Society Awards

  • Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
  • Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards

  • Best Original Screenplay

Women Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Family Film

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    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 2 weeks ago from Louisiana, USA

      This was a fun movie. I remember seeing it with my niece and nephew. Lego Batman was the best part. I have not seen the Lego Batman movie but I heard nothing but great things about it.