The Lego Movie - Parent Movie Review by Southern Outdoor Cinema
MPAA RATING: PG
GENRE: Animated / Children
The Lego Movie surrounds two distinctly different characters in particular, Emmet and Lucy (otherwise known as Wyldstyle throughout the movie). Emmet is your less than average nobody, living your less than average life. Other than his average job constructing average buildings around town, Emmet is simply not worth noticing. In fact, there isn’t a single co-worker, of Emmet’s, who would remember his name.
Then there is Lucy, your above average master builder with a talent for snapping together anything that she sets her mind on building. She is beautiful, is known by everyone she is around from day to day, and is even on a secret mission searching for someone called the Special (otherwise known as the most important person in the entire universe). There is absolutely nothing average about Lucy, and Emmet finds this out when he sees her digging through the debris at his job one day.
After stumbling over his own two feet, as usual, Emmmet and Lucy meet. Emmet finds himself completely awe-struck, while Lucy believes that she has finally found the person that she has been looking for, the Special. That’s right! Lucy is under the impression that Emmet is not just your above average individual, but that Emmet is actually this “Special” person that she has been searching for all this time. This leaves Emmet completely confused, which he has actually gotten quite used to.
While Emmet’s first instinct is to inform Lucy that he is nothing like the Special person that she is looking for, he finds himself playing the part of the Special just so that he can talk to Lucy. Emmet finds himself traveling with Lucy to visit a man, with a white beard, who has wizard-like powers named Vitruvius. At first glance, Vitruvius believes that Emmet is the Special as well. Lucy and Vitruvius tell Emmet a story that involves President Business, and the soon coming destruction of the entire world in just three days. They also tell Emmet that President Business is somehow connected to something called the Kragle, that is actually a very ancient relic of some kind.
Emmet finds himself intrigued by the story, and although it, at first, seems a bit out of the ordinary, he feels drawn to believe it. If there are people who think that he is Special, and above average, than Emmet is going to do whatever it takes to live up to the name. This brings Emmet a new hope, as well as a new focus in life, that puts him on a journey that he will not soon forget.
There is an ongoing, and very distinct, theme throughout the movie that puts a strong emphasis on focusing on those things about a person that makes them special. It draws on the belief that we all have something about us that makes us extraordinary, and that if we just believe in, and work on, that ability, we are special. This is what changes Emmet’s life as the movie progresses.
Emmet acts on what Lucy and Vitruvius believe him to be, and it is that act of faith that brings out the Special in him. It takes him hearing someone tell him that he is Special, for Emmet to begin believing that he is Special, but if that’s what it takes to believe in yourelf, than that’s what it takes. Emmet takes his Special abilities one step further and decides that he is willing to sacrifice himself if it means that he can save everyone around him.
The master builders are typically a “behind the scenes” group of amazing block builders, who work alone rather than as a team. They eventually learn that it is their combined efforts that can save the world and they begin working together as a unified team. They even go as far as to stand up against the powerful evil, making sacrifices for one another that they would never have made in the past.
A Q-tip, a tube of crazy glue and even a Band-Aid are all mistaken for relics with special powers. These relics are revered by the people in Lego world simply because they don’t realize that these “so-called” relics are just items that have been thrown away by people in the real world. The cap off of the crazy glue bottle turns out to be the Kragle that Vitruvius prophesied about, and that Emmet received a vision, about the “Man Upstairs”, from after touching it. Vitruvius is eventually killed, but doesn’t stay dead as he returns in the form of a plastic ghost hanging from a string.
We come to understand that the entire Lego world, and all of its blocky parts, is actually the creation of a real boy and his Lego set. The additional references that are made about the “Man Upstairs” turn out to be the boy’s father who gave the boy several warnings about playing with the complicated Lego set in the first place.
The violent content is actually quite extensive, with the only difference being that it is all fantasized to look better than it actually is. There are constant scenes of violent content including several gunfights and fistfights, the destruction of an entire fantasy land, horsemen literally exploding as they ride off of cliffs, and several crazy traffic smash-ups. The only reason that it doesn’t look as bad as it really is, is because that the entire movie surrounds plastic block creations. There isn’t a single aspect of the violence that isn’t made to look like the Lego fantasy that it is, which easily minimizes the negative outlook on violence altogether.
The only implication, of anything of a sexual nature, is that of Emmet and Lucy holding hands after it becomes evident that they like each other quite a bit.
Drug and Alcohol Elements
Although they never do get to the bar after-all, several of Emmet’s co-workers discuss meeting at a sports bar when work is over one day.
There is nothing more enjoyable for kids than being able to use their imaginations while playing with toys like the Lego sets these days. The Lego Movie gives children a deeper look into the possibilities of what our imaginations can truly accomplish when we just set our minds to it. It also gives parents a birds-eye view at what children might really be thinking when they pull out that Lego set and lay the pieces out all over the carpet.
The on-going theme seems to be one of a belief in oneself, as well as the importance of allowing one’s imagination to raise our level of creativity, thus raising our overall possibilities in life. The presence of an enormous amount of mildly abrasive comments (such as “what the heck”, “darn” and “dang”) are easily overlooked due to the story-line and block-like figures that they are coming from.
The overall theme of the movie is what makes it very appealing to parents. Learning to use our imaginations is definitely a wonderful thing, and learning to work together to accomplish bigger, and more complicated things, is always better than working alone. The Lego Movie could easily be considered a “must see” for children, and the child at heart.
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Southern Outdoor Cinema
About Paul B. Murray
Paul is founder of Southern Outdoor Cinema, an outdoor cinema event production company based in Atlanta and a dad to 2 pre-teen girls. When he is is not traveling to create outdoor movie nights for communities, he is spending time playing board games, reading books and of course watching movies with his girls.