There’s a good reason why Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘The Lego Movie’ is getting such high praise. It wasn’t just another “kids” movie (although I abhorrently debate against labeling animations as such as these movies are for people of all ages). It wasn’t just another animation that used Lego mini-figures and bricks and then stuck that on the title. The movie is the very essence of the title. But more on that later.
I have been waiting to see this movie back ever since I first heard it was in production. Not unlike anyone else, I grew up with plenty of Legos and they were among my favorite toys so that along with my love for animation I without a doubt wanted to see this movie. Of course without giving anything away (I hate spoilers in reviews so you don’t have to worry about that here) here are my impressions…
As you make your way through the beginning of the movie, you may find it takes a bit of time for you to get used to the animation. Like many others I thought this movie was done with stop motion but it was actually CG animation. In fact, they purposely animated it in a way to give it that stop motion look. Being one who has experience using Legos with actual stop motion in college, I know how difficult and limited they can be. They approached it with the same characteristics thus giving a less smoother look on screen compared to other similar animated movies. It’s part of it’s charm yet also a minor distraction, but once you adjust to it it’s all good. Seeing it on the big screen probably didn’t help this case either and I wonder whether or not this will even be an issue on your home TV. However, the slow motion sequences were a really nice touch and allowed you the chance to appreciate all the details.
The voice acting was overall great, minus a couple of people that I’ll get to in a minute. Chris Pratt who plays the main character Emmet Brickowoski, Elizabeth Banks who plays Wyldstyle, Will Arnett who plays Batman and Will Ferrell who plays Lord and President Business all deserve high praise. There were plenty of other great cameos and guest voices as well. However of all people the two biggest names, Liam Neeson who plays Good Cop/Bad Cop and Morgan Freeman who plays Vitruvius the wizard, left something to be desired. I am huge fans of both of these actors yet I expected a bit more out of them which became my biggest disappointment and gripe with the movie. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t terrible by any means. It just seemed like they both lacked the emotion needed in certain scenes. Liam Neeson was more of an issue to me than Morgan Freeman. Normally what actors will do when recording their voices for animations is they will watch the actual movie while recording, that way they can act out the voice work appropriately. It allows for a better emotional connection and performance of the characters. It seemed as if both these actors didn’t have this luxury as some scenes fell really flat compared to the spirit of the other voice actors. Considering their high profile nature and busy schedules, perhaps they had to work before the movie was ready. I would find it hard to believe otherwise considering how talented they both are.
Much like the journey of Emmett through the movie, at times you wonder how the whole story is connected. Things gradually become clearer as you go deeper into the movie. But it’s what happens towards the end of the movie that completely brings everything home. What they did was beautiful, as they didn’t just make any Lego movie, they made the Lego movie with all the heart that the brand stands for. By the end everything is clear and you just can’t help but smile while you watch and think of happy memories.
It’s a really good movie and in my opinion, everything you have heard about it so far is probably true. I don’t care how old you think you are, I would definitely recommend seeing it (kids not required) if you lived any part of your childhood playing with Legos.