By Mike Dyer, Senior Writer
The setting: awesome, the casting: awesome, the story: awesome, see the trend? If you walk out of the theater and don’t find yourself singing “Everything Is Awesome” then odds are you didn’t have a very imaginative childhood. “The Lego Movie” puts some of Cinema’s greatest characters together on one screen, they just happen to be a little smaller than you might expect. Packed with fantastic animation, great casting, lots of action, a good message and surprise cameos, “The Lego Movie” might just prove to be this generation’s “Toy Story.”
“The Lego Movie” takes place in a world entirely made up of Lego bricks and Lego people making it visually captivating to watch. When Lord Business (Will Ferrell) hatches a plan to destroy the Lego universe with a weapon known only as the “Kragle” the Master Builders hope for an ancient prophecy foretold by the old wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) to come to life. The prophecy says that someone called “the special” will rise to defeat President Business and cap the Kragle with the piece of resistance; a long lost artifact. When ordinary construction worker Emmet (Chris Pratt) finds the piece of resistance he is launched into a crazy adventure that takes him into all the other realms of the Lego Universe. Along the way he is joined by the savvy Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and her boyfriend Batman (Will Arnett) as well as Vitruvius who tries to help Emmet utilize his power as a Master Builder. Additional voice cast includes Nick Offerman as Metal Beard a Lego pirate, Alison Brie as Princess Uni-Kitty, Charlie Day as Benny a “1980-something space guy” and Liam Neeson as Bad Cop/Good Cop, one of Lord Business’s henchmen with a split personality.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the same team that helmed “Cloudy with a “Chance of Meatballs,” “The Lego Movie” utilizes an immense 3D animation platform that is very realistic and makes the film appear as the whole thing was shot with stop motion capture. Everything from fire to water is made of Lego bricks and pieces and plays well with the first rate voice casting. Everyone in the film feels perfectly cast as every voice proved engaging and kept me laughing through all the cleverly timed action. Adding funs to the voice cast are some unexpected cameos from other iconic movie characters that appear in their Lego set form. Comic fans will be pleased to know that Batman isn’t the only DC character to appear in the film.
Tying all these elements together is a good message that reminds us that the power of imagination and creativity are useful at any age and how everyone in their own way is special, some are just a little different than others. It would be fair to say that “The Lego Movie” is one 90 minute commercial for a child’s toy, but it would be unfair to put it on thesame level as “Transformers” and “Battleship” because both of those films couldn’t even compare in the level of heart and charm present in this film. It doesn’t take a set of instructions to see that when you piece it all together “The Lego Movie” will go on to be one of the best animated films of the year, and perhaps one of the best of its genre.