Some thoughts on The Lego Movie

This is not a review. No spoilers. Just some thoughts on the movie.

I haven’t written any blog post of any kind yet, so it might seem strange to start with this, a text about The Lego Movie. I believe this is completely random. The fact is that I just needed to start with something. I want to write more and this just happens to be a moment of inspiration. So, here I go.

Let’s just start with the obvious. Those CGI lego bricks look like fucking Lego bricks! What the hell. You can say anything about CGI but this looked insane. I think CGI plastic always looks very good, take Toy Story for example, that movie is now almost 20 years old but back then CGI plastic already looked good. But this movies takes it to another level. All the bricks have the perfect texture to them. If the camera gets real close there are these beautiful scratches. The sound effects are perfect. It’s a weird combination of plastic sound and big action movie sounds.

They’ve made a very conscious decision for the animation style. Lego is kind of square so the animation is accordingly. It kind of reminds me of all those stop motion lego films on Youtube. They move as if they lack a few frames, which is perfect. Maybe that was even a bit of an homage to all the lego stop motion movies.

Everything is fake anamorphic in this movie in a very extreme way with all the flares and distortions. They approach the use of the camera in a mixed way. Sometimes it’s like the bricks are real size and the depth of field is crazy! It’s like they cannot control it because it just too small, which is completely fabricated! because it’s all CGI. Other times it behaves as if the figures are life size and it’s not that obvious. But it definitely adds another layer of realism to it. Very sweet.

This movie had something very self-conscious for me. The story and the characters behave in a way that seems very appropriate for the fact that they are lego. With lego you can build stuff, lego comes in pre assembled packages with instructions, but it’s designed to encourage creativity and exploration. That to me is the foundation of lego. I just looked up their statement and I think this movie is like that completely on a story level. This movie has a noble and very clear mission/ statement. I appreciate that a lot!

The humor is crazy everything just make so much sense. In the sense that it fits, the humor fits the lego and the movie.

The message of the film is a simple one. I tries to encourage creativity and playing together. Emmet the main character is a construction worker that has to ‘follow the instructions’. The marriage of Lego and hollywood storytelling is so intertwined, it fits perfectly. The hero is following his instructions and has to embrace his instinct and his creativity, just like lego. The obviousness of that is just awesome.

There’s only one thing that’s kind of a problem and that’s it’s lightning fast pace. It’s so damm fast at times that it’s just hard to follow. Or there are to many things happening at once that’s you cannot see them all. It’s insanely packed. The thing is, that speed is also one of the biggest sources of humor and excitement, which is why it’s kind of a problem. It’s more so that you can or cannot handle it. If you can, then it’s awesome. If you can’t then you can almost not watch it.

DON’T FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.