Animated feature films. They tend to be a hit or miss in the industry and for audiences as it is always so difficult to get every little feature right. The visuals have to be astounding, the animation on point and the story has to be engaging enough (not to mention make sense!) to maintain attention spans. Animation is a long process, and one that requires dedication, which means studios tend to shy away from these types of productions as they can be so risky. So, in a more recent world where the most notable animations are undoubtedly Toy Story and Frozen (and pretty much anything Disney can come up with, ever), are there any other animated features that can compete with the conglomerates that are Disney and Pixar? The answer takes the form of a small yellow man made entirely out of Lego – yes, its 2014’s The Lego Movie.
The movie itself follows an ordinary construction worker named Emmet (Chris Pratt), who is a conformist by nature and can’t seem to get by in life without specific instructions (how to brush your hair, what clothes to wear – even how to wake up efficiently). This is until unassuming Emmet gets mistaken for the ‘special’, a person who is prophesized to stop Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from using a super-weapon called the ‘Kragle’. Emmet is then thrust into a world that he never knew existed, where the master builders rein supreme, in the form of WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks), a creative and tough master builder, Uni-Kitty (Alison Brie), Benny (Charlie Day), Metal Beard (Nick Offerman) and a wizard named Vitruvius, portrayed by Morgan Freeman (who possesses the creepiest glowing eyes you’ve ever seen). Also along for the adventure are a whole heap of Lego DC superheroes, including none other than the enigmatic Batman (Will Arnett), Superman (Channing Tatum), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), and Wonder Woman (Cobie Smulders). The cast is everything you’d want and expect from a riotous animated adventure, and Pratt doesn’t disappoint with his spot-on portrayal, whilst Banks’ WyldStyle shines, whilst injecting a whole lot of creativity into the feature.
What makes The Lego Movie great besides the visuals and the performances is, as mentioned, the film’s fairly thought-provoking plot. The overall social commentary on conformity and personality is an engaging one which is particularly resonating in today’s current society, when one thinks how individualism can often be looked down upon as veering from the norm. Combined with anarchic and chaotic fun, this message sets the film alive at its core, and the film is sure to ignite a passion for imagination amongst all ages.
Visually electrifying and suitably smart, The Lego Movie does what so many movies fail to do – dazzle and engage its audience. If you haven’t seen it, then I would thoroughly recommend for 100 minutes of pure imagination.