I’ve often criticized Hollywood for their lack of creativity, copping out by making countless re-makes of films and the like. So when The Lego Movie came out in February, I had no idea what to think. After all, we’re talking about a movie based on interlocking plastic blocks! But these little plastic blocks are the foundation of some of the most clever and creative things that I’ve ever seen. Having played some video games based on the subject (Harry Potter and Indiana Jones to name a few), those interlocking blocks might as well be made out of gold. Much to the enjoyment of audiences and critics alike, The Lego Movie was a bona fide hit when it came out, amassing over $250 million at the domestic box office. Obviously anything with that kind of vast appeal raises an eyebrow from me, so when the movie showed up, I popped it in the player with eager anticipation.
This is one weird movie, folks.
Emmet Brikowski (voiced by Chris Pratt) is the epitome of an everyman. He’s forgettable in almost every way, shape and form and even his friends don’t seem to recall him. But one fine day he’s out and about and bumps into a builder named Wyldstyle (voiced by Elizabeth Banks). Attractive and outlandish, Emmet and Wyldstyle end up in a cavern where Emmet literally lands on a mysterious artifact called the Piece of Resistance. This artifact is said to be found by someone called “The Special,” who will bring an end to evil ways. Emmet is summarily arrested by Bad Cop (voiced by Liam Neeson), a henchman of Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) – someone who plans to use a weapon called The Kragle to glue the Lego world into its permanent place. Of course Emmet plans to thwart that plan and with the help of a rag tag group of characters like Vitruvius (voiced by Morgan Freeman), Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) Unikitty (voiced by Alison Brie) and a few others, things get going.
Obviously I don’t want to spoil the ending, but let’s just say that The Lego Movie pretty much delivers on all levels. It’s clear, witty and creative and like the best “kids” movies out there, it has equal appeal to both kids and adults alike. If you’re a fan of the Pixar movies then you’ll be right at home here. As I said above, though, this is one strange movie. I don’t know if the writers were smoking something when they wrote the script, but whatever they did worked. The cast of characters is impressive, nearly as impressive as the characters in the film. I don’t think I’d ever see a movie with Gandolf, Millhouse and Superman all on the same team but hey – here we are. This is a no-brainer for a purchase as the repeat views will no doubt pay for the cost of the Blu-ray. Thoughtful and clever on every level, this is an easy recommendation.
Video: How’s it look?
Right out of the box there are so many factors going for this movie regarding the technical aspects. First it’s a product of a major studio (Warner), next it’s computer-animated and finally it’s a new to Blu-ray film. Add it all up and what do you expect? That’s right. Presented in a 2.40:1 AVC HD encode, The Lego Movie is the epitome of perfection in every way, shape and form. Rich, robust colors are prevalent in every scene, detail is simply amazing as well. This is on par with any modern day Pixar movie and will simply dazzle you with its awesomeness. Remember…everything is awesome, especially the image quality on this transfer!
Audio: How’s it sound?
Who knew that Lego’s could have such a rich and dynamic sound associated with them? That’s courtesy of the DTS HD Master Audio that takes hold of you from the opening credits and won’t let go until the closing. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but suffice it to say that this sound as good as it looks. Will Arnett’s grizzly-voiced Batman is the perfect counterpart to Chris Pratt’s bright and cheery demeanor. Surrounds are working overtime, LFE’s are in on the action as well and what those speakers don’t handle, the front stage takes the burden and runs with it. I’ll leave it at this: it’s an amazing mix that’s sure to please.
Supplements: What are the extras?
When a movie is commercially successful, there are usually two routes taken by a studio: 1) They can put out a bare bones edition knowing it’ll sell based on the popularity of the movie and then put out a “Special Edition” later in the year (see: The Hobbit films) or 2) They can load it down with supplements and get it right the first time. Warner has gone with the second option here and there’s a lot to cover. Let’s get started.
Audio Commentary – Co-Directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord lead the way as actors Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day and Alison Brie join in and go along for the ride. It’s a very active and chatty track that’s chock full of information about the film, easter eggs and anything in between. A great listen.
Bringing LEGO to Life – Chris Pratt narrates this little feature that’s essentially as the title states. Nothing too substantial here, but some little tidbits here and there.
Stories from the Story Team – We pretty much get a crash course in the story department from concept to completion. I’d often wondered what the writers of this movie looked like and now I can die a happy man.
See It, Built It! – Want to build some cars like that seen in the film? Well you’re in luck as you get some basic instruction as to how to do just that. Some smaller features include: “Introduction with Senior Designer Michael Fuller,” “Build the Double-Decker Couch,” “Build Emmet’s Car,” “Introduction with Modeling Artist Adam Ryan,” “Digital Double-Decker Couch” and “Digital Emmet’s Car.”
“Everything is Awesome” Sing-Along – You know the words…sing!
Fan-Made Films: Top-Secret Submissions – The top three Lego shorts were honored with a prize and we get to see them in all their glory.
Alleyway Test – The roughest of cuts – the first test of animation.
Batman’s A True Artist – A music video featuring Batman.
Michelangelo & Lincoln: History Cops – A trailer for History Cops.
Enter the Ninjago – Ninjago characters take over this film, though I’m unfamiliar with Ninjago characters they seem pretty entertaining.
Outtakes – I always love the inclusion of outtakes in an animated film. They’re somewhat contradictory, yet eerily entertaining.
Additional Promotional Content – Some teasers.
Dream Job: Meet the LEGO Builders – The lone exclusive to this Blu-ray set is this feature in which Lego executives and the film’s team meet and worlds collide (in a good way).