The Lego Movie DVD Review

Film Review by Clayton Barnett
The Lego Movie

The Premise
The LEGO Movie is a 3D animated film which follows lead character, Emmet a completely ordinary LEGO mini-figure who is identified as the most "extraordinary person" and the key to saving the Lego universe. Emmet and his friends go on an epic journey to stop the evil tyrant, Lord Business.
The Review
‘Everything is Awesome’ is an insanely catchy song in The Lego Movie, and boy everything about this movie is.
The people at Lego have assembled a great team to build their bricks into box office gold (it’s made US$400 million worldwide already). They couldn’t have picked a better writing / directing duo than Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the guys behind the archaic animated hit Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the brilliant reboot of 21 Jump Street. Their sense of humour and attention to a good story shine here and they never talk down to the kids in the audience. People can think this movie is just one big marketing tool for Lego, but these two really give it heart.
The CGI is stunning too. They’ve done great work getting a stop-motion look, and the colours just pop in 3D.
The voice cast do an amazing job too. Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) nails the perky (and slightly dim-witted) optimism of Emmett, while his counterpart Elizabeth Banks gives young girls a strong and spunky role model in Wildstyle.
But it’s the supporting voices that really piece The Lego Movie together. Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell all do standup work, but With Warner Brothers owning DC Comics, Batman delivers the best bat-puns. Will Arnett (Arrested Development) is brilliant as Bats, a Dark Knight stuck in a day-glow Lego world. Phil and Chris even roped in 21 Jump Street stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, as Superman and Green Lantern respectively, though their bromance hits a brick wall here in a hilarious running gag.
And The Lego Movie does not let up on the laughs. It is just stuffed with gags and pratfalls and a lot of jokes to entertain the big kids. Even NZ gets a funny Lord of the Rings nod with the team travelling to one ‘world’ dubbed ‘Middle Zealand’.
The best thing about The Lego Movie? Amongst many things, boy did it take me back to hours of fun letting my imagination loose. Seeing my favourite, 80s Spaceman Lego, was just brilliant.
The Verdict
The Lego Movie has become a critical and commercial success worldwide for one reason. Of course there are hilarious bat-gags, stunning 3D visuals and it never talks down to its audience. But most importantly it has heart. You won’t regret taking kids along to this.
The Trailer


The Info
DVD Releases: 2nd July 2014
Rating: PG - Contains low level violence
Duration: 100 minutes
Genre:  Family
Starring: Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Chris Pratt, Jadon Sand
Director: Phil Lord (21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs)
RRP: DVD $39.95 Blu-Ray $44.95
The Extras
Benny, AKA the "1980-something space guy", a Minifigure from LEGO's classic Space line, has a broken helmet and a worn-out, scuffed logo on his suit, similar to how many real-life Space Minifigures look after being used. The helmet is even shown to be cracked at the same spot where the real-life LEGO piece would usually break.
The term "Master Builder" is actually an official designation by the Lego Company; per their website, "LEGO® Master Builders are the highly-trained and super-creative builders who design all of the official LEGO sets. Other LEGO Master Builders create giant, detailed sculptures out of LEGO bricks for LEGOLAND® Parks and special events all around the world."
This marks the very first animated film for actor Morgan Freeman
The animation is entirely CGI. The creators deliberately tried to make the movie feel like stop-motion, and avoided making the computer-generated effects look too obvious. This was done to make the movie look like real Lego.
The word "Lego" is never used in the body of the movie itself.
Everything in the movie was designed to look as if built out of LEGO pieces. This even includes effects like water, fire, laser bolts, explosions and smoke. For instance, the lasers are actually transparent LEGO rods (commonly known as "Lightsaber blades"), while smaller puffs of smoke are LEGO ice cream pieces. This is in contrast with the direct-to-video LEGO movies and cartoon series, in which parts of the sceneries and most of the effects were made to look realistic.
Lord Business is president of Octan, a fictional gas station brand that first appeared in 1992 and has since been featured in numerous Lego sets.
Vitruvius was a Roman author and architect in the 1st century BC, best known for his multi-volume work entitled De Architectura. Etymologically, the word architect derives from Greek words meaning 'master' and 'builder'.
The numbers seen with the pieces when Master Builders were assembling their free form models are the official Lego Element ID's (or part numbers) for each of the components used in each of the models.
Vitruvius' staff is actually a chewed up lollipop, and in most cases, the stick of a lollipop will fit a minifigure's hand.