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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

The Lego Movie: Everything Really Is Awesome

A film entirely made out of CGI Legos, full of pop culture references and celebrity voice talents. One that’s promised to be “fun for the whole family” and yet also geared towards the nostalgia of those in their teens, twenties, and thirties. What could possibly save this film from being anything but a lazy Hollywood cash grab?

Why, a dedicated, genuine team of filmmakers. 

Credit Fox Studios

The Lego Movie is the story of Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt), a mediocre, unremarkable construction worker happily existing as a citizen of the town of Bricksburg. And, just like the other citizens of Bricksburg, he does exactly that: exist. No one in Bricksburg has original thoughts – they’re all happy to live life by the instructions set upon them by the town’s looming overloard, President Business. But when Emmett accidentally stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance, he’s thrown into an underworld, meeting a band of Master Builders, all looking to overthrow President Business: and it looks like Emmett might just be the one they’ve been waiting for.

On the whole, Hollywood does not have a good track record with toy-based moviemaking. Films like Battleship have bombed, and films like Transformers haven’t exactly been hailed as noteworthy filmmaking. So it’s more than justified to assume The Lego Movie is more of the same: a tired, weak attempt to try and create another Hollywood cash cow.

The delightful surprise? Assuming that would make you 100% wrong.

Because The Lego Movie is, indeed, awesome.

Credit Fox Studios

Credit Fox Studios

There’s a great sense of humour in this film, and while there are jokes for children that maybe don’t quite land with adults, the story is also peppered with pop culture references and adult humour. There are things that would definitely go over a child’s head, but that made our screening of aged 20+ viewers howl with laughter. There are lots of callbacks to the 1980s and 1990s generations of Lego, which were a lot of fun. But what seals the deal with this film isn’t just that it makes you laugh – it’s that there’s actual heart to the story, too. You wind up caring about these characters – especially Emmett. You want him to succeed and to realize that he really is special, after all. And even more than that, the film takes a surprising turn in the last fifteen or twenty minutes that really delves into the story’s messages and themes, and I’m glad it did so.

Credit Fox Studios

Another noteworthy aspect of The Lego Movie is the animation. Almost the entire movie was made through computer animation, although there were some parts that utilized stop-motion techniques. Despite the fact that this was computer animation, the world we experience during the film truly does feel genuine. It feels as if it really is entirely built of Legos. When there’s fire, or an explosion, or a splash of water, they use Lego pieces to portray that. The level of detail in this film is astounding – even set pieces in the far-off background of scenes appear to be built with Legos. It makes the whole look of the film feel realistic, and more than that, it feels as if the creative team behind the story truly cared about the subject and medium in which they were working. And that goes a long way.

The Lego Movie is a genuine, feel-good, funny film that will entertain a wide variety of audiences. It’s relatable, nostalgic, and fun to watch. But what’s more than that, it’s a story with heart, one that emphasizes the importance of creativity, working as a team, and believing in yourself. It’s worth the watch, especially in a month as dreary and cold as February. Because when you leave the theatre after a screening of The Lego Movie, it’s just as that catchy earworm of a song says: everything is awesome.

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