Is Everything REALLY Awesome? A Lego Movie Review

I have mixed feelings about my kids’ addictions to Lego bricks. I do love their educational value. The Padawan saves his money to buy sets that he likes, the more complicated, the better. He learned the value of following directions, and also not to pour all thousand pieces out on the table at once. Those who accuse sets of stifling a child’s creativity have never seen a ten year old redesign a space ship to give it more playability and durability. We have loose bricks, too. Very loose, under foot, even. I don’t mind. The boys love them, and they’ll spend hours building and creating. And we’re all hooked on the Mystery Mini Figures.

I hate the rampant commercialism. We went to a Lego Discovery Center a couple of summers ago. We’ll never go back. I looked into purchasing the Minecraft sets at Christmas. 469 micro bricks for a mere $35. Micro bricks. For $35, I can purchase a Lego set that is all of 3x3x3. Inches. $35 and Squish could hold the whole thing in his hand. No. Thanks.

When the Lego Movie was first advertised, I knew I would be dragged to see it. It’s PG, and ever since “Horton Hears a Who” introduced Squish to some fabulous new words, I’ve had a strict policy of prescreening anything rated higher than G. Last Sunday, I got up a wild hair to treat the Padawan to a movie, sans little brother.

I didn’t tell him where we were going, just that we had an appointment at 1:30. My secret scheme was almost blown at lunch when he said “I want to go see the new Lego movie.” I played it off by asking him if the movie was even out yet. Clever me. He had no clue about our destination until we stepped up to the ticket window. Apparently, he thought I had found him a therapist (I don’t even…), or maybe we had an appointment for a massage. Yes, that sounds like me.

We went full works. Popcorn, sodas so big we’d be peeing Pepsi for a week, enough candy to guarantee illness. It was a perfect set up.

Long story short, I knew I would hate it. I was wrong. I left the theater thinking that Lego Group deserves every penny they make on this film. It was delightful. The cast is star-studded. George Takei, anyone? There’s action, there are celebrities bringing back beloved roles (no spoilers here, folks), there’s earworm that I am still singing.

There’s plot, there’s silliness, and best of all, the Padawan and I both loved it, but neither of us felt compelled to go out and purchase any of the affiliated items. The sets they’ve come out with to go with the movie tend to be a mish-mash of bricks with limited use, and even some pink Duplo style blocks. They’re in keeping with the plot of the movie, but they all look like something a kid could make themselves. We will collect some of the mini figures, but we do that anyway.

I recommend the movie for ages 7 and up. There’s (surprisingly) nothing inappropriate that I could see (and you’d better believe I was looking). There are no snarky kids, no graphic anything,although a few characters are mistreated, and an important plot point is the main character’s friendlessness. The one thing that would make me hesitant to show it to Squish is the plethora of “butt” jokes. I don’t like that word. But that was the only thing. The only thing.

The reason I don’t recommend the movie for younger children is because it is plot-driven, not so much action-driven. There is action, to be sure, but without understanding some intricacies of plot and dialog, there are not enough explosions and car chases to keep many younger children engaged. I know. The theater was full of them, and they got kind of wiggly. My suggestion for those whose little ones are dying to see it is to wait for the DVD. Then buy it. And watch it until your ears fall off. Because they will. Everything is awesome.

The Padawan hasn't had the best luck with Mystery figures. Most of the ones he got at Christmas were girls. But I covet that chihuahua, don't you?

The Padawan hasn’t had the best luck with Mystery figures. Most of the ones he got at Christmas were girls. But I covet that chihuahua, don’t you?

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41 thoughts on “Is Everything REALLY Awesome? A Lego Movie Review

    • The mystery figures are SO much fun. Buy them in person at Target. Online, they sell for $8+, and they’re only about $3 in the store. Ridiculous. They do two or three different series a year. The only way to tell individual figures apart in the package is by looking at the very bottom of the bag. You’ll find Braille-type dots. Look up mystery figure Braille dots on youtube to see some examples. I can’t tell exactly which figure is which, but I’m pretty good at not buying the same two figures on the same day that way. Yes, it’s totally for the kids. Totally.

  1. Even though you give it the thumbs up, I doubt we’ll be seeing it. Suspect you have to have kids to even contemplate it. Saying that, we do love many kids movies: Ratatouille / Flushed Away / Despicable Me……. so, could we be persuaded?

  2. My husband did take our 4yo to see it, and both delighted in the movie. The next morning, I was greeted with the command to sing “the Waygo song.” I was too tired to translate the song, but now know it almost by heart. We will be buying the movie DVD when it’s out and, like Despicable Me, I will be happy to watch it frequently. 🙂

  3. I enjoyed the movie as well. I loved the positive attitude of the main character. But what I liked the most was the message…that we all are special in our own ways and that is what makes us unique. The message that I liked was the fact that in ENCOURAGES creativity instead of just “following the rules” by building a set and then letting it sit. Of course, this is a marketing tool to some degree, but I have a (now) 13 year old that builds the sets and then hardly plays with them and it has been that way for a while. I kept encouraging him to take them apart and play with them because just letting them sit on the shelf wasn’t really the point. I think after he saw the movie he was a little more convinced that it was OK to construct and then destruct to show his creative abilities and uniqueness.

  4. YOU CHANGED YOUR THEME!

    [ahem]

    What was I going to say?

    Oh, I had no interest in this movie (my kids don’t even know about it somehow), but now I’m intrigued.

  5. We thought it was a great movie as well! And you brought up a great point about not feeling like you had to run out and buy the stuff. My son loved it, but I think since he already has Legos, it was like he could go directly home and continue the fun. 🙂

  6. I love the turtles!! 😀

    I didn’t like playing with Legos as a kid that much (my spatial ability is NOT good, so building things…didn’t work). But I did love playing the Legoland video game. It was the one where it was Pepper, with a skateboard delivering pizza…Yeah. It was fun. 🙂

  7. I don’t know how many so-called children’s movies I have taken my grandkids to, and, forget the kids, I was totally entertained. Sometime to the point that some of the punch lines I thought were actually over the head of the kids, but right on for the adults. I haven’t seen the Lego movie, but the previews look promising.

  8. Good to know! The trailers have all looked funny, but in my experience, the relationship between trailers and the actual movie can be really hit or miss. I remember the first time I saw the trailers for Toy Story way back when, I thought it was going to be dumb, and it turned out to be awesome! Same with Frozen — the trailers don’t do it justice (and I really don’t like that poster where all you see is the main characters’ heads poking out of the snow, and they all have this weird expression on their faces). I thought it was going to be just a lot of goofiness and eyeroll-worthy snowman jokes, but it was beautiful — visuals, music, story, everything! And I liked Olaf the snowman!

    • I haven’t seen more than one trailer for it. I hate the ones that show the best bits of the movie so that when you get to the theater, it’s boring.

      I have not seen Frozen. Nor have I seen any ads for it other than one a few years ago on another Disney DVD. It featured the snowman. I thought the movie was about him!

  9. I love Lego! But yes, it seems that they’ve gotten uber-commercial over the last decade. I work in a kindergarten, and thought I’d buy some Duplo or Lego… the price range automatically took them off my list, and it made me sad.

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