It’s been a good winter for adult-friendly kids’ movies.
On the heels of “Frozen,” a mature and emotionally nuanced fairy tale, comes “The Lego Movie,” a joyful and artistic frolic through a world where the building-block toys many of us loved as children come to life.
Plot-wise, “The Lego Movie” revolves around an ordinary Lego figurine (voiced by Chris Pratt) who is mistakenly believed to be the “The Special” — the hero who can save the Lego universe from malicious forces. All in all, that’s not that different from the blueprint for many movies, but “The Lego Movie” is enlivened by its talent cast of voice actors. Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson and Will Forte all lend their talents; even Shaquille O’Neal shows up. It can’t be easy to give live to a digital recreation of a plastic figurine using only your voice, but the actors in “The Lego Movie” are more than up for the challenge.
Artistically, “The Lego Movie” is actually quite beautiful. The digital animation here is colorful, bright and about as realistic as a movie about living toys could be. The characters look, move and act the way Lego figurines would if they were autonomous. The animators also master an excellent command of lighting, making certain scenes homey and comfortable and others dramatic and exciting.
Sure, “The Lego Movie” is for kids, but there’s enough here that adults who are open to having a good time could enjoy. It’s clever, heartwarming and an all-around fun experience.
Cast and characters include:
Batman/Bruce Wayne – Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, 30 Rock)
Wyldstyle/Lucy – Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, The Next Three Days, The 40 Year Old Virgin)
C-3PO – Anthony Daniels (Star Wars)
Lord Business/President Business – Will Ferrell (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, Eastbound & Down, The Campaign)
Vitruvius – Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, Batman Begins, The Bucket List)
Green Lantern – Jonah Hill (Super Bad, The Wolf of Wall Street, Moneyball, Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Emmet Brickowski – Chris Pratt (Her, Moneyball, Parks and Recreation, Zero Dark Thirty)
Metal Beard – Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Deadwood)