We often talk about Marvel dominating entertainment with its cinematic universe, but you'd have to be living under a plastic red brick to miss LEGO's critical and financial success in popular culture over the past few years. LEGO profits soared during the height of the height of the recession in 2009, branching globally into Asia and increasing sales in Europe. It's evolving synergy with Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, and other mega-franchises has created a web of interconnecting games, sets, and movies that are hard to miss even if you're a childless adult with a social life.
All of this big business should be enough to make one feel that LEGO is selling out plain yellow faces in favor of name recogntion, but miraculously - the final products capture the essence of what makes the brand so enjoyable in the first place. Directors and 's The LEGO Movie falls into this category. It shows LEGO reaching a fever pitch that's just plain cool and weird to look at, even if it does play as a who's who in popular culture.
Our introduction to this world follows Emmet (), a generic, kind of stupid, but totally lovable hero that goes from liking the only song on Top 40 radio (the awesome "Everything Is Awesome") and the TV show Where Are My Pants? to finding the Piece of Resistance, a LEGO brick from a made up prophesy that immediately makes him more important than Batman, Wonder Woman, or the Space Guy LEGO from the 80s. Long story short, he's the "MasterBuilder," a chosen piece destined to save the LEGOverse - which ranges from Emmet's home city of Bricksburg to the wacky Cloud Cuckoo Land - from the regimented, boring, and just plain mean nature of the Octan Corp. and President Business ().
The LEGO Movie moves at lightspeed - but not fast enough for you to miss Han Solo or take in the brilliantly crafted worlds within worlds. Even though Wreck-It Ralph was based on 8-and-16-bit nostalgia, The LEGO Movie comes across as the Super Mario Bros. movie I always wanted as a child. The stop-motion quality is a sight to behold in 3D, especially when the movie tackles LEGO droplets of water. Every piece exudes enough joyful noise that you might find yourself getting a little emotional when all is said and done.
The LEGO Movie will be released on February 7, 2014