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06 Feb. 2014

Everything is LEGO!


LEGO movie poster

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt

Two of my college sorority sisters joined me for the Lego Land experience and we actually felt like teens again. From the brightly colored, cartoon images that lined the walls of our hotel room to the life-size costume characters that greeted us as we came and went, this trip down memory lane was a fitting complement to THE LEGO MOVIE.  

The adults are laughing as much as the kids during the screening we attended. Not since the first installment of the Toy Story franchise has an animated family comedy thoroughly entertained adults. THE LEGO MOVIE rushes with quick jokes and clever humor, poking fun at every childhood icon imaginable.

Packed with a heavy duty cast including Chris Pratt (“Her,” “Moneyball”), Liam Neeson (“Taken 2”, “Unknown”), Elizabeth Banks (“Hunger Games”), Will Ferrell (“Anchorman”), Nick Offerman (“We’re The Millers”), Will Arnett (“Despicable Me”), Alison Brie (“Scream 4”), Charlie Day (“Horrible Bosses”) and Morgan Freeman (“Invictus,” “Dolphin Tale I & II”), this superhero fest comes to the rescue with a steady flow of rapid wit and whimsical plot twists.  It’s a laugh-a-minute romp. 

Emmet (Pratt) feels like a loser, mostly.  He takes very few risks in life if any at all. Finding fulfillment more often than not in an ordinary job, fate mistakenly anoints him as The Special, the extraordinary one who can save the world which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Somehow, Emmet appears to be a Master Builder, tasked with overthrowing the evil forces determined to destroy the Lego-lovable community.   It’s such a send up, you can’t help but escape into it and that’s where the joy lies, at least for me and an auditorium full of the young and not so young.

The film’s storytellers, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” 21 Jump Street”), took great pride and pleasure to explain the thinking that went into making this movie, stating, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to make a big, fun, action-packed LEGO adventure that captures the feeling of being a kid putting these pieces together, but on a truly epic scale? We wanted to make a film that felt like something anyone could do in their own basement…provided they had a gigantic basement and a few million bricks!”

The LEGO MOVIE is like nothing you’ve experienced with a cherubic theme song, “Everything is Awesome,” that gets into your head and won’t let go!

Cast members discussed the movie during a press conference from the Lego Land Theme Park and Hotel in Carlsbad, CA. 

How would you describe THE LEGO MOVIE?

Chris Pratt: This movie is truly Emmet’s journey as a character; this is a very clear story for him. He knows exactly who he is when he starts off—a very sad, lonely, character that doesn’t feel like anyone thinks that he’s special– and through the course of this movie is given an opportunity to do something very extraordinary. Emmet gets to test himself and prove that he can believe in himself in addition to becoming less lonely by inheriting his family of master builders.  This character didn’t have too much back story in terms of ‘a dud’ having extraordinary things happening around him.  If it had, I was like, I know how to do that.

Do any of you have special Lego memories?

Elizabeth Banks: My earliest memories of Lego pieces were grabbing them from my sisters; I was very bossy about it. As an adult, now, I have two young sons who like to build things. I spend time with my sons on the floor, I’ll build something and present it to them and immediately, they smash it … laughter

Will Arnett: I liked to make swords and weapons … that was my thing, hit my brother with a Lego sword, and try to see how fast you could swing a Lego sword without it breaking. The force of swinging it would sometimes break it so that’s my first memory.

Morgan Freeman: My memory of Lego is those little pieces scattered all over the house trying to avoid stepping on them especially barefoot…laughter

Rate the excitement in making a film that your kids can see?

Phil Lord: I have two boys, nine and five, they are Lego fanatics.  They’re playing in the theme park right now with Chris Miller’s son, Graham.  This has been a dream come true for me because they’re actually telling their own stories about Lego Land.  I think for us as parents we see this as a unique movie but now the kids are making their own version of it.

 

About the author

Sandra Varner has had her hands on the pulse of the entertainment industry and lifestyles coverage for decades, staying current, always.

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