Sunday, February 16, 2014
Bechtloff Movie Night: The Lego Movie (2014)
You see, while this movie has a lot of subtle and not so subtle satire of various aspects of modern society, the thing it seemed to me to satirize the most is Lego itself. More specifically what Lego has become as a company and a toy line, mainly the fact that Lego doesn't seem to nurture and encourage creativity the way it once did and frankly any toy centered around building things should. I remember when I was a kid, Lego was first starting to get into specialized sets, but they were still very generic themes, Castle, Pirate, Space, etc. Sure when you bought a big Lego castle there were specific instructions on how to build the castle on the box, but there was also instructions on how to build a different castle, or two smaller castles, and there were a good amount of extra pieces, encouraging you to build different things. But once Lego started to get into the licensed properties game a lot of that encouraging of experimentation fell by the way side. I put together a Lego Superman set a while ago for kicks and found only one thing in the book to build and one little extra piece that might have simply been in the box as a mistake. Lego now seems to encourage simple instruction following over creativity.
And that's exactly what this movie criticizes. The bad guy who has taken over the world is obsessed with order and making everyone follow the instruction booklets and the rebel good guys are trying to return things to a more chaotic and creative time when you just built whatever you wanted. To me that's the most remarkable thing about this movie, it's not the toy commercial it easily could have been, it's both a fantastic family movie and actually criticizes the very company who's toys the movie ostensibly exists to sell.