The Lego Movie: On satire, the power of a message, and the state of animated movies

(Some spoilers for The Lego Movie and Monster’s University)

I went into The Lego Movie with I guess fairly high expectations mostly because I’m seeing the movie a few weeks after its release and the movie already had plenty of buzz surrounding it with it being helmed as the best movie of the year thus far. And nobody lied to me because it’s pretty damn near perfect.

Right off the bat the movie overloads with extreme amounts of wonderful satire, some of the best satire I’ve seen in quite sometime and it’s coming from a movie with Lego in the title. What the hell is going on here? My expectations were a decent animated flick with maybe a decent message and some good humor, not a movie that completely blasts away at the disgusting nature of modern day society where many people seem to have lost the will to think for themselves, be creative, buy into literally every overpriced, ridiculous modern corporation, eat up every mindless sitcom or mindless pop song, etc. The list goes on, it manages to go through so much great satire in a very quick span of which is going to totally fly over the minds of most kids but for teenagers and adults is quite genius. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was watching and it only shows that animated movies absolutely have a place for great satire.

I’d like to bring up another movie that came out last year, Monster’s University. I was a huge fan of the film, mostly due to the ending message, which takes a very anti-conformist stance towards college and the general society things that people expect, Mike and Sully decide to work their way up the corporate chain at Monsters Inc. and eventually make it. I loved the message. You don’t necessarily need what society tells you that you need. The Lego Movie takes a similar stance of making fun of society standards even more so and the lack of people actually thinking on their own anymore and it only proves itself further with the ending. The ending mentions that you are special and that people can do great creative things if they want to. You don’t need to back down just because everyone wants you to conform and that maybe you can get those who only strive for power or have a bad way of thinking and convince them otherwise. It isn’t impossible, it may be difficult but The Lego Movie spreads a good sense of positivity. It isn’t bullshit fluff; it’s real stuff that I agree with personally.

The state of animated movies has begun to get stale (okay, the state of Hollywood produced movies in general has) but this movie gives me lots of hope. This movie shows a risk was taken at least in the writing (the movie had Lego in the title, it was going to make money no matter what), the fact that a studio let them take a completely anti-conformist stance toward society norms and give an extremely meaningful message is pretty damn awesome in my opinion.  I want to see more movies like The Lego Movie and not just in the writing, in the animation as well, the animation is incredibly unique and totally different from anything really done before. In general though, the movie was a blast, I highly recommend it (although I sort of kind of spoiled things without specifics) as it’s always great to get unique movies like this. Although, it’s pretty weird to me that the movie with a bunch of dumb Legos in it is more meaningful than basically every best picture nominee from last year…the Oscars are dumb.

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