Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life in the kitchen and out of it. She has a weekly food column on CBC Radio One, Here & Now. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to university student, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman and Instagram. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

Subscribe to the Embrace the Chaos feed.
Follow me on Twitter
Join Us On Facebook

Canadian Family's
18 Mom Bloggers We Love

2013 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee

Solutions for Moms across Canada

I'm a Blissdom Community Leader!

I'm Speaking at BlogHer '12

« I Married My High School Sweetheart But That Doesn't Mean I Want My Kids To | Main | Are You Sure He Has A Concussion? »

Lego Movie Is All Kinds of Awesome

Regular readers will know that when it comes to the popular movies du jour, I am a cynic. I am wary of the cash grabs and the dumbed down story lines. (I was meh, on Frozen.)

And do it was with some trepidation that I took my three kids and Lego-obsessed nephew to The Lego Movie. We had passes (thanks weewelcome), so why not make the kids happy? And guess who loved it the most? That's right. Me.

The Lego Movie has a familiar storyline, an unsuspecting, "unspecial" trips into becoming a hero and through a combination of self-awakening, teamwork and a little chutzpah he saves the world. There are twists and bumps along the way, a little romance and a surprising third act.

It is well-worn journey, but the movie does so with a sly wink to the audience. The writers knew that the theatres would be filled with Lego fans and so the characters remain true to their Lego limitations. Through a combination of CGI and stop-motion the Lego mini-fig heroes can only bend at their waists, their hands are claws that do not have fingers. Everything in the movie is constrained, and ultimately animated by the limitations of the interlocking bricks -- the water is faling blue and white pieces, the flames are the red plastic flames that immediately get lost in my house.

The movie has fun with the many Lego characters available to them. A Michelangelo the painter and Michelangelo Ninja Turtle joke? Why not? And doesn't everyone get Gandalf and Dumbledore a little mixed up? 

Superheroes from rival universes hang together, even the Lando Calrissian makes an appearance. Batman, voiced by Will Arnett, is a self-obsessed, downer just as you imagine he might be. There is even a strong female character! WyldStyle is a master builder voiced by my celebrity fave Elizabeth Banks. She is stronger, smarter and a better builder than anyone else. But alas, she does not save the world. (Take note, while there are characters from almost every Lego set out there -- Lego Friends does not make an appearance. Is it because those girly girls have no skills other than selling beauty products and pets?) Morgan Freedman is the voice of authority, because, who else would you have?

The movie accepts that the audience may be sentimental about what Lego represents to them and treats our favourite toy with kindness, even love. But it never forgets that it is still a kids' movie. The inherent conflict of Lego -- do you follow the instructions or thrown them away and create your own masterpieces, is explored, teased and made fun of.

Somehow the movie argues for both and it does so sweetly and with heart.  The universal truth is that we all have a little bit of Lord Business, Emmet and WyldeStyle in us, something that The Lego Movie fully shares.

Also, earworm. (By Tegan and Sara and Lonely Island!)


I wanted to say that this may be Will Ferrell's best movie, but my 13-year old (who is a Lord Business type) was deeply offended by that idea. So I am saying it here, hoping that he won't read this far. 

And don't worry I haven't lost all my cynicism, I appreciate that the movie at its heart is hypocrtical, especially as The Lego Movie sets and video games hit the shelves. The question is: do you have to follow the instructions?

Will you take your kids to see The Lego Movie?

Reader Comments (3)

I want to take my little cousin who is eight but it would be more for me :P

February 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKar

I will! I'm debating on taking my kids tomorrow, actually. My youngest has just hit the age where sitting in a theater for 1.5 hours is doable as long as we hit the washroom first, and my son will be 12 years old in *looks at watch* 7 hours. We all love Lego and enjoy the theater experience. I also did not enjoy Frozen (at all) but I know we will all enjoy the Lego Movie. As long as I'm not stepping on them, I'm sure I will find it nothing but fun.

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

i am not that much interested in Lego movies but i never let my kids know. i always pretend to enjoy because when my kids see me like this, they feel so happy :)

July 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCera@mbtukstore

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>