A family-friendly flick with an edge, "The Lego Movie" offers not only big action and big laughs, but some big ideas, too.
Featuring an all-star vocal cast from Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks, the story follows Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker who is plucked from obscurity and called to heroism.
A self-described nobody who adheres to the rules in every aspect of his life, Emmet is content in the belief that he is the most ordinary, unremarkable person ever, until a crisis reveals a surprisingly extraordinary side of him he never knew.
The story begins when Emmet, while at the construction site, accidentally discovers a strange item that seems to come from outside the Lego universe. Convinced he is the chosen one destined to save a bunch of non-conformists called Master Builders who have been forced into hiding, he is captured by the group who hope he can save them from extinction. An unlikely hero, his mission is nothing less than to save the universe.
Its central themes are innovation and creativity and it uses these two different approaches, and the sprinkling of eclectic characters, as the basis for its story, which is really the importance of change.
"There are several themes, but the main theme is that there is something special inside of everyone," says producer Dan Lin, CEO of Lin Pictures whose films have grossed over $1.5 billion in worldwide box office sales. "I have two boys and I wanted to make a movie I could enjoy with my kids, something that captured kids' imagination and ingenuity."
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," "21 Jump Street") it's a fast-paced, often hilarious 3D computer-animated film with an insanely catchy theme song.
With plenty of heartwarming moments about family and the importance of imagination, the humor is quirky and the animation is colorful.
Elizabeth Banks voices the character of the lead female character Wyldstyle, a tough-as-nails action heroine who discovers Emmet. Will Ferrell is the voice of President Business, an uptight CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination with micro-managing his own life and Morgan Freeman with his famously authoritative voice rounds off the cast as the wise wizard Vitruvius.
Abraham Lincoln, Batman, Green Lantern, Robin Hood, Shakespeare, Wonder Woman and the 2002 NBA all-star team also have cameos as well and play Master Builders, once revered, who have been forced into hiding because President Business abhors their spontaneity and innovation.
With loveable characters, plenty of action coupled with a positive message, it also introduces a cast of new heroes and villains who interact with a diverse group of existing Lego mini figures drawn from years of history and pop culture.
"The central theme that is important to our youth is that we are all special and all have something to offer," shares Freeman. "We owe it to our kids to convince them that they are special and have something to offer and should be aware of it."
Rated PG "The Lego Movie" is currently out in theaters.