The Lego Movie — All The Other Things

I’m wrapping up my observations on The Lego Movie and why I thought it worked so well.  I’ve already talked about the biggest components of good stories: plot, characters, and writing.  There are a few other things that the movie does quite well that add to its appeal.

One of those is all the lovely references to other popular movies. The Star Wars, Star Trek, Matrix, Harry Potter, and Fast and Furious references are so blatant they’re pretty hard to miss. There are lots of Super-heroes showing up here, including WyldStyle’s boyfriend, Batman. I’m sure there are other references that I didn’t get at all. They add spice to an already fun story.

Then there are the lovely little twists and surprises along the way. It’s hard to talk about these without spoiling them, so I’ll just say that some unexpected things happen at various points. I was particularly happy with an interesting little adventure when our heroes have an encounter with the Millennium Falcon. The “Uni-Kitty” is a hilarious mash-up of “Hello Kitty,” unicorns, and “My Little Pony.” But they’re not content to leave the character as a mere running site gag. What they do with her is wonderful. The Good Cop/Bad Cop character, expertly voiced by Liam Neeson, has some particularly interesting developments.

And finally, the world has an amazing internal consistency. Everything is created with legos. Not just the figures and vehicles but buildings, backgrounds and other elements of the story, with just a few exceptions. And the exceptions are important. Again I can’t really talk about what they are because I don’t want to spoil it, but there is a definite element of fun in figuring them out.  One of the most astonishing scenes in the movie occurs when they’re on a ship, sailing over bounding, white-capped waves — all built out of Lego blocks.

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