The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

How “The Lego Movie” gained success

Emmet with Wyldstyle and Master Vitruvius.
Emmet with Wyldstyle and Master Vitruvius.

I watched “The Lego Movie” for the first time many years ago. I loved it then, as a young kid, and now, as a teenager. I enjoy the animation, the jokes, the characters, and the storyline. All of it flows smoothly together, creating a well-rounded movie.

Seeing as the film grossed around $468.1 million worldwide, many households globally showed up to watch “The Lego Movie” in theaters and still stream it. It is a great film that mentions themes of family and staying true to yourself.  

After such a great success, sequels came out with spin-offs and other hit movies within the Lego universe. A common thought might be, why “the Lego movie”? Or, what’s so special about this kid’s toy?

Well, 1930-1939 was the start of the LEGO brand. At first, it was wooden cars, yo-yos, airplanes, etc. However, the first LEGO bricks, advertised as Automatic Binding Bricks, went on the market in 1949. As the years went on, the company continued to evolve. They produce new bricks that, when pieced together, can make almost anything.

The toy became a phenomenon for young children around the world. Parents buying them for kids left and right. A man named Dan Lin saw his 5-year-old son playing with legos one night, and the idea of a “Lego movie” popped into his head. 

In 2008, Dan went to LEGO headquarters in Denmark to pitch his idea. Most of the Lego executives weren’t sure about making a movie. Some believed they were doing just fine and that creating a film would be risky.

Nonetheless, with a little more convincing, the Lego movie was on its way to being a great hit. 

The story follows an ordinary construction Lego figure, Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), who always follows the rules. After a turn of events, “master builders” find him and believe he is the key to stopping President Business (Will Ferrell), the antagonist planning to freeze the world. Emmet teams up with these “master builders,” saves their world, and finds a new purpose for his life. 

A sophomore in high school explained, “At first, Emmet isn’t sure about it because all he has ever done is follow the instructions.” She continued, “Master builders are independent and do things the way they want, like in their way. But by the end, Emmet is more comfortable and confident even though he doesn’t know if it will work out.” 

Emmet’s growth portrays a message that adults and kids should hear. The student told me, “He uses the things about himself as a tool and doesn’t change himself to fit in.”

However, there is more than one message hidden inside this movie. We see growth, not only from Emmet but from the master builders themselves. Wyldstyle/Lucy (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) is Emmet’s love interest. But throughout the movie, she is Lego Batman’s girlfriend. 

Batman was super self-obsessed during the entire movie. He was in love with himself and didn’t prioritize his relationship. Eventually, Wyldstyle realized she didn’t want to be with someone who couldn’t love her.

So, she dumped him and got with Emmet. They had been through a lot together and learned to trust each other, which is more than you could say for her and Batman. “After Emmet finds out that his friends don’t care about him, he is hurt. But then he meets Wyldstyle and Vitruvius, and they believe he won’t disappoint him.”

What drew most people into the movie wasn’t the romance- but the comedy, “You don’t have to be a kid to find the movie funny.” my sister Olivia told me, “It has been one of my favorite movies for a few years.”

Part of what makes the movie so enjoyable is the nostalgia. For one, it reminds people of playing with Legos as kids. But when rewatching it, certain scenes are exciting to watch because they remind you of when you first saw it.

For example, my favorite scene has always been when Emmet and Wyldstyle first enter the saloon in the Wild Wild West. The sound effect that plays always stays in my head for at least a few days after hearing it. 

As you can see, many people can watch and enjoy the movie. I asked my dad some questions, and he responded, “The use of CGI is impressive, (…)I wasn’t sure if it was just stop motion or something.” According to the official Lego website, the director’s goal was to make the audience confused and curious about what they were watching. 

The reality is it’s kind of a mix of both. An article on, “Was THE LEGO® MOVIE™ stop-motion?” states, “It utilizes computer-generated animation of real LEGO® elements, achieved in a photoreal stop-motion style.” 

Although after the fact, viewers were fascinated and in love with the movie, the response was anything but positive before its official release. People speculated the film would be like an extra-long commercial. Of course, the people were pleasantly surprised. With raving reviews and nearly $470 million made worldwide, Lego had plans for a series of Lego movies. 

The infamous “Lego Batman” movie was the first to make its release after “The Lego Movie” in 2014, coming out in February 2017. It made $312 million worldwide, making it the second most successful Lego movie compared to the original. The two runners-up are- “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and “The Lego Ninjago Movie.” ($199.6 million and $123 million)

More to Discover