The LEGO Movie
|Name:||The LEGO Movie|
|Creator:||Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord, Chris Miller|
|Date(s):||February 7, 2014|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||Wikipedia page IMDB Official website|
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The LEGO Movie is an animated film about the Lego line of construction toys. It features an original plot and characters while also incorporating a number of characters from popular culture whose franchises have been licensed by Lego to produce tie-in construction sets, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, DC Comics and The Simpsons.
The film was released in 2014, and spawned a sequel called The LEGO Batman Movie which was released in 2017.
- Emmet Brickowski, an ordinary construction worker who is mistaken for the "Special."
- Lord Business, an evil businessman who wants to destroy all the Lego Lands
- Wyldstyle/Lucy, a "tough as nails" female fighter and Master Builder
- Batman, a DC Comics superhero and Master Builder
- Metal Beard, a pirate and Master Builder
- Princess Uni-Kitty, a unicorn/anime kitten hybrid
- Benny, a "1980s space astronaut guy"
- Bad Cop/Good Cop, a police officer with a split personality who is a member of the Super Secret Police.
- Vitruvius, an old wizard who is one of the Master Builders
- Superman, a DC Comics superhero who is one of the Master Builders
- Green Lantern, a DC Comics superhero who is one of the Master Builders
- Wonder Woman, a DC Comics superhero who is one of the Master Builders
The film was well-received by AFOL (Adult Fans of Lego) - the name given to adult hobbyists who build and collect Lego - as well as by critics, more casual fans and non-fans. The film contained a number of in-jokes and references designed specifically to appeal to AFOLs and those who had nostalgic memories of playing with Lego toys at a young age, such as the broken helmet belonging to a 1980s astronaut figurine whose helmet, fans recall, would always break in that exact place. The figure also had a scratched and worn appearance, as if it really had been around and played with since the 1980s.
The makers of The LEGO Movie also drew knowingly on fan practices such as brickfilming, the art of making stop-motion films using Lego bricks. In an article about the cinematography of The LEGO Movie, Craig Welsh, a Lighting Supervisor and Director of Photography who worked on the film, said that the brief from the directors was "photorealism".
"We want it to look as though it's all been made in someone's basement - someone with a lot of time on their hands - and then lit and photographed by an absolutely top-notch miniatures photographer."
He added that "the many "brickfilms" found on the internet served as a point of departure" for the film's animation, but that fan photography using Lego figurines, such as the work of miniature photographer Avanaut, was even more influential. He also described how the cinematographers purposely emulated lens effects like lens flare, to further give the impression of the film being created using stop-motion animation instead of CGI.
Fans picked up on and appreciated this attention to detail from the moment that initial trailers were released. The Lego fan blog The Brickverse wrote:
"What I am amazed and thrilled by, is that the animators, while working with computer animation, have gone to great lengths to make this look and behave like real Lego stop motion animation. The dressing scene at the end of the international trailer is a great example of this, where Emmet puts his top on. See how here in four consecutive frames, parts are switched around as if it being done with real Lego pieces"
Craig Welsh also noted with amusement in his article that many fans were taken in by the stop motion simulation:
"After the trailer for the film was released there were a few comments we noticed where people were authoritatively holding forth about how they "knew" exactly what camera had been used to "film" the "stop motion". Mission accomplished :)"
Archives and Communities
- Adult Fan of LEGO, BrickWiki. Accessed September 2, 2017
- Benny (The LEGO Movie), Brickipedia. Accessed September 2, 2017.
- The Cinematography of "The Lego Movie" by Craig Welsh, Expanded Cinematography. Published March 11, 2014 (Accessed September 2, 2017).
- The Lego Movie, Brickverse.com. Published June 19, 2013 (Accessed September 2, 2017).