In the past, several movie studios have tried to capitalize on various toy franchises, with horrible results. I'm not even talking about Transformers. I'm looking at films like Dungeons & Dragons, Battleship and even Bratz. (Yes, there was a god-awful Bratz movie!)
For some reason, filmmakers have stayed away from the multi-billion-dollar LEGO franchise -- until now. And because they were so darned patient, Warner Bros. struck some serious box-office gold with The LEGO Movie.
Because of the built-in audience, which covers a wide variety of ages, The LEGO Movie probably would have been massively successful if it turned out to be a horrible movie. Thankfully, it's quite the opposite. It's cute, colorful, funny, and extremely well done.
It follows the adventures of Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Parks and Recreation star Chris Pratt), a LEGO construction minifigure who does his best to fit in perfectly with the other LEGOs in the crowd. He follows the instructions pretty darn well, until he discovers that President Business (Will Ferrell) is looking to destroy creativity and the LEGO world as we know it. From there, he teams up with the "Master Builders," a group of rebels that includes Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), and of course, Batman (Will Arnett).
Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) is the construction minifig, who becomes "the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times" in "The LEGO Movie." Photo: © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment.
That lineup doesn't even scratch the surface of famous voices that you'll recognize in this movie. Keep your ears open for Liam Neeson, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Cobie Smulders, Will Forte, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and even Shaquille O'Neal.
Besides bringing together a great vocal cast, The LEGO Movie successfully captures the entire LEGO universe, all the way down to "1980-Something Space Guy." It also gets in a ton of jabs at big business, which is amazing when you consider that basically, this is a film inspired by a big pile of plastic, which just happens to be valued around $14.6 billion. That part will probably go over a lot of the kiddies' heads, as will some of the jokes. That's okay, though. That's what makes The LEGO Movie perfect for all ages; and there are still plenty of one-liners and bright colors for the wee ones as well.
Warner Bros. is releasing The LEGO Movie in a 2D version, but the "Everything is Awesome Edition" does include a 3D disc. Both versions are very true to the theatrical experience, as well as the LEGO experience. Nothing here is overdone. Instead, this 2.40:1 image has a very lifelike (or at least very LEGO-like) color palette with awesome detail throughout. The texture on the close-ups of Emmet's face and hair and on the LEGOs in general, Emmet's reflection off Bad Cop's glasses, the bright scenery in Cloud Cuckoo Land, the random pieces flying throughout, and more; The LEGO Movie is as good looking as you'd expect.
As far as the 3D is concerned, this is "The Special." There are plenty of pop-out moments, but this edition also delivers a ton of depth. If you're specifically looking for pop-outs, cut right to the opening construction scene or some of the action-packed moments. It's a fun experience and offers more than enough to warrant a 3D purchase, all without being too gimmicky.
Not to be picky, but I'm genuinely shocked that Warner Bros. didn't spring for the 7.1 track for this one. Gripes aside, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is LEGO-tastic. The dialogue is clear throughout and there's a ton of directionality, making this one more than demo-worthy. Those surrounds are constantly active with construction chatter, city sounds, LEGO horses, and more. However, there are so many big moments, including LEGO explosions, chases, the LEGO ocean, and the music. Ah, the music. Let's just say that if you don't find yourself singing "Everything is Awesome" with a smile on your face by the end of this film, you are probably dead inside.
It should be noted that the only thing awesome about "The Everything is Awesome Edition" is that there's a 3D version of the movie. Not that that isn't awesome, but don't expect any other 3D-enhanced extras. However, the 2D Blu-ray is busting with all sorts of goodies, even though most are on the short side. There are deleted scenes, outtakes and promos, as well as one minute of Batman music, another with Michelangelo and Lincoln, and a third featuring the film's first animation test. Otherwise, there are other shorts on the Ninjagos, an "Everything is Awesome" sing-along, and a few minutes of amazing fan-made LEGO movies.
Two of the lengthier featurettes, "Bringing LEGO to Life" and "See It, Built It!" really have the film's target audience in mind. The latter is especially interesting, giving viewers two different angles on how to build the double-decker couch and Emmet's car.
Most of what's included is for the kiddies, but for something more comprehensive, directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord sat down with actors Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day and Alison Brie for a funny commentary track. Elizabeth Banks even "calls in" briefly. It's a chatty track, but a lot is covered here, including the actual LEGO pieces featured in the film, the insanity of the "Everything is Awesome" song, the magic of Liam Neeson, the jokes, how much of the movie was changed throughout the production, and more.
It's hard not to say "everything is awesome" when it comes to the Blu-ray for The LEGO Movie. If you're looking to be all President Business-like, you could say that Warner Bros. missed out on giving this one a 7.1 track. That would have truly made it perfect. Otherwise, the movie itself, the image (including the 3D), the audio and the extras; everything really is quite awesome. It also seems to get more enjoyable with each viewing, making The LEGO Movie: Everything is Awesome Edition one to purchase on day one. No further instructions are needed.
Voice Actors: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan FreemanDirector: Phil Lord, Christopher MillerAudio/Languages (3D): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (Danish, Finnish, French, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish)Audio/Languages (2D): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French, Spanish)Subtitles (3D): English SDH, Danish, Finnish, French, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, SwedishSubtitles (2D): English SDH, French, SpanishAspect Ratio: 2.35:1Number of Discs: 3Rating: PGStudio: Warner Bros.Blu-ray Disc Release Date: June 17, 2014Run Time: 101 minutesList Price: $35.99Extras: 2D Disc Commentary with Filmmakers and CastBatman's A True ArtistMichelangelo and Lincoln: History CopsEnter the NinjagoBehind the Scenes: Bringing LEGO to LifeEverything is Awesome Sing-AlongBehind the Scenes: See It, Build It!Behind the Scenes: Stories From the Story TeamFan-Made Films: Top-Secret SubmissionsOuttakesAdditional Promotional ContentAlleyway TestDeleted ScenesFeaturette: Dream Job: Meet The Lego BuildersStandard-Def DVDUltraViolet Digital Copy