His name is Emmet and he is blissfully content in his regimented life as a construction worker. Within this comfort zone he has no idea of his lack of creativity and free choice. He is a prime candidate to be thrown into a situation that will challenge him — and he will stumble along.
This is a familiar story line but the catch is that Emmet is a Lego mini-figure in a Lego world in the aptly named “The Lego Movie.”
The movie is the brain-child of co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, writing a script based on the story by Dan and Kevin Hageman. It is what one would expect from the current trend in animated features — a simple story line aimed at providing a message for young viewers but with a lot of touches that only adults, especially those who grew up with Lego products, could appreciate.
“The Lego Movie” begins with a back story in which the wise Vitruvius (voice of Morgan Freeman) is overtaken by the ambitious Lord Business (Will Ferrell), with Vitruvius issuing a prophecy in which a chosen one will find the Piece of Resistance that will foil the plans of Lord Business.
Emmet (Chris Pratt) is then introduced, part of a population of mini-figures that has been brainwashed to follow instructions on every aspect of their lives. Then fate steps in when he encounters WildStyle (Elizabeth Banks) foraging around a construction site — violating the instructions. But in his pursuit of WildStyle, Emmet falls into a hole and comes in contact with the Piece of Resistance. WIldStyle, witnessing this, helps Emmet — now with the Piece of Resistance attached to his back — escape as he is pursued by the Lord Business-back police force led by Good Cop/Bad Cop (Liam Neeson).
Believing Emmet is the chosen one, possibly a MasterBuilder, WildStyle takes Emmet to Vitruvius and other MasterBuilders now living in exile. Although Vitruvius is steadfast in his belief Emmet is indeed the chosen one to help topple Lord Business, the other MasterBuilders are more skeptical. And naturally, Emmet makes one mistake after another as Lord Business continues to increase an advantage in the quest to carry out his diabolical plan.
While all this is going on, there are so many background details that will keep the viewers alert. The animation, all CGI with an attempt to make it seem like stop-action, is gorgeous and busy, with lots of references not only to the ever-expanding Lego product line, but to other aspects of modern life.
That, along with a multitude of colorful characters, makes “The Lego Movie” a visual feast, covering a major objective of animated features — enough stimuli to please both children and adults.