This is an older post from 2014 but with the new movie coming out in 2019 I thought it would be a fun one to resurrect from my old blog. Plus, you may be asking yourself..."Could The Lego Movie be a classic?"
Is the Lego Movie a classic? This has been an on and off conversation throughout the
TJEd community, and I am sure there are others out there wondering if the film has any redeeming value at all. So what is a classic? Some will say that it is a piece of literature that has endured the test of time. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it’s "serving as a standard of excellence, of recognized value." It can be defined as something that we can read, or watch, and from which we can learn something new every time. Cliff Fadiman said, “When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.” So who is to say that, maybe, as adults, we are not in the right mindset when watching this film. We are not looking for the good but noticing only all of the goofy fun our kids love so much. Could this really be a modern classic? Really? Well, many of us have put books such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner into this category. Why can’t a new child’s film also join the ranks of modern classics.
Now coming from a family with distant ties to the Lego Company, I cannot say no to Legos. I mean come on, I have a cross stitch by Edith Christiansen hanging in my kitchen—Lego founder's, third son's wife. A gift given to my late Great Great Aunt. I grew up on Legos and I love them.
I know Legos can also be a hot topic in the TJEd world but I am not going to be talking about whether or not our children should be playing with them or how often. I want to talk about the movie. Now, my husband and I have been trying to be really good about picking the movies we watch for our Friday movie night. The kids almost (most days) get no screen time. So when the previews for the movie started coming out I instantly started to wonder if I was going to let my kids see it. Needless to say I put it in the category of “candy” (tasty to watch but not nutritious for the mind) and my husband and I decided that he would take the boys to see it.
When they came home all they could do was rave about all of the silly sayings and sing the song. And what a catchy tune it is. Right moms? So the hype was big in my house, and my husband enjoyed it very much. He would giggle about any part he would try to relay to me. Yes, I said giggle like a little boy. Now I wish I had seen it. But I waited till it came out on Amazon, and I did purchase it before I had seen it. I tried watching it once and slept through most of it (I had a newborn baby at the time). A few weeks later I tried again but we were packing to move so I missed the same amount as before. So with all of the discussion on whether or not it is a good movie or not, I figured that I would sit down and pick it apart, while the kids were watching it of course.
So after enjoying the film this is what I have come up with. A classic is "One of the best of its time," and Oliver DeMille states “A ‘classic’ is a work--be it literature, music, art etc.-- that’s worth returning to over and over because you get more from it each time.” So why not the Lego Movie. Kids will remember it the rest of their lives. If it affects them positively or negatively, it may be up to how we treat the movie ourselves. And with that said I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Lego Movie is a classic. Please don't stop reading here but I am willing to back up my reasoning with research.
We will analyze the many characters and find both traits and discussion that can be had with your little ones either during or after the movie. Heck,you know this movie will stick with them for quite some time. So even a week later you can pull some of these gems out of your pocket and be the "cool" parent who knows all about the movie (When really you’re an attentive parent using the popular children’s movie to strike up deep and meaningful conversations with your kiddos). Here is the spoiler alert: I will be talking about parts of the movie and some details about books you may have not read before. Leave your judgments for after reading my thoughts and seeing the movie.
Emmet Brickowoski is our main character. He's kind, sweet, and nice to everyone. He loves to follow the rules. He starts off the movie by doing his morning routine. (How many of us wouldn’t want that to go a little quicker?) Que mothers voice in the morning.-“Do you remember how Emmet did his morning tasks right when he got up?" I'll take a good example any day, even if it is a little man just over an inch tall with a yellow face. Now granted, he does have TV as part of his morning tasks but why not use this for an opportunity to talk about why we do and don’t do certain things. Why don’t we watch TV all the time? Why don’t we choose to spend $40 on drinks? These scenarios are all good topics of conversation to discuss with our children at any age. We will come back to Emmet a little later.
Next is Vitruvius. His voice is performed by Morgan Freeman and who doesn’t like to hear him talk. There are some very funny lines that he delivers, mostly because it is hard to imagine him saying such phrases, But when Morgan Freeman talks, we listen, and most of what his character says can be taken to heart.Vitruvius says some key things that help land this movie into the classics realm. He uses a large vocabulary and introduces words that your children may not yet know like prodigiously. He is a true believer in the prophecy (even if he did make it up). He shows total faith in Emmet as "The Special". Vitruvius said "The reason I made up the prophecy was because I knew that whoever found the piece could become the special. Because the only thing anyone needs to be special is to believe that you can be. I know that sounds like a cat poster but it's true. Look at what you did when you believed you were special. You just need to believe it some more." Now how is that not inspiring. Couldn't we all believe in ourselves a little more? Even when Wyldstyle is discouraged by the prospect of Emmet being the one to save their world Vitruvius looks on the bright side and says, "Master Builders spend years training themselves to clear their minds enough to have even a fleeting glimpse of The Man Upstairs and yet, your mind is already so prodigiously empty that there is nothing in it to clear away in the first place. With proper training you could become a great Master Builder."