It is often called “the toy of the 20th century”. But in the 21st century even the makers of Lego knew that even though they were more profitable than ever, the very core of their business was under attack.
So they made a movie.
Blah blah blockbuster hit – kids movies do that. But I’m in this place now (child rearing years). Where I have to watch movies 10,000 times with my kids until I despise even the thought of a movie ( Disney’s Frozen anyone?! ) and the Lego movie is different.
On the surface it’s a great kids movie, stacked to the ceiling with blockbuster voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Billy Dee Williams, rising star Chris Pratt and many more.
But the story is a phenomenal comment on modern life, the motivation of work, the cause of a career, a question of creativity and the danger of business for the sake of business.
Take the villain for example, his name is “President Business” and his henchmen are the “micro-managers”. Anti-capitalist? Not so fast. A good deal of the plot deals with creative masters of the universe who are brilliant but can’t work together and can’t set or achieve any goals.
Even the theme song “Everything is Awesome” which was nominated for several prestigious awards is an ironic reminder that we are often brainwashed to believe life has to always be “great”. The movie literally begins with all the characters going through life using “the instructions to fit in, have everybody like you and always be happy” which include how to prepare for the day ( I especially love the dig “drink ridiculously expensive coffee” ).
The movie ends up with a commentary on how we have let business get away with stifling creativity, and creativity get away with stifling inspiration – one gets the feeling the makers of Lego hope it helps the parents who purchase their product let children return to the free-play of 20 years ago instead of the ‘guided’ play that rules today’s childhood.
Thoughtful, brilliant, subversive, creative, insightful. Kids or not, I encourage you to watch it.
Sure some in the marketing world found it a brilliant anti-ad-movie, and even The Economist picked up on it’s unique value – but I hope it is for you a joyous questioning moment in why we work and how we work.
As the villain loves to say “it’s not personal, it’s just business”.
Would love your comments after you see it!
Here’s a preview below ( and click here for an interesting behind the scenes site ). Enjoy!