Animated feature holds building blocks for success

All of you “mature” teenagers and adults out there who think you’re too cool to see The Lego Movie, please drop the act. This film is hilariously random and witty and will make anyone’s day. Indulge your inner desire for goofy humor and sit back for one of the funniest rides of the year. When it was first announced as a film in development, The Lego Movie had me skeptical. I can finally put all that incredulity to rest now after having seen the final product that’s handled with tender love and care by directors and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the creative duo behind other comedy hits such as 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as well as the upcoming 22 Jump Street.

The film’s unique animation style is one that doesn’t need getting used to because it’s so crisp right from the beginning. The best description I can give is that it’s kind of like a cross between computer animation and stop-motion, which certainly sets it apart from most animated features that are released these days.

One of the few criticisms for the movie, however, is that this style lags in particular forms, including ocean water and smoke, especially because the animation portrays the accurate movement of these substances but they are simultaneously made out of Lego parts, which can look very awkward. Again, this is only a minor problem because it’s not very frequent, but it’s still noticeable.

The only other notable flaw is the film’s length, which temporarily undermines its fast-paced amusement and comic genius, but that being said, it seldom hits a dull point.

Let’s get to the principal components of The Lego Movie, which are its cast and humor. From Will Arnett’s brooding and ubiquitous Batman to Jonah Hill’s Green Lantern, who irritates Channing Tatum’s Superman at every turn, to Liam Neeson’s split personality Bad Cop/Good Cop, there is so much to enjoy in this movie.

Chris Pratt, from “Parks and Recreation,” voices the protagonist Emmet Brickowski, an average construction worker who is mistaken for the “Special.” He is pulled into a grand prophecy that will save the Lego world from its dull, commercial and monotonous dictatorship headed by Lord Business, a great antagonist voiced by Will Ferrell. Brickowski’s development throughout the film ultimately leaves audiences with a charming message about creativity and individuality, adding a deeper layer to the film’s chaotic hilarity.

Among others who pop up are Morgan Freeman as an old wizard, Charlie Day as a space ship-obsessed astronaut, Elizabeth Banks in the leading female role of Brickowski’s love interest and Batman’s current girlfriend Lucy, and Pratt’s “Parks and Recreation” co-star Nick Offerman as a cyborg pirate. They all lend laugh-out-loud bits to the film’s rapidly paced plotline. Ferrell even shows up again as himself, in the flesh, in an unexpected live-action sequence that parallels his character in the Lego world.

The Lego Movie is so fun and funny and full of talent that it’s almost impossible not to like. Its humor is very adult-oriented while still appealing to children in the long run. Additionally, its ambient, thumping score is composed by Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh and features an overwhelmingly upbeat and catchy song “Everything Is Awesome!!!” performed by Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island.

The year’s biggest movie so far will have you in tears from laughter and scratching your head at its insanely haphazard mixing of elements and characters. In a world where crocodiles have police sirens on their heads and Gandalf, Dumbledore, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Shakespeare are all on a council together, anything can happen, and it’s all insanely funny and satisfying.u