Kids go through phases of Legomania which keeps them off Grand Theft Auto and bankrupts their parents.
In product placement terms, an animated film with the client’s name in its title is the equivalent of three lemons in a row every time you yank the bandit’s one arm.
The characters may be members of the Lego family and the monsters/buildings/weapons/vehicles made from Lego pieces, but the script is radical on-it and in no way the creation of an advertiser’s think tank.
The language is honed on the games room’s sofa where concepts of world domination reflect a simplistic cartoonish cynicism where chaos theory thrives and B-movie sci-fi is respected for its tacky trash can sensibility.
Critics complain of Hollywood’s fear of ideas and the banality of blockbusters.
Funnily – and it is funny because they are so expensive to make – animated films have been allowed to be experimental and imaginative.
The Lego Movie is a perfect example. If Abed from the sitcom Community had been asked to write a screenplay for toys this would have been it. Likewise a couple of techno savvy 14-year-olds who live inside a TV screen would have done as well.
With characters such as President Business, Bad Cop and Wild (“Are you a DJ?”) Style this is George Orwell on acid. The pace is frantic, the colours electrifying and the storyline zippedy-who-dah.
Emmett is the most ordinary Legomite in the box. He can’t step outside without consulting his How To book on social behaviour. Somehow, probably by mistake, he is chosen as a born again saviour who can bring down the evil dictator and put a stop, and a top, to his deathly tube of glue.
“Put the thing on the other thing and save the universe,” he is told.