The LEGO Movie follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world.
Films based on toys haven't got a great track record. Transformers, the Masters of the Universe He-Man movie, Battleship and GI Joe might have had reasonable box office success over the years, but you'd be hard pushed to find a critic who would agree that any of them were really great movies.
My expectations were therefore low when I heard that "The Lego Movie" was in the works: although I had enjoyed Lego toys very much as a child, I struggled to see how you could really turn it into a decent story, let alone a high-profile flagship animated movie.
Well, this is why I don't work in the movie industry. Because under the inspired guidance of writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie has turned out to be one of the most impressive kids films in many years.
Everything that a good children's movie needs is here:
- Impressive visuals, check: the beautiful world that the movie creates manages to capture the amazing trick of feeling authentic - ie. like real Lego - while also feeling truly alive with its own energy, replicating a real-life stop-motion feel with its animation techniques. Even though most of the animation is presumably CGI, it's testament to how good it is that you honestly can't tell in places: these could be real Lego bricks living and walking around.
- Fun characters, check: the film's relentlessly cheery everyman character, Emmet Brickowski, is a perfect leading man, naively bumbling from one bad situation to another before winding up playing the reluctant hero - and his supporting cast is filled with enjoyable players (like love interest Wyldstyle, the schizophrenic Bad Cop/Good Cop, or the mysterious, mystical Vitruvius) that round out the story nicely.
- Good jokes, check: the film is filled with hilarious gags - many of which will go straight over the kids' heads, but just as many of which will hit the target perfectly for a young audience (personally, I loved the running gag in which people constantly ask Wyldstyle "are you a DJ?"). And everything moves so fast that even if one or two jokes fail to land, there will be another ten or so in quick succession that will quickly have you and the kids laughing again.
- And a strong underlying message, check: because as strange as it might sound for a movie about Lego, this film actually carries some genuine and heartfelt moral lessons about the importance of individuality in a sea of conformity, and the power of the imagination.
But all that is just scratching the surface of a movie that's consistently enjoyable for all of its 100-minute running time for all sorts of other reasons, too. I haven't even mentioned the inspired cameos from characters from other franchises, who never outstay their welcome but who provide moments of outright hilarity in their Lego-fied forms (special mention must go to Batman, who constantly threatens to steal the show from under everyone's nose).
There's also the high-energy soundtrack that keeps everything whizzing along (if you're not singing the insanely catchy pop-song "Everything is awesome!" by the end of this movie, then you obviously haven't been paying attention), as well as the surprising mixture of live-action footage with the animated segments in the second half of the film (which initially feels odd, but ends up making perfect sense given the places that the story goes).
Finally, I have to praise the amazing voice cast - which includes such luminaries as Liam Neeson (utterly hilarious as Bad Cop/Good Cop), Morgan Freeman (doing his usual 'god' thing as Vitruvius) and the delightfully unhinged Will Ferrell as Lord Business, the villain of the piece who ends up being a little more complex than that.
All in all, this movie doesn't put a foot wrong, and manages to pull off the seemingly-impossible task of feeling like a genuinely great kids film in its own right, rather than merely the feature-length Lego commercial that I had feared it would be.
Move over Pixar - it looks like there's a new toy story in town.
We will publish your review of The Lego Movie  on DVD within a few days as long as it meets our guidelines.
None of your personal details will be passed on to any other third party.
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play Chris Pratt Elizabeth Banks Will Arnett and Morgan Freeman lend their voices to this CGI-animated comedy based on the line of toys made by Lego The wicked Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is determined to destroy the Lego universe and rebuild it using glue - which goes against the very nature of Lego Mistaken as the &39;Special&39; the only surviving Master Builder the rather ordinary Emmet (Pratt) is selected to lead a group of figures on a mission to put a stop to Lord Business&39;s evil plan Emmet is helped by wise wizard Vitruvius (Freeman) tough girl Wyldstyle (Banks) and DC superhero Batman (Arnett) but can he find something extraordinary within himself in order to save the world? The film also features the voices of Channing Tatum Liam Neeson Nick Offerman Alison Brie and Jonah Hill
Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Morgan Freeman lend their voices to this CGI-animated comedy based on the line of toys made by Lego. The wicked Lord Business (Will Ferrell) is determined to destroy the Lego universe and rebuild it using glue - which goes against the very nature of Lego. Mistaken as the 'Special', the only surviving Master Builder, the rather ordinary Emmet (Pratt) is selected to lead a group of figures on a mission to put a stop to Lord Business's evil plan. Emmet is helped by wise wizard Vitruvius (Freeman), tough girl Wyldstyle (Banks) and DC superhero Batman (Arnett), but can he find something extraordinary within himself in order to save the world? The film also features the voices of Channing Tatum, Liam Neeson, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie and Jonah Hill. The film won a BAFTA for Best Animated Film and was nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars.