Every scene from the new Lego movie can be re-created with Lego bricks, reports Don Steinberg in The Wall Street Journal (1/30/14). “The film is computer animated but made to look as if all the scenery is built out of real Lego pieces. Everything moves in a way that simulates the stop-motion films that thousands of Lego customers have created with their pieces and posted online” (link). The film itself, produced by Warner Brothers and called The Lego Movie, features a plotline about the freedom to build whatever you’d like.
The bad guy in the film, played by Will Ferrell, is armed with a weapon that can glue the world together, and plots to put an end to “freestyle play.” The irony of this, of course, is that since 1998, Lego has sidelined its freestyle play sets in favor of sets patterned on various movie properties such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and others. Lego’s goal with its own film is “to make Lego feel cooler to older kids.” It is doing so, in part, by gathering “characters who don’t normally hang out together.”
These include “Batman, Superman, Gandalf, Dumbledore, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,” as well as “Hans Solo, Shaquille O’Neal and The Simpsons” – all of which are Lego licensed. To promote the film, they are “opening a whole new exhibit at LegoLand Carlsbad.” They are also promoting it in their stores, online and “on every single level that a studio normally couldn’t,” says Dan Lin of Warner Brothers. Lego has already put sets based on 17 scenes in the movie in its stores, plans an accompanying videogame, McDonald’s Happy Meal cups as we well as “books, apparel and school supplies.”