The Lego Movie: The Most Elaborate Advertisement Or A Universally Enjoyable Epic?

250px-LEGO-Movie-PosterAudiences both young and old will be filled with excitement to learn that 2014 brings The Lego Movie to our screens, with acting legends such as Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson voicing one of the world’s most beloved toys. It is directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, creators of funny and unique film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and the recently released trailer puts The Lego Movie in a similar genre with a great mix surprisingly impressive action scenes and humour that caters for all ages. It is arguable that The Lego Movie comes as one of the most long awaited concepts, with Lego having long been used for music videos and viral web videos, but none before Warner Brothers making a full length film using the medium.

The plot revolves around an ‘instructions worker’ named Emmet, who seems to have no creative talent when building the Lego City, opting to always follow the instructions. The unknowing hero learns that he is a ‘Master Builder’, and with the help of heroes such as Batman and Vitruvius, an old mystic (voiced by Morgan Freeman) he is tasked with saving the universe from an evil tyrant who plans to destroy everything by gluing all the bricks together. The film is set to have a great mix of comedy, action, and romance, which comes as a great triumph from little yellow pieces of plastic.

Despite the obvious anticipation felt by all generations, it could be argued that The Lego Movie is one of the most elaborate advertisements. The inclusion of LEGO products such as the Marvel and DC Universe Super Hero collections as well as the popular Minifigure collection act as a prompt for hoards of children to beg their parents for all the featured toys to re-enact their favourite scenes. The reported combination of computer animation and stop-motion used for the creation of The Lego Movie will on the upside encourage people to begin making their own small films and begin viewing Lego as more than a toy, but there is obvious potential for specific sets from the film to be sold at possibly ridiculous prices due to demand and specificity.

To imagine the ensuing merchandising campaign for The Lego Movie, we turn to films such as Toy Story. This iconic film and its sequels brought back retro and long-forgotten toys such as Mr. Potato Head, Etch-a-Sketch and Barrel O’ Monkeys, with whatever toys being featured suddenly becoming gold dust in shops across the world. When the shops couldn’t meet demand, owners of the toys would sell them online at a higher price to parents with santa lists comprised of Toy Story characters.

Similarly to Lego, fans of Toy Story were not just children, with collectors paying high sums of money to get a mint condition character. This has already been seen with some Lego products, such as the Lego Star Wars advent calendars, with the product selling out in many shops due to the collectors’ excitement at a limited edition Santa Yoda. Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about the collect-ability of The Lego Movie characters is that they will sit in the box and never be played with, a complete waste of the most important aspect of Lego as a toy with seemingly endless possibilities.

Whatever the potential for extensive merchandising, The Lego Movie will be one of those rare films that brings together audiences of all ages, being something parents will genuinely enjoy seeing with their children as well as a film that brings back a sense of childhood nostalgia and enjoyment for everyone else in between.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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10 Comments

  1. mazz mazz
    0

    Thing about LEGO is that their products are quality! Have you ever played any of the LEGO video games? I’m a collectors!

    • Louise Egan

      Hah I have pretty much all the Lego video games, I love lego lord of the rings the most 🙂 I would pay the money because Lego is quality and has almost limitless possibilities, but i worry they’ll take too much advantage of the film’s popularity.

  2. Gemma Mary-Louise

    I work for the LEGO company so I am looking forward to watching the movie! LEGO is so expensive these days and the Mr Gold minifig is going for £600+ on ebay! Good article 🙂

    • Louise Egan

      I would be so psyched if i got Mr.Gold, I’ve spent so much money of Lego minifigures but i’m never disappointed with what i get.

  3. Jonny Brown

    This movie looks to be great fun judging by the trailer, and extra excited since Will Ferrell’s on board

  4. David Startup

    It easy to look at it with cynical eyes – it is a movie about a brand – but if it’s anything as fun as the video games, which are more or less the only games that I ever actually play, then it should be a hell of a lot of fun. I just hope that the filmmakers make the most of this and include the brand tie-ins available to them – the trailer shows Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, which means we have our Justice League movie already, but imagine if they threw in some of the Marvel superheroes too, perhaps even the faces from the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars Lego brands and more? If handled well this could be an amazingly cool film (although I’m just happy to see Batman and Superman in there – the banter between those two characters in the second Lego Batman video game was brilliant!)

  5. Peter Carr

    Lego merchandising itself isn’t really a problem, as it is a children’s toy in the first place and an entertainment media after. Lego has, since its conception, advertised itself in clever ways and this is just moving with the times. Lego has collaborated with other franchises to make more money, yes, but it has also made the children playing with Harry Potter or Batman happier, being able to play with their heroes in a more adaptable way than an action figure. More Lego is sold to children than to collectors, and whilst this film is a blatant advertisement for Lego and its collaborations, it is ultimately about doing something for their fans that is now possible due to advanced animation techniques. I cannot wait for the film, and have been waiting for it for a long time. Thanks for the article.

  6. Holly Honeyford

    Great article! I think LEGO is nostalgic and the fact its already such a big brand makes it less of an issue if they merchandise from their film. I know my boyfriend will be very excited for the film, even as a 21 year old, because he got Lego LOTR xbox game and figures for Christmas!

  7. Camille Brouard

    Personally I’m looking forward to the film, I mean it might not live up to the massive expectations heaped onto it but as a collector of Lego as a kid and also a big fan of the Lego video games I reckon I’m going to go see it, if just for nostalgia!

  8. Jemarc Axinto

    I admittedly went into the movie with a “Why not?” mentality. I was entirely, and pleasantly surprised by the end however. The breaking of the fourth wall that added an extra layer of “father-son” relationship and maturity really brought the entire film together for me.

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