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Kid critics size up ‘The LEGO Movie’

“The LEGO Movie” stars Emmet with Wyldstyle and Batman.
“The LEGO Movie” stars Emmet with Wyldstyle and Batman. Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

You are already lining up — in your mind — for the opening day (May 23) of the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Somerville. You have boxes filled with plastic 2x6 bricks and 2x4 plates, clear studs, mini plastic croissants, and tiny brown barrels stored in your basement. You know that a Brickmaster is not a piece of equipment at the gym. You can name the Ninjago’s four golden weapons. And the elements they represent. You have a mint 1984 Fire and Rescue Squad Town System set in its original box. You handed down your battered astronaut minifigure from the Classic Space collection to your daughter or son. You used to have a dining room table and now you have a LEGO table. In your dining room.


Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures/hodgkins

If you find yourself agreeing with any of the above then the new “The LEGO Movie,” opening Friday, is made for you. Or at least marketed to you.

The Danish developers of the ingenious LEGO brick, launched in 1958, surely could not have imagined that one day their pieces would snap together to become a 3-D animated feature about a construction worker minifigure and his reluctant turn to hero. The LEGO character at hand, played by Chris Pratt, is the forgettable Emmet whose ordinary life crumbles when the goth/steampunk Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) appears at his job site to let him know that he is the chosen one or the “special.” According to a prophecy delivered to seer Vitruvius (voiced by Hollywood’s favorite God, Morgan Freeman), Emmet must save the world.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures/hodgkins

Adventures and brand mixing ensue as a fever dream of LEGO universes — a construction site, the Wild West, the aggressively whimsical Cloud Cuckoo Land, and the deep sea, rise and break apart and minifigures Batman, Michelangelo of the Ninja Turtles, Gandalf, Dumbledore, and C-3PO make appearances. Wyldstyle who, with her brains and brawn, is more suited to heroism than the actual hero, drags the reluctant Emmet along on the quest. Together — with some help from the vintage ’70s Spaceman Benny (Charlie Day), Batman (Will Arnett), and Unikitty (Alison Brie) — they must defeat the villain who, in either a profound act of self-delusion or a canny bit of marketing sleight-of-hand, is named, Lord Business (Will Ferrell).


Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures/hodgkins

Warner Bros. along with filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (the creative team behind “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”) have cleverly built a movie that appeals thematically to all LEGO types — those who follow instructions and those who prefer to, well, mix sets. And while some of the jokes and ideas might resonate more with adults, the pleasure of seeing your favorite toys come to life belongs mostly to kids.

The Globe spoke to some discerning young Brickmasters after a recent screening.

Globe: Do you think it’s strange that LEGO figures don’t have fingers?

Anthony: Yeah.

Globe: What could LEGO figures do if they had fingers?

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures/hodgkins

Anthony: Like if they were doing a car chase for “The LEGO Movie” they could, like, jump onto a another car and just grab a brick. [turns to interviewer and asks] Would you talk to actual LEGO people and would that give them inspiration?

Madison: Toys don’t have fingers. Except dolls.

Globe: There were a lot of famous people acting with their voices in this movie pretending to be LEGO characters. Do you know who they are?

Aidan: Maybe Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball player. Is that one? [He’s right.]


Globe: Is there any LEGO figure who wasn’t in the movie who you wished had been?

Anthony: I wish all the Ninjas from Ninjago were in the movie. All the Ninja Turtles.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

Globe: What if you could have different LEGO heads that you could put on your own body — which would you choose?

Anthony: Emmet because of his creative mind. Emmet, myself, and Lloyd, the green Ninja. This would be kind of embarrassing: What if you could change into the unicorn head? Or the duplo head.

Ezra: Sports head, school head. I think you could have a head for each action. I don’t think it would make sense if you had a head for each emotion that you were feeling, because I would either not want to share my emotions or want to mask them.

Nate: Red Sox uniform. Any sports team.

Globe: Are there any famous people who you wished had been in the movie?

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

Ezra: Their words would have taken over the movie. It would have made people think about voices and characters and not the movie.

Globe: Did you like the movie?

Yunona: I felt uncomfortable at some points. I mean it was funny when they were like “let’s hold hands” [makes sappy romantic face].

Globe: Are there any real-life people who you think should be LEGO characters?

Dylan: My teacher.

Arcelio: Me!

Madison: The president!

Ezra: We’re big sports fans. I’m a Phillies fan, so Jimmy Rollins.

Nate: Big Papi.

Globe: What would your character look like?

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff; Lego photo from Warner Bros. Pictures

Arcelio: Mostly red, all red.

Globe: What would your teacher LEGO character look like?

Dylan: Like she would have short curly hair. She has brown-ish blond-ish hair. I mean skin.


Anthony: She’s old and mean and she’s going to hit you with a ruler.

Globe: What was this movie about?

Aidan: About Emmet trying to save the world.

Anthony: And being creative.

Arcelio: It was about someone who mostly was a nobody, but was a somebody by saving the world.

Nicole Lamy can be reached at nicole.lamy@globe.com.