The LEGO Movie- birth of a franchise?

03 February, 2014 by Don Groves

Produced in Sydney, The LEGO Movie is a dazzling and highly entertaining 3D CGI-animated movie for all ages.

That’s according to the first reviews in the US, where the Warner Bros- Village Roadshow Pictures co-production opens on Friday.


The Hollywood Reporter lavished praise on Animal Logic, which produced the CGI effects. The film’s creative spirit is “vibrantly captured by those millions of LEGO pieces rendered, brick-by-brick, by Australia’s Animal Logic, whether taking the inherently three-dimensional form of a fiery explosion or, most vividly, a stormy, undulating LEGO sea," declared reviewer Michael Rechtshaffen.

Animal Logic founder Zareh Nalbandian is credited among the executive producers, as is James Packer, who is co-funding a slate of movies for WB with Brett Ratner, his partner in RatPac Entertainment.

Directed and written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street), the film features a voice cast led by Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman.

Its B.O. prospects worldwide seem astronomical. Rechtshaffen predicts the film will “translate beautifully into whatever corner of the earth it plays, with a laugh-and-you’ll-likely-miss-something potential for repeat viewings.”

Pratt voices the character of Emmet, a regular Lego minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the key to saving the world. He's drafted into a quest to stop an evil tyrant – but he's not ready. Ferrell plays President Business, a CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination and managing his own life. Neeson is the henchman known as Bad Cop.

Rechtshaffen observes, “Arriving at a time when feature animation was looking and feeling mighty anaemic—essentially reconnecting the same dots until the next big thing comes along—The LEGO Movie shows ’em how it’s done.

“It’s a non-stop blast from beginning to end, jam-packed with a wacky irreverence, dazzling state-of-the-art CGI (courtesy of Animal Logic) and a pitch-perfect voice cast.”

Variety's Peter Debruge says Lord and Miller “irreverently deconstruct the state of the modern blockbuster and deliver a smarter, more satisfying experience in its place, emerging with a fresh franchise for others to build upon.

"The movie….relies on ingenuity and genuinely inspired twists on what audiences expect from such an experience to deliver a constant stream of engagement and laughs."

The LEGO Movie opens in Australia on April 3.