Toys and film have always had a love/hate relationship. The industries have a symbiotic relationship that cannot be denied. Major blockbuster pictures are almost always turned into some line of action figures or play set or something that will have Bandi, Hasbro or Mattel clamoring at major studio’s heels to get the rights to produce toys that will make both parties a lot of money. Movies as toys, have been successful.
The same can’t really be said for toys in film (Toy Story doesn’t count, get real).
More and more, studios are looking to popular toys to turn into lucrative movie going experiences. No one seems to care that this practice has made for mostly awful movies (Transformers, Battleship, Clue, Bratz, G.I. Joe). But the directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street) are hoping to break the stigma with The Lego Movie.
And by the looks of the first trailer, they might be on to something here.
What an absolute blast.
Every frame of this has a recognizable sense of humor to it if you’re familiar with any Lego video game, show or home video release down to the super serious logos to the big reveal that this trailer is about Lego mini-figures and their problems. For a second, I could have sworn the animation was stop-motion; it truly has a unique style to it and it bursts with energy and youth that fans of the toy and its related media are sure to love.
In researching the film, I’ve found a lot of comparisons to Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph. Where I can certainly see the ties to nostalgia, tone and style of comedy, I’m optimistic that Lord and Miller have something here that, despite is early 2014 release, will provide for some better entertainment than that release slot would indicate. It’ll be a minor film to be sure; Warner Bros. doesn’t release too many animated films on a regular basis, so their deliberate calculation is understandable.
The Lego Movie is set to feature the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Alison Brie, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett and Charlie Day and will be release on February 7th, 2014. Official synopsis is below:
The original 3D computer animated story 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. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.