“Everything is Awesome,” my 7-year-old daughter Nuala sings on repeat as we leave the cinema.
The catchy title song from The Lego Movie is stuck in my head too.
But 3-year-old Tommy’s brow is furrowed in confusion. “Daddy, why was that man evil?” he babbles.
The Lego Movie follows the story of everyman Lego construction worker Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, who grown-ups will recognise from rom-com The Five-Year Engagement and American sitcom Parks and Recreation.
Emmet lives life literally by the book, well the Lego instruction manual, but at the beginning of the adventure he finds himself mistaken for a Lego ‘Master Builder’.
He is the ‘Chosen One’ in a Star Wars sense, who is destined to save the world from the wicked plans of President Builder, voiced by Will Ferrell and his evil sidekick Bad Cop, played by Liam Neeson.
But Emmet isn’t alone in his task and is taken under the wing of tough-cookie freedom fighter Wyldstyle voiced by Elizabeth Banks. He also has wise wizard Vitruvius aka Morgan Freeman on his side, who introduces him to a host of Lego mini-figure Master Builders including Batman, Abraham Lincoln and Wonder Woman.
What did the kids think?
My kids were enthralled throughout, which in itself is a fantastic achievement.
The animation is a treat with great attention to detail as the action switches between a number of familiar Lego worlds – including the Wild West, Space and Pirates. Unlike many other films, the 3D doesn’t feel intrusive or gimmicky and added to the adventure experience.
But the film also has a lot of heart and taught them to value the importance of creative independence. This message will strike a chord with any parent who has found themselves obsessing over the Lego instruction book while shooing away the children on Christmas Day!
We’ll be filing The Lego Movie with Toy Story and Despicable Me, which in our house is praise indeed.
So here’s the important bit – what did our mini-reviewer Nuala think? “Absolutely 10/10. It was marvelous!”
Retro references for parents
The film was also entertaining for adults and my favourite Master Builder character was a 1980’s Spaceman Lego figure called Benny. I remember having the exact same one as a child and it made me nostalgic for my childhood Lego. But all I got was confused stares from my children when I tried to convey my excitement… hopefully there are some other mums and dads who will get the retro reference!
But the big question dogging many parents is: ‘Is it just a 90 minute marketing tool for Lego?’
Well obviously yes, but a hugely entertaining one packed with fast paced action and jokes which, like the best family films, will keep all ages entertained and amused.
The Lego Movie is released in cinemas nationwide on Friday 14 February.