An Admittedly Overanalyzation of the Lego Movie

The LEGO Movie teaser poster

The Lego Movie Attempts to Address Larger Issues within the Context of Animated Children's Toys, but What is it Really Saying about Contemporary Culture?

According to the Lego Movie plot synopsis:
An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.



While this may seem a straightforward plot, not exactly rocket (or LEGO) science, the reality is that their are a number of straightforward and more subtle jabs at contemporary society throughout the film that can make an overly analytical parent like myself, especially one that teaches a media course, wonder if the animators meant to throw these jabs in or simply thought it would make the film more appealing to adults.


WARNING: Definite LEGO Movie spoilers to follow, so if you are really, really REALLY looking forward to the ending, then please do not read further. 

Firstly you have the society where "Everything is awesome!" despite the LEGO underlings happily paying upwards of $37 for a cup of coffee, not being allowed to create anything different, and watching an inane reality type show of a guy who can't find his pants (Yoda joke notwithstanding). The obvious bad guy, Mr. Business, rules the world, controlling everything from the radio waves to the voting machines, and even initiates Taco Tuesdays to find an excuse for his underlings to gather in one place so he can destroy them with super glue. Dastardly! 
Business
Amidst the almost brainwashed action of the main character Emmet, there seems to be a ray of hope as the creative types of this Lego dystopia gather, including a weird unicorn kitty that seriously needs some meds.

Now you would think that in this scenario, the obvious ending would be the exploding of the bad guy Mr. Business, and everyone acting somewhat normal, and that's that. Nice and neat, but then the Lego Movie adds a twist of sorts - a live action Will Ferrell, who plays the father and is the real Mr. Business.




Now at this point, the analogies between the humans and the lego folks seems something akin to man and god(s), with slight plays on religious themes. But then we find out that the "gods" in this world are actually an overworked perfectionist father (Mr. Business) and his son, who has created the bulk of the mayhem in the movie by making the ordinary construction worker Emmet a super-anti-hero of sorts. Instead of Mr. Business blowing up and that's the end and Emmet lives happily ever after, yada-yada, Mr. Business, we find, is also a "special" person and that we are all special and all need to live together and break down walls and etc.

So here is the overanalyzation: 

So is business our god but one that we can get along with because business is special, too, and then do we just need to let down our barriers and work together in some weird utopia with business-god? 

And is this some sort of jab at our current society where inane music plays on the airwaves controlled by media conglomerates, people are willing to pay $8 for a cup of black liquid with a squirt of vanilla-inspired chemicals, 
and politics are controlled by, uh, Mr. Business? 

But this can't be a jab at business, because in this scenario, Mr. Business (Will Ferrell) was the one that bought the Legos and put them together in the first place, and although the obvious answer is that this movie is obviously about a father/child relationship, it is hard to ignore some of the subtle commentary on surveillance and government/business control of the people. And in the end, it is Emmet's abilities to just do what people tell him to do that make him the hero, so maybe we are best off as being cogs to a benevolent dictator? And the movie closes out with the "Everything is awesome"!

So maybe we are now cogs, but just knowledgeable cogs with a touch of free expression so we don't bother wondering who gave Mr. Business the right to buy us in the first place?

This overanalyzation of a kid's movie about talking plastic bricks brought to you by insomniac musician. :) 

And dang, I fell for it! Maybe the esoteric subplotline was just a ploy to get dumb intellectuals like myself to give them free marketing for their dumb movie! DOH!
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