Story

The Lego Movie is an animated movie featuring popular Lego figures, such as Batman, Superman, Gandalf and Superwoman. The movie is about an epic battle between good and evil.

It begins with the evil Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) intent on dominating the Lego universe with his plan to freeze all Lego pieces with his deadly Kragle substance. Master Builder Lord Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) knows that if he can find the ‘Piece of Resistance’, he will be able to stop the Kragle from destroying the Lego world. But after the ‘Piece of Resistance’ is lost, he has a vision: one day a yellow-faced man, ‘the Special’, will find it and defeat Lord Business.

Meanwhile, in the current-day Lego world, an ordinary Lego man named Emmet (Chris Pratt) unsuspectingly stumbles upon the ‘Piece of Resistance’ one day at work. The Master Builder Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) observes Emmet with the Piece of Resistance and assumes he is the Special that Lord Vitruvius saw in his vision – the man destined to save them. Wyldstyle and Lord Vitruvius believe that Emmet can defeat evil Lord Business and his followers, led by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), before they destroy all of the Lego lands.

Themes

Good versus evil; family relationships; some reference to torture

Violence

The Lego Movie has quite a lot of violence, although it’s all done with Lego pieces. For example:

  • A Lego man is kicked off a cliff and falls through a tunnel with spikes.
  • A Lego piece is threatened with being melted in a machine.
  • In a Lego gun shoot-out, pieces are shot and fall to the ground.
  • Lego lands are destroyed and Lego pieces are disassembled.
  • There are references to torture machines in which Lego men’s minds are read to get building instructions.
  • A Lego man’s parents are frozen by superglue in front of him.
  • A Lego man is thrown against a glass window repeatedly.
  • A Lego man has his face rubbed out with nail polish remover.
  • A real-life boy stands on Emmet, but Emmet isn’t hurt.
  • A Lego shark bites a Lego man.
  • Lord Vitruvius dies. A Lego ghost replaces him.
  • Emmet falls from a large Lego building through a dark hole. He seems to be missing after this.

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

The Lego Movie shows some partial nudity, including several references to a ‘Pantless Man’ game show. It shows a Lego piece without any pants on and an audience laughing at the man.

Product placement

The Lego Movie is a promotion for the Lego brand. Lego shown throughout the movie includes older themed Lego and new Lego, which is available for purchase.

Coarse language

The Lego Movie has some mild coarse language that children might copy.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Lego Movie is an animated movie that is based on and promotes Lego construction toys. You might have concerns about this obvious promotion of a brand to your children.

Although very young children will probably recognise the Lego toys, they’re likely to find the plot uninteresting or confusing. Younger children might also be upset to see favourite characters in the movie injured or destroyed. There is also a tense scene involving a human boy and his demanding father, as well as references to torture. The movie is therefore not recommended for children under five years, with parental guidance recommended for children aged 5-8 years.

The main message from this movie is that everyone is special if they just believe in themselves and their own special abilities. Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include loyalty and friendship.

If you have older children who see The Lego Movie, you could talk about why the father puts more importance on getting Lego construction perfect rather than on playing with his son. What lesson does the father (and Lord Business) learn in the end?