Animated Anticipation

I’m taking the Top Five to see The LEGO Movie this afternoon.

It’s been on the agenda since they saw their first trailer months ago. (Cool story: Sean wandered into the living room a few weeks ago when I was making some point to Sarah regarding Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and said: “Hey! That’s the song from The LEGO Movie trailer!” I was so proud.)

Anyway, their anticipation has been high for some time. Mine, though, has been …restrained. It’s been in the “Movies I Care About As A Father, But Not As A Viewer” category from the get-go, really. The sense of humor LEGO typically features — at least the sort of humor on display in their movies and TV shows and video games — is not the humor of my wheelhouse. Still, I was going to take them, because Cool Dad. And because going to the theater is always entertaining, even if the movie is not.

And then Decent Steve had to come along and muddy the waters:

Here is something I didn’t see coming: The freshest, most unique animated family film from any Hollywood studio in well over a year is … based on a line of brightly colored plastic construction blocks and assorted accessories. I’m not kidding!

Perhaps I can put it this way: The Lego Movie does everything you expect a movie like this to do, but it also does a great deal you don’t expect, subverting clichés, taking roads less traveled and even tiptoeing into theological wonder. Still not kidding!

Also, Jeffrey Overstreet:

God’s LEGOs are the stuff of creation. His children are meant to collaborate with him. The future is playtime. And yeah — in the grand scheme of things, everything is awesome.

I don’t know how much of this Lord and Miller had in mind when they made this movie. Artists often reveal more than they ever intended. The LEGO Movie certainly doesn’t feel like the result of heavy, philosophical dialogue. It feels like the fruit of childlike imaginations collaborating and improvising, guided by the wisdom of experience. Thus, every scene sparks with inspiration and ideas that will go on rewarding subsequent viewings for years to come.

Great. Now I’m excited, as well. And when I’m excited, it’s much, much worse than when my kids are excited. They’re the mature ones.

Sure, there are some dissenting voices, so I’m trying to keep my expectations tempered. But the overall enthusiasm for a film that was not even remotely on my personal radar before this past week has really surprised me. I’ll check back with my own opinion eventually, I’m sure — that’s what the InterWebs are for, right? — but in the meantime, I’m just enjoying the fact that today’s excursion is no longer something I’m undertaking simply through a sense of fatherly duty.

Speaking of excitement and anticipation and animated moves, here’s a trailer for the English version of Ernest & Celestine, which is one I’ve been fired up about  for a couple of years now. It’s not likely to make its way up to Wyoming theaters in the near future/ever, and I’m not sure the boys have an eye on it — not enough Swedish dance music — but it looks like just my sort of film.

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HT: Cartoon Brew

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.

  • MeanLizzie

    A title that tells people in social media…exactlynothing.

  • Maggie Goff

    Another FB friend just recommended it. I just may have to go see it somewhere. I would *really* like to see the Ernest and Celestine one. Hopefully it will come to Netflix. The DVD is a little too expensive for me at this time. :)


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