Editorial: 8 Reasons to Be Overly Excited for The Lego Movie
Heading into the normally dreadful January/February months, amongst the normal offerings of schlocky horror and bland comedy comes a shining beacon of hope. A bright, promising movie-going experience primed for trips down memory lane. The Lego Movie, due out February 7th, might have seemed like a strange idea at one point (then again, so did a David Fincher-directed Facebook movie). But, as its release draws nearer it’s becoming clear that this could be one of the best movies of early 2014, and maybe the year’s best animated film. Still not excited ? Here are 8 reasons to kick your anticipation into overdrive:
1. The Lego Movie comes attached with some established talented in its co-Writer/Directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller. As directors, Lord & Miller are responsible for one of the funniest studio comedies this decade in 21 Jump Street. These guys also wrote two of the best How I Met Your Mother episodes EVER (before the show became a sad reminder that everything you love will one day cause you pain).
Lord & Miller also have animation credibility on their resume, having co-written & co-directed Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, a movie that a lot of people really like. So they have the talent, have the résumé, and it looks like they’ll be bringing some friends.
2. Sure, you’ve loved Chris Pratt as the huggable Andy Dwyer in Parks & Recreation, and were pleasantly surprised by his more dramatic turns in Moneyball & Zero Dark Thirty. But, The Lego Movie will be audiences’ first chance to embrace Chris Pratt, The Leading Man. Pratt’s a star-on-the-rise, and he’s getting ready (and getting buff) for a Marvel-boost to his career. The Lego Movie will be one more pleasant reminder of his comedic ability before he tests the superhero waters in Guardians of the Galaxy.
3. The surprisingly great trailer for The Lego Movie dropped on October 31st, in the thick of the Awards-season hype train. And while most of the buzz was fixed on the beautiful Life Magazine shot from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or Leo DiCaprio dancing in The Wolf of Wall Street, one trailer proved more clickable than the rest:
That’s 9,000,000 views and counting. More YouTube views than other huge Warner Brothers movies like Gravity and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. And that’s on top of the 7 million+ views that the teaser trailer already racked up.
With its instant brand recognition, acute self-awareness (note Emmet’s strained jumping jacks), as well as the infectiously joyful Please Don’t Skip Our Trailer mini-scene, The Lego Movie‘s full trailer has a quality to it that not only makes you want to watch it twice, but want to send it to a friend who’ll respond “THIS LOOKS SOOO FUNNY!!!!!”
4. Also, This Gif
5. Will Arnett as Batman – The gravel-voiced actor has already traded sotto voce quips with Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock, and was almost the voice of KITT. Coming in the wake of a trilogy of Christian Bale-lead Batman films, Arnett’s comic timing should provide the perfect antidote to the Nolan series’ dark tone, before Zack Snyder brings Batman back to an unhappy place. The Lego Movie will be the release of comedic tension that’s been building in Gotham ever since the Batsuit had nipples.
6. After a streak of three years with underwhelming new movies, 2014 is set to be The Year Without Pixar, as the famed studio will go all of this year without releasing a feature. This is only the third time this millennium Pixar has gone a whole year between releasing films, and the first gap year since 2005.
Thankfully, Pixar comes back with a vengeance after 2014. First up is Inside Out, a story set inside the brain of a young girl featuring the return Up director Pete Docter, as well as Toy Story 3 (and Little Miss Sunshine!) screenwriter Michael Arndt. Later in 2015, the long-rumored Pixar project The Good Dinosaur, from Up co-writer Bob Peterson, will finally be released. In 2016, Pixar follows their two upcoming original projects with Finding Dory, the most appealing Pixar sequel possibility, save for The Incredibles 2.
7. The awesome voice cast does not stop with Pratt and Arnett. Rounding out the stars, the movie features Voice of God Morgan Freeman, My Best Friend Elizabeth Banks, and Funniest Man on the Planet Will Ferrell. Beyond them, Channing Tatum plays Superman to contrast Arnett’s Batman, Cobie Smulders voices Wonder Woman (the soonest we’ll see that character on screen), and since this is Legos, the film will be chock-full of familiar faces (like Lego Abraham Lincoln, voiced by Will Forte).
8. The best reason to get excited, is for the opportunity to play with legos again. No, it doesn’t matter that I’m in my 20s now, and have to pay rent, and really need to try to find a job. LEGOs are cool again! I can share them with a whole new generation of nieces and nephews, provided they put down their iPads for long enough to play with a toy that has tangible qualities. It’ll be great.