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Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 02/07/2014

Five fun (small) surprises we gleaned from ‘The LEGO Movie’

“LEGO Movie” characters include (from left), Emme ( voiced by Chris Pratt), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (Will Arnett). (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures - via AP)

THERE’S SLY PRODUCT placement, and then there’s building an entire movie out of block products that have playful nostalgic value to at least several generations.

Advance warning: If you think you can go see “The LEGO Movie” (either with or without a child) and then resist the urge to revisit the joy of building universes click by click — well, good luck with that.

The first cinematic adventure featuring Lego blocks — like the toy itself — keeps the fun coming on a good-paced click. The filmmakers even throw in a lesson or two (it is first a kids’ movie, after all).

From the massive Lego-built sets to the unique Lego special effects, here are Five (mostly spoiler-free) Fun Elements gleaned from this genuinely entertaining film:

1. Follow the instructions — or follow your creativity: Any Lego builder will tell you that it’s all about the instructions. That little piece of paper with the model drawings that explain, brick by brick, how to construct your Lego toy. In “The LEGO Movie,” those instructions play a key part in the everyday lives of the — well — we’ll call them “Lego people.”

But there are also those who say “to heck with the instructions,” grab a bunch of Lego bricks and build whatever their creativity leads them to, instructions be darned. In “The LEGO Movie,” these people are called “master builders.” And their creativity is a lot of fun to watch.

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)
2. It’s kind of a superhero movie, too, and Batman is kind of a jerk:

With Warner Bros.’ involvement in this movie, fans are treated to their fair share of Justice League heroes, including Superman (voiced by Channing Tatum), Wonder Woman (Colbie Smulders), the Green Lantern (Jonah Hill) and Batman (Will Arnett).

If you think Ben Affleck’s Batman is going to be polarizing, wait until you get a load of Arnett’s Batman. He’s a tad brooding and only builds things with black (or occasionally gray) blocks.

3. Movie tunes — or earworms aplenty?: Some film songs stay with you forever — be it Celine Dion belting it out for “Titanic,” or the pulsating theme music for Richard Donner’s “Superman” franchise.

One of the “instructions” that the Lego people must follow is to jam to popular music — really, to one song in particular. Good luck trying to get this song out of your head afterward.

4. Have no fear, the NBA is here: Superhero Legos, construction Legos and even NBA Legos (including Shaquille O’Neal) come together to try to bring down the bad guy. Shaq’s Lego movie debut is as funny and big-hearted as he is.

5. The voices are elastic, plastic and fantastic: Chris Pratt is believable as the clueless Emmet Brickowowski. Elizabeth Banks is excellent as Wyldstyle, who clearly has some issues, but she’s also a master builder. Morgan Freeman’s voice (which lends grace to every movie he’s in) is Vitruvius, an old prophet who’s not that great at professing things. Liam Neeson is — what else? — a tough guy; this time, he’s a bad cop with a soft side. And Will Ferrell is the president of this Lego land — President Business, that is. But he’s also Lord Business — the movie’s main baddie. But, hey — all he wants to make sure everyone is following the instructions!

Follow David Betancourt on Twitter at @aDCfanboy.

By David Betancourt  |  11:43 AM ET, 02/07/2014

Tags:  the lego movie

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