When it was announced that there would be a movie based around the world of Lego, speculation immediately began to brew about what the film would be like. With Lego’s ability to dig deep into a pool of new and old fan favorite characters, the possibilities of what they could do with the film were endless. The movie didn’t disappoint, becoming one of the best-animated features of 2014. It created a wonderful new world for fans of the company to explore. There are so many facts about the movie—some of which would leave even the most indoctrinated fans of the famed brick company scratching their heads.
When the master builders arrive in the colorful world of Cloud Cuckoo Land, all of the characters seem thoroughly pleased by their positively giddy surroundings—except for The Caped Crusader. The audience can clearly see that Batman is not too fond of Cloud Cuckoo Land—and that isn’t just because Batman would prefer to be brooding next to a gargoyle on a rooftop somewhere in Gotham City.
The source of Batman’s irritation comes from the fact that he is greeted by two of his greatest rivals: Killer Croc and the Joker. Although these classic characters are not portrayed in their usual way, we can only assume that their appearances hit a little too close to home for the Dark Knight.
Lego has been producing bricks since 1958, so it should come as no surprise that there are a TON of them. In fact, over 400 billion have been produced since the company’s incarnation. If you break that down further, that’s about 2 million bricks molded per hour and about 30,000 per minute. That is A LOT of Lego bricks.
The Lego Movie used an abundance of CGI bricks in the movie. To be exact, The Lego Movie used nearly 4 million unique Lego pieces to create the worlds that the master builders travel to. If you happened to be very ambitious—or have a metric ton of free time on your hands—you could create The Lego Movie sets yourself with about 15 million bricks. Yeah, we’ll get right on that.
Emmet is one of, if not the most, lovable character in The Lego Movie. He is sweet, honest, outgoing and almost sickeningly positive. Naturally, when Emmet wakes up in the morning, his routine is just as fun-filled as his mood. He says hello to all of his household objects, eats some cereal, sings a song and…takes a shower with ice cream scoops...Okay, you probably did a double take there, but you read that correctly. In the scene where Emmet takes a shower, the pieces that fall from the shower head are actually Lego ice cream scoops. Hey, it wouldn’t be so bad taking a shower with ice cream scoops, if you ask us.
The Lego Corporation’s commitment to authenticity has come up several times on this list, but this particular fact takes it to a new level. It has been revealed by the film’s creators that it was important that each set piece and character used in the film was something that could be created by using actual Lego bricks. Lego went so far as to have select staff members at the company’s headquarters in Denmark build some of the more elaborate structures in house to assure their structural integrity.
Imagining that it was dozens of employees' jobs to construct Lego structures locked away in an office of a giant corporate building should bring a smile to even the most cynical movie-goer's face.
There have been many formidable actors to don Batman’s cape, so when the film's creators were looking to cast the voice of the Caped Crusader’s Lego counterpart, it’s no surprise that some of the most famous actors were considered for the role. It has been reported that Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and even Christian Bale were once in the running to voice Lego Batman. Those that have seen The Lego Movie now know that the role didn’t go to any of these Batman alumni. Instead, Will Forte, a dark horse to play the Dark Knight, assumed the role. The much-needed humor that he brings to the character is unmatched and it’s hard to imagine any of the more traditional actors in the role of Lego Batman.
The Lego Corporation was extremely hands-on during the making of The Lego Movie, to assure that the movie was as authentic to fans of the famed brick makers as humanly possible. The filmmakers were adamant that they wanted to use actual Lego pieces (which were able to be purchased by consumers) in the film. That wasn’t always a possibility, though. So, when Phil Lord and Chris Miller needed a particular piece to use in the film, Lego would drop everything to quickly produce options for them. Their dedication to stay true to Lego’s design style is undocumented territory in the world of animation and the collaborative relationship between the film’s creators and the Lego Corporation shines through in the final product.
When Lord Business is not preoccupied with trying to destroy the world with The Kragle or commanding his robot army, he spends his time running the successful Octan Corporation as his alter ego, President Business. The most astute Lego builders will notice that this isn’t the first time Octan Corporation has appeared in the Lego universe, though. In fact, the fictional gas company has been around since the early '90s and can be found in a multitude of car-themed play sets that Lego has produced. It is no wonder that someone who seeks to stamp out creativity of the mind would run a yawn-inducing gas company for over 20 years. Luckily, President Business had a change of heart regarding his views on creativity, after some convincing from Emmett. We can only wonder how this will affect Octan Corp. in the future.
The amount of properties that Lego has the rights to is absurd. For the past 20 years, there have been Lego sets for nearly every movie that features a dinosaur, a superhero, a robot or a spaceship. Luckily for us, nearly all of these beloved characters would eventually make appearances in The Lego Movie.
Despite that fact, it was still a shock to audiences to see the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars pop up to save the distressed master builders and it was even more of a surprise to hear the voices of Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels coming from Lando Calrissian and C-3PO. Having these two beloved actors make a return to helm the voices for their Star Wars counterparts was a shocking, yet welcomed, treat for Star Wars fans across the world.
Lego’s mini figures are arguably one of the best parts of the brand, as they capture a unique likeness of hundreds of characters from your childhood in a way that only Lego could. Naturally, The Lego Movie relied heavily on these mini figures for their movie.
With such a deep pool of characters and properties to choose from, it proved to be tough to narrow the field down to the 183 figures that would eventually make an appearance in the film. The creators of The Lego Movie ultimately chose prominent figures like Batman, Superman and Han Solo, but they also chose some of their own childhood favorites like Benny the “1980-something space guy.”
If you think that Batman and Superman coming to blows in Batman V Superman (2016) was the first time that these highly recognizable comic book characters appeared on the silver screen together, you would be mistaken. In fact, the first time that these characters appeared alongside each other was in animated form, in The Lego Movie. While this was the first time Batman and Superman appeared on screen as a duo, it was also the first time their Justice League compatriots, Wonder Woman and Flash, had ever appeared in a Hollywood film, at all. This certainly won’t be the last time these superheroes will be on the radars of movie-goers, as the live-action Justice League movie is set to release in November 2017.
To create the vast worlds explored in The Lego Movie, the animation team used thousands of animated bricks. While the film relied heavily on these animated bricks, there are three instances in which real Lego bricks were used. These real-life bricks can be seen in the form of stop motion animation in the beginning and ending credits of the film, as well as the 'five hours later' cutaway.
Aside from being one of the most successful animated movies to be released in 2014, The Lego Movie is also one of the most creative and visually gripping computer-generated films of all time. Fans of the animated genre had become used to the sleek styles of features released by Pixar and DreamWorks, but Lego brought something new to the table.
Like many other animated features, the productions can often be marred with changes that range from something as simple as story direction, to something as drastic as casting. The Lego Movie’s production suffered these same issues, most notably some substantial changes in the voice actors.
Originally, two of the movie's most prominent characters, Good Cop-Bad Cop and Wyldstyle, were to be voiced by Robert Downey Jr. and Emma Stone, respectively. Eventually, Emma Stone dropped out of negotiations, leaving the role to be filled by Elizabeth Banks. The gruff and intimidating Liam Neeson was eventually chosen to voice the bipolar police officer. While Emma Stone and Robert Downey Jr. would have been great in their respective roles, it’s hard to imagine these characters being voiced by anyone other than Banks and Neeson.
Long before Lego decided to turn their creations into one of the most groundbreaking animated films of all time, it was up to fans of the beloved building blocks to create their own animated features. These films were appropriately titled “Brickfilms” and they relied on stop motion animation to create a wide variety of original shorts. Brickfilms date back to the mid-'80s and grew in popularity in the '90s, once they became much easier to share.
During the production of The Lego Movie, the creators did not forget about Brickfilms. They even referenced one of the more prominent Brickfilm shorts titled “The Magic Portal,” during The Lego Movie scene where Emmet falls through the cardboard box abyss. While the animation in Brickfilms pales in comparison to the sleek CGI of The Lego Movie, the fan films led the way for Lego’s eventual blockbuster.
Morgan Freeman is perhaps the most frequently casted Hollywood actor to play God, causing his voice to become synonymous with these roles. So, when The Lego Movie was looking to cast the role of Vitruvius (the man who brings together all of the master builders of the Lego universe together), they chose Morgan Freeman. You may be surprised to learn that this was the first animated feature that Freeman had the opportunity to be a part of during his nearly 53-year acting career. Although Freeman had previously played Lucius Fox in the wildly successful Dark Knight trilogy, Morgan Freeman credits this role to be his favorite appearance alongside Batman. It was probably a little more pleasant to work with the Caped Crusader's Lego counterpart...
Upon first glance, Benny the “1980-something space guy” can look a little worn out compared to the shiny appearance of his more contemporary mini-figure counterparts. Benny’s cracked space helmet isn’t just due to his age, though. Actually, the cracked space helmet is a homage to a very common issue among the astronaut's mini-figures back when he was first released in the “Space Dart” set in 1984.
Benny’s happy-go-lucky attitude and short-term memory loss can also be attributed to this crack in his space helmet, which has been thought to cause an oxygen leak that affects his brain. Sure, the “1980-something space guy” can be a little absent-minded, but his knowledge of space travel proved to be invaluable to his master builder buddies. It’s okay, Benny—we love you just the way you are.