A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This is an entertaining film not an educational one, but kids will still learn about various Lego characters, pieces, and instructions.
Though the message doesn't come until the end, the importance of play, creativity, and parent-child togetherness is a big takeaway. Also, that you can be extraordinary if you believe in yourself and take action. There are some deeper messages about how bland aspects of popular culture are, when everyone sees the same shows, listens to the same songs, and drinks the same expensive coffee. Teamwork is another positive theme.
Positive Role Models
Vitruvius guides and encourages Emmet and leads all of the Master Builders. Like many other reluctant heroes, Emmet is hesitant to believe he can do anything helpful until he believes in himself (but he's always really positive and upbeat). Wyldstyle learns to have confidence in Emmet and be herself, not just her persona as a tough girl.
Violence & Scariness
Lots and lots of Lego action and peril, including gunfire and explosions; all are depicted with Lego pieces. Lego characters are "beheaded," erased with nail-polish remover, super-glued in place, kidnapped, captured, and "tortured" (their minds are probed for building instructions).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Emmet has a crush on Wyldstyle, who is dating Batman. Some intense gazes are followed by hand (claw?) holding.
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"Dang it," "darn," "rubbish," "what the heck," "stupid," are all said infrequently.
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Products & Purchases
It's a movie about Lego characters, many of which are merchandise tie-ins to movies, comics, and books, like Batman, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Superman, Green Lantern, Han Solo, Lando, and Wonder Woman. All of the new characters are also available in various Lego kits and minifigures.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Just "overpriced coffee."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Lego Movie is an action-packed animated family-friendly adventure following original and existing Lego characters. Featuring an all-star voice cast and some of the brand's most popular figures (Batman, Superman, Gandalf, Wonder Woman, etc.), the inventive movie should appeal to all ages, from young Duplo players to teens who consider themselves Master Builders. Although there's nothing overly objectionable (a few mild exclamations like "dang," "heck," "stupid," and "darn"), there's definitely a lot of action and peril, plus quite a bit of violence with the villain's security forces shooting at the good guys, and a character getting "beheaded" (since minifig heads pop off) or erased (with nail polish remover). Kids will love seeing some of their favorite minifigures come to life, but of course they'll probably ask for the tie-in Lego kits after the movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Movies based on toys aren't ever this good, and it's a testament to the veteran animation filmmakers that this one is so smart, humorous, and visually fun to watch. The perfect cast of voice actors completely embodies their Lego counterparts: Pratt's adorable earnestness is legendary to any Parks and Recreation fan; Banks is a go-to girl-power voice; Arnett sounds exactly like Michael Keaton's Batman; and Freeman, Neeson, and Ferrell are master voice actors. But The Lego Movie is not just your typical animated adventure; there are real messages and sophisticated criticisms of popular culture and consumerism (rather subversive -- or very, very smart -- for a movie tied to a multi-billion-dollar toy company).
Like Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter or Neo, Emmet embarks on the archetypal hero's journey -– complete with his own mystical guide (Vitruvius), intelligent and fierce love interest (Wyldstyle), and larger than life nemesis (Business). Along the way, Emmet bumps into a cadre of hilariously depicted minifigures, from superheroes to historical legends, like Shakespeare and Lincoln. The story contains various brilliant cameos, laugh-aloud one liners, and a live-action interlude that is surprisingly touching. Families with kids of all ages will love this reminder of the joy of playing and laughing together.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.