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Janet W., Here…
When you were a kid, which of your toys was limited only by your imagination? Dolls? Cars and fire engines? Your Big Wheel? For many people, it was LEGOs. If you could imagine it, with hard work and lots of LEGOs you could bring it to the third dimension. A LEGO Brickumentary explores the origin, innovation, and longevity of this building block known around the world. Guided by a trusty LEGO minifigure narrator (Jason Bateman), the film travels from the outer reaches of space to LEGO’s birthplace, Denmark. What started out as solid red blocks with small knobs to attach it to other blocks (“Clutch Power”) has evolved into translucent, motorized, and magnetic units available in a bevy of different colors. Chock full of facts and awe-inspiring constructs, A LEGO Brickumentary reveals there is more to this block and its uses are infinite or are they? For example, the name LEGO comes from the Danish word Leg Godt, which means “play well.”
LEGO’s fandom is varied from the individual experience to a worldwide community. With its AFoLs, KFoLs, LUGs and the ever-growing size of their BrickCon, LEGOs are a pop culture phenomenon that has stood the test of time. The contests and battles that take place at the LEGO conventions are hilarious. LEGO also has some celebrity followers as well. No spoilers here, so you will have to see the film to know who. They have even coined a term for people that build with LEGOs for the sake of creating something rather than money or fame, “doing it for the brick.”
The practical applications make LEGOs more than a mere toy. Wait until you see what NASA, the Yale School, MIT research institute, architects, and progressive artists can do with LEGOs. I wish I could have seen “The Art of the Brick” sculpture show in person (the work of Nathan Sawaya is mind-blowing). LEGO the company has not stood in the way of progressive out of the box thinkers. In fact they embrace and reward the ideas of builders outside of their own R&D department, in their contest COOSUU which means “dream/wish” in Japanese.
The film is at times too long. It could have been about fifteen minutes shorter and not have lost my attention. The information was both interesting and inspiring, but some segments were more energized than others. I was glad that the directors, Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson, chose to keep the different languages of the many countries to which LEGO has spread in the film instead of English voiceovers. Let me state for the record, Alice Finch rocks! I can completely understand why her son, Thorin, believes her to be the greatest master builder. Watch the film and you will agree. This $4 Billion brand is another connector of our world that is only limited by our imaginations. A LEGO Brickumentary opens Friday. FYI, Saturday, at the Dallas Angelika Theater, there will be ten LEGO displays setup for your visual delight. Seeing this film reminded me how much I wished that I had a set of my own. Yep, a grown woman wants to build with LEGOs. Leg Godt!
4.5 out of 5 Stars
– Janet L. White