In the world of children’s entertainment, Christianity has done a disservice when it comes to quality. In the past, as long as a television show or movie referenced Jesus or God, parents felt content to let their children indulge. Sure, Veggie Tales had some great stories that multiple generations remember, but shows like Bibleman and some of the animated stories of Jesus’ life are truly unwatchable unless you are so young you have nothing else to compare it with.
This is why I wanted to review The Lego Movie. No, it is not a Christian movie. But it is a movie with an important message for kids that is done in a spectacular way. If you haven’t already seen it, I’ll give you a quick plot.
Emmet is a construction worker that does everything by the book. He lacks individuality in every possible way. Quickly he becomes part of a plan to save the Lego universe and stop Lord Business from gluing all Legos in place, thereby stopping all Lego creations from looking different or unique.
At first, I was shocked by when this movie stepped out of the Lego world and into our world, showing everything is being controlled by a father and son. The father (Lord Business in the Lego world) wants everything perfectly in order, just how the instructions direct. The son wants to make unique and interesting creations.
This movie is worth praising on every level. Visually, it’s a masterpiece. The bright colors, sound design, and all entirely out of Legos. Even water spills are done with Legos. It captures the eyes of any age.
This movie is a comedy and it works on every level. There was a time when movie makers thought parents needed profanity or sexual innuendo in order to tolerate children’s movies (ie. Shrek). Pixar really paved the way for good movies that didn’t need that. And The Lego Movie continues that tradition. This movie is appropriate for all ages and it’s hard to imagine any adult not laughing hard at some moments in this film.
But why I want to strongly recommend this movie to parents and children is its message. It’s simple, well told, and embodies everything that Legos are meant to. The message is about being creative and unique. You are encouraged to use your brain and think outside of the box. It also has a message that tells kids they are special, but not in the often self-indulgent way our overly sensitive, self-esteem culture likes to promote.
The message is strong and is told in a way that that enables you to have a conversation with very young children and they won’t feel overwhelmed. This movie is a great way to introduce children to the concept of worldviews and messages in movies. This could be their first step toward discerning what movies try to communicate. You can watch a movie that is genuinely fun for the entire family, is very well made, and have an easy conversation afterward that can help train even a four year old to see that movies are about telling a story. Sometimes those stories are things your family supports, sometimes they aren’t. This is a great start with a story everyone wants their kids to hear- you are special and unique and we want to see you be as creative as you can be.
Of course this can lead to an even more important conversation about where creativity and uniqueness come from. Where does our urge to create and enjoy beautiful things come from? Why are we so fascinated by beautiful music and art? It comes from our Creator. We are made in His image and hence have His pleasure in beauty and creativity. And that same joy a parent feels when their child runs to them with a cool spaceship or race car they made from Legos, is the joy our Heavenly Father feels when He hears things like Handel’s “Messiah” or Bach’s “Suite no. 3” or first saw the Westminster Abbey.
Watch The Lego Movie with everyone in the family (or by yourself as an adult. It’s that good!) and use it to begin the conversation about what movies communicate to us. This can be a great stepping stone to a discerning young mind.
I want to leave you with a book recommendation and some videos that can help with the topic of imagination and creativity and wonder. This is a lecture and book by Ravi Zacharias. The book is called Recapturing The Wonder and a two part video lecture by the same name is posted at the bottom. Use these for yourself to help develop that same wonder and imagination your children get when playing with Legos.
As always, if you have any questions or comments about this review, want to talk about worldview in movies, or just want to talk movies, leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.
And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @World_Re_Views, where we do mini reviews and talk about worldview trends in movies and literature.
Post by Ryan