Turning a beloved toy into a quality film has not been the easiest task for Hollywood. The Transformers franchise made bank at the box office, but from a filmmaking aspect, its garbage. Battleship, Bratz and Masters of the Universe failed miserably at bringing the childhood toys we loved so much to life on the big screen. But now, we have The Lego Movie sitting smack dab in the middle of the movie Dead Zone looking to make its mark on pop culture. I was expecting a fun film that would hold me over until Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrived in April – what I got was the most entertaining film of the new year and the model of how to make a great movie based on a popular toy.

The Lego Movie is the story of Emmet Brickowoski, a generic little builder who finds out he may be the “special” in an ancient Lego prophecy. The world Emmet lives in is a marvel to watch on-screen in The Lego Movie. The attention to detail is incredible with every little block coming to life on-screen as Lord Business (Will Ferrell) hunts down Emmet across the lands of the Lego universe. The effects are an image of simple perfection with its compatible piece figures involved in huge action sequences, making us laugh with their smart and irreverent jokes. Fans should definitely get a kick out of the Lego relics and the “higher”, or should I say human hand power, that may be at work in The Lego Movie.

What The Lego Movie gets right that so many other animated films fail at is the use of the voice talent. Rather than hide a famous actors voice by making them do a goofy voice, The Lego Movie lets the actors act through their little Lego people on-screen. We are able to immediately identify the famous actors instead of waiting for the credits to see who played who. Chris Pratt’s goofy, but sweet personality shines through as our hero, Emmet. Morgan Freeman’s wise voice is the perfect fit for the mystic Vitruvius who is Emmet’s Lego spirit guide. Last but not least, the show stealer of The Lego Movie is Will Arnett as Batman. Arnett’s raspy voice is perfect for the moody Dark Knight and he has some of the funniest bits in the movie, including his tortured self-produced music. There’s a ton of other great voice talent in The Lego Movie, but I’ll save the spoilers.

Who would have thought a bunch of little, yellow, plastic people would save us from the movie Dead Zone? The Lego Movie isn’t just a great movie in the Hollywood release dumping graveyard. The Lego Movie is the best animated movie I’ve seen since Wreck-It Ralph. By the end of The Lego Movie the filmmakers give us a brave twist in their story which will make us all feel like a kid again and realize why we love those little interchangeable plastic pieces so much. Fans of all ages will be itching to rush out of the theaters to get creative again with their Legos and remember what it’s like to create something special.

Overall, I give The Lego Movie 3.5 out of 4 stars.

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