The Lego Movie has been getting rave reviews all over the place, even better than some of the Oscar-nominated films. I have to say I agree. Mostly.
Chris Pratt of Parks and Rec fame is the voice of Emmet, an extremely happy little man who truly loves his life as a Lego. He unknowingly stumbles on the Piece of Resistance, part of an ancient “legend” about the fate of the Lego people, thus becoming “The Special” in the eyes of new friends Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), her boyfriend Batman (Will Arnett) and wise old Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman, obviously). However, Emmet also becomes Public Enemy No. 1 to Lord/President Business, voiced by none other than Will Ferrell, because he wants all Lego communities and people to be exactly the same in every possible way, and the Piece of Resistance will interfere with that plan because it’s really the cap to a Krazy Glue bottle which Business wants to spray the Lego world with so they can’t move anymore. (It sounds ridiculous, and it is, but it’s also very well done in terms of dialogue and action for children and adults. There is also a fantastically catchy theme song entitled “Everything Is Awesome” — you’re welcome for getting it stuck in your head for the next few weeks.)
So the general message of the movie is to let kids be creative and use their imaginations to make non-standard things — like a submarine spaceship with pink stars all over it — and I support that. Be your own rainbow, etc. But I am wholeheartedly opposed to its other message: Everyone is special. Um, no. Everyone is not special. If everyone were special, nobody would be, as that defeats the purpose. Dig? A Huffington Post article about this exact topic came out a few months ago, and I couldn’t agree with it more. Am I special to a select group of people? Sure. Am I special in the larger sense of the word? No. In the words of the article’s author, I’m just “another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet” and I “can become special by working really hard for a long time”. I often have to remind myself of this, but I’m sure of its truth.
So the movie is really, really great, and everyone should go see it, kid or not. But I’d like to leave you with the following quote from the aforementioned article, because I am still wowed by its awesomeness (everything is awesommmeeee):
Unfortunately, the funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they’re actually quite hard.