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Originally published Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12:07 AM

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‘The Lego Movie’: a primary-colored paradise for kids

A 3-star review of “The Lego Movie,” starring, well, Legos. “Easily the best movie ever made about plastic interlocking blocks,” writes critic Moira Macdonald.

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie Review 3 stars

‘The Lego Movie,’ with the voices of Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. 94 minutes. Rated PG for mild action and rude humor. Several theaters.

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This review almost got turned in late, because every time I thought about “The Lego Movie” I needed to go lie down. That’s not a criticism, mind you — just a warning that this movie has an energy level comparable to a theme park full of sugar-crazed gradeschoolers (some of whom, I suspect, might have had a hand in the script). It’s all nonstop action, wild colors, silly one-liners, goofy songs that instantly take up residence in your head (would “Everything Is Awesome,” the impossibly catchy Lego-Land anthem, please leave? Please?) ... in other words, paradise for the kids, including the giggling 9-year-old accompanying me. For grown-ups, well, let’s just say that “The Lego Movie” will likely have a long and happy life in midnight screenings.

Anyone who’s ever fitted together two Lego parts (and that’s a lot of us, right?) will be tickled by the look of this animated 3D adventure that appears to be entirely constructed from Lego pieces and characters. (Even the waves in the ocean have those trademark Lego bumps.) Our hero is Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt), a perfectly ordinary Lego guy who gets mistakenly identified as The Special — the one who can save the world. There’s a lot of racing around in and out of elaborate vehicles, numerous cameo appearances by Lego versions of superheroes (I especially liked the cranky Batman, voiced by Will Arnett), and an ever-changing assortment of Lego realms, all overwhelmingly populated.

Will Ferrell voices the villainous Lord Business, who squelches creative expression and who wields a mysterious weapon: the Kragle, whose identity is pretty funny but whose main purpose is to permit the line “Release the Kragle!” In general, the humor is at grade-school level (Guard: “Who are you here to see”? Batman: “I’m here to see YOUR BUTT.”), but it works. Though it falls apart a bit near the end, “The Lego Movie” is easily the best movie ever made about plastic interlocking blocks, and good fun by any measure. I’d write more, but the couch is calling. Everything is awesome.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

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