• Will

The Hidden Meaning in The Lego Movie

No, The Lego Movie is not just a 2 hour long meaningless toy commercial full of cheap laughs and ludicrous story-telling. If it were, it wouldn't have a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and be my favorite animated movie. It deserved an Oscar Nomination..

If you ask Glenn Beck, the Lego Movie is a far-right propaganda piece denouncing socialism and government regulation.

Glenn Beck is WAYYYYYY off. Shocking! I know. Like when he said gas would be $10/Ga by Jan. 1 2016.

Glenn Beck isn't important. What is important is the subtext in this film.

The Lego Movie is a very political movie, yes really. Its also a commentary on modern society, and religion.

President Business, who is also the CEO of the Octan corporation, a conglomerate that essentially controls all enterprise, wants to glue all the Lego figurines and pieces down so they can't move or be changed.

This could be interpreted as the conservative ideal that society should remain as it was during an unspecified period in the past. Traditional marriage, no immigration, segregation. There are pretty clear signs of that in the movie, since President or (Lord) Business wants to keep all the different Lego communities separate, it even has a visual of him building a giant wall in between all the different towns (This movie was released in 2014). The main character, Emmett, AKA 'The Special" works for the Octan corporation. His job is to "Find anything weird, and tear it down", referencing a belief held by an older generation that social norms are concrete (Or kragled) and should not ever change. Men should dress a specific way, woman too, music should only be a certain genre, etc. This is driven home even more by the way that all the citizens in the movie are given "Instructions", that tell them how to live their life like religion. The instructions state that you should only listen to pop music, only eat at chain restaurants, only watch 'Where are my pants' and if you see anything weird, report it.

In that same note, The Lego Movie slams corporate culture and its influence on politics, the President of the World is also presumably the richest man in the world. When the Master Builders, a diverse rebellion group, challenge Lord Business; he chops their leader's head off with a penny, symbolizing how money is used like a weapon in politics, lobbying to strike down important legislation that would protect everyday people, buying elections, and strong-arming small businesses.

Emmett (In Hebrew means 'Truth'), is a lowly construction worker, and not a master builder, despite joining their clan. Regardless of the Master Builders high numbers, comprised of Batman, Superman, Gandalf, Abraham Lincoln, and even Shaquielle O'Neil; Emmett is the one who succeeds in thwarting Lord Business and his plan to glue the whole world in place where everyone else failed, he does this by inspiring the working class majority to disregard the instructions and build whatever they want. He then shows this to Lord Business and pleads for him to call off his regime.

Turns out, Emmett is an in-story allusion to Finn, a real kid. And Lord Business represents Finn's dad, who doesn't want Finn to mess with his Lego set in their basement. If you weren't convinced this movie is political, Finn wears a blue polo and his dad wears a red tie. Not only is this a political reference, but also a generational one. The generation of yesteryear insists that you should work 60 hours a week and get paid virtually nothing, because it benefits them, they also insist that creativity is pointless. This film STRONGLY emphasizes the importance of creativity and innovation, even if it serves no real utility. If you need a logical reason to be creative, The Lego Movie teaches us that without creative invention, people will only be exposed to one ideal, and could easily be manipulated. The Lego Movie in itself is a perfect example of creation that encourages its audience to challenge societal norms like long work days, overpriced products and relationship standards.

This way of living wasn't working for Emmett.. He's established to be profoundly lonely, and most likely has no Loved ones. He's rejected by his co-workers and despised by the master builders. He's called a 'blank slate' by the barista he buys $47 coffees from every morning, he finds friends (And a girlfriend) by stepping out of his typical, capitalist, routine lifestyle, but can only do that by overcoming his fear of change. Once he does this, rather than vanquishing Lord Business, he appeals to him to join them. He says ,"You don't have to be the bad guy" and declares that everyone is 'The Special'.

The film runs deep in literary and artistic references. Vitruvius, the leader of the master builders gets his name from Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. The works of George Orwell and playwrights, Aristophanes and Shakespeare influence a number of the scenes (Shakespeare himself is a master builder). Even Emmett's character arc is an allegory for Jesus Christ, sacrificing himself to save the master builders, entering another realm, where he encounters 'The Man Upstairs' and then returning to the Lego World essentially being resurrected and bringing with him 'The piece of resistance' which will save everyone from being kragelized (Glued in place forever).

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