Lego Movie and Creativity

This weekend my children and I watched The Lego Movie and I laughed unashamedly throughout. There was the obligatory ‘everybody is awesome or special’ sentimental message, but most of it was pure satire, making fun of fast food, reality TV shows, following instructions and even capitalism. It may have been above most children’s heads, but I enjoyed the references to films such as ‘Brazil’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Blade Runner’.

Lego Movie Poster
Lego Movie Poster

I only hope that the humour contained a healthy dose of self-irony too, since the key message is that it is better to be creative rather than follow instructions blindly. Furthermore, it is better to move easily between worlds and cultures rather than seek to sharply compartmentalise and separate things. This felt a little contrary, given the increasing tendency of Lego to go into more distinct niche markets rather than just produce universal bricks anymore. In fact, they are using The Lego Movie to launch a whole new series of products… which supposedly encourage ‘free building’.

Personally, I do prefer cross-model building and I believe this message also applies to literature and that rather tiresome separation into genres. Surely it’s time we stopped quibbling about the merits or demerits of a particular genre (see the recent Isabel Allende brouhaha), did away with snobbery and labelling, opened our minds to anything original and truly creative. We don’t have to love it, we just have to give it a chance.

9 thoughts on “Lego Movie and Creativity”

  1. Marina Sofia – What a lovely – and important – post. A few months ago, I took my grand-daughter to Legoland California, and I should s tart by saying that we had a marvellous time. A part of the park is set aside as a ‘build what you want’ area for the younger children and my grand-daughter couldn’t wait to create. Not for her the ‘niched’ Legos that there are in other parts of the park. She wanted to use them as a tool to create for herself. And speaking as an educator, I think it’s most helpful to children when they use their own imagination and critical thinking rather than accede to what others tell them they should want to make.
    It’s the same with reading and writing. I can see why there are certain genre divisions; I really can. But getting too ‘niche-y’ means that people won’t discover excellent books, and writers will find it harder to share their stories.

  2. Great post and I truely agree, time to stop judging books so much on which category they supposedly fall into. Also, really want to see the Lego movie now 😀

  3. Ha! What a timely post. I’m on the hook to take the kids to see this film some time this week (given as that it is half term and all that). I hear you RE the playsets. We have them aplenty, and they’re fun–but I (and increasingly the kids, too) keep getting frustrated by the absence of the universal Lego brick to build a simple house or an imagined world. There just aren’t enough bricks in a ‘niched’ set (or a whole bucket’s worth of them) to ‘free build.’ I have tried (and failed) to find anything like an affordable and meaningful set of ‘just Lego bricks’ anywhere. Sniffle. Still…. I daresay we’ll enjoy the film. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You can get a good collection of ‘plain old bricks’ at Legoland, but they don’t come cheap. They do occasional sales of a whole box load of bricks, though. If I were still living near Legoland and had a season ticket, I could have got you some.

  4. I am not sure if my comments went through but wanted to say I enjoy movies slanting towards the creative and imaginative rather than the trite and reruns of themes ~

  5. Isabel Allende, yeah! Certainly one of my all time favorite writers. Always lots of fun to read. Not so crazy about the autobiographical volumes, but the novels blow me away. Just started El Cuaderno de Maya this week. Pretty good so far.

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