The animated LEGO movie, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, has begun production with a scheduled February 2014 release date. Voice actors have been cast (more on that later), plot points have been worked out, but there’s one thing missing — a user-submitted original design of a LEGO vehicle. There’s no word yet if the winning design will just make a quick cameo or if it’ll have a more front-and-center role, but it’ll definitely make an appearance. Also, as well as fame the winner also gets fortune — in the form of $1,000! More information as well as a submission form can be found on their Facebook page, “LEGO: The Motion Picture.” You can also check out some already submitted entries.
The only restrictions are that it must be an original design, must not use LEGOs featuring other name brands (for example, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings LEGOs), and it must be of a transportation device that looks like it’s something transformed from another object. For instance, you can make a boat that looks as though it had a past life as a shoe. Let your imagination run wild, there’s no restrictions as to what sort of transportation device to make. Check out the gallery of submissions on the Facebook page and you’ll see hot air balloons, jets, submarines, and things that entirely defy definition (and possibly laws of physics). Seeing as this is LEGO, I’m assuming the more creative, the better.
The Movie: Plot & Cast
The protagonist is Emmet, an average John Doe sort of LEGO who has stumbled into a really intense case of mistaken identity. He’s mistaken by a group of followers for a much more heroic person, and he’s left clumsily trying to fulfill the expectations that come with his new role. He has all sorts of new weighty responsibilities, including fighting an evil tyrant and saving the world.
Emmet’s role will be voiced by Chris Pratt and this will be his first job as a voice-actor. Other roles he’s had are Scott in 2011′s Moneyball and Alex in The Five Year Engagement, which was released earlier this year. He’s currently playing Andy Dwyer on the TV comedy Parks and Recreation.
Vitruvius and Lucy
Vitruvius and Lucy are two fellow travelers/world-savers. Lucy’s a real tough-girl and the one who mistakes Emmet as the saviour in the first place. She’ll be played by Elizabeth Banks, who was Lydia in 2012′s Man on a Ledge, Wendy in What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and, my favorite, Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games series.
Vitruvius is a wise mystic. There’s not many character details about him, but I’m picturing someone like Rafiki from The Lion King, or maybe Gandalf. Anyway, who better to play a wise mystic than Morgan Freeman? He was God in Bruce Almighty (2003), Red, the wise prisoner, in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and the wise end-of-the-world friend in The Bucket List (2007). Yeah, Freeman’s got the wise advisor role down pretty well. Though I’m not sure how well his deep, ridiculously soothing voice will fit with my conception of LEGOs.
Somehow in this plot there’s room for Batman. As well as saving the Earth we know, apparently there will be alternate reality adventures as well. I’m predicting a comic book world. Aptly cast in this role is Will Arnett, who was Stranz Van Waldenberg in 2007′s Blades of Glory, the voice of evil bank owner Mr. Perkins in 2010′s Despicable Me, and the voice of Pod in 2012′s The Secret World of Arrietty.
There’s also a rumor that Channing Tatum has signed on to voice that other big DC superhero, Superman. Tatum has appeared in a lot of different things, this year alone has seen the hunky actor in romance (The Vow), comedy (21 Jump Street), and drama (Magic Mike). He can probably handle the red cape as well, even though we might miss seeing his killer abs when he’s a little cartoon LEGO figure.
It’s a pretty good cast lineup, but I’m a bit skeptical about the movie itself. I’m one of those old-fashioned people who thinks that movies based off of toys will always fall short of the imagination created by the toys themselves. Others are wondering if there’s an ulterior motive of the LEGO company throwing this together just as an ad campaign. However, it seems like general opinion is that it will be cute, fun, and harmless.
We’ll keep you updated on any breaking LEGO news. In the meantime, start working on some awesome LEGO creations to submit to the contest! Remember to clean up the LEGOs when you’re done building, or else you’ll step on one in the middle of the night.
What do you think of the LEGO movie? Cute family movie idea or clever ploy to sell more LEGOs?