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July 9, 2014
The Lego Movie (2D/3D) Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
6/7/20143/4/2014Village RoadshowPhil Lord & Chris Miller
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC/MVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1PGChris Pratt (voice)

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Emmit is the unexpected hero in The Lego Movie.

One of the most loved toys for children, and indeed some adults, is Lego. When news broke that Warner Brothers were working on a feature film called The Lego Movie there were a lot of excited people the world over, and in a surprise to Warner Brothers (because they signed half the rights over Village Roadshow), the film became a monster hit making just under $US600 million worldwide. It's now available on Blu-Ray (in both 2D and 3D versions), and we've taken a look.

The Lego Movie follows the story of Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, President Business, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

Ever since the first Toy Story was released in theatres I've loved CG animated films - it probably also helps working with computers, understanding the amount of work that goes into creating the images and animation. In recent years however the genre has lost some of its lustre, however The Lego Movie not only looks fresh with its deliberate stop-motion appearance, but also the use of realistic filming techniques and lenses.

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The Lego Movie is available in 3D.
In terms of the actual story - it's nothing we haven't seen before; underdog becomes hero. What makes this film shine is the witty dialogue - as an Arnie fan I absolutely cracked up with "Come with me if you want to not die" - a clever play on "Come with me if you want to live" from Terminator 2. The film is littered with similar moments - oh, and there is a scene with a classic sci-fi film franchise that is just, well, hilarious. Like some of the best animated films there is plenty of comedy here for youngsters to enjoy, but also plenty of jokes for us older folks as well.

Also impressive is the cast with some wonderful voice acting. Emmit is voiced by Chris Pratt (who is about to become a household name through Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy), Will Ferrell plays the main bad guy as only he can, Elizabeth Banks is the feisty Wyldstyle, Will Arnett is perfect as the hilarious Batman, Alison Brie as the bizarre Unikitty, Liam Neeson as the Good Cop/Bad Cop, and Morgan Freeman as Vitruvius. That's the tip of the iceberg as there are plenty of smaller cameos from actors such as Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill among others.

Without providing any spoilers it's clear that the conclusion of the film will polarize opinion - personally we loved it. It was a risk that few filmmakers would take, but it is also a standout moment in the film that lifts it well above many other animated films.

While it's pretty obvious that in many ways this is an "advertisement" for Lego, that doesn't stop this from being a very entertaining family friendly film which has a twist at the end which we didn't see coming.

Whether you watch this film in either 2D (AVC MPEG-4 encoded) or 3D (MVC MPEG-4) the film is presented in the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio and looks absolutely stunning, reaching reference quality. From the very first frame to the last there is always something to look at in the film with plenty of small in-jokes, but also a vibrancy to the image rarely seen in cinema. In fact, the last time we saw this sort of vibrancy was in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs which was from the same directors of this film.

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Just taking it easy around Emmit's house.
When it comes to the 3D in this film it's certainly of the more subtle variety. There are plenty of instances when things could have poked out at your face but the filmmakers were pretty restrained in this regard. There are some scenes towards the end of the film (and we can't detail them for spoiler reasons) which we though had some slight ghosting with the image, but it was intentional. The 3D does had some depth and a bit of "wow" to some scenes so if you have the means, we suggest you check it out in this format.

The Lego Movie is presented on Blu-Ray with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (16- bit/48Khz) and it's a cracker of a release with all the clarity one would expect from a Blu-Ray release, as well as aggressive use of surround sound and LFE channels. Just like the video if you want a great example of how gorgeous the soundtrack is with surround sound and sub-woofer use then check out the entrance to Cloud Cookooland (at 38:48) which has some great poppy music, large crowds and plenty of dialogue with Princess UniKitty. The only way this disc could have been improved would be with 7.1 and 24-bit audio, but that's real nitpicking.

Besides the lossless audio track The Lego Movie includes an English Descriptive Narration track encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448kbps. The disc is pretty light on subtitles too with only a single English (for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) track which is accurate to the dialogue.

There are a few extras on the 2D disc, but ultimately the list looks a lot more extensive than what the disc actually contains with most of the extras being very brief, or lacking substance. There are no extras on the 3D Blu-Ray, but seeing as that comes with the 2D disc as well you’re not missing anything.

Commentary with Filmmakers and Cast: Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord are joined by actors Allison Brie, Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day and even Elizabeth Banks phones in while they are doing the commentary too! It's a pretty good track which provides continual banter although there's a little too much describing the scenes, rather than production detail.

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Visuals in The Lego Movie always impress.
Batman's A True Artist (1:12/HD): It's Batman's song from the film. Pretty (intentionally) crap, but not much to see here.

Michaelangelo and Lincoln: History Cops (1:21/HD): A fake trailer for a film starring the two historic characters. Occasionally amusing, but not groundbreaking.

Enter the Ninjago (2:13/HD): This is a pretty funny little film with a movie producer trying to add a Ninja to a film. It does give away some film plot points so watch after the main feature.

Behind the Scenes: Bringing Lego to Life (12:36/HD): This is the main featuette showing the development of the film and while it's still aimed at youngsters there is plenty of behind the scenes footage and discussion about the creation of the film.

"Everything is Awesome" Sing Along (3:19/HD): The theme song from the film gets a film clip with the words so you can sing along!

Behind the Scenes: See It, Build It! (12:20/HD): Here is a series of clips describing how the Double-Decker Couch and Emmet's Car were built both physically and digitally for the film. Included is "Introduction with Senior Designer Michael Fuller" (0:49), "Build the Double-Decker Couch" (3:53), "Build Emmet's Car" (2:55), "Introduction with Modeling Artist Adam Ryan" (0:41), "Digital Double- Decker Couch" (2:11), and "Digital Emmet's Car" (1:51).

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Hidden among the many enemies.
Behind the Scenes: Stories from the Story Team (4:02/HD): This short featurette focuses on writing the storyboards for the film with some discussion on scenes written.

Fan-Made Films: Top Secret Submissions (3:51/HD): The filmmakers of the feature film ran a competition for the best fan-made films. The winning one is actually quite superb.

Outtakes (2:33/HD): A series of "blooper" clips from the film. It's pretty funny at times.

Additional Promotional Content (3:51/HD): A series of promotional clips for the film, some of which are rather amusing including the "Audition" tapes.

Alleyway Test (0:55/HD): It's brief but is the first test of the animation and shows Wyldstyle building the motorcycle.

Deleted Scenes (3:20/HD): Two deleted scenes are presented here in storyboard format. Nothing too special or exciting.

The Lego Movie is one of the best animated films for years with gorgeous visuals, great audio and most importantly an engaging story with plenty of humour and great characters. The Blu-Ray disc is reference quality technically and the 3D effect is fantastic. Definitely worth adding to your collection.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.