A Lifetime of Happiness: Movies, TV, and Video Games

The LEGO Movie

July 21, 2021 Steve Bennet-Martin, Stephen Martin-Bennet Season 1 Episode 77
A Lifetime of Happiness: Movies, TV, and Video Games
The LEGO Movie
Show Notes Transcript

The Steves discuss the 2014 animated film "The LEGO Movie", along with what's making them happy and what they are watching.

  • The creative team and movie's release
  • LEGO builds and the TV show "LEGO Masters"
  • Diving into similarities in the movie  with "1984" and "The Matrix"
  • The magic of the earworm "Everything is Awesome"
  • The importance of creativity and being true to yourself

Ending - Any music or audio clips were borrowed from the original source material.

Ending- Any music or audio clips were borrowed from the original source material.

Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/happylifepod)
Steve:

Returning happies and new listeners. This is Steve Bennet-Martin,

Stephen:

and this is Stephen Martin-Bennet. And welcome

Steve:

to a lifetime of happiness. The podcast where we take you on our journey through some of the movies, television shows, and other bits of pop culture that are helping to keep us happy. We'll hopefully bring a smile to your face along the way. And with

Stephen:

today's episode, we will celebrate how everything is.

Steve:

Awesome. Yes. Today we'll be breaking down the Lego movie brick by brick.

Stephen:

I see what you

Steve:

did there. Yes. But first my love of what's been making you happy.

Stephen:

So it just seems to go along with this episode or maybe wink, wink. It's the reason we picked the episode Lego has been making me happy. Yes.

Steve:

And for listeners who want to say Legos, it's not plural Legos. Lego. Plural is Lego.

Stephen:

Yeah. We learned that from this great TV show. Called Lego masters.

Steve:

Yes. And that would be a recommended binge it's on Hulu right now. Yes. You can see

Stephen:

season one and season two, as it's going out bit by bit. It's on Fox is where you can usually find it. It's hosted by will Arnett. Who did the voice of Batman Lego Batman. Yes. And so it's a great show. It's kind of like you're, you know, project runway top. Type of shows, but with the challenges with Lego bricks, they're just building Lego sets and they're being judged by

Steve:

master builders. And the couple we were were rooting for season one, one.

Stephen:

Yes, we were very happy about that. And it's just a really great show, but in general, what's making us happy. So we've been building Lego left and right left and right since the beginning of June, Whenever we got the, everyone is awesome set for pride

Steve:

month. Yes. And it re-ignite our love of Lego as you've, might've heard in our previous episodes, but most recently we just finished the roller coaster. Yeah.

Stephen:

Yes, we did finish the rollercoaster, which is an actual working, working, moving rollercoaster, which we'll make sure to put up this week on the Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter. So you can see it. It's very cool. It was a lot of work.

Steve:

It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun work. Yes. I even put my blood and sweat and tears into it literally. Cause I got a little booboo put in two Legos together. My finger caught. Yeah.

Stephen:

Send that. We'll give you a blood blister immediately. Yes

Steve:

it will. But in addition to that, we also built the Lego movie theater,

Stephen:

the palace movie theater, which that. It's discontinued now, but I went and found it on the black market.

Steve:

You

Stephen:

pretty much. And I wanted a new version of it, not something that somebody had built and torn down. And so we were able to find it and I found it at a decent. And it's just so cool. It's a three story, movie theater. It has reclining seats. It has a full lobby. There's even a limo that pulls someone up as if they were starring in the movie. Who's polo linking up in ours. Well, in ours, it's my Elvira mini figure. She's the star. That's coming to the premiere. The opening at the palace theater.

Steve:

Yes. And you were lovely enough to get me a set of Buffy mini fakes for my 30 day sobriety. So not only do we build the bookstore, which we turned into the magic box, but then I also got a little graveyard set on my own that I built today with a haunted tree that was dancing to the buffing music.

Stephen:

It's just so much fun. And do you know that there is a term for people like us that I don't know how I feel about it? What is it. A F O L, which I guess is pronounced awful. Or maybe people just say AFO well, but it's adult fan of Lego. And I was like, huh, I don't know if I need to put the adult in there.

Steve:

No, not at all. Even though it is funny that I did get the Lego email from the company yesterday, it's like, make your kids happy. And when I bought our, like one of the sets at a Walmart though, ones like your kid's going to be so happy. And I go, yes, he will. And I was thinking of you. And I am. Yes. And so that inspired us to do the Lego movie for this week's episode. For those of you who didn't watch it, it's a 2014 computer animated adventure comedy film written by and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. What are they from babe?

Stephen:

You might've also seen them do 21 jumps. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs and it was they also helped to produce Spider-Man into the spider verse. One of the best animated movies I've ever

Steve:

seen. Yes, I agree. And the story they wrote with the help of Dan and Kevin Higman, who are brothers that work on the Ninjago TV show.

Stephen:

I am. I have trouble with that word. I'm like ninja go. That's not it in

Steve:

Chicago. Yes. And how did the movie do in the movie theaters? So,

Stephen:

It had a budget of between 60 and 65 million. It was done by Warner brothers and released right before Valentine's day. And it ended up having a box office of 468.1 million.

Steve:

Yeah. And math might be hard, but even I know that that's $400 million in profits. Yes. And so it was so successful that it not only had a direct sequel, the Lego movie to the second part, which was awesome, but it also had spinoffs like the Lego Batman movie, the Lego Ninjago movie, the Lego four D a new adventure, which was a ride in the Lego land theme park, and a 2d animated TV series based off of union. I love you and a kid he's so much, I know you do. And we actually know the actress who plays you in a kitty as well as a couple other familiar voices you might hear throughout the movie. Right?

Stephen:

Right. There's Chris Pratt as emit. Our lead will Farrell as Lord business and the dad and the dad. Elizabeth Banks is wild style.

Steve:

Yes. Well, our net is Batman as we mentioned. Yep.

Stephen:

And Alison Brie. From glow, the gorgeous ladies of wrestling is Unikitty.

Steve:

Yes. And Liam Neeson is bad cop and it also ends up he's good cop, but the voice of sentence, a different, I didn't realize that, but yes, he is both of them.

Stephen:

Morgan Freeman plays the Truvia. And did

Steve:

you know that this is the first he's given his voice to lots of documentaries and things before, but this is his first animator film. And

Stephen:

another thing where he went all in, you know, me and actors who go for the silver. And there's a part in the movie where Vitruvius dies and he comes back as ghost Vitruvius and Morgan Freeman going. Whoa, it's a ghost voice. I was like, you go

Steve:

Morgan Freeman. Yes. And then Benny AK, the 1980s space sky. It was also played by Charlie day who I've seen in a couple other things as well. Yes. So what happened in this movie, babe?

Stephen:

So according to IMDBs. An ordinary Lego construction worker thought to be the prophesized as special is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal

Steve:

basis. And I'd say that that is a spot on deck explanation when you, I absolutely agree. Yes, it does start Emmett as the protagonist. And we've all seen the movie before or play the video game where it's a normal guy who ends up saving the world. This one here. Very much felt like a boring, nothing. Didn't make a lot of impact on people's lives. Cause he never really had an opinion of his own. He was always trying to fit in. He

Stephen:

loved all the things that he was supposed to, the coffee that they recommended the TV show. Where's my pants. That's the only part of the show. And everybody wants it because they were told. Yeah. And he didn't become the special one until he finds the piece of resistance, which I think is a play on like PSD of resistance. And also it is the piece of resistance that can stop.

Steve:

Yes, it is because IRL, it is the cap to the glue. Crazy glue. Yes. And yes, he is a great character. I know that that, that trope is something that it takes someone on an adventure when you apply it to Lego. It actually was something where I felt a little punched because of, we love following our instructions and Lego. And apparently you're not a Lego master unless you're creating things off, but. And we're going to work on that. We will, we got our own set to do it, but yes, that he is challenged to do so by wild style, what do you think of her?

Stephen:

So she is fantastic, right? From the get go. I love her hair. I love her style. She is the leader of the resistance and, you know, emit feels attracted to her, but he needs to back off because she has a boyfriend and it's super

Steve:

serious. And her boyfriend. Batman. Yes. The, this self-aware brooder and boyfriend. I would say that this one is probably my favorite version of Batman I've ever seen across all iterations, just cause he's so

Stephen:

self-aware oh yeah. This one is turning the camp factor way up and it's fantastic. The Truvia is the Morgan Freeman character is the all-knowing wizard kind of like. A black version of Gandalf. Yes.

Steve:

And Gandalf and Dumbledore were in there in the movie as well. At first I was like, is that one of them, but no, Vitruvius actually is a Latin word. I believe it is. That has to do with Legos too. Doesn't it not Latin? It's Roman, is it Roman? Yes. Vitruvius was a Roman author and architect in the first century BC and best known for his multi-volume work title D architecture. So like architecture. Yeah. Etymology. Luckily speaking will we'll that the word architect derives from the Greek words, meaning master and bill. So, I mean, that's fantastic. His name is literally master builder, and also he's carrying a staff the entire time. Could you place what the staff actually is? I

Stephen:

didn't, but once you said it, I mean, it was obvious when I saw it, but it's a lollipop stick with minus the

Steve:

lollipop and the top has been chewed off a little bit as what happens when you eat your lollipop. Right.

Stephen:

And the so the size of those things. Actually works really well. You can hold them in the Lego figures hands, but also the whole that goes up in there is the same size that holds their head.

Steve:

Yeah. So you could technically have had a floating Lego head. Yeah. But now in addition to the fantastic characters in this movie they all wouldn't be anything if they didn't have an antagonist. Yes. So tell us. Lord business. Yes. He means business and he has coffee cups on his head. So, you know, that it's serious business

Stephen:

is a look kind of reminds me of Galactus from the market. Yes,

Steve:

it certainly does. And he's also the, the man upstairs. They refer to him as a lot because he's like the God, so to speak in the universe.

Stephen:

And what's great. Anybody that's played with Legos in the past with Lego in the past. Oh my goodness. I even did the floor. So they're, they're all themed like when I was growing up. I had like the dragon castle sets and I had the pirate sets because those, but then there were always like the city sets and space and things like that. So like you already had your themes. And so what they did that was really interesting here is each type of theme. They separated out into a world, kind of like a multi-verse well, a multi-verse or even like an amusement park. Yeah. Like what's that show on HBO? Westworld Westworld. So like one holds

Steve:

west. So

Stephen:

have Pirate's Cove. Yup. Nightclub, which is very funny. It's K and I G H T club for the castle, which is the playoff of nightclub. And I G H T re go out to dance. Yeah. Yes.

Steve:

Audio forums are very fun for pun. Sometimes it also had Vikings landing. Yes.

Stephen:

And the scariest place of all clown town, clown town, the main area where emit is working. And everything is kind of taking place is Bricksburg.

Steve:

Yes. Bricksburg Berg is where it all starts off. And where he learns that he is a specialist. And across their travels, they ended up meeting to find a reference in the last of world, which was wild. It's a cloud cuckoo land, which

Stephen:

is my favorite. Like if I can live in any of the world cloud cuckoo land would be the place to be. Yes.

Steve:

It's certainly what the place with no rules.

Stephen:

And that's the one that is ruled over by unit. Yes.

Steve:

And you know, the, I just loved the concept of that. Although it would kind of drive me crazy, having all of my like themes and everything mix up and having nothing makes sense. I'm like, if nothing makes sense, then what does it matter?

Stephen:

Maybe that's the point. Maybe it's the letting go. Gives you the.

Steve:

Yes, but that part part makes me feel like, unfortunately I might be Lord business or precedent business because people used to travel across all these different worlds and Cree altogether. But president of business thought that was chaos. So he erected walls. So only people that were like each other could be together. And we know from history that, that never really works out for at least build the wall, build

Stephen:

the wall. Exactly. Yeah. And so if you will. A cowboy, you had to be an old west. You couldn't be in Bricksburg pirates. Couldn't go to nightclub, clown town. Couldn't go to Vikings landing. You had to stay where you were. Everyone was separated by what their is and the, and that's the way president business wanted it. And after a time, the people of Bricksburg. I don't know that there's an old west and vice versa. Like they don't know. They

Steve:

forget. Yeah.

Stephen:

They don't before that all they know is their area. So they don't really know. What they're missing out on.

Steve:

Yes. And while they're living in Brooksville, Rick, I know a big brother is certainly watching them. Yes.

Stephen:

And that's one of the things that I immediately caught from the beginning of the movie is that it had very big 1984 the book themes going on because someone was always watching being president business and they even did his face on a jumbo screen. Everyone is supposed to follow the instructions. Like when you get a Lego set, there are instructions in there and they tell you how to build specifically. You're no building from imagination. All master builders are jailed. So just like in 1984, they don't want free thinkers. You're supposed to follow along whatever. Propaganda is given to you is to be taken as

Steve:

fact. Yes. Well, do you want to know the best part of propaganda that I've ever heard of the best piece of property? Yeah.

Stephen:

Is it, everything is awesome.

Steve:

It's so catchy that it's been stuck in my head for weeks now, ever since starting to prepare for this episode. And I think as long as I play Lego, it's going to continue because that is one of the biggest year worms of a song I've heard in decades.

Stephen:

It's so, so good. Like, and you wouldn't think that, you know, oh, this song from the Lego movie is just that good. And you're like, no, it's super cool. Catch it. Yes.

Steve:

It gets stuck in your head. And what certainly brainwashed me if I was living in Bricksburg but now like another movie, another movie he Emmett is convinced that that's what the world is like and what it's the only world and the only option, but then.

Stephen:

Someone that comes along and, you know, red pill, blue pill, it has very, the matrix vibes because you've got the chosen one, a wise black man, a bad-ass female. Who's the true believer of the special one. And yeah. It's wild style and Vitruvius who opened emits eyes. That there's another world beyond the world that he knows. So it's very, very

Steve:

matrix. Yes, it certainly is. I know that the master builders are trapped in that think

Stephen:

tank, which looks exactly like the human battery farm from the mat matrix because you know, in the matrix. There was a nuclear war. They blotted out the sun, so no more solar power. So the robot started using the electricity, provided by humans to power everything. And with this, the think tank where the master builders are, they're all in there. And the master builders have to create instruction booklets that the people of Bricksburg use to build everything. So these free things. Are forced to create the propaganda and instructions. So it's. There are a lot of deep themes for a Lego movie. I think yes,

Steve:

there certainly is. And one of the ways that the Lord business is trying to get everything to stay the way that it is, is with the Craggle, which has crazy glue with some letters whited out from it to create perfection on taco

Stephen:

Tuesday. Yup. Going to do it on taco Tuesday, but he's telling everyone. That taco Tuesday is something to look forward to. So all the people are Bricksburg are just like, it's almost taco

Steve:

Tuesday. That would work for me.

Stephen:

I know. And he, one of the things that he says that really stuck with me was like, there is only one way to be things should stay put. And

Steve:

when I heard it, I was like, Ooh, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope. I know that. That is wrong. That is bad advice.

Stephen:

Yeah. Well, so. Off topic slightly. There's only one way to be things should stay put. So not the Lego company, but the Disney company. They're renovating well we know they're renovating splash.

Steve:

Yes. But I think that that's acceptable considering how racist

Stephen:

rash mountain is, but they're also renovating the jungle cruise, which just reopened and they're taking out all of the. Bad connotations of like the tribes people and things, which is another thing where just because something has nostalgia doesn't. Free it from being judged harshly. And so it's things should not stay put. And I appreciate that Disney is changing as the world changes. So it's a side quote, but it was that line that I was like, no, you know that that's wrong. Deep down. When you hear him

say

Steve:

yes, it certainly is. Meanwhile Emmett is having the trouble to fight him. You need to become a master builder and he's having trouble building without instructions. The only thing he's ever been. It's a double Decker couch,

Stephen:

which I love this quote that one of the people says in the movie. Is, you know, what, we need more ideas like this ideas that are so dumb and bad that no one could possibly think that they would be useful. And that's how they're going to get passed Lord business.

Steve:

And it actually worked because they were able to hide in the double Decker bunks when they were attacked and let lost at sea. Yeah.

And

Stephen:

one of the interesting things that I didn't. Like you kind of see in the movie Lucy being a master builder, when she sees things in the streets, She sees pieces and sees their piece number outlined on them and something that we've learned since we started rebuilding with Lego, those numbers do actually correspond to their actual pieces in the Lego world. So I thought that was. It doesn't see the numbers to begin

Steve:

with. No, he doesn't, he doesn't the end, but it takes a bit to get there. And it is very easy for Lucy to be able to do that realistically, because except for unique pieces for the characters in the film, like president business's hair and evil helmet, every Lego piece in the movie exists in real life and can be used in sets,

Stephen:

which I think is just fantastic. It shows you that over all the years, Of the Lego company, all the things that they've been able to create. We were talking earlier about the 1980 man. I totally had that many figure when I was growing

Steve:

up. Yes. And he had a broken visor,

Stephen:

which the advisor would break so easily. So it ended up being more closer to a helmet, but I used to have him piloting. Houses with wings and stuff like that around that also had wheels on the bottom because it needed a delay. Yes.

Steve:

Well, good idea. Vague.

Stephen:

And there are a lot of different lines in the movie that kind of stuck out to me whenever they were trying to get Emmett to embrace his new role. And all you have to do is believe. And I think that that's a good. Thing for everyone. Yes.

Steve:

It certainly is.

Stephen:

And later in the movie, whenever wild style is trying to get all the people at Bricksburg to realize that they too can build and she needed their help and they had taken over the airwaves that usually Lord business does his little face talking to and. While she was trying to convince them that they could listen to her. She goes, I'm on TV. So that means you can trust me. Yes. And

Steve:

that's how a lot of people unfortunately feel like things work in real life. It seems, baby. Yeah.

Stephen:

In

Steve:

now on a lighter note for funding quotes and everything. I kept on hearing Batman say, oh, come on. And that's not a Batman quote, is it? It

Stephen:

is not a Batman quote. It's a joke.

Steve:

Yes. And Jobe is a character from arrested development played by well, Arnett Barnett. And so that was a kind of a joke to his other character that kind of made him famous, I believe.

Stephen:

Yes. And what word is never mentioned in the movie fame, Dick? No,

Steve:

I can continue on this rabbit hole, but I think I'm going to get more flack for it if I do. So I'm going to say the word

Stephen:

that's it. So I think that that's kind of fantastic that it's this the Lego movie, but nothing is referred to as Lego it's bricks and pieces and building and master builder.

Steve:

Yes. And I mean, it's surprising. They got around to considering the fact that there was 3 million, 863,484 unique Lego bricks in that movie. That's not even the total number of Lego, though. If you are going to refuse and reconfigure and multiple scenes, but if you want it to make the entire movie by and how many Lego would you need? Vape?

Stephen:

15 million, 80,330. Wow.

Steve:

Get our Lego game on a little bit more before we can build the whole movie from scratch. Right.

Stephen:

Just a little bit more. I don't even think we have 10,000 free pieces now

Steve:

we'll get there one day. Yeah. Yes. And the movie does have a lot of very fun tongue in cheek humor. Yeah. But one of the funnier ones that I noticed in the beginning was there was a movie called macho and then. And the poster on Emmett's wall. Yes, exactly. But when I was doing research for the movie, I found out that that's what the Russian translation is of the Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's 21 jump street. And I just love that in Russia, they called 21 jump street, macho in the nerd.

Stephen:

That's like when I was in Spain and the movie with Jack Nicholson, as good as it gets popular worldwide in Spain, it's called impulsive play, which means better. Impossible, you know, as good as it gets. Yes. I love translations like that. I think it's fantastic.

Steve:

Yes. Now with all the Lego in place, most of it is done via CGI, but during the ending, when Emmett is explaining to president of business about the sets that people yeah. The Lego videos playing on the TV in the background are real Lego stop motion films. And they're made by Lego fans rather than being made by the filmmaker. And

Stephen:

I think that's awesome because as we've seen, there's a large worldwide fan base for Lego. Yes.

Steve:

Yeah. It's it's at that right age where. You know, the people that are our age and older right now are the ones who grew up playing with that as kids. And so this is kind of the perfect time where it's like, oh, I really feel as timeless. Well,

Stephen:

and you're allowed you can play with it from the age of one to 99. I feel bad for some of my residents

Steve:

like that broke three digits. Can't play the leg. I

Stephen:

know. I ha I need to go check their apartments and see if I need to confiscate any of their

Steve:

Lego can help get us somewhere of those sets so that we could rebuild the movie. There we go. There we go. But yes. In a movie, this movie does break the fourth wall and fifth wall at times it feels like multiple times with its references. But I do love in the ending, you know, the theme that, you know, the father and the son are able to play together. And this dad realizes he's a, he's a fucking asshole and like relaxes up a little bit and lets his kid play together. And they have that a little moment.

Stephen:

And I think that one of the overall thing that I got was. You know, be you be strange, be weird, believe in yourself.

Steve:

Yes. And with that finally seems like everything's going to be in peace in the Lego world. They're able to all play together and Bricksburg and cross dimensions, but then,

Stephen:

oh, no, it's an alien invasion by these horrible nightmare creatures from the world of Duplo. Yes.

Steve:

Because all of a sudden now has because the, the real life. Kid is able to play downstairs with dad's Lego. He also means that that hit it also means a sister has to play as

Stephen:

well. Yep. And she's of the age where it's just Duplo.

Steve:

Yes. And so that's another story for another movie. Luckily there is a part two, the second part

Stephen:

there is an N while you're waiting for them. You know, you can get in touch with us and tell us some of your thoughts on this movie or any movie you'd like to see us cover. At some point, we are always open to suggestions. You can reach us on all the socials we are there. That is Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Twitter at happy life.

Steve:

And it's also our email address, happy life [email protected] because we try and make it simple

Stephen:

for y'all. Well, Hey, the easier it is for you to get in touch with us, the more likely you'll be. Yes. And so

Steve:

until that time, though, everyone say happy.