The Lego Movie’s smash hit in 2014 showed a fantastic world portrayed through the mind of a small boy. It’s an exciting adventure of different characters finding out that they’re all special, and that “everything is awesome when you’re part of a team.”
The premise of the theme is that not everything is always as great as the first movie suggested. The plot takes the heroes on a journey through learning that sometimes you feel down and things aren’t always fun. It again explores the idea of fitting in and working as a team, but that not everything always turns out great in the end.
The tone of the jokes in the movie resembled the first one significantly, and it threw in a lot of callbacks. This led to some of the comedic effect falling a little flat with the older audience members, but laughs were still abounding throughout the theater from the children.
If anything, the jokes and theme were suited towards the kids who saw the first one five years ago; they are the ones that have grown up like the boy (and Lego characters) in the movie, and I think that helped the message resonate. The kids watching had to go through the same difficulties shown in the movie, and hopefully the message provided some clarity to what they are going through in a way that parents couldn’t.
One way that the movie did this was rehashing the “everything is awesome” song from the first movie and transforming it into “everything’s not awesome (all of the time).” The lyrics of the song talk about learning to have realistic expectations for the world: there will be hard times and it’s okay to get angry, but don’t let those things ruin your childlike spirit.
The movie dismantled the idea that growing up and having problems will harden your heart, and that kids just need to “toughen up.” It portrayed healthy ways to conquer those emotions, like reaching out to people and talking things out. It showed a balance of learning that things sometimes suck, but that it’s way more awesome to have a childish appreciation and fascination of the world, and I think that’s a really important quality to have in a children’s movie.