The Lego Movie

lego movie

The Lego Movie
Rating: PG
Run Time: 101 minutes
Released: 2014
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Cultural Ratingpawpawpaw

Overall, this film challenges stereotypes regarding masculinity and femininity and engages with a number of other marginalized identities (the body, disability). However, the film does little regarding sexual orientation and race.

Summary:

Emmet and WyldSytle team-up to prevent President Business from taking over the Lego universe.


Ratings

Language: poo

  • Demeaning language- “hippy dippy baloney,” “big dumb baby,” “ding dong,” “losers”
  • Threatening language- “destroy him,” threats to melt characters

Violence: poo

  • Laser beams
  • Kicking, general fighting
  • Explosions, fire
  • Emmet falls down a hole
  • Weapons- guns, superglue, exacto blade, nail polish remover
  • A building falls on top of a woman
  • Gun violence
  • People fall off cliffs and explode
  • Torture weapons
  • The city is destroyed
  • Vitruvius gets decapitated, dies, and comes back as a ghost
  • Falling on sharp objects

Sex: poo

  • Kissing
  • Hand holding
  • Sexual innuendo
  • Lego nudity

Drugs and Alcohol: poo

  • Bar scene with visible alcohol

Cultural Analysis

 Pros:

Gender:

Race:

  • There appear to be some minor characters of color.

Sexual Orientation– N/A

Disability:

  • Vitruvius is blind and is depicted as wise and a skilled fighter. This is important because oftentimes in the media people with disabilities are depicted as powerless, evil, less attractive or as overcoming a disability.

Body:

  • Metal Beard is a cyborg (has organic and inorganic body parts) and is depicted as powerful but not evil.
  • Wyldstyle does not adhere to beauty ideals. For example, she wears dark clothing, has unnatural hair colors, and has freckles, but she is still depicted as beautiful. This is important because women who challenge beauty ideals are oftentimes depicted as undesirable in the media.
  • At one point Vitruvius is called “old” to which he replies, “Did you just call me old? I really prefer the word experienced” and proceeds to take down villains. This is important because it shows that old bodies are not simply passive.

Cons:

Gender:

  • The male gaze is present throughout the entire film, specifically in relation to Wyldstyle. For example, the first time Emmet sees Wyldstyle he stares at her as she shakes her hair from side to side.

Race:

  • There are no major characters of color in the film.
  • There are stereotypical representations of a number of marginalized racial/ethnic identities. For example, a character in the saloon scene wears a headdress and carries a tomahawk. This is problematic because Native Americans are rarely depicted in the media, and if they are, it is usually in a “traditional” way and associated with violence.

Sexual Orientation:

Disability:

  • Vitruvius’ blindness is used for comedic purposes. For example, at one point he is made the “lookout” and ends up unknowingly staring at a wall.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop could be interpreted as a person with a mental disorder. This is problematic because oftentimes in the media people with “multiple personalities” are depicted in extremes—as either really “good” or really “bad.” Also, this is used for comedic relief throughout the film.

Body: N/A

Suggested talking points

  • The character President Business and his actions act as a commentary on capitalistic ideology. For example, he only cares about power and wealth and cares little for the people he harms in order to attain his desires.
  • A strong theme throughout the film is the idea that a person can do anything if they believe in themselves.
  • Just because somebody is in charge or in a leadership position does not mean they are a good person. It is good to be respectful of those in power, but always maintain your ability to critically analyze situations and ideas.

 Image: IMDB

Keywords: lego movie, gender, body, action, adventure, disability, animated, music, family,

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