by Jeremy Konrad
Wednesday night in the Gaslamp at SDCC I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of a new documentary about the Lego brand. A Lego Brickumentry looks at the entire history of the Lego brand, and how it has shaped not only the toy industry, but the world we live in as well. The movie itself was quite entertaining, as filmmakers Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson take great care presenting the subject matter. The movie itself keeps your attention throughout and never really has a dull moment.
Our guide through the film is a Lego minifigure voiced by Jason Bateman. He spends the film setting up the various stories told through the eyes of what Lego themselves classify as their biggest source of inspiration: their fans. If there is one thing to takeaway from this film, it is that not only does Lego love to interact with their fans, but they draw inspiration from them and have one of the most unique relationships with their customers that I have ever seen. From a man who, after his architecture firm went belly up decided to build and manufacture boxes form famous buildings sets that became Legos popular Architecture line, to numerous stories about fans who went from building in their garage to becoming some of the companies master builders.
As it is pointed out in the film, Lego belongs to the world now. Everyone plays with Legos. As a AFOL myself (Adult Fan Of Lego), no feeling is better than ripping open that box and dumping those bricks all over the place. I am nowhere near as talented as some of the builders in the film (worth seeing alone for their creations, especially the Rivendell build that has to be seen to be believed), but I enjoy just putting sets together as they are supposed to appear, a lot like Trey Parker, Dwight Howard, and Ed Sheeran who also make appearances in the film talking about how those little bricks inspire them (during a q&a afterwards they revealed that Dave Grohl is a huge fan as well, one of their biggest).
Brick builders are also being taken seriously as artists now, highlighted by a man named Nathan Sawaya who quit his job as a lawyer and now creates sculptures out of Lego bricks, both original and reproductions of famous artistic works. His exhibition, titled The Art of the Brick, travels around the world and is quite a sight to behold.
Also mentioned in the film is the fact that Lego is now also making a concentrated effort to make sure they are not forgetting about their female fans as well, finally recognizing that not just boys but a growing and growing number of girls and adult women love their brand as well.
Overall, between people creating new sets for Lego to produce to the movie itself hilariously telling the history of the company by using stop-motion animation with Legos (seriously: how many times can a factory burn down?), this sharp, fun, and completely enthralling film is just like the bricks themselves: for anyone and everyone.
A Lego Brickumentry opens July 31
Jeremy Konrad is the Senior Star Wars Correspondent for Bleeding Cool. He has built quite a few Lego sets in his day. Talk Lego and anything else with him on Twitter @jeremyohio