The Lego Movie was officially released four days ago in Australia. I have been hanging out to
take the boys to see it because they are huge fans I am a huge fan of the toy.
All the way through it I was thinking about whether I was going to write about it and if so, what I would be writing about, and for most of the movie I pretty much had the working title “Lego Movie – Best. Movie. Ever.” in mind, but towards the end of the movie, that changed.
Now I am going to declare this because it has only been out for four and a half days in Australia and most of my readers are in this country; if you haven’t yet seen it, SPOILER ALERT.
Our boys are 5-years-old and three-months-short-of-3-years-old (is that how you write it?) and both love Lego even though most of the sets they play with are labelled as 5-12 (years old) or even 8-14. In fact, I just looked at a box sitting on the counter and notice the sad baby face “not for 0-3 year olds” logo on the box. Okay, so the toddler does love to chew on a few pieces, but roughage is good for him right?
My wife has been on a course for work since Wednesday and it continued up until late Sunday afternoon. She’s been leaving real early and getting home fairly late because the course is being held at a location that’s about an hour away.
When our first born was showing signs of being a movie addict at a reasonably young age, my wife and I thought it would be a great bonding exercise for me to take him to the cinema. She stayed home because our youngest was only a baby and therefore having many day sleeps if not sleeping the whole day away.
Even though the toddler still isn’t a sit-there-and-watch-the-whole-DVD kind of kid, for the last two movies that Master 5 wanted to see – Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Frozen – we went as a whole family because my wife wanted to see them too. During both of these movies the toddler needed to go to the toilet so she did the valiant duty and took him so that I could watch the whole movie having missed the scene in Rise of the Guardians where Jack Frost found out who he really was due to the older one needing to “do a wee Daddy…”
But, because she was doing that course, and because I promised the boys they could see it the first weekend it was out, she wasn’t able to come with us. As a back-up plan in the event that the toddler needed to visit the toilet during the movie, and so that Master 5 wouldn’t miss any of it, I invited a friend and his kids along.
The movie is 100 minutes long, or as described on the website, 1 hour and 40 minutes. I remember when all movies were 90 minutes long. There was the occasional 88 minute movie or 91 minute movie (sack that editor), but all-in-all most movies ran for exactly 1-and-a-half hours.
At about the 40 minute mark the toddler, getting restless, decided it was time to fall asleep. I didn’t mind, after all, I didn’t have to pay for him to see the movie because he is under 4-years-old. And really, I thought it was a blessing because he generally sleeps for two hours during his day nap which meant that I would be able to watch the whole movie unless Master 5 needed to go (although he’s a trooper and would hold on if it meant not missing a second of the movie).
And this is where my problem with the Lego Movie kicks in. At the 90 minute mark, the point where all those other movies would have ended, the climax to the movie, the bit with the reveal, the part where the penny drops, that’s when the toddler wakes up, stands up on his chair and then leans over and in my ear proclaims;
“I need to do a wee Daddy…”
And when he says I need to do a wee, he means that he needs to do a wee. I might get a few minutes out of him holding on if we’re in the car when the feeling comes on, but any longer than that and he’s resorting back to wetting himself.
Now I could have been a crap dad. I could have simply told him to sit back down as we’ve only got 10 minutes to go, but no, I picked him up and ran for it. The distance to the toilet was maybe about 100 metres, and I reckon, even though I had a toddler in my arms, I would have taken Usain Bolt’s record and smashed it.
But then, the toddler took forever to finish up. I could have run that 100 metres in sub-8 seconds, and all the good that would have done me. When he finally finished, I washed his hands and mine (new Olympic record for that too) and then ran back as fast as I could.
We got back to see the last three minutes or so. But that scene, the one where the tears would have fallen if you were the type to shed a tear, that moment when the boy and his dad had that moment, that connection, the start of their journey together in the world of playing Lego together and using their collective imaginations, we missed it.
And because I don’t know exactly how that scene went down. Because I missed half a percent of the movie, that to me was enough to skew my full judgement and make me ineligible to cast my vote. So best movie ever? Possibly.
At the very least, it is the best ever movie about a toy that has given me over 30 years of joy (and counting), and is destined to repeat this with our boys.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Truthfully, I loved it more than I thought I would.