Christian Theology Review of the Lego Movie

The Lego MovieOur review of “The Lego Movie”

“It was the best movie you could see in a theater! The coolest part was… it was all cool… and we got an icee… so… They had the best Lego characters. It looks good in the theater because you get a big screen and you can see it and eat popcorn” (christopher 7)

“It was the best movie in the whole world you could see in a theater, ever. And we didn’t know there was going to be Star Wars in the lego movie with Batman and they fly in the millennium fauwkin!” (Ian 4)

“The hero was emmet… and there was a girl and she was weird… and and and when the boy was at the mountain the girl was waving her hair and the boy said “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” because he didn’t know what to say, because the girl was too beautiful” (Anna 6)

As an Adult movie watcher, the movie was cute and fun with enough “adulty” humor and cultural reference to keep you interested.

As a parent, there was the usual modernist anti parent propaganda, being that the heroes father was the bad guy, creating artificial and arbitrary rules that thwart creativity and blunt youthful enthusiasm and diversity, blah blah blah.

The Father and the Son in the story were framed as Gods overseeing the destinies of men and nations, ultimately manifested in the tragic self sacrificial death of the main character, who goes to “heaven”, meets with his maker, and is sent back to the world to save them, and lead them to peace. A messiah prophesied ages before that would come to deliver them from evil. Wow… that is super heavy for a children’s movie about legos, right? Right.

Before they tried to get all deep and philosophical and artsy it was pretty fun. They even took time to make fun of the usual trauma inducing trait of all contemporary children’s fiction that parent’s die, through Batman writing an entire song about being an orphan, before falling into the usual things about growing up being a flaw in the cosmic architecture.

All the kids scream when batman shows up, and when the millennium falcon shows up, and there is one death of a major character (comically expressed) but he returns from the dead to guide the heroes in their quest.

There’s a lot of violence but it’s bloodless lego roboty violence. Lot’s of superheroes which can induce a discomfort in children with their humanness and the limitations of their ordained earthly life if not carefully navigated by parents, eventually manifesting itself in video game and fantasy addiction, inability to position oneself in everyday human society and a fascination with inappropriate “powers” and “forces” usually the stuff of subChristian sentiment. Vampires, zombies, aliens, the Gods of the Pre-Christian Romans, Greeks and Scandanavians.

In the end the whole movie happens in the imagination of a little boy that wants to create a world. Or recreate one better than he found it. And that’s a good idea for children to cultivate in their thinking; that we are recreating the good world that God created, now that it’s fallen and nature is unnatural. Still, here, even though there is reconciliation between father and son (a pervasive biblical theme) the father is the one in error and guilty of many sins, among them childishness, avarice, being unreasonable, poor judgement, frustrating his child and undue severity.

Now we can certainly think in good ways about the fact that fathers are often wrong and do need to publicly (to their family) exercise the need and opportunity to show repentance and recognition of wrongdoing, even if only weakness. This is the tenor of the majority of children’s entertainment these days and so there is nothing original, thoughtful or necessary about the lesson. Parents are bad kids are good is a general falsehood that’s pervasively taught as a general truth. That makes it a bit dangerous.

Commonly, what is really godless or immoral liberality is presented as child-like freethinking and innocence when really this is just the imposition of very adult and confused consciences upon the story of children for children. There stories aren’t written by children; they are written for children. The screen writer has no special protections from their own sinful nature. There is nothing innocent about a disregard for the laws of God, the church, the family, respect for parents, or the flagrant disregard for the natural and moral norms of the society.

Make no mistake, entertainment educates. Not only that but entertainment is a more powerful educator than books and classes and tests. It frames everything in context and speaks powerfully by inference, intimating truths too light to be spoken plainly but working powerfully upon the sub conscience interpreting and reinterpreting ideas.

We should be careful of those, identifying them, so as to sift them, so that our children don’t simply appropriate ideas as part of their mental furniture. Always remember the facility and power of the child’s mind. They don’t miss much.

Neiswonger

The LEGO MovieThe Lego Movie

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2 thoughts on “Christian Theology Review of the Lego Movie

  1. watched it last weekend with the kids. nice movie.

    there’s this phrase. something like….
    “we cannot build without the instructions”

    it reminds of me of the Law. how people cannot “without the Law/instruction”. they are as if lost without the instruction. as if cannot create without the instruction.

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    • That was an interesting turn, how the hero encouraged the master builders to go by the instructions because the bad guys would never expect that from them. But then at the end they just abandoned all of the instructions anyway and that’s how they won the big battle. So what does it teach? I really don’t know. Maybe nothing? :)

      Like

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