In theaters this Friday from Oscar winning director Daniel Junge and Oscar nominated director Kief Davidson is a history lesson filled with fun as Radius-TWC presents “A LEGO Brickumentary.”
Narrated by Jason Bateman, the film documents the history of the family owned business. It all began with Ole Kirk Christiansen in Billund, Denmark opening a shop making furniture. He changed to miniature models and wooden toys around the time of the Depression.
When plastics came into play, Christiansen bought a plastic injection molding machine in 1947. Going through trial and error made the company’s brick buddies only get better and better. By 1958, Christiansen’s son Godtfred would take leadership and the company with a patent of their LEGO design.
The company continued to add more and more to their building empire. In 1968 the first LEGOland Park opened in Billund that features three acres that in twenty years grew exponentially and since we have a LEGOland right here in San Diego!
But there is so much more to these tiny pieces as they have become amazing tools of creativity for people with disabilities, teachers use them in classrooms and they are used for problem solving abilities.
In 1988 in Billund, Denmark, there was the first LEGO World Cup building contest and conventions continue to grow as adults are drawn into the world of creation.
There was a decline in LEGOs between 1002-2004 with what some say was the lack of understanding by LEGO towards its consumers. Not realizing children grow up into adults, it took them time to heed the call of LEGO-lovers and once they did, the little plastic brick was back on top.
So what was the catalyst for Junge to make their brickumentary? “I have a tremendous nostalgia for LEGOs but we wanted to do a piece on the LEGO conventions that are held. If you have gone to one of these conventions they are unbelievable. We thought instead of that how about we examine the whole LEGO world!”
Not that they needed it but in 2014, Warner Bros. released the highly successful LEGO film and with the catchy tune “Everything is Awesome!” You can be sure it gives the brickumentary more validation that fans flocking to the conventions know what they are talking about.
When asked why LEGOs are so popular, Junge says, “I think there are many reasons, we explore how adults play with the toys now. It’s a toy but it’s a building system that everyone understands. People are using it for more applications than the inventor could ever have imagined.”
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “A LEGO Brickumentary” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This truly is a history lesson about a family who never gave up and with that came a small gift that has brought amazing joy (and a little frustration) to millions of children.
Those children would grow into adults who never forgot the wonders of the brick and transferred that joy onto their own children. It’s an amazing look at the application that LEGO could have never imagined — helping both adults and children in ways that make their lives better.
This is a brickumentary filled with information, love, creativity, fascination, endearing stories, hope… I could go on forever. That’s what makes an amazing piece of filmmaking when the story takes us on an information brickuhighway of joy. The conventions are fantastic and I will be making a point to visit one the next chance I get.
In the end — it is a toy that has captured the world’s imagination!