By Alberto Pupo
“Everything is awesome”. The catchy tune fills the ears of children and adults alike taking them into a a whole new level of sensory overload. The eyes and ears are treated to a visual feast and whimsical nostalgia for the yesteryear as childhood icons for millennial parents come to life in sarcastic grandeur. The Lego movie is indeed a visual feat for all ages, but taking a deeper look into the candy coated frenzy one will find that there is more than meets the eye. We are presented with philosophical and ideological questions that run deep beneath the surface and highlights what is wrong not just with American society but the whole Capitalist Global Movement.
Conformity, in Lego City everyone follow the same path and instruction. While the Right-wing may view this as good Ole fashion Ruskie indoctrination, the Lego movie clearly points to a different set of instructions. The main villain voiced by Will Ferrell is known as President Business. This individual is a sociopathic greedy, megalomaniac with an eerie resemblance to Mitt Romney. His vision is to end all freedoms in Lego world and created a highly conservative world of order and surveillance (and yes there is a not so subtle dig at the Bush era surveillance state).President business basically caters to a dumbed down population who is too enamored with their every day life, and pop music (everything is awesome) to even pay attention to the dirty politics of President Business. This is a good reflection of our current dumbed down population who knows very little about the political process or even cares about the political process. Instead they are enamored with a world of celebrity stardom and reality TV to even bother to vote or truly understand politics on an intellectual level.
On a more philosophical level the story touches upon the age old question of free will versus fate. This is addressed via the thread of the prophecy of a “Master builder” in this case the lead role Emmett, who is a chosen one of sorts to lead his people to freedom. However (spoiler alert) The prophecy ends up being made up in order to give motivation to our hero to even stand up and fight and rise above. Do human beings need this sort of “prophetic intervention” to rise above the status of the lazy animal? Or can human beings break free from the chains of apathy and find their own path to success. This question is debated back and forth as the story moves along and progresses and eventually (spoiler) ends in the triumph of the human spirit over Calvinistic Determination.
Yet how can a movie with Corporate branding truly give an anti corporate view? Is the Lego Corporation attempting a reverse psychology approach to get “liberals and progressives to invest in their product”. Lego is a company that at least on the surfaces does strive for good corporate governance. In 2012 they invested a hefty amount in wind technology and incredibly enough there have not been that many apparent and egregious labor violations. But deep in the heart of the monolith does lie the heart of a Corporation. One that is already raking in millions from families all around the world especially to see their display of Anti- Corporatism? There is a strange cognitive dissonance that is true but the fundamental fact that remain those who put this story together while using the Corporate Lego facade managed to send an anti corporate message, and in today’s world of mass media and propaganda this is a message that every American needs to heed carefully, the point is do they get it?