The LEGO Movie Experience at Legoland. Yes, we did.

My son, Jonathan is 18 years old. He's not your typical high school senior in that he's been homeschooled since the first grade. He's got a ton of friends and pretty much does your typical teen guy stuff.

It was my delight to take Jon with me when I was invited to Legoland® for the day to preview The LEGO® Movie Experience. I was doing the Media Thing. How accidentally cool is this?

Marta darby-legoland-media

What this meant was that Jon and I got to spend a day together at Legoland®. This is something we haven't done since he was pretty young. But, as you know, we are all Unabashed Lovers of All Things Lego. See here, here, here, and here.

Marta darby legoland

The new Legoland attraction, the LEGO Movie Experience was a visit to the set of Finn's Basement. The place where the live action portion of The LEGO Movie was filmed.

Finn's basement-legoland

Picture a city and attending sets built with over 3 million LEGO bricks. I know. Mind blown.


If you look hard enough, you can actually find Emmet and his friends in vignettes from the movie. We may or may not have spent hours doing exactly this.

Emmet and friends Legoland

Also, it became a personal scavenger hunt to find Batman. Of course, there was only one Batman, because, well, there's really only one Batman. (Duh.)

Lego movie event Batman

Everywhere we turned there were more scenes from the movie. If you're a BrickLover (and we totally are), you would seriously appreciate.

WyldSide and Emmet

We so loved the movie and we so love the bricks and now here's yet another reason to love them both.

TLME Legoland

Both my husband and son have always loved building with LEGO bricks. I'm pretty sure Legoland was designed for the 12-and-under crowd and I absolutely remember the appeal for that age group, but there's something so iconic and delightful about LEGOS.

Maybe it's just nostalgia, or maybe it's something more. Could it be that the Love of All Things LEGO is transcendent?

Or maybe we're just the type of über-geeks who are imaginative enough to picture ourselves in the beautiful world of bricks where Everything is Awesome.

Let's play find the Cuban Lego Mama...

Marta darby-legoland

I wrote some more about this fabulous day over at The OC Latina Moms Blog.

Everything is Awesome - The LEGO® Movie

A few months ago when we first became aware that Warner Bros was going to be releasing The Lego® Movie, we sat up and took notice.

My husband, Eric, who is now 48 played with LEGO® bricks as a kid. As a matter of fact, he would tell you that they were his very favorite toy. He would spend hours, he says, lost in the world of bricks and his imagination.

Well, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Jonathan quickly, happily, and easily became addicted to the bricks. See here and here.

Last week we were delighted to have been invited to a preview of The LEGO® Movie.
The story is about an ordinary LEGO® minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary Master Builder, and is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO® tyrant from gluing the universe together.

Lego Movie 2

We were captivated from the start. The story, the characters, the execution - all brilliant. I don’t say that lightly. Chris Pratt is the voice of Emmet, the average, rule-following everyman.

Elizabeth Banks is Wyldstyle "Are you a DJ?," the daring and independent female lead who believes Emmet is the "Special." Her real name, by the way, is Lucy. (Yay!)

Lego Lucy

Will Ferrell starts as the voice of President Business, an uptight CEO who has a hard time balancing World Domination with micro-managing his own life (see what I mean? Already the premise is hilarious.), while Liam Neeson voices the president' powerful henchman, known as Bad Cop/Good Cop. (<--You can totally predict how this is going to happen, right Lego® Lovers?) Nick Offerman lends his voice to a craggy, swaggering pirate obsessed with revenge. And Alison Brie plays a sweet, lovable member of this unlikely dream team with a powerful secret. (What's there not to love already?)

Our favorite was Will Arnett as Batman. He delivered Batman’s lines in that choppy, deep, let’s-mock-all-the-Batman-movies-you've-ever-seen voice. Every time he spoke, we held our sides from laughing so hard.

All that to say this: The LEGO® Movie is a must see.

On the day we saw it, the theater was filled with mostly families with young children. Jon and his best friend, Nathan - the two lone 18 year olds - were the oldest. Their take was that the little kids will find it funny, but the adults will totally appreciate the sublime humor.

There are lots of fantastic voice cameos, like Channing Tatum as Superman, Jonah Hill as the Green Lantern, and Cobie Smulders as Wonder Woman. You really need to be paying attention to catch some of the nuances of the jokes.

This film was very obviously made by people who love LEGO® as much as we do. There was old-school Spaceman Benny (voiced by Charlie Day), with the space ship that so easily fell apart. Eric totally identified with that. It was clear that the film makers were all true LEGO fans. You could feel the love in every frame.

Eric and Emmett

There was a nod to all the varied and extensive collectors sets. Hello, Shaquille O’Neil and the 2003 LA Lakers! Do you remember that? My guys did.

I loved that they even made a point to highlight the odds and ends that randomly find their way into the LEGO bin. I won’t spoil that, but be on the look out for the "Relics." The best homage to childhood ever.

The bottom line is that we laughed. Long and hard and out loud throughout the entire film. The first thing we said as we left the theater was “We need to see that AGAIN."

The film has very broad family appeal, not just because it has a PG rating. My family appreciated that they didn’t didn’t dumb anything down for a particular age group and totally respected how beloved the bricks are to so many generations of Would-be Master Builders. It could have easily devolved into a long commercial for the popular toy brand, but much to their credit, instead the story had us laughing out loud and rooting for the unlikely hero. The film is a total win.

The only character missing was this Coffee-drinking, Red-lipstick wearing, Curly-haired, Cuban LEGO Mama. See what I did there? (I totally crack myself up.)

Marta as lego

Make your own LEGO® Sigfig here.

Also, as soon as we got home we downloaded the very catchy theme song by Tegan and Sara. I'm convinced that after you see this movie, you too will agree that “Everything is Awesome.”

With Emmet

Well played, Warner Bros. and LEGO®. Very well-played.

In theaters everywhere on February 7th, 2014.