In one way or the other, most of us have a connection to toy Legos. Director Daniel Junge, who has documented the seriousness of the death of an activist nun to the goofball antics of Evel Knievel, has an eclectic mix of subject matter and styles when it comes to non-fiction filmmaking. In his latest, which he co-directed with Kief Davidson, “A Lego Brickumentary,” audiences get a glimpse of the history and practical application of the toy and how they have impacted the world of engineering and pop culture significance.
Narrated by Jason Batemen as, yes, a toy Lego talking to the audience, “A Lego Brickumentary” is an amusing and energetic educational documentary filled with information and history of the beloved bricks we all know and love. The history delves into the Danish creator Ole Kirk Christiansen’s perseverance that lead to the creation and touches upon the near bankruptcy of the toy giant about ten years ago. Throughout the features, “A Lego Brickumentary” does a good job at reminding us that Legos are rather resourceful at harnessing creativity and ingenuity.
“A Lego Brickumentary” wants audiences to learn Legos aren’t just child’s play. Even adults love them and are featured (more often than kids) talking about and playing with Legos. “A Lego Brickumentary” goes over acronyms such as AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) and NLSO (Non Lego Significant Other) to point out that Lego culture is vibrant and relevant. This is a “learning-is-fun” pop-doc that seems primed for schools to show and sales of Lego’s to increase. I could see how the cynics could view this as one long toy advertisement with a pro-consumerism message. It is much more than that shallow interpretation.
During “A Lego Brickumentary,” we also get an insider’s look at Lego Cuusoo which allows people to submit a Lego idea to the company. Brick-Con in Seattle is the big Lego event as well as Brickworld and BrickFair. There’s similar events happening around the world. Cameras descend to a few of these events to capture big fans in their element. The most interesting moment was the Blind Build competition was which has contestants construct Lego’s without looking. The results were impressive.
The interviews in “A Lego Brickumentary” are an arranged variety of Lego Execs, famous talking heads, creative types
and engineering dorks. There is an interesting comparison to “The Lego Movie” which was computer generated but used a little stop motion. “A Lego Brickumentary” embraces the latter technology. This is a G-rated affair, after all. It is safe and tame for children and will be kept interested in watching Lego’s move around during a majority of the running time. Don’t miss the really cool closing credits, too.
Full Disclosure: “A Lego Brickumentary” director Daniel Junge and I both live in Denver and are acquaintances in Colorado’s film industry circles.
- Documentary Score
A Lego Brickumentary is an enjoyable documentary for audiences of all ages. Adults will find it very interesting and children will be inspired to play with their toys.