Filmmakers respond to criticism of Lego ‘Brickumentary’
The filmmakers behind a documentary on the toy powerhouse Lego say critics who see the film as a 92-minute commercial for the tiny building blocks are missing the point.
“A Lego Brickumentary” opened Friday in limited theatrical release to mixed reviews, with some reviewers complaining the film took an uncritical eye to the toy that captivates children and adults alike.
“If there is anyone out there that’s looking for a hardcore contro- versial film they are looking at this film through the wrong lens,” Kief Davidson, the film’s co-director, said in an interview Friday.
His co-director, Daniel Junge, said the film was guided by a genuine affection for the bricks, not any input from the Dutch toymaker.
“Lego had no editorial control over the film,” Junge said. “The love that you see in the film is coming from us as filmmakers.”
Their zeal for Lego bricks led some critics to liken the film to a corporate ad or promotional video. “As a movie, it can be as annoying as stepping on a stray LEGO brick with your socks off,” New York Daily News reviewer Jordan Hoffman wrote in one of the more unflattering reviews.
It clicked better with moviegoers; audiences gave it a 71 score on review site Rotten Tomatoes on Friday night.
“A Lego Brickumentary” explores the culture surrounding Legos, which are no longer confined to tables and toy boxes, but include books, video games and a successful feature film. The documentary shows how builders create jets, replica movie sets and functional cars from a product initially created for children.
“I don’t think anyone would have seen the omnipresence of Legos we see now,” said Junge, who won an Academy Award in 2011 for the short documentary, “Saving Face.”
The film includes recording artist Ed Sheeran, basketball player Dwight Howard and South Park creator Trey Parker describing their love for the toy. Jason Bateman narrates the feature length documentary as an animated Lego minifigure.