Are you an artist or an engineer? Doesn’t matter.
Do you like to think outside the box, or do you find it comforting? How about both.
Are you an adult or a child? Aren’t we all children at heart?
Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Documentary is exactly what it seems: A documentary about LEGOS, as narrated by Jason Bateman in endearing LEGO form complete with a plastic haircut.
We often see documentaries detailing everything that’s wrong with the world we live in, and while educating film viewers on poverty and corruption is a vital task for filmmakers of today, we don’t often get to see stories that make a viewer say “Yeah, sometimes things really suck, but we really do have the tools to make it better.” This documentary argues, and very well could be right, that the tool in question is LEGO bricks.
Since their invention in 1949 Denmark, LEGO is among the largest toy brands regardless that the entire assembly of them are required, and this documentary truly displays that LEGO not only has appealed to all demographics and age groups, but the concept of the LEGO brick has transcended language and cultural barriers all over the world, and proves to be the only example of where the term “brand recognition” feels like a positive benefit to global society, despite the simple goal of being a toy manufacturer. I would disclaim that I’m rather biased due to my nostalgia for LEGOs, but aren’t most people?
Beyond the Brick has two overarching goals on it’s agenda. First is to cleverly educate its audience, with LEGO animation no less, on the LEGO origin by the hand of toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen and his family, who still run the company, as well as how the pieces have worked, and the building of LEGO as a branded entity.
The second thing is to show you where LEGO is being applied all over the corners of the globe by people in all different walks of life:
NBA players and Hollywood names building as a form of personal therapy.
A math professor at a university constructing a formula for the infinite ways in which the finite bricks can be put together.
A doctor organizing group therapy for kids with autism gathers a study that having them build the bricks together actually help them improve their sociability and problem solving skills.
The juxtaposition between two different stories is most effectively displayed by the perspective of a ten year old boy meditatively building an X Wing fighter from Star Wars, and LEGO’s official Master Builders constructing a life size model of the same toy.
I’ll only mention one last example: a competition winning, massively scaled set recreating Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings that practically made my cry on sight from it’s beauty, which was lovingly made by a mother and her children for one of the many Brick Conventions in the United States.
Beyond the Brick takes you on a journey around the world, and while it’s not entirely focused on where it’s going, it doesn’t matter, because it’s point all leads to the uplifting feeling achieved by seeing the marvelous creations that people can make with just a children’s toy, the properties of which were designed to be made into whatever we want them to be.