Immersed in Blu-ray: The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie, the year’s first animated blockbuster, arrived on Blu-ray this week from Warner Bros. Home Ent., and it’s a reference quality experience.

It’s become very apparent that Phil Lord & Chris Miller have a wonderfully wacky way with pop culture satire, whether it’s animation (The LEGO Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) or live-action (22 Jump Street and 21 Jump Street). They’re smart, goofy, and warm-hearted and what I like best about The LEGO Movie is that they managed to be subversive and reverential at the same time.  It builds on the LEGO brick films with an unlikely hero’s journey and then becomes a fascinating meta story about Master Building, collaboration, and fathers and sons. And the stop-motion-like CG style is spot-on for the look and performance.

“The thing about LEGOs is there are infinite possibilities,” Miller told me. “You could tell any story with LEGO and it was such a challenge to find one story to tell and then pack the edges with extra stuff.”

As far as working with Animal Logic, Lord said they pushed them in a whole new direction: “We said this has to be lit differently than any movie you’ve ever worked on. It has to look more photoreal than you’ve ever made anything. We’re going to mix real stop-motion footage with computer-animated footage, and you’re not allowed to tell the difference.”

Animation supervisor Chris McKay called the process seven points of articulation:  ”Trying to make it look photoreal was another thing but everybody in the modeling and rigging team was super nerdy about LEGO with a passion. They found ways to hide bricks when you’re doing it in the computer and it’s CG and it’s not so fat in the pipeline. They came up with stuff just to do this movie.”

The two-disc special edition includes feature commentary, “Batman: A True Artist,” “Michelangelo and Lincoln: History Cops,”  ”Enter the Ninjago,” “Bringing LEGO to Life,” “See it! Build it!,” “Alleyway Test, ” deleted scenes, and more.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, previs, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production

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