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10 Things You Might Not Know About The LEGO Movie

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Ten Things You May Not Know About The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie is the number one movie in America. This weekend it raked in over 69 million dollars because of awesome reviews, amazing word of mouth, and let’s face it kids of all ages love LEGO. What makes the movie so spectacular is that it isn’t just some dumb animated movie. It’s actually really sophisticated and packed with fantastic attention to detail, tons of humor, and Easter eggs. If you’ve only seen the movie once here are some things you may have missed or had no idea what some of inside jokes were.

And if you missed my spoiler-free review, you can check it out here: (LEGO Movie Review)

Spoiler Warning!

If you have not seen The Lego Movie yet, some of this article will spoil the movie.

You have been warned!

 

10) Superman and Green Lantern were undercover cops in high school.

The LEGO Movie Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill

Besides being the makers of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also wrote and directed 21 Jump Street. The movie stars Channing Tatum as Jenko and Jonah Hill as Schmidt, a couple of misfit cops who go undercover in a local high school to stop drug dealers. In The LEGO Movie, the two team up again as the miniature versions of the Man of Steel and the Guardian of Sector 2814.

They are only onscreen for a little bit, but it’s enough time for Tatum to tell Hill that he “Super Hates” him. You’ll be able to see Tatum and Hill team up again on June 12, 2014 in the upcoming sequel 22 Jump Street which once again is directed by Lord and Miller.

Is that Thor, Princess Leia, and Loki running in the background?

 

9) Lightning McQueen is in the movie… well sort of.

The Lego Movie Lightning McQueen

In probably the biggest surprise cameo of the entire movie, the LEGO Millennium Falcon shows up right when Emmet and the gang needs a hyperdrive. Original Star Wars actors Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams reprise their roles as C-3PO and Lando Calrissian. Unfortunately Harrison Ford was not the voice of Han Solo, but the movie got the next best thing,  Keith Ferguson. In the past he was the voice of the scruffy nerf herder in the MAD tv series and Indiana Jones in Robot Chicken. This isn’t the first time Ferguson was a replacement voice when the original actor was not available. He’s stood in for Owen Wilson as the voice of Lightning McQueen in the Disney Infinity video game, Mater’s Tall Tales, Cars 2: The Video Game, and Cars Race-O-Rama.

If you play The LEGO Movie Videogame, you’ll even be able to hear Ferguson as a lot of the additional voices.

The Lego Movie Han Solo and Lando

“Well hold on Han, we just might have the right system.”

 

8) This isn’t the first time Will Forte has been the voice of Abe Lincoln.

The Lego Movie Will Forte Abraham Lincoln

One of the very first television shows Phil Lord and Christopher Miller worked on was MTV’s Clone High from 2002-2003. It was an adult animated show about a school filled with clones of famous historical figures such as Cleopatra, Ghandi, JFK, and Joan of Arc.

In the show, one of the main protagonists was Abe Lincoln voiced by Will Forte. This isn’t the only time Forte has worked with Lord and Miller. He was also the voices of Joe Towne from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the villain Chester V in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Will Forte is quickly becoming to Lord and Miller movies what John Ratzenberger is to PIXAR movies.

 

7) President Business Could have been the CEO for Shell Gas

The Lego Movie President Business Shell Gas Octan

In The LEGO Movie, President Business is CEO of the Octan Corporation. They make dairy products, over priced coffee, music, television shows, surveillance cameras, history books, and voting machines. Even though this is a fake corporation, it wasn’t invented just for the movie. Since 1992, Octan is the brand of gas that has appeared in numerous LEGO sets in addition to DUPLO, 4 Juniors, Model Team and TECHNIC sets.

Before 1992, if the LEGO minifigures wanted to gas up their cars and trucks, they had to do so at a Shell Gas Station.

Lego Shell Gas Station

Before 1992, Shell Gas was the the official gasoline of LEGO Land.

 

6) Even the Theme song “Everything is AWESOME!” has a cameo.

The Lego Movie Everything is Awesome The Lonely Island

The Lonely Island guys (L-R) Jorma Taccone, Andy Samberg, and Akiva Schaffer

If you’ve seen the movie, I’ll bet you that you can’t get the song “Everything is AWESOME!” out of your head. My kids can’t stop singing it. It’s sung by Tegan and Sara, but features an awesome cameo by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone, the founders of the comedy group The Lonely Island. They are best known for their hilarious songs that were showcased on Saturday Night Live’s Digital Shorts including “Jack Sparrow, ” “Like a Boss,” and ” I’m on a Boat.” They even won an Emmy Award  in 2007 for their song “Dick in a Box” featuring Justin Timberlake.

Besides collaborating on the song, Jorma Taccone lends his talents as the voice of some background characters including William Shakespeare.

 

5) Batman and Bad Cop have been enemies once before in a movie.

The Lego Movie The Nut Job

Last month The Nut Job from Open Road Films hit theaters. It’s a story about a squirrel named Surley who is trying to steal a store load of nuts for the park he used to live at, but an evil raccoon wants to stop him. The characters of Surley and Raccoon were voiced by Will Arnett and Liam Neeson. In The LEGO Movie, the two are the voices of Batman and Bad Cop. The LEGO Movie also marks the third time Liam Neeson has been in a movie with Batman (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises).

 

4) Director Christopher Miller’s own toys are in the movie.

The Lego Movie Space Village

Screenshot from the movie of the Space Village.

As a kid, Christopher Miller loved playing with LEGO bricks. One of his favorites were the Space sets. Miller insisted that one of the spacemen not only be in the movie, but be a main character which turned out to be Benny the 1980-something spaceman. Rumor has it that Miller’s mom found the Space Village set he had as a kid and sent it to them, so that his childhood LEGO set could be in the movie.

classic_space_1979

Original poster for the 1979 Space Village

 

3) BENNY THE 1980-SOMETHING SPACEMAN HAS BRAIN DAMAGE.

The Lego Movie Benny the Spaceman

SPACESHIP!!!

Speaking of Benny. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that he’s not all there in the head. That’s not entirely his fault though. If you notice Benny’s helmet, it’s cracked. That’s not a mistake in the movie. It was done on purpose because the original LEGO spacemen had a defect in their helmet that caused them to crack if played with a little too rough. The backstory of Benny is that he’s spent a little too much time in space with a defective helmet and some of his oxygen leaked out.

 

2) Vitruvius was actually a Roman Architect.

The LEGO Movie Vitruvius

Is it just me, but does Vitruvius’ staff look like a half eaten sucker?

In the movie, Vitruvius is the wise and powerful Master Builder that believes in Emmet and guides him on his quest to becoming “The Special.” But in real life, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a 1st century Roman architect and engineer. He is famous for writing a multi-volume work entitled De Architectura.  It’s extremely fitting that the writers chose to name the character after the world’s most famous architect, because etymologically, the word architect is derived from Greek words meaning ‘master’ and ‘builder’.

 

1) This is the first time EVER that Wonder Woman has been in a feature length movie.

The LEGO Movie Wonder Woman

The character of Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston and published by DC Comics. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. Since then she has appeared in countless comics, cartoons, television shows and animated movies, but unlike her male counterparts, Batman and Superman, she has never been in an actual movie as herself. Of course women in movies have dressed up as the character, but not actually portrayed her. The first time this will actually happen is in 2015 when Gal Gadot becomes the first live action version of the Amazonian princess in the as of yet untitled Superman vs. Batman movie.

In the movie, Wonder Woman is voiced by Cobie Smulders who starred in Marvel’s The Avengers as SHIELD Agent Maria Hill. There are two reasons for her casting. One was that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were writers and co-producers from 2005-2006 on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom that Smulders plays Robin Scherbatsky on. The second reason, which is what landed her the role as Maria Hill, was the Avengers’ writer and director Joss Whedon once wrote a script for a cancelled live action Wonder Woman movie. His first choice to play the title role was, you guessed it… Cobie Smulders.

 

BONUS TRIVIA!

  • Middle Zealand is a reference to the LEGO Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit sets. The stories take place on Middle Earth and the Peter Jackson movies were filmed in New Zealand.
  • The animation is entirely CGI, but it looks like stop motion animation thanks to animation co-director/animation supervisor, Chris McKay who directed 39 episodes of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim show Robot Chicken.
  • Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman aren’t the only members of the Justice League in the movie. For a brief couple seconds, The Flash makes an appearance. He is also a member of Metal Beards “Me Hearty Crew” along with Batman villain The Penguin.

The Lego Movie Metal Beard Me Hearty Crew

  • Emma Stone and Robert Downey Jr. were considered for the leading roles of Wyldstyle and Emmet.
  • Lord Business’ cape is actually a necktie that belongs to “The Man Upstairs.”
  • Piece of Resistance is actually a reference to the French term Pièce de résistance. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, it’s the best or most important thing or event.
  • The time reference of “8 1/2 years later” at the beginning of the movie is rumored to be in relation to the age of Jadon Sand, the little boy who plays Finn. If you want to analyze the story, you could say that “The Man Upstairs” started using Kragle because of the new addition to the family. He didn’t want his children breaking his displays in the basement. Now that Finn is 8 1/2 years old, he can sneak into the basement to have his adventure.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land is actually the box of extra bricks that is stored by Christmas decorations.

As I find more facts and trivia about the movie, I’ll add more to the list.

 

 What did you think of The LEGO Movie? What were  your favorite cameos or jokes? What hidden Easter egg did you notice? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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  • Fred

    Cloud Cuckoo Land is a term coined by Greek playwright Aristophanes, and has been used by German philosophers, Hitler in Mein Kampf, Margaret Thatcher and Newt Gngrich.

  • LAB

    I had to watch that one gif about 8 times to finally see Thor and Loki in the background. How is anyone eagle-eyed enough to catch that?

    • http://www.fatmovieguy.com/ Craig

      I didn’t see it at first, but when I looked at the GIF on my iPad, and zoomed in, it slows down the animation. Thor is running in front of the mermaid to the left. Then you see Loki running behind Gandalf to the right. Following them, it looks like Princess Leia running to the right as a Red Spaceman is floating to the right as well. In just those few seconds, you see all those characters. Can you imagine how many are hidden throughout the movie?

      • LAB

        Oh – thanks- I do see Leia now in the white. I didn’t realize those were sidebuns on the head and not a helmet. It was a fun movie.

      • Jared Winning Bentz

        Im sorry to burst your bubble, but ‘Thor’ is Dumbledoor, ‘Loki’ is the statue of liberty, and ‘Leia’ is the disco guy

        • http://www.fatmovieguy.com/ Craig

          Dammit, I think you’re right! :)

      • Spidon

        I’m pretty sure the guy with the red cape on the left is supposed to be Dumbledore, as he’s wearing mostly purple. The one who looks like Leia is the Disco Guy with his afro.

        Also wanted to point out that the Penguin is not in Metalbeard’s Crew. The guy behind the Flash is the Magician minifig.

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