“The LEGO Movie” and the Oscar Nomination That Should Have Been

On February 7th, 2014, a film was released that absolutely enthralled me.

That movie was The LEGO Movie.

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When I first saw this movie, I never wanted it to end. LEGO was a huge part of my childhood, and it made me feel like a kid again watching those little plastic figures come to life in a movie. But it wasn’t just about the nostalgia factor — the movie itself was incredibly well-made. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (the minds behind Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, another movie I really enjoyed), the film was absolutely bursting with creativity, humor, and attention to detail — and on top of that, it told a wonderful story about an everyman-turned-hero, the importance of imagination and creativity, and the inherent value of each and every individual. It even had some subtle (and not-so-subtle) social and political commentary!

Now, most of you probably know that the 2014 Oscar nominations came out this past Friday, which I was pretty excited about. I just knew that The LEGO Movie would be one of the nominations for Best Animated Feature. It was so good. I was even hoping that it would win in that category, even when it was up against Big Hero 6 and How To Train Your Dragon 2. Both of these were great movies and I knew it was pretty much a given that they would be nominated, but to me, The LEGO Movie was the best animated movie of the year (at least that I saw).

So, you can imagine how shocked and upset I was when I found out that The LEGO Movie had NOT been nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Oh, sure, the song “Everything is Awesome!!!” was nominated for Best Song, so the movie at least got one nod. But . . . NO NOMINATION FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE?!

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I couldn’t believe it. The LEGO Movie was creative. It was well-written. It was well-acted. The mock stop-motion animation was great. The attention to detail was jaw-dropping. AND NO OSCAR NOMINATION?!

Now, I know that the Oscars are not the be-all end-all of film, and they can sometimes be pretty bogus. But for the Academy to not recognize the ingenuity of this film is almost criminal. To be fair, I have only seen two of the nominees for Best Animated Feature (Big Hero 6 and HTTYD2), so I can’t say anything about how the other nominees match up to The LEGO Movie. But . . . just . . .

REALLY?!

*sigh* Anyway . . . I can live with this, I really can. It’s just an award, and The LEGO Movie is garnering other awards (it did win Best Animated Film at the Critics’ Choice Awards, for one thing!). But this movie is going to be watched and loved for years to come. It’s just that good. I know it’s not for everyone — it’s very high-energy and fast-paced, its sense of humor may not connect with everyone, and then there’s the fact that it’s about LEGO. Some people just can’t get past that, and I’m sure that some of the Academy members are among them.

But come on, just LOOK at the attention to detail in this movie!

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Look at the texture! Look at the teeth marks on the helmet! And notice how the helmet is cracked in the middle? My understanding is that that’s something that often happened with the 1980s space figures in real life!

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I could watch this movie over and over again and STILL not catch everything that’s going on! So much is packed into each scene that you’re always finding new things every time you watch it.

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And do I even need to mention that EVERYTHING IS MADE OUT OF LEGO?!?! Seriously! Even the explosions and the water! The animators built every scene within the computer out of virtual LEGO! No shortcuts, no illusion. THEY BUILT THE MOVIE. Check out this featurette to see!

So. Anyway. I’d better stop before I rant for too long.

My point is this: The LEGO Movie is incredibly well-made — visually, aurally, technically, and narratively. And I have just one thing to say to everyone in the Academy who did not vote to nominate it for Best Animated Feature: you have terrible taste in movies. Shame on you for not recognizing that this movie was easily one of the best animated films of the year.

What do you think? Should The LEGO Movie have received said nomination, or do you agree with the nominations as they stand? Besides nominations and such, what did you think of the movie?

Oh, and one more thing.

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See you all next week!

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