The first toy brand I remember getting into was LEGO. I liked that you could work from the step-by-step instructions or build your own world. They foster both design and creativity, and the brand has grown by leaps and bounds to eventually include licensed properties, which has been a point of contention among some (they say it diminishes imagination, which is a lot like saying anyone who ever played with licensed toys no longer has any creativity). In any case, it’s one of the biggest brands in the world, and now it will get an official documentary with Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary. Oscar-winner Daniel Junge (Saving Face) and Oscar-nominee Kief Davidson (Open Heart) will make a big 180 from their serious documentaries to helm the presumably lighter Beyond the Brick.
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According to Deadline, the movie “will unspool through the lens of culture, art, and education. And it’s not just the pint-sized Master Builders they’re tracking; Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs), fan conventioneers, LEGO artists, and famous LEGO fans are also in the mix.” The movie is set for an early 2014 theatrical release, and I imagine it will coincide with the release of the Warner Bros. animated feature, The LEGO Movie, which opens February 7, 2014. I’m admittedly still a big fan of LEGO, but I honestly believe that there are interesting places for this documentary to go, especially with two talented directors on board. Yes, it will probably help sell LEGO, but if we dismissed every movie that could sell toys, we would ignore most blockbusters.