Animation Co-Director Chris McKay Talks THE LEGO MOVIE, How the Story Changed During Production, Cameos, Blu-ray Extras, and More

by     Posted 200 days ago

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As I have said many times, director Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The LEGO Movie exceeded my lofty expectations.  Loaded with great animation, a fun story, humor for both kids and adults, and an insanely addictive song (“Everything is Awesome”), The LEGO Movie is truly something special and I strongly recommend checking it out this weekend.  If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s been made using a mix of stop-motion and CG animation and the pic revolves around Emmett (voiced by Chris Pratt), an ordinary construction worker who finds himself anointed “The Special”, a master builder who will lead a band of rebels to save the world from the evil President Business (Will Ferrell).  The film also features the voices of Elizabeth BanksMorgan FreemanLiam NeesonWill ArnettNick OffermanCharlie DayChanning TatumJonah HillAlison Brie, and many others.

At the recent press junket, I landed an exclusive video interview with animation-co-director Chris McKay.  He talked about the positive critical reaction, whether they have any jokes for adults that went too far, how much of the film is CG vs. stop-motion, story changes during production, whether they’re thinking about a sequel, character cameos, the LEGO sets being made for the movie, getting to incorporate Space LEGOs, what will be on the Blu-ray, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

LEGO VP of Design Matthew James Ashton Talks THE LEGO MOVIE, THE SIMPSONS, GHOSTBUSTERS, STAR WARS, Future Sets, Retired Sets, and More

by     Posted 202 days ago

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While I often get to speak with all sorts of people in the entertainment industry, it’s rare that I get to talk with a VP of a toy company.  But with The LEGO Movie opening this weekend, a few days ago I got to speak with LEGO VP of Design Matthew James Ashton.  During our wide ranging conversation, we talked about LEGO’s involvement with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller on the film, and we also touched on the LEGO sets based on the movie.  Additionally, Ashton discussed the inner-workings of how LEGO sets are created, including how long it takes from the inception of the idea to having the product on the shelves, the popularity of the brand, determining what licenses to pursue, the difficulty of making sets for secretive films like The Avengers 2 and Star Wars: Episode VII, and more.  Getting into specifics, Ashton addressed the just announced Ghostbusters Ecto 1 LEGO, the Cuusoo platform (which helps determine which fan-created LEGO sets get made), The Simpsons sets, retired sets, and a lot more.

As I have said a few times, The LEGO Movie exceeded my lofty expectations.  Loaded with great animation, a fun story, humor for both kids and adults, and an insanely addictive song (“Everything is Awesome”) that you’ll be singing again and again, The LEGO Movie is truly something special and I’m beyond confident both audiences and critics are going to fall in love with the film.   I strongly recommend checking it out this weekend.  Hit the jump for the interview.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Trailer Gets the LEGO Treatment

by     Posted 205 days ago

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There has been some pretty good news for Lego fans today, with the news that Warner Bros. is already developing a sequel to The Lego Movie. The Phil Lord and Chris Miller film, which opens this weekend, is set to bring an even bigger spotlight to the colorful building blocks.  Some fans recently took Legos into their own hands to make their own cut of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer, matching it frame for frame.  Even if some of the original trailer’s menace is lost in translation, the new version is certainly a fun watch.

Hit the jump to watch the Lego-style trailer.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoToby KebbellEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer, and opens in 3D on July 18, 2014.

LEGO CUUSOO’s Next Project Will Be GHOSTBUSTERS’ Ecto-1

by     Posted 209 days ago

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One of LEGO’s cooler branches is the LEGO CUUSOO branch, which invites fans to submit their own designs in the hopes of creating mass production.  As long as a project receives 10,000 votes, it will be eligible for consideration by the LEGO team.  There are numerous hurdles to clear, but they do find a way to make fans’ dreams come true like last year when they released the Back to the Future DeLorean.  Today, the vote for the next CUUSOO project came down to seven finalists, and the winner was the “Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary” set, or at least part of it.  While the submitted set also included the firehouse, this build will only contain the Ecto-1, which is nothing to scoff at.  Although the image above doesn’t represent the final build, it will be along these lines.  The set should be on shelves later this year.

Hit the jump to see the announcement video and more images of the Ecto-1.

High Res Images of LEGO’s THE SIMPSONS House; Plus Confirmation of a LEGO-Themed Simpsons Episode in May 2014

by     Posted 231 days ago

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A few days ago we posted a few leaked images of LEGO’s The Simpsons House.   While I figured LEGO would ask us to remove the images, they’ve surprised me by providing us with a number of high-resolution images of the upcoming set and also a press release detailing LEGO’s partnership with 20th Century Fox for The Simpsons branded merchandise.  The big news in the press release is:

  • The Simpsons House is scheduled to launch February 1st  in LEGO stores and via the LEGO Shop at Home catalog and website for $199.99 (USD). The Simpsons house consists of the entire family: Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie along with neighbor Ned Flanders.
  • The line of LEGO The Simpsons minfigures will launch in May 2014 in all major toy retailers for $3.99 (USD) each.
  • FOX is scheduled to air a special LEGO episode of The Simpsons in May 2014 featuring Springfield and its cast of characters in LEGO form.

Hit the jump for high-resolution images of the upcoming LEGO set.

First Pictures of LEGOs The Simpsons House; Over 2,500 Pieces

by     Posted 234 days ago

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If you’re a fan of Lego and The Simpsons, start saving your money.  That’s because later this year, Lego will be releasing playsets and minifigures based on the popular cartoon, and if they sell, you can expect plenty of additional ways for Lego to get your money.

With the first Simpsons playset, The Simpsons House, being released in April, two pictures of the set have leaked online.  While many collectors wondered about the size and price point, the box reveals it’s 2,523 pieces and it comes with six minifigures (Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and Ned Flanders), which means it should range between $150-$200 retail.  Hit the jump to check out the set.

200,000 Piece LEGO Model of Rivendell Is Worthy of the Elves

by     Posted 259 days ago

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As we saw earlier this year with a 150,000-brick Helm’s Deep, the Lord of the Rings movies have lent themselves to elaborate LEGO recreations.  Now another piece (no pun intended) of LEGO Middle-earth has arrived with a 200,000-brick model of Rivendell.  Alice Finch, who you may recall did the amazing LEGO model of Hogwarts, teamed up with David Frank to create this marvel, which ended up winning the People’s Choice Award at BrickCon.  The size and scale is incredibly impressive, and it must have been ridiculously expensive to get all the pieces.  I wonder if anyone will go truly crazy and try to build Gondor.

Hit the jump to check out images of LEGO Rivendell.

Collider Gift Guide 2013: What to Receive and Where to Give

by     Posted 272 days ago

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Black Friday is almost here, and like most people who love a good deal, you’ve mapped out your plan of attack (make sure this attack doesn’t involve trampling).  You know what you want, where to get it, and Thanksgiving dinner be damned, you’re going to camp out in front of a store or in front of your computer.  While we admire your enthusiasm, we have some suggestions for items you might want to add to your wish list.  And they don’t necessarily have to be for you; they could also be for someone you know.

Adam, Dave, and I have nine items we’d like to recommend: three small items (“Stocking Stuffers”), three moderately priced items (“Under the Tree”), and three expensive items (“Extra Nice”).  More importantly, we each have a charity to recommend since we truly believe it’s better to give than to receive (unless you’re receiving a trip to outer space; nothing beats a trip to outer space).  Hit the jump to check out our 2013 Gift Guide.

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New Posters for THE LEGO MOVIE and THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

by     Posted 287 days ago

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A trio of new character posters from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s excellent-looking animated film The LEGO Movie have landed online.  We’ve already seen character posters for Morgan Freeman’s mystic character Vitruvius and Charlie Day’s goofy Benny, and now we’ve got posters for Will Ferrell’s villain Lord Business, Elizabeth Banks’ female lead Wyldstyle, and Will Arnett’s Batman.  The most recent trailer for the film was fantastic, and this is most definitely one of my most anticipated releases of next year.  The film opens on February 7, 2014.

Additionally, a new poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been released that pits Martin Freeman’s Biblo Baggins against some pesky spiders.  If you missed the latest trailer for Peter Jackson’s sequel, click here.  The film opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 13th.  Hit the jump to check out all of the posters.

THE LEGO MOVIE Reveals Character Posters for Morgan Freeman and Charlie Day

by     Posted 289 days ago

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The LEGO Movie released two character posters today.  The poster for the Charlie Day character (Benny) is exactly what you’d expect for a LEGO movie: a big goofy smile on the classic yellow figure.  It’s pure joy.  The other poster is indescribably creepy.  Morgan Freeman‘s mystic character Vitruvius stares at you with glowing dead eyes.  Just end with the Benny poster, and everything will be okay.

The story follows Emmett (Chris Pratt), an average LEGO minifigure who is mistaken for an extraordinary person who can save the world: “He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant (Will Ferrell), a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.”  The LEGO Movie opens in 3D on February 7, 2014.  See the posters after the jump.

New LEGO Sets Based on THE LEGO MOVIE Reveal Characters and Locations

by     Posted 299 days ago

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LEGO is rolling out 17 new sets that tie in with their upcoming feature film, The LEGO Movie.  We’ve got early looks at two of those sets today, along with a collection of minifigures that reveal some of the characters in the animated movie from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs).  The story centers on Emmet (Chris Pratt), an average LEGO minifigure who is mistaken for the most extraordinary person in the LEGO world and is looked upon to save his people from an evil tyrant named President Business (Will Ferrell).  If you missed it, catch the film’s first trailer here.

Also featuring the voices of Elizabeth BanksWill ArnettLiam NeesonMorgan FreemanChanning TatumJonah Hill, and Cobie Smulders,  The LEGO Movie opens in 3D on February 7, 2014.  Hit the jump to check out some early looks at the movie’s characters and set pieces.

STAR WARS EPISODE VII Spring/Summer 2015 Release Date Confirmed? Plus, Darth Vader-Themed TV Specials Coming

by     Posted 313 days ago

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With Disney remaining tight-lipped about developments on their upcoming projects (especially anything Star Wars and Marvel related), we’ve had to resort to some unusual sources of information.  Enter today’s morsel: a brochure from Disney’s presentation at the European Brand Licensing Show.  In addition to announcements for a Star Wars Mobile LEGO game and a Star Wars Digital Library due to launch next year, there’s also an apparent confirmation of the release date of Star Wars Episode VII in the Spring/Summer of 2015.  Oh, and there’s a mention of some upcoming Darth Vader-themed TV specials that might interest you.  Hit the jump for much, much more.

First Image and Playsets Revealed for THE LEGO MOVIE

by     Posted 317 days ago

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The LEGO Movie looks very entertaining, and like any LEGO property, it’s going to make sure that the selling of actual LEGO toys is involved.  According to The Brick Fan, there will be 10 sets attached to the upcoming animated movie.  While I assume there could be more sets on the way, these 10 sets will probably be the ones on the shelves with the flick opens.  The image for “Wyldstyle Chase/Super Cycle Chase” is online, and you can see our hero Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) losing some of his composure.

Hit the jump to check out the lists of playsets, their tentative pricing, and the full image of the Wyldstyle Chase set.  It should be noted that the playset names could be considered minor spoilers even though toys aren’t always based off scenes from the movie.  The film also features the voices of Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, and Will Arnett. The LEGO Movie opens February 7th.

Official LEGO Documentary, BEYOND THE BRICK: A LEGO BRICUMENTARY, to Be Co-Directed by Oscar-Winner Daniel Junge

by     Posted 344 days ago

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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.

Hit the jump for more.

Geek Gifts: LEGO DeLorean From BACK TO THE FUTURE

by     Posted 363 days ago

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Since premiering at Comic-Con a month ago, fans and collectors have been waiting to own Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future.  Well, the wait is over.  That’s because Amazon has the awesome set back in stock and you can order it here.  If you’re interested don’t wait, because the last time I linked to the set it sold out in an hour.

  • LEGO 21103 The DeLorean Time Machine Building Set $34.99
  • Features opening doors, fold-up wheels, flux capacitor, time travel display, 2 license plates, Marty’s skateboard as well as extra engine and wheels
  • Customize the car to match the movie versions; step on the gas and prepare to travel Back to the Future
  • Open the gull-wing doors, just like the real car; fold up the wheels and engage hover mode
  • Jump on the skateboard and pull some tricks; build the model that LEGO CUUSOO members requested
  • Includes building instructions and exclusive Back to the Future information booklet; car measures over 2″ (6cm) high, 5″ (15cm) long and 3″ (8cm) wide

 

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