Everything is [Not] Awesome: Critique and Embrace of Ideology in The Lego Movie

By John Daniel Holloway.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: July 6, 2016 $US5.00

In The Lego Movie we meet Emmet, an ordinary citizen who represents the epitome of one under the control of ideology. He follows the directions, laughs at the sitcoms, jams to the music, and blindly embraces the imperial rule of Lord/President Business, who pretends to be for order and harmony but is really planning to destroy the Lego world. A subversive community of "master builders" longs for the coming "Special," a messianic figure who will overthrow Lord Business and establish a free society where everyone is unique. The beginning of the film offers a striking critique of ideology, depicting a world where people are manipulated and controlled through propaganda. However, the critique recedes into nonexistence as the film goes on, as it ultimately becomes an agent of ideological propaganda.

Keywords: The Lego Movie, Ideology, Social Criticism

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 7, Issue 3, September, 2016, pp.55-63. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: July 6, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 572.489KB)).

John Daniel Holloway

Independent Scholar, Union Theological Seminary, New York, USA