Headscratchers: The Lego Movie
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What exactly is The LEGO Movie?
- Or more specifically, how is it animated? Our main page claims it to be a hybrid CGI/Stop Motion flick, but That Other Wiki says it's just CGI. The animation does, of course, look extremely similar to stop motion but I just can't tell! Can anyone help me out?
- It's just CGI. Really, really good CGI.
- Not to mention that filming the movie in stop motion, at the epic scale they're doing here, would take an insanely long time.
- What makes you think that doing it in CGI didn't also take an insanely long time? Are you aware of how long and complicated it is to make a cg film?
- I don't think he or she is saying that CGI wouldn't also take a long time to make; just that doing the whole thing in stop motion would take even longer.
- According to an interview, Phil and Chris says that it's mostly CGI, with a few sprinkles of actual stop-motion here and there. They meant to produce it in a way that the viewer will never be able to tell which is which.
- What exactly was the reality of Emmet and the rest of the minifigures anyway? Considering that Finn made them up, were they all a product of his imagination or, since we saw Emmet move autonomously, are they instead Living Toys level 2?
- Possibly living, but on an even lower level than 1. Emmet could only barely move when trying to under his own power.
- Unless, of course, Finn and his father are merely being forced to play out the activities of the Lego people. After all, Emmet's ability to move suggests that he has agency even in the "real" world, which calls into question which set of actions is the original and which mirrors the other.
- I assumed that the two universes exist separately, but in symbiosis: each has an effect on the other one. When Finn or The Man Upstairs builds things in the real world, people in the LEGO world build the same things. When Emmet starts to get through to Lord Business, The Man Upstairs suddenly starts seeing things from his son's point of view. Meanwhile, the barrier between the worlds is weak enough that little things like band-aids, glue tubes and on occasion even LEGO people can "fall" from one into the other.
- The way this troper looks at it, it's a bit like the two worlds in Darkseed. They mirror each other to an extent, and things done in one world can affect the other, but it's not always consistent.
- Is Unikitty a Lego creature that the The Man Upstairs bought and assembled according to instructions, or did Finn build her out of spare pieces? If it's the former, does that mean he owns a spacesuit-variant Unikitty? And if it's the latter, where could her faceplate have come from originally?
- It could be that most of the figures are either custom or specialty made. The main characters- the entirety of Wyldstyle, Vitruvius, President Business and Emmet's hairpiece and torso are all unique to the film.
- Or they come from fictional sets that don't exist in real life, just in the film's world. A reverse Celebrity Paradox, in a way.
- But in the movie, the only time we see Uni-Kitty in the real world is when she's wearing her spacesuit. In that case, the other versions of her in the Lego world are all depicted in Finn's mind.
- The primary component of any superglue remover is (CH3)2CO or Acetone, which ironically is the exact same base component used in nail polish remover- which killed Good Cop. And as any pro-modeler will know, super glue is near impossible to remove from painted/ machine printed plastic, because the remover not only removes paint but also deforms the ABS plastic molecules of LEGO . Thus, how exactly was Kragle defeated if Finn and Dad had to invoke an even more dangerous substance into their world?
- The watering can with the remover might have just been Finn's dad playing along for the story. Afterward he might have spent some time personally scraping off the glue with his Exact-o-knife, like he intended to do with the glue on Emmet's back.
- Yes, the watering can is just Finn's dad playing along. In the real-life segment, nothing comes out of it, and he is shown doing something more complicated to remove the glue (though I can't remember what).
- They were using a can of Brand X Super Glue Remover in the real life scenes, hence this headscratcher.
- Acetone and similar chemicals are usually diluted according to the application they're being used for. That's probably the case here. Finn's dad seems to be using it with great care not to damage the pieces, hence why the giant watering can was just being used as a prop for storytelling and he's seen handling the sets and minifigures himself afterward. And of course, if any parts get damaged, it's LEGO— the parts can probably be replaced, and it won't affect or traumatize the characters in the LEGO world unless that's part of the story Finn uses them to tell.
- The superglue remover was clearly labeled as Mineral Spirits, which does not contain acetone. This troper, in the name of experimentation, earlier dropped two identical yellow 1x1 Lego bricks into samples of acetone and mineral spirits. Mineral spirits do not deform Lego bricks. At least, not over the course of two hours.
Why need a hyperdrive?
- When the characters needed to build an Octan ship, why did they need to gain a hyperdrive at all? All they really needed was the ship's chassis, since the trip to the headquarters doesn't look long enough to justify needing a hyperdrive.
- The instructions said so.
- Those laser scanners might be able to scan within the ship to identify that it is indeed something from Octan. If so, they'd want to make the ship as much like the real deal as possible.
- The hyperdrive might have simply been the ship's engine, and building and using a different one would have been visible.
- With more complicated builds (especially LEGO Technic), you'll find that the engine is inextricably linked to the chassis. It's easier to ensure structural security if you can't remove inner pieces, otherwise, the ship could be completely hollowed out and much more prone to damages. This is why the giant submarine made by the master builders fell apart so easily.
- A freeze-frame of the Octan delivery ship reveals that the hyperdrive is on the outside of the ship, on the underside. Levitation effects also come from it, suggesting the hyperdrive is what let's the ship float in the first place. So they couldn't get away with not including it because it would be visible to security and without it the ship can't fly.
- Is it just me, or did the writers and for that matter, Finn really not like Green Lantern?
- Given Animation Lead Time, it might have been a reference to the poorly-reviewed movie.
- Given GL's costume seems to be the same one as said poorly reviewed movie, that's probably the case
- Sorta weird that this came out just weeks after another movie that had GL be a Butt Monkey.
- So, Metalbeard has a cyborg body because he lost everything 'except his head'. So he was able to escape with his head (and a few organs), build a new body, and make it work. So how come Vitruvius is permanently killed from getting his head cut off?
- Because Finn decided he died, and so he did. Plus, he was done in by a penny, rather than by other LEGO weapons.
- Vitruvius's neck peg may have been severed when being beheaded. Without a neck peg, he can't be put back together, therefore he dies.
- But it you look closely at that scene, the neck peg is still intact.
- Remember, Metalbeard escaped with only his head... and his organs. Vitruvius didn't even have those.
- Also, even before Metalbeard had his robot body, he had his trademark metal beard. Maybe it includes built-in life support. Alternatively, maybe he just could survive for a few minutes longer without his body because he was still young, and the robot body was built quickly enough to keep him alive after that.
- Maybe Vitruvius just decided it was his time to die. After all, he got to come back as a ghost, just like Obi-Wan! That's pretty cool.
- If Lord/President Business managed to get the Kragle 8 years prior to the events of the movie, why did he wait 8 years to use it?
- Maybe he needed time to set up the infrastructure.
- I've heard it explained as Finn being eight and a half years old (after all, the movie does specify "eight and a half years later", and kids are much more likely to express their age in half- and quarter-years than adults). The Man Upstairs might have bought the Kragle when he was born as a precaution but didn't feel the need to use it (or just didn't get around to it) until Finn was old enough to be a danger to his dad's elaborate LEGO layouts. Since Finn is the one creating the story, he probably based it on what he knew about his dad's plans to glue the layouts.
- Because he needed that time to get things exactly the way he wanted them. Notice that in the beginning of the movie, Emmet and his crew are still destroying "weird" stuff. He needed to catch the master builders and put them in his Matrixy thing to get the instructions for everything as well.
- The Man Upstairs seems rather surprised when he first sees his son playing; maybe it never actually came up before. Doylistly speaking, it's also a very likely reference to 8½, a movie that's (not coincidentally) about creative vision.
Why invite the daughter?
- Finn has proven to his dad that not only does he understand the LEGO system properly, but he's also shown off both his creative side and that he has enough raw building skill to make a real-life LEGO Master blush. So why exactly are we allowing the little girl that makes hostile aliens out of duplo to play with the huge, expensive, complicated sets as well? She hasn't exactly done anything to show that she's ready for the big stuff.
- That is presumably going to be developed in the sequel.
- The Man Upstairs' epiphany is not so much that Finn has proven himself worthy of playing with his Lego, it's that insisting on keeping everything perfect by keeping his kids from playing with his Lego makes him the bad guy. Part of his loosening up and becoming a better parent is letting both of his kids play with his toys.
- The argument isn't so much that she isn't worthy, it's that she's too young. If she's mainly using Duplo, it's highly likely that she's still at the age where choking hazards are a very real danger.
- It's possible Finn's dad would be present to supervise her during LEGO playtime.
- The dad seems to be the sort to overdo things. He learned that being uptight about the Legos is bad so he then really loosens up on their usage, past what is reasonable and/or safe.
- Have you ever tried to deny a toddler something they've seen someone else get? Dad's just pre-emptively saving himself a hell of a screaming-fit.
- Though we don't know the context, for all we know, if he never said "She can play down here" she would probably be blissfully ignorant and play with her own toys instead. One thing about toddlers is that if she did throw a fit, she'd forget all about it the next day until someone brings it up
- It could be that she's just bringing her own Lego toys to the table to play with. I remember bringing some of my toys to play with along side my brother's Legos like Polly Pocket and My Little Pet Shop. Finn himself used a bandage, a penny, and crazy glue as part of his story. Finn just might be at that age where he's not be happy to have to share with his sister, but that doesn't mean that she's not old enough or creative enough to play with the big kid kits too.
The media in Bricksburg
- Emmet mentions to Bad Cop that he "watches a lot of cop shows on TV". Yet by this point in the film it has been clearly established that the only show that gets any real screen time in Bricksburg is the mind-numbing "Where Are My Pants?". Therefore it begs the question: just what is allowed to be on TV there... or has Emmet been watching unapproved shows on the sly (which seems unlikely given his conformist attitude)?
- It seems unlikely there'd just be the one show. "Where Are My Pants?" is probably just the most popular one.
- In that case, that makes one wonder how sucky the cop show could be.
- Also, Emmet instantly recognizes Batman and the Star Wars cast, implying that the LEGO world has a pop culture which is somewhat similar to ours.
What is the central conflict?
- What's the problem exactly? The dad obviously isn't obsessively spending too much time with his Legos if Finn can spend several days messing them up. The dad isn't being too controlling since there's space allocated for Finn to use his own Legos. If anything the kid comes off as whiny for wanting to use the intense amount of work the dad put in for his own play time. Is there anything better then "Old people shouldn't build with Legos, that's creepy" or "Parents aren't allowed to have their own hobbies"?
- The Aesop is more likely just that the dad is taking a kids game more seriously than it was intended. Honestly, a lot of media does this- Toy Story 2, The Simpsons (the Treehouse of Horror ep with "The Collector")...the idea is that toys are meant to be played with by children and getting upset with your son because he wants to play with your toys is being Scrooge-lite; the dad doesn't really treat what he is doing as "play time" either, more like Serious Business. You could also say that the lesson is merely about sharing. Remember that the problem with Lord Business is less that he desires Order than that he has taken that desire too far. And while the kid does have his own space, the dad has taken up the entire basement for his. Since the dad is the dad, he has ultimate authority over who gets to play with what and how much and he is using it for himself, even if he means no ill-will by doing so.
- "To choose Order over Disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder." (Principia Discordia) Remember the beginning, when the construction crews are also destroying the buildings that don't fit in with "The Instructions". A big part of the Aesop is about creativity and being willing to accept others' ideas, even if they don't fit in with your own preconceived notions.
- There's also the fact that, if you look at Finn's LEG Os, he only has large, blocky, mismatched, kidsy LEGO pieces. I know that as a kid, I hated being confined to mismatched large piece when I wanted to build complex creations that had color schemes out of smaller pieces. The problem here is that Finn has been restrained to basic pieces when he's been ready to move up to more advanced sets and pieces for awhile.
- Finn doesn't want to play near his father, he wants to play with his father. He looks at what he's created (Cloudcuckooland), a bizarre hodgepodge of mismatched sets, created on the fly with no unifying concept or vision. Pure chaos. And he looks at what his father's created: amazing, elaborate, sweeping landscapes, but they're boring. There's no creativity, they're built entirely according to the instruction manuals with nothing of the creator put into them. Pure order. Neither is complete without the other. So he thinks, imagine what I could build if I had my father helping me, if I had his meticulous attention to detail and unlimited resources to buy new sets to help me realize my vision. And he creates a narrative to explain how these two approaches to playing with Legos could combine, which is the movie. That's the conflict: hey, Dad, quit dismissing my approach as kid's stuff and help me, teach me, play with me.
- And as for your first point, obviously The Man Upstairs must have been at work.
- If young Finn is the one telling the story in the present day, then who's the storyteller setting up the plot by having Lord Business come into conflict with Vitruvius, and stealing the Kragle 8 1/2 years ago? Is it the father? Is it young Finn telling a flashback?
- Could be that it's just in Lego-terms- Year Inside, Hour Outside.
- That actually makes sense, if Finn is doing all this while his dad is at work. Eight-hour workday plus commute time? Eight and a half years or so.
Lord Business's Robo-workers
- Did anyone else feel bad whenever the heroes cut, mow, or blew up Lord Business's robot minions? It's obvious they weren't mindless and seemed to have their own personalities, not to mention some self preservation when one tried running away in fear of Good Cop/Bad Cop after they failed to kill Emmet.
- Self-preservation can be programmed into a droid. It's a handy feature because it lets you cut costs for every droid that lives.
- I don't think they really "die", even if their heads are severed. I'm not sure they even feel pain. In any case, they can just be put back together and given a place in the post-ending world.
- Rooting for the Empire much? We are talking about the evil minions, right? So either A) they're just robots, and they're machines that can't be killed because they're not really "alive"; or B) they have personalities and can make choices, so they chose to continue being evil minions rather than rebelling, thus they are morally equivalent to Stormtroopers. Did we feel bad when Han and Luke blasted the Stormtroopers aboard the Death Star?
- Yeah, it's not like there's such a thing as Slave Mooks or anything...
- Woah friend, it is a very common trope that things can have consciousnesses but an inability to go against certain orders, magic mind control, programmed blocks in the character's operating code, the robots may have enough free will to have their own personalities but still have to be subservient to Lord Business.
- They are made of LEGO; chances are that even if they're completely taken apart, they can just be put back together. 'Death' is a bit of a slippery concept when you're dealing with toys that are expressly designed to be taken apart and put back together in different combinations, after all.
- Something after Emmet falls into the abyss seems to confuse me...it's almost like Finn didn't realize he dropped Emmet since he manages to step on him while running around and then picks him up like he didn't see him fall or if he wasn't the one who made him pull the Heroic Sacrifice in his imagination.
- Finn was probably just going to drop him onto the table when he heard either his mom or "The Man Upstairs" calling for him and rushed upstairs, accidentally dropping Emmet onto the ground in the process.
- As for not realizing, Emmett's 'Heroic Sacrifice' was probably Finn throwing him somewhere at random in the room, and then getting a bit hyper and carried away by playing with the others until he stepped on him; the moment there was probably Finn realizing something along the lines of "Oh, that's where you got to."
What sort of accent does Good Cop/Bad Cop have?
- It goes from sort of Northern Irish to really Scottish to almost southern Irish to a bit American. Liam Neeson's Northern Irish, and I'm from the Republic of Ireland, so I should be able to work this out, but... I really can't.
- Liam seems to have been changing the voices for the character throughout production. In one behind the scenes video, we hear Good Cop's voice as somewhat less high pitched and closer to Bad Cop's.
- If we take The Reveal as an indication, then this could simply be a result of Finn being inconsistent when playing as Good Cop/Bad Cop since he has two voices to act out, whereas all his other characters only have one. The character's also the only one with a non-American accent; Finn just might not be very good at accents beyond a generic Irish accent that goes higher or lower pitched depending on the character.
The tracking device
- When exactly did the tracking device get stuck to Emmet? If you're watching the movie with this question in mind, it seems like the perfect place for it to happen is when Emmet gets shot on the roof of the train in the Wild West. But there's a clear shot of his legs after that, when the heroes are falling off the bridge, and his legs are clean. It seems to just appear out of nowhere when Emmet's entering the Dog.
- Finn forgot about it.
- The tracking device was added to Emmet when he was shot on the bridge. But, in Doylist terms, we don't see it until the Dog because in the story the tracking device is supposed to be a small object easily unnoticed by the other characters until it's too late, whereas in the LEGO world it's a large red circular piece plugged into his leg that you would have to be blind not to notice. As it would make just as little — if not less — sense for the characters to act like they hadn't noticed the huge red blinking object on Emmet's leg before the bad guys showed up, the filmmakers fudged it a little bit to preserve the intent of the tracking device rather than the 'reality', such as it was, and thus to preserve the suspense and surprise of the payoff. Either way someone was going to notice the discrepancy and complain about it, so they went with the way that arguably worked better for the story.
- I remember playing with Legos with my brother and wanting something to happen but didn't have a good reason for it to happen. So I would add something and my brother and I would agree that it was there along just to keep the story going Finn might have done a similar thing.
How did Vitruvius survive?
- How did Vitruvius survive the presumably long fall, into what was presumably a lava filled crevasse, in the Kragle chamber at the start of the movie?
- Well, considering Finn controls the plot, Vitruvius could be Not Quite Dead or Only Mostly Dead.
- He IS a wizard. He probably cast a floating spell. BUT then there's the question, do they actually have the characters powers, or is it a Buzz Lightyear kind of thing?
Emmet's knowledge of the Octan Tower
- We learn several things about the Octan Tower over the course of the movie: one, the Kragle is on the infinitieth floor, ie the top. Two, a 'roof team' of robots frequently rebuild the tower to be even higher. And yet, Emmet proclaims that his knowledge of the tower is good enough to 'get them anywhere' as he and other builders built the tower; however, it is likely that they only built a small portion of what is now a ridiculously big tower. As such, how did Emmet possess knowledge of the floors of the tower not built by him, but were certainly needed to be accessed for his plan (as the Kragle was on the top floor)?
- Emmet didn't say he'd built the tower; he said he'd built many just like it. He understands the underlying rules and instructions behind the tower, even though he didn't build it (all).
- The robots follow the instructions, which Emmet looked at himself when building the small portion.
- Maybe, but by that logic every floor of the tower would be identical to the original floors, which we know is not the case.
- The brilliant thing about the framing device of the movie is that any such Plot Holes in the Lego world can be explained away by "Finn didn't think of that."
- Perhaps, but that seems a bit lazy. A more accurate response would be "the writers didn't think of that".
- If you prefer Doylist to Watsonian explanations, sure. Whatever floats your boat.
- Emmet is a construction worker. He likely helped build it in the first place.
- Metalbeard was there once too, and had seen rooms like the relic room and the Think Tank. So he could have aided them with getting around the place.
- Also, you seem to misunderstand that the "roof team" bit was just a throwaway gag. President Business was told "coffee sales are through the roof," to which he responds by telling them to make that roof higher, leading to the gag. One of the robots took his command literally, but as it wasn't a serious plot development, it isn't acknowledged in the narrative. Either the roof team gave up when they realized the misunderstanding, or whatever they did wasn't drastic enough to throw Emmet off.
- One of the key things about Lord Business is his complete lack of creativity and his insistence on making and following instructions to a fault. While the tower might have some unique rooms, in fundamentals it is nevertheless almost certainly built in exactly the same way as every other skyscraper he has had built in the LEGO world, meaning there will be lots of ducts and corridors and so forth that lead to key places in the building. And for those parts of the structure that might be different, there will also almost certainly be conveniently placed maps and instructions and directions guiding exactly how someone who might be unfamiliar with the exact nature of this particular structure might find their way around.
Security Cameras and the Underground Chamber
- If Octan had security cameras installed watching Emmet touch the Piece of Resistance, then that must mean they put them in that underground chamber a while ago; in which case, wouldn't they have found the Piece in doing so, retrieved it and destroyed it? And for that matter, how did they get Emmet out of the underground chamber? He fell down a very specific hole, down a very specific route (it forks at times), and there doesn't seem to be any other way out. There's no way they could get a helicopter down there, so how did they get down there, find him unconscious and get him back out?
- Maybe Wyldstyle got to him first and got him out, only for Bad Cop to take him away from her. Or, perhaps more likely considering that touching the piece gave Emmet visions of the real world and the humans, Finn just moved him to where Bad Cop was and went straight to the interrogation. As for the Piece of Resistance, I'd have to say either they mistook it for just a regular red LEGO brick (I'll admit I did the first time I saw the movie) or because it apparently is able to call Emmet towards it, it has some kind of magic that enables it to make itself seen only when someone who is meant to find it appears.
Epic list of Headscratchers
- Seemed pointless to make an individual folder for every one of these, so here they are:
- The Micro Managers supposedly 'overlooked' the gang when the submarine blew up. However, one of the Micro Managers can clearly be seen scanning the double decker couch, where they were all hidden, so how did they miss that? Surely a scanner would be able to see inside the couch?
- Guess not. Bad Cop mentioned that they found the double decker couch, so that's just showing that.
- Or the Micro Managers don't have X-Ray vision. They wouldn't need it since the submarine was destroyed so thoroughly.
- Similarly, when Wyldstyle's doing her motivational speech near the end, one of the clips of Emmet she shows is of him and the others in the couch; if they were monitoring the security footage, why didn't they see them? And for that matter, how was that footage even filmed? Was there just a random floating security camera in the middle of the ocean?
- Finn managed to distract his dad long enough to put Emmet back, sure, but how did he manage to get away with acting out that epic scene in which Emmet builds the mech and beats up all the Micro Managers? Surely his dad would have heard all the noise and activity and told him off, but the next time we see him is during Emmet's speech at the end.
- My own theory is that Finn actually just imagined that part and wasn't able to build the mech. He just put Emmet in the tower and pretended that he got there using the mech, and since the Lego world is a manifestation of Finn's imagination, that was enough to make it happen there.
- The Mech, despite how awesome it looks, is largely unmodified, with extra "Armor" attached to it's limbs, and a cockpit that largely was the same as a excavator, just raised 90 degrees. Bulldozer scoops as shoulder armor, wrecking ball cranes, excavator arms, more excavator arms attached somewhat roughly to the original treads. It was largely just big "Chunks" as opposed to the kind of building the rest of the designs were.
- Where did Bad Cop pull that marker from to draw his face back on? Mere Ass Pull perhaps?
- Finn did it.
- It's one of Lord Business's relics. The same one Uni Kitty swiped to draw on her Bizniz Kitty disguise.
- In the "Where Are My Pants?" studio, when the crew hijack it, the two actors are playing their role, but there doesn't seem to be anybody operating the cameras or mics etc. Are they really so obsessed with their job that they just repeat the line over and over in front of the camera for all eternity?
- Not exactly. The video game reveals there's an actual storyline formula to the show.
- How did Batman know to save Emmet, Wyldstyle and Vitruvius when they were falling? Did he just happen to fly by in the Batwing?
- Why did Vitruvius hide in the Old West when there were clearly Lord Business' forces (eg Sheriff Not-A-Robot) operating there? Surely Cloud Cuckoo Land would have been a better place to hide?
- It didn't seem like he was "hiding;" he didn't have a disguise or anything.
- One of the Running Gags is that Vitruvius keeps blundering around the place because he's blind. Chances are, he thought he might be somewhere where a blind wizard playing the piano was perfectly inconspicuous.
- The two birds that Vitruvius sends to email the Master Builders to tell them to meet at Cloud Cuckoo Land never make it out the window, so how did all the other Master Builders know to turn up?
- Maybe Wyldstyle contacted them and didn't tell Vitruvius about the birds to spare him the embarrassment. Or they did make it out later offscreen.
- Just rewatched the scene; they do make it out the window, they just get smashed doing so. Maybe they can pull themselves back together.
- Where does Wyldstyle's Wild West outfit go? She seems to randomly change back just before they enter Emmet's mind. Come to think of it, so does Emmet's.
- Wyldstyle walks offscreen for a few seconds right before entering Emmet's mind, likely finding a pair in Vitruvius' dwelling. Weak justification, but that seems to be the best theory.
- The last one: the machine that turns President Business into Lord Business clearly takes off his brown hairpiece and replaces it with his epic red coffee cup helmet, so why does he have it on under the helmet when Emmet knocks it off him at the end? It can't be a mistake on Finn's part, as he wouldn't be able to put two Lego headpieces on one minifigure at a time.
- At the beginning when President Business' hair is taken off, it's more of a joke about the fact that the character is a Lego minifigure. The part at the end is supposed to be relatively serious so the hair stays simply because it's part of his design. There's also the part at the beginning where Emmet "gets dressed" by placing his torso piece on his body as if it were a shirt. when that would be impossible. The movie generally treats the characters as real people, but the parts where they do remove their hairpieces or do similar things are just jokes. Kind of like a minifigure version of Furry Reminder.
Whew. There we go. By the way, I'm putting these forwards working under the interpretation that the Lego world and the real world are two seperate coexisting universes that Finn is just able to manipulate.
How did Emmet even know who Batman was?
It's implied all these characters live in their respective (lego) continuities. And it's been stated that there have been walls separating all the worlds for a long time, isolating everyone from each-other. Emmet recognizing Batman is no different than if Sora from Kingdom Hearts
recognized all the Disney Characters by their celebrity status before even meeting them.
- Finn knows who Batman is, so of course Emmet, who is the hero of Finn's game, knows who Batman is. If you want an "in-game" explanation, it's revealed that Emmet has been able to perceive the outside world from time to time, like what the Man Upstairs's hand. He could have heard about Batman that way.
- Or perhaps Bricksburg has Batman comics.
- I don't know, the movie outright states that Bricksburg is supposed to be heavily generic/boring/unimaginative. I can't imagine President Business would allow something as exciting as Batman comics in his world.
- Maybe they're Comics Code-era Batman comics?
- Perhaps Batman actually operates in Bricksburg rather than Gotham City in this continuity? Or in a more 'meta' sense, rather than building two different-but-not-that-different urban environments, one to represent Gotham City and the other to represent the generic American city that Bricksburg represents, the Man Upstairs just combined the two and built any Batman-themed dioramas as taking place in 'Bricksburg', thus meaning that for the inhabitants of the LEGO World, Batman is as good as based in Bricksburg.
Kragle and the spraying machines
So, Lord Business built special machines to spray the Kragle. But these machines are made out of Lego bricks. So why doesn't the Kragle just get stuck inside them, gluing everything up?
- The same reason why glue doesn't stay stuck inside the bottles, because it's still in liquid form and hasn't been exposed to air yet.
What was the point of telling the prophecy to Lord Business?
Seriously. What good did it do? All it did was to make him aware of the potential danger and prepare himself for it. Had Vitruvius kept his mouth shut, he could quietly work on a plan against Lord Business' plans without him actively trying to stop it, and allow for attacking him by surprise.
- At the very least, it was a distraction for Business. He obviously spent at least some time obsessing over the prophecy, and one could assume that this delayed his plans, as he tried to take that extra information into account. The fact that Vitruvius was lying to his face tends to reinforce this idea.
- It could have been as a Macguffin Delivery Service. Best case scenario: Lord Business finds the Piece and takes it to his lair, letting the Master Builders steal and place it on the Kragle there too.
The denouement (spoilers)
As much as I absolutely love
this movie, lately I've been thinking that it could've used more of a denouement (meaning, the final scenes after the conflict is resolved). It makes sense for Emmet to talk to Lord Business instead of beating him up or killing him, because he's just that kind of guy. And then since the two of them shared that moment and Business put the Piece of Resistance on the Kragle by his own hand, it makes sense for them to sort of become friends. But then during the very last scene, they're ALL shown together as a group, and I have a hard time believing that all of them would forgive Business that easily. He killed Vitruvius (he's a ghost, but it seems like death and becoming a ghost must impair him somehow, or else why would it matter whether anyone else in the movie lived or died?), he left Metalbeard a severed head (again, he has a new body, but he's clearly unhappy with it as he calls it a 'useless hunk of garbage' and seems to much prefer his original body), he kidnapped and tortured Master Builders for years, and his minions wreaked havok all over the world and destroyed Cloud Cuckooland (particularly traumatizing Unikitty)
. I realize that the real-world context of The Man Upstairs means that the only thing Lord Business "really" did was Kragle everything and the rest of it was just Finn exaggerating, but that threatens the reality of the story and characters that we are supposed to care about. And of course, Emmet had been to the real world and saw that The Man Upstairs was behind it all, but he doesn't seem like he understands what's going on, and it's even more doubtful he could explain it to the others, especially in such a short time. It seems to me that he would've talked to Lord Business instead of fighting anyway and the real-world scenes mostly just provide a new context for the audience (and give Emmet a way to return from his Heroic Sacrifice
as a Master Builder). Obviously, the big deal is that Lord Business decided not to end the world and used the anti-Kragle, and I suppose that is a sort of redemption, but that doesn't mean everything else he did shouldn't count against him.
tl;dr It's great that Lord Business is forgiven in the end, but it feels much too easy given how depraved a villain he was and the way he's personally hurt many of the main characters. The denouement could have spent some time showing us why the others are willing to forgive him, or him getting some sort of comeuppance.
- The other characters are all Finn, and Lord Business represents his father. When Finn reconciles with his father, all the characters reconcile with Lord Business. They can't hold any grudges that Finn doesn't want them to hold, and Finn has likely been raised on stories of Easily Forgiven Heel Face Turns like Darth Vader at the end of Jedi. Finn doesn't want his father to get a "comeuppance," he just wants his father's love and acceptance.
- I guess that's probably the reason; I can't really argue with it. And I guess I knew that was it, it's just that I'm not entirely comfortable viewing the whole movie as a metaphor for Finn's conflict with his dad because it leads to situations like this where it feels like what the characters did and who they are wasn't important. To me, the movie really seems like it's about Emmet more than it is about Finn. But I guess this is just another thing that makes the movie great and thought-provoking.