The Benefits of “Toy Films”
Is it just me, or is making movies for kids just the perfect little moneymaking machine? Think about it: if you make a great film with characters that the kids love, then you can turn around and make toys that the kids will love to. Then again, if you have toys that the kids love, then you can bring those toys to life on screen and the kids will love it even more. I mean, we all imagined that our toys came to life when we were kids, right? What is better than seeing our toys come to life on the big screen?
As I was going through some of my old things this past summer, I was surprised to find how many of my old toys were becoming films, or had started out as films. My Transformers, my Ninja Turtles, they’ve chipped a nice little niche for themselves in to the world of Hollywood films, especially kids films. It’s no big surprise then that Lego has now followed along.
As soon as I heard about The Lego Movie, I knew I would want to see it. I had spent more than enough hours creating my own worlds for people to live in. I was one of those people who was always amazed at those Lego statues that people would build, the ones who had enough time and patience to create something huge I have so many small pieces. When I saw the trailer for the new Lego movie, it was as if those same people had been recruited to build the world.
Clearly I’m not alone. From what I’m hearing, audiences and critics agree that The Lego Movie is definitely worth seeing. Is this really surprising? I’ve had enough Scholastic book orders go across my desk in the last two years to know that Lego seems to have had a resurgence recently. Two Christmases ago, one of my coworkers was on the hunt for anything Lego she could find. I remember her commenting on how the price of Lego seems to have gone up from the days when we used to play with it.
There are few things we love more, both as kids and as adults, then to see pieces of our past imaginations come to life. The success of the Toy Story movies more than proves that. We always imagined that our toys would come to life. For this new generation of kids, those toys are Legos. Those toys are Skylanders. Even Beyblades and Pokemon, made popular by their animes, seem to be hanging in there.
And why shouldn’t they? There are few things more powerful than a child’s imagination and creativity. Toys allow kids to bridge the gap between what they know and what they want to happen. And when things like The Lego Movie come out, it only makes them want to play all the more. The Lego Movie has been suggested to be little more than a marketing ploy, but I don’t see that. What I see is a generation of kids taking a step away from their iPods and their Nintendo DSes to watch a film that was literally made for them. And maybe, if they have some of that creative spark left inside them, then the Lego movie will have them making something of their own.
Besides, when’s the last time a movie made you want to build something?