The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part literally builds on the first film, exploring how a bright and positive hero like Emmet deals with a world in which everything is not actually awesome. Screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who also directed the first LEGO Movie, shared how our hero’s choices act as a critique on toxic masculinity as well as how they themselves expanded on the legacy of the franchise’s previous films.
Screen Rant: I just wanna know what draws you guys back to animation again and again, because you keep pushing boundaries in it – both visually and in terms of story.
Chris Miller: Well, that’s a big part of it. We feel like animation is a medium and not a genre, and there’s so many different ways to tell a story. This past year and a half, we spent working a lot on these two animated movies that couldn’t look more different but also have a lot in common in terms of a lot of the same themes like collaboration and inclusion and all sorts of stuff like that. And also try to put out a positive message and be funny and full of heart.
Phil Lord: And they’re both really ambitious, that’s another thing that we’re proud of. Both of these movies are going for it and not playing it safe.
Screen Rant: One of the themes that I noticed at least was in this last movie especially, but also in the original LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman, was sort of a critique on toxic masculinity.
Phil Lord: A little bit.
Screen Rant: We’ve got Emmet who thinks he’s got to toughen up to save the day, but it’s his soft side that wins. And of course Batman is a parody of a lone wolf, but really he just needs love.
Chris Miller: Then he found love!
Phil Lord: He’s psychologically a disaster.
Screen Rant: So was that a conscious choice that you guys made, and how did you approach that subject?
Chris Miller: From the very beginning, we were thinking about [how] we made this song in the first one called “Everything is Awesome,” and it’s not really true. You know, everything in the world isn’t actually awesome. There’s a point when you grow up and you start to realize that, and you can make a choice in your life. Once I realize that, am I gonna get cynical and angry and harden my heart, or are you gonna make a choice to be positive and empathetic and kind? And we think that’s actually a more mature thing to do, and so…
Phil Lord: When you’re a middle schooler, you perform this idea of what a grown-up is supposed to act like. You’re supposed to be above it all, and you’re basically just protecting yourself from vulnerability. And when you grow out of that, ideally, at least we’ve figured out that it’s more brave and more mature to be kind.
Screen Rant: Speaking of “Everything is Awesome,” one thing I found fascinating was how the Systar System really was just like a musical. It really did feel like music was the universal language.
Chris Miller: They love pop music there.
Screen Rant: What was the inspiration behind that?
Chris Miller: A lot of it was watching my kids and other families really just dance around to “Everything Is Awesome” and have them be so happy and full of joy, and thinking, “Well, if we’re gonna do another movie, we should build on that idea. What if the sister is really into pop music that a kid who’s 13 who wants to be cool would find super gross?”
Phil Lord: He thinks it’s really annoying.
Chris Miller: So the idea that that would be a really aggravating thing to him seemed like it was a funny place to start. Then we got to work with a lot of really cool and talented musicians and have all these funny songs.
Phil Lord: And we fell for the songs, you now, and just the act of trying to make them really good and appealing and say something. It’s a delightful challenge.
Screen Rant: I noticed the Flash was just not really there with the Justice League.
Chris Miller: He is… Oh, he wasn’t in the Systar System. He was moving so fast, he was moving so fast.
Phil Lord: He’s really busy.
Chris Miller: There’s a lot to do before the big ceremony. You probably didn’t notice him zipping in the background.
Phil Lord: A lot of errands that he runs. That was not by design. He winds up in the spaceship, though, right? He doesn’t quite make the trip.
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019