In the Lego universe there is the evil Lord Business who is trying to create order through a super weapon called the Kragle. Trying to stop him is Vitruvious and the rest of the master builders who are looking for the specialto fulfill the prophecy that will stop Lord Business. The special ends up being Emmett, a non-descript construction worker who has no problem with the order that Lord Business is creating.
In a nutshell, Lord Business is bad because he wants to suppress creativity and the individual, and the Master Builders are good because they're out to destroy what Lord Business is doing.
The first time watching it, I cheered for Emmet and his master builder sidekicks to stop the evil Lord Business. I saw this as a commentary on the fact that we lose our childlike innocence and wonder and grow up way too fast. And the twist at the end where Lord Business turned out to be the father of the kid telling the story? That was kind of brilliant. (Sorry, spoiler alert!)
The second time I watched The Lego Movie it wasn't so black and white.
While Lord Business may have taken his need for order too far, that need for order isn't a bad thing. We need order for schools, communities, countries, and especially families to function. This is where I think The Lego Movie does a disservice as it presents the struggle against Lord Business in almost black and white terms.
The real world isn't black or white. We need to teach our children that it's important for them to think outside of the box, to rearrange things, to dream and believe they can do anything. In essence, we need to teach them to be a master builder.
We also need to teach our children that they doneed to follow instructions; they aren't the exception to the rule, and that they can't always go around destroying what others have built. In fact, Emmett and the master builders couldn't destroy Lord Business until they adopted some of the positive things that Lord Business was doing—following instructions and working together. Our children need to know there are times—in the family, at school, at work—when they'll need to be Lord Business.
Should our children be their own individual? Absolutely. Should they learn to question everything? Of course. Should they work together? Most definitely. Should they be Emmett and Lord Business? Yes, yes, yes!
This article was originally published on Smarter Parenting. It has been republished here with permission.