Paddington and the LEGO Movies (Weekly Essay 1/30)

Without fail, anytime that I bring up recommendations for movies like Paddington 2, The LEGO Movie, or even Wreck-It Ralph and How to Train Your Dragon, it seems as though people look at me like I’ve just told them that time travel is possible if you just walk towards the SW edge of the flat-Earth and then do the hokey-pokey. My goal for this essay is to persuade you to watch these films by describing them as honestly as I can, and then winning you over by drawing comparisons between the individual films and other beloved titles.

Paddington 2 is the sequel to a movie that I didn’t care to see. For me, the first Paddington sounded like what I’m sure Paddington 2 sounds like to other people: it’s a kid’s movie about a silly bear that causes shenanigans. Well, I mean, yeah. You’re not wrong. What makes Paddington so special is that it strips away all pretense and inhibitions to leave you with nothing but pure innocence and bewilderment akin to that of a child. You’ll giggle, smile, and fall in love with a talking bear. The sequel is even better, too.

Similar to Terminator 2, The Godfather Part II, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and The Dark Knight, Paddington 2 takes what you loved about the first movie (characters) and adds emotional depth of which the surface was only scratched in the former film. Relationships expanded upon, lore added to, and new adventures to be had; Paddington 2 is most certainly a film that you don’t want to miss out on. Especially if your inhibitions lie in the title of the film.

The LEGO Movie is perhaps one of the greatest animated films of the century. Furthermore, The LEGO Batman Movie is just as good. Neither of those two claims are hyperbolic in the least. When you describe either of these films to somebody, they’re going to look at you like an idiot. “It’s a movie about plastic toys? Isn’t it just a commercial?” Well, let me fight your ignorance with information. Toy Story is a movie trilogy about plastic toys, and Marvel movies are just commercials for Marvel comics.

The LEGO Movie‘s (The Second Part coming out soon, by the way) are genuinely wonderful movies. They’re self-aware, witty, enjoyable, and unique as can be. If somebody were to draw comparisons between it and, say, The Emoji Movie, it would be because they have not seen either. While both take properties that have no real story of their own and turn them into movies, the quality of the films fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. If you want to be thoroughly impressed by the plot and tone of a movie that sounds like utter garbage on paper, I implore you to give the LEGO films a try.

Wreck-It Ralph and How to Train Your Dragon are films I thought everybody had seen and loved, until I tried to get my relatives to watch Ralph Breaks the Internet with me. The severity of their misunderstanding of either of these films borders on clinical incompetence, but honestly the term “average movie-goer” is miles above where they are on the “cinema appreciation” scale. If there were ever 3D animated films that capture the nuance and beauty of unlikely friendships (alongside Monsters Inc or Up), it would be these two movies.

The latter especially is a duo of films that are truly remarkable in every way, but mainly in its story and execution of said story being special and (dare I say…) believable. Yes, it’s a movie about a boy and his dragon but if that doesn’t sound fascinating then I expect you haven’t seen the movies about a short guy who delivers jewelry to the home of a giant eyeball. What makes all of the films I’ve mentioned today special is that they can take a premise that sounds laughably ridiculous, and deliver films that will leave you thinking, feeling, and believing in beauty that you can’t see in your daily life.

If you haven’t seen these movies, I honestly think that you are missing out on some things that you’ll (most likely) fall in love with. Of course, you might not like them and that’s completely fine because what matters is that you gave them a shot.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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