Commentary| During a time in which the unemployment rate (now calculated differently by this current presidential administration) has dropped to a five year low of 6.6 percent, much ado is being made of the arch-villain Lord Business from The Lego Movie. Lord Business is voiced by Will Ferrell. He lives in a sinister high-rise office building secluded from the peon worker drones slaving away in the real world.
Lego Movie’s Lord Business
While the Lego builders (remember President Obama’s famous gaffe “you didn’t build that, somebody else built that for you.”?) are slaving away on worksites across the Lego world, Lord Business is busily calculating their every move. Even worse, in addition to his harsh regulations and manipulative ruling style, Lord Business is conspiring their downfall.
Lord Business the Evil Capitalist?
Laconically put, Lord Business is emblematic of capitalist corporations…allegedly. Is it possible that middle and upper class (economically speaking) moviegoers across America are sitting in their mildly comfortably movie chairs with popcorn in their laps, and a watered-down diet Coke in their shallow cupholders, paying to watch a movie that demonizes their American dreams? Yes, anything is possible and quite frankly, naming the arch-villain Lord Business certainly does not help one argue to the contrary. Still, why would anybody want to educate America’s youth to feel that business leaders behave criminally and that working in unison with their fellow man in an aspiration-less world is far preferable?
Lego Movie Politics
Hold it just a minute conspiracy theorists! Screech!!! Keep pedaling those brakes because there is another side to this story of alleged liberal advocacy. What about the filmmakers’ emphasis on unleashing one’s master builder? The whole purpose of the movie is to realize one’s true talent and to allow feelings of uniqueness to bubble to the surface. Sure, there may be socialist overtones but there are conservative messages as well and I have not read any complaints about those!
Political Messages in Children’s Movies
Could it be that The Lego Movie is really complex? Maybe there are so many jokes and so many conflicting messages that to sort through them all is to place oneself in a rabbit’s warren and hope to find the exit? Perhaps critics on both sides of the political aisle need to examine the mathematical aphorism “the whole equals the sum of its parts.” Deconstructing children’s movies, particularly ones that are message-laden in multiple directions, might unearth overtones that cover the entire political spectrum. There is a ghost in this machine, but it is actually a group a ghosts. Sorry if we have dampened the spirits of political knee-jerk-reaction speculators.