Brick Like Me
Director: Matthew Nastuk
Synopsis: Homer dreams he’s stuck in a Lego world in order to keep his kids close to him forever.
Discussion: I love kids’ movies. I’m a huge Disney fan and, based on recommendations from everyone I know, I saw The Lego Movie. And hated it. Sure, it was well animated but it lacked the depth of story I’m used to in so many other films. It was like it was squarely aimed at brain damaged five year olds… or am I thinking of seasons 24 and 25 of The Simpsons?
In any case, I was so hoping this episode would be much more than just a gimmick, and it got halfway there. Homer, in Lego Springfield, starts hallucinating that he’s made of squishy meat and has flashbacks to playing toys with Lisa until he decides to leave the hard plasticy world and return to the one where he’s made of fleshy meat. I was willing to buy the story until Homer told Lisa he can’t stop her growing up. Seriously, he said that. Just because Lisa has been 8 for the past thirty years doesn’t mean she won’t grow up, apparently.
The mix of animation used, at first, seemed like they ran out of money and had to insert their regular animation into it, until it becomes clear that this is part of the story. Most characters from the show are represented in Lego, which is a welcome touch because everyone likes to see their favourite characters in a different light sometimes.
As for the story, I was underwhelmed. While I can appreciate the essence of what Homer was trying to do, it really only seemed like an excuse to throw around as many Lego sets and puns as possible. Homer, by self admission, doesn’t enjoy playing imaginary tea parties with Lisa so to have an episode set around building a mini Lego Springfield in order to spend more time with her… well, it’s been done before and much better. Remember Daddy-Daughter Days when Homer was betting on Lisa’s sports picks?And what about Bart? Surely he and Homer could have some real fun bonding over weirdo Lego sets.
Only around 4.5 million Americans watched this episode, proving that the average viewer cannot be sucked into watching a gimmick of a once-favourite television show. It’s a shame, really, but hey, you can’t blame the writers for trying any old gimmick.