“The Lego Movie” Title Sequence

“The Lego Movie” never fails to live up to its name as all aspects of the film are done entirely in lego animation, including the title sequence. Interestingly, the movie actually has no opening title sequence, and instead never reveals the title or any credits until the very end of the film. A deep look into the closing title sequence shows just how well the animation, lighting techniques, text integration, and all other forms of design aid in creating a fun, childish-like moment that serves as the perfect hoorah to such a vibrant and colorful movie.

The title sequence sticks with the movie’s overall theme of being entirely composed of Lego pieces and children’s toys. All the characters, props, and elements of the scenes are legos and toys, usually built to represent a greater object or a world. The sequence is organized in sets of frames, composed in a way where each frame has its own environment and mood associated with it. 

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For example, the very first environment the audience gets to view is a stage presented in legos with the words “The End” that transitions to the director credits and then to the rest of the sequence. (see images 1 and 2)

The effect of containing these scenes in box-like frames makes them feel small and personal, an accurate reflection of the experience of playing with legos. The atmosphere puts you in the space of a kid building worlds using their imagination and then seeing those worlds come to life before them, but all contained in the realistic setting of a box of legos.

Another aspect of this title sequence, and perhaps the most important and visually interesting, is the animation. The movement of these elements here resembles a stop motion type of animation, as in the pieces being individually moved bit by bit, and then those images are compiled together to form the animation. This makes the animation feel more spaced out; less fluid than a digital rendering, but still flowing nicely and cohesively. 

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An example of this can be seen in the fire that surrounds a toy robot in one of the scenes (see image 3). The blocks that make up the fire alter their heights and positioning to appear as though the flames are flickering realistically. The explosion in that very scene (see image 4) follows the same method of just repositioning the pieces and using color and movement to create a bright and engaging visual.

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The animation of the entire sequence can be summed up in this way as pieces being moved around incrementally, and then those movements being strung together to create one, flowing animation. It really heightens the building and creates a mood of playing with legos and keeps the tone of the sequence more realistic.

The typography and the credits of the sequence are carefully integrated into scenes but still maintain their own style enough to stand out. The animators seemed to take the approach of having text typed on top of solid, thin strips of color and then sprinkling those credits throughout the scene. 

They tended to have the typography reveal itself in some form of animation. After panning over the entire scene and showing off the assets of the stage, the camera will zoom in on the credits and linger long enough for the viewer to read them before transitioning on. 

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As you can see in images 5 and 6, the text becomes part of the objects in the scene while maintaining enough difference to be recognizable. This style works to keep everything looking cohesive, but the words are still visible enough that they take higher priority over the background when necessary.

The background music that plays throughout the entire sequence is the main theme song of the movie, “Everything is Awesome”. The combination of the innocent lyrics and the upbeat rhythm cause the scenes to radiate positive, childlike energy. It is a very bouncy song and creates a light and enjoyable atmosphere. 

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The other sounds that accompany the title sequence are sound effects that complement the animations happening at the time. For example, the explosion mentioned earlier, or the lasers that shoot at the spaceships in a different scene all have their own sound effects corresponding to the action taking place (see image 7). The sounds of blocks being placed fit the allusion of someone playing with legos while the more dramatic sounds would be ones that must come from the player’s own imagination. It all ultimately helps to contribute to that fun, carefree nature that the entire sequence embodies.

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The lighting of the sequence depends on the stages that are presented at certain times. In the scene with the dragon blowing fire onto a forest, the entire stage is very well lit and filled with bright greens and oranges (see image 8). Considering this is a scene that would be happening ‘outside’ in this world and that the fire would be a bright, and powerful source of light, it fits the mood of the scene well. 

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In contrast, scenes like the cave or the spray paint scene turn the brightness down to a much lower degree. They play with different color pallets that create mysterious atmospheres or instill a playful rebelliousness with vibrant color schemes. (see images 9 and 10).

And on the note of color, every single scene in the sequence manages to maintain a bright, and vivid color palette that pops and never seems too dull. It brings the entire animation energy and vibrancy that gives it a playful and dynamic mood.

This title sequence overflows with the joy that comes from playing with legos and letting your imagination wander. It carries that mood throughout and never fails to instill the viewer with bubbly, childish delight.


All images are screenshots taken from the “The Lego Movie” produced by Warners Bros. Pictures