Set in a world populated by anthropomorphic Lego minifigures, the 2014 animated adventure comedy The Lego Movie tells the story of construction worker Emmet, whose ordinary life in the city of Bricksburg is turned upside down when he encounters a mysterious object and is identified as the prophesised 'Special', destined to save the world from the tyrannical Lord Business.
The BBFC gave The Lego Movie a U rating with the BBFC Insight 'mild fantasy violence and very mild bad language'. According to BBFC Guidelines, mild violence may be acceptable at U 'if it is justified by context (for example, comedic, animated, wholly unrealistic)'.
The Lego Movie features frequent fast-paced action sequences in which the heroes face explosive laser battles and high-speed chases with Lego robots and Lego skeletons. However, these colourfully animated action sequences are highly fantastical and packed with funny moments, keeping the tone light and silly. There is no use of realistic weaponry, and because all the characters are Lego toys we never see any blood, pain or injury detail. The occasional punches and kicks appear comic and unrealistic due to the Lego characters' limited movement, and we rarely see the blows connect. Additionally, the madcap action is offset by the film's heart-warming message and reassuring happy ending.
In perhaps the strongest sequence of violence, Emmet's mentor, Vitruvius, is beheaded by a flying coin. However, Vitruvius seems relatively unperturbed by his decapitation, going on to have a full conversation with Emmet before he gives a comic groan and cartoonish crosses appear over his eyes. Vitruvius subsequently reappears as a glow-in-the-dark ghost, dangling from a string to impart further words of encouragement and wisdom. The BBFC Compliance Officers who viewed the film felt that the decapitation sequence was significantly mitigated by the comedic elements and by Vitruvius's heartening reappearance. Moreover, it was agreed that children in the audience would likely be familiar with the sight of Lego toys' heads being easily pulled off and reattached without damage to the toys, and would therefore not be alarmed by the image of a Lego character missing his head.
As well as fantasy violence, it was noted that The Lego Movie contains some very mild bad language, including 'butt', 'bum', 'darn' and 'heck'.
The Lego Movie was released in cinemas on 14th February and the BBFC received no complaints about the rating. You can read the detailed BBFC Insight here.