The Lego Movie: One of the most anti-Christian movies ever

legomovieThis is a really difficult review for me to write. First let me say that I actually enjoyed the Lego Movie. My kids thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s imaginative, high-energy, and exciting. I was also very impressed that the movie was created with actual Legos using stop-still animation. (UPDATE: I now know that it was computer animated. Good job animators! Fooled me!) And contrary to the title of this review, maybe surprising to you…maybe somewhat hypocritical on my part…I will probably own this movie and my children will watch it till it wears out. BUT not before I explain to them what I’m about to explain to you.

Despite being such a fun movie, everything is NOT indeed awesome. Everything was great until the movie took a very existential and philosophical twist at the end, making it the most anti-Christian film I’ve seen in a long time. Almost as blatantly anti-Christian as the Golden Compass, and I’m surprised there hasn’t been a wide-spread out-cry against it.

SO BEWARE. SPOILERS AHEAD!

All throughout the movie there are references to the “man upstairs.” This is not only a figurative reference to God, but it is a direct reference to the god of the Lego people, because “the man upstairs” is the one who builds them, is the one who created everything, who everyone is looking for, and who everyone is expecting to rescue them. Okay. So that’s not so bad.

The movie centers around a set of rebels who value creative thinking outside the set of “instructions” that Legos would normally follow. The institution of society considers this deviant behavior and emphasizes the importance of always following the instructions. Okay. I’m all for out-of-the-box thinking and creativity in a dormant society. Not so bad.

BUT………………………………

Then it is revealed that the “man up stairs” is really the bad-guy and it is the rebellious son who has introduced chaos and disorder to society by believing the “instruction book” is a bad thing.

Do you see it now? If not, let me just lay it all out for you. You see, the “man upstairs” represents God and the “instruction book” represents the Bible. This rebellious son who introduces chaos, disorder, and a disregard for the “instruction book” to a society built in perfection by “the man upstairs,” of course represents Satan.

God’s creation in the book of Genesis is perfect. God gave us the Bible in order to lead us back into a state of holiness and sinlessness so that we can obtain that perfect existence with him in Heaven. But Satan is the one who introduced chaos and disorder…sin…into God’s perfectness. Satan is the one who tells everyone that the Bible is constricting, is damaging to society, and that people are better off living life however they want rather than sticking to the “instruction book.”

The Lego Movie calls the “man upstairs” the bad-guy. He is forcing everyone to follow the “instruction book,” forcing everyone into a state of utopic conformity, and wants to squash creativity. He wants perfect order. He’s not who everyone thought he would be, not who they were expecting, and not who they had been searching for their entire lives. The rebellious son is the hero. The “instruction book” is merely a suggestion. And society is better off accepting the chaos and disorder that comes from ignoring the “instruction book.”

And the movie ends with the “man upstairs” returning. He sees what the rebellious son has done to his world and begins to fix it by forcing his perfection upon the world in a kind of Armageddon. There is nothing the rebellious son can do about it. He’s been defeated. The “man upstairs” wins. That is, until the rebellious son tells the “man upstairs”…You don’t have to be the bad guy. Then the “man upstairs” recognizes value in chaos and rebellion.

This is the slam against Christianity. This is why Christians should be upset and feel attacked. If they had left out that existential ending and the Lego Armageddon,  and just made it about the Lego people. Or if they had used some other terminology (or left it out all together) other than the “man upstairs,” which is an obvious reference to God, then there would be no problem. But they went too far.

The Lego Movie presents the message that God is the bad guy, the Bible is merely a suggestion, and it’s okay to let the rebellious son take your life on a path of chaos and rebellion. By telling the “man upstairs” he doesn’t “have to be the bad guy,” the movie is telling Christians to stop being the bad guys. Stop being so dogmatic about the “instruction book.” Stop trying to make people conform to holiness. It’s okay for people to do what they want or to do things that are against the Bible. There’s value in it. It’s good for society. It’s a better way of living than to be slaves to the instructions. Give it a try. Throw out those instructions and live a little. And if you do that, everything is awesome.

And God can just go back upstairs and leave the world in the hands of the rebellious son. Or even better yet, maybe God will admit he was wrong and begin to value the things he previously defined as sin. Maybe Christians will admit they’ve been wrong and begin to find value in living outside the standards of the Bible. Maybe they will join in.

Of course as a Christian, I find this quite offensive. What is presented as the relationship between God and his creation is in reality a caricature of the truth. God is intimately involved with the world he loves. He’s trying to rescue it and restore it to something beautiful. He values creativity, that’s why he created creativity. And his instructions for Holy living are not meant to keep us restricted and controlled, but are meant to bring us a better life with true freedom from contamination.

What is presented as a creative, caring, and broken-hearted “rebellious son” is in reality a complete lie concerning the nature of Satan. Satan doesn’t try to better society by bringing a little creativity, he tries to destroy society with uncontrolled chaos. He doesn’t care about the world, he only wants to pervert what God loves. And ignoring the Bible to do things his way never brings happiness and freedom, it only brings misery and enslavement. (Imagine Sid from Toy Story in this role and perhaps you’d have a better comparison.)

So parents, be warned. Watch the Lego Movie with caution. And be sure to explain to your children how God is different than the “man upstairs.” Don’t let this sneaky attack on Christian beliefs have any traction in the lives of your children. Let it be a learning opportunity about the true nature of God and the sneakiness of Satan.

And if you’re one of those who think this movie got it right, I’m so sorry. You’ve been lied to. I think you owe it to yourself to stop taking everyone else’s word for it and go do some unbiased research for yourself. Get out of the mold you’ve been put in and find the truth for yourself. Now THAT would be awesome. That would be a message from the Lego Movie I could get behind.

-k

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29 thoughts on “The Lego Movie: One of the most anti-Christian movies ever”

  1. Interesting. I haven’t seen the movie yet, not sure if I will or not–I’m more of a Marvel gal, myself.

    But, let me ask you this question: from what I’ve heard, this was a movie that the fans did. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s what I’ve heard. With that in mind, do you think that was intentional on the writers parts, or were they more focused on slamming the Lego manufacturers themselves for insisting that you always follow their instructions? Based off your descriptions, I could easily see how both could be true–your perception and my suggestion.

    1. Thanks Liberty. I don’t know anything about the production of the movie. But I can’t imagine that it was completely accident. Throughout the movie the “man upstairs” was revered as a deity. And what I described fits very nicely into the basic post-modern anti-religion establishment view about God and the Bible. I think it was intentional by the writers, but probably snuck past the producers as allegorical for other reasons.

    1. Gotta love when christians whine about Hollywood being overwhelmingly anti-christian, when A) christian movies are pretty much free of legitimate criticism, and B) anything religious that isn’t christian meets a violent backlash from people like you.

      1. This is what’s wrong with our society. There is an obvious and unapologetic double standard when it comes to religion. When something comes out that is an affront to my beliefs and I dare try to defend what I believe, I’M the one whining and being intolerant. But when it’s any other religion that gets bashed, everyone comes to the defense of that religion and it’s the one who did the bashing that is intolerant. It’s open season on Christianity. It’s a double standard, and you know it. Christian movies are not criticized because they are supposed to be Christian, everyone knows it, and it doesn’t bash another religion. There are plenty of movies that represent other religions that are never criticized. But a movie that criticizes Christianity gets praised and the Christians told to shut-up, and any movie that criticizes any other religion gets black-listed and the followers of the religion get apologized to. Anything religious does NOT get a backlash from Christians like me. What gets a backlash is when OUR faith is misrepresented or attacked. But apparently that’s okay with you.

        I’m not going to be the good little sheepole who shuts up and lets bullies attack what I believe.

    2. There are so many popular films inspired by Christianity. How can you be so blind?

      The Hobbit, the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings, Ender’s Game, Toy Story, The Lion King, Star Wars, …

      The only non-Christian films I can think of are the ones that use excessive profanity…. and that’s about it.

      1. I’m not blind to them at all. I love them. But being inspired by Christianity and misrepresenting Christianity are two different things. And there are some awesome movies that do a great job of representing Christianity even WITH excessive profanity. Take The Book of Eli for example.

  2. - At most, this is a pseudo-gnostic work. If that’s “offensive to christians”, then I might reccomend some research on the topic.

    – Honestly, when you’re claiming that freedom in regards to dogma is bad, you’re kind of proving the point you ironically criticise, being anti-creative at best and opressive at worst.

    -You’re seriously overthinking this, especially when most people interpret the antagonist as Satan.

    1. -It’s more Marcionism than Gnosticism. And yes, that’s offensive to Christians because it’s a Christian heresy. I’ve spent plenty of time researching this stuff. Feel free to read my bio.
      – My point is neither ironic nor critical in regards to freedom and dogma. But don’t confuse freedom with anarchy. Your statement seems to indicate that you don’t understand the point of the Bible and the intent of the Gospel, which is about freedom from the enslavement of sin not enslavement to legalism. Perhaps a little research of your own is in order.
      -No, I’m not. The depth of the religious aspects of this movie have been well expounded upon. And done quite purposefully by the writers, I might add. I merely pointed out the aspect no one has the courage to talk about…the fact that the God figure is called the bad guy. For the other, purposeful, religious aspects put into this movie by the producers please look at this Google link –

  3. I can see where you would get this, and before I comment, believe me, I’m on your side. I consider myself a wonderful child of God and a true friend to Jesus, and I hold the Bible to be of utmost truth and importance. I think you may be seeing too much metaphor or perhaps mismatching the metaphors that were there.
    Surely, the “man upstairs” wound up being the dad in the movie, and if the realization that the “man upstairs” wound up just being a mere person was disappointing or off-putting, I totally understand that. That could be construed as anti-spiritual on many religious levels, by implying that there’s nothing superhuman outside our realm, but a guy moving around pawns.
    But I, as a watcher of the movie, believe that this is where the religious parallels stop. The relationship between the father and the son was, in my opinion, not meant to be Christ-like at all, more a WYSIWYG situation of a dad that works all the time, has a hobby, and doesn’t even think to be inclusive of his son in that hobby. I don’t see the son as rebellious, but rather curious and desiring to be included. I don’t believe at all that the instructional book system was meant to be the Bible, but rather the educational and social structure in which we operate, more so educational than anything else. I teach entrepreneurship at the college level, and we are constantly telling our students to go out and disrupt the status quo if it means bringing about new value. I took the instruction books to be like, “Here is how we have always done it, so you have to, as well.” If anything, I saw the movie as being anti-corporation and anti-establishment than anti-Christian, but that’s just my two cents.

    1. If the producers hadn’t obviously and purposefully put a TON of religious elements into the film, I might sway your way. But there’s too much to overlook. And I don’t think they intended the religious parallels to stop when the humans were revealed. For more on the plethora of religious symbolism, try this Google link.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. I’ve heard a similar interpretation with the key difference that the son, somewhat clearly in retrospect given that he’s the son of the “man upstairs”, is assumed to be Jesus rather than Satan. The allegory takes on a whole new character with that substitution. This is less of an exhortation to throw away all the rules and more of a push to think about what you’re doing and how you can make things better. The Satan angle ignores the fact that Emmet gets the other characters to agree that some order is important–but not to the degree of stagnation. In this sense it’s more of an OT vs. NT argument.

    I hope this other possibility allows you to enjoy the movie a bit more!

    1. I did enjoy it. That was the point of my entire first paragraph. I’d love to concede an OT vs NT angle, but I’m having trouble getting past the fact that the God figure is outright called the bad guy.

      1. The God figure isn’t outright called the bad guy. The point is that the Pharisees, the Jews who believed they were most faithful to God’s commands a.k.a. President Business, was the bad guy. The God figure sided with the Pharisees at first, and in the Bible it is the case that God did expect the Israelites to follow a very specific code of conduct, but the time for that code ended with Jesus a.k.a. Emmett (the special/messiah). The new covenant replaced the mosaic covenant.

        1. Yeah he was. I paraphrase:

          The father picks up Lord Business: “Is this supposed to be me?”
          Condemning and apologetic stare from the son.
          The father presents Lord Business to his son: “If you could say one thing to Lord Business, what would it be?”
          The timid son replies: “You don’t have to be the bad guy.”

          (PS See my other comment to you longer comment. The new covenant did not abolish the law. Matt 5:17.)

  5. I stopped reading when you said “God’s creation in the book of Genesis is perfect.” No it wasn’t. It was “very good” not perfect. If it was perfect, there could have been no sin! (That is the case in theFres new creation of Revelation.) If you do not know this basic piece of Biblical theology, how can you judge what is Christian or anti-?

    1. You can’t discount an entire theology by equivocating definitions. The logic doesn’t even work. By default anything considered good by a perfect and holy God must also be perfect and holy in his eyes, otherwise he wouldn’t have called it good. Check your logic.

    2. And to address your comment on sin, a perfect creation included freewill and free choice. It was his design. But freewill chose disobedience, which is the essence of sin. A perfect creation did not include sin…it allowed it through freedom.

  6. You misunderstood who the son of the father represents in the film. I’m not exactly sure how you missed this, but you did. The first thing that you need to understand is that Emmett, the protagonist lego construction worker, is Jesus. Jesus was, afterall, a carpenter who was prophesied to be a savior (the special), willing be killed, and resurrected. Emmett is all of those things as well. Secondly, you also need to understand that the revealing of the son at the end was the revelation that Jesus (Emmett – which means truth in Hebrew) is also the son.

    Under your explanation of the film, the son of the person who represents God is Satan. How can this be? Of course the child, the son of the father, is obviously Jesus. People often ask how Jesus could both be God and a human being at the same time. How could that work? This movie provides an explanation for how it works. The LEGO people in the film could not comprehend the existence of the real world for which you and I live our lives. It was only after Emmett died that he could fully realize the scope of what he perceived to be reality.

    The “book of instructions” is the 10 commandments (law of Moses). It was issued to all Jews prior to the coming of Jesus (Emmett – Truth). When Jesus came, the covenant between the Israelites and God ended (the one that said to follow instructions) and the new covenant began (the one that said accept Jesus as your savior (the special) and love your neighbor as yourself, as the Lord commands).

    To love your neighbor as yourself entails acting to benefit your neighbor, not to harm him. The covenant never explicitly defines what is benefit and what is harm, and so we as “master builders” are to think creatively, using the unique gifts God gave each of us, to love our neighbor in our own unique way. The movie never said to reject instructions. It simply said that we need not be bound by instructions in the way that the Pharisees attempted to control the actions of Jews in the first century. Do you not see this? Emmett is so much like Jesus it’s hard not to see it.

    The son is also Jesus, but it is Jesus as the final judge. Emmett was exulted by God, just as Paul says Jesus was exulted. We all have the capacity to be as Jesus is. Paul says the route to exultation is humility. How arrogant was Emmett? Do you remember. He was the epitome of humility, but was saddened by how people did not love him in the same way he loved others…

    Please reexamine this film.

    1. Okay, so let’s for a moment say that your interpretation is right. There are still problems with it and it still misrepresents Christianity. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it (Matt 5:17). God saw that the people were incapable of fulfilling the law, so he sent Jesus to do it for them. Jesus fulfilled the requirements for forgiveness, but the requirements were never abolished…Christians just have freedom from condemnation according to the law. The law was never the final solution for salvation anyway, but in a way was meant to teach the people how to interact with God and with each other. Just read through Judges, Kings, and Chronicles to see the extent of how the people had no clue about God. By the time of the New Testament, they were monotheistic and dedicated to serving the one God, even if they were still getting it wrong legalistically.

      Take that to the movie, and we have represented a “man upstairs” who sides with the legalistic Pharisees and who thinks all people should be forced to comply with the law. The son, as you interpreted to be Jesus, stands in opposition to the father. And the son says that the “instruction book” is merely a suggestion and need not be the basis of life. But in reality Jesus and the Father are one, and stand together to redeem humanity under a single united plan. God SENT his son. The law is still beneficial and we’re not free from it completely, merely free from the condemnation of it and our salvation comes through Jesus’s fulfillment of the law’s requirements.

      So EITHER interpretation becomes a gross misinterpretation of Christian beliefs. I can find no way to reconcile what they’ve presented as an acceptable interpretation of Christianity, from any angle. I merely presented the one that was most obvious to me. I don’t mind religion in movies, any religion, but represent it right or not at all.

      1. You know why it misrepresents Christianity either way? Because it is a movie! I am not a Christian but I get what you’re saying. Personally, I thought of it as a slam against themselves (the Lego company) which was mentioned in an earlier comment. But it’s a movie. It’s mainly for our entertainment and should not be taken seriously. Although,it did make me question life…

        1. Don’t underestimate movies. They purposefully represent world views and champion agendas all the time, and they bury it beneath entertainment. Even in children’s movies. Remember Fern Gully and Happy Feet?

  7. This is what’s wrong with the world! IT IS A KIDS MOVIE! let it be a kids movie! The move was awesome my whole family enjoyed it. “The man upstairs” is nothing more than a lego creator! So when your kids play with legos they become “the man upstairs” does it make them anti Christ? ABSOLUTELY NOT! it makes them creative children!! Unbelievable that you can take something fun & pick it apart piece by piece to reduce it to this! Seems someone has too much time on their hands!

    1. No, what’s unbelievable is that movie producers think it’s okay to put religious subtexts into children’s movies, and then adults turn a blind eye because, after all, it’s a children’s movie. The religious subtext is obvious, it misrepresents Christianity, and I think it’s time adults said that this kind of subtle indoctrination is not okay. Take a lesson from history. Hitler won both Germany and Austria, not by military might, but by winning the minds of the children.

    2. PS… Go read my first paragraph. I DID enjoy it and will probably own it. Now go read my last paragraph. I suggested parents use it as a teaching opportunity about the differences between God and the man upstairs, not boycott the movie.

  8. Except, when the Master Builders were hopeless, The Special referred to the system of rules as their only hope. That it was through order and direction that his city achieved the greatness they had- that through order and direction, they could work together and defeat Business.

    I’m not buying the “anti-Christian” theme (and I have yet to finish Happy Feet or Rango because they were so blatantly anti-Christian -or- Hotel Transylvania and that robot film with Robert Williams because they were pro LGBT).

    Humans are rebellious by our fallen nature and inherently opt to do the exact opposite of what we’re told. It is not surprising that we like movies which reflect that. This wouldn’t be the first film where the child undermined the father and in doing so, taught the father a lesson on tolerance (Little Mermaid immediately comes to mind).

    1. Interesting thoughts, except it was Emmett’s unique brand of creativity, not a stricture to the rules, that the Master Builders finally realized they needed. At least that’s what I saw. But that’s beyond the point. Let me speak to your last paragraph. You admit that the son undermined the father and taught the father a lesson on tolerance. So, if the father is an obvious reference to God, no matter whether you interpret the son to represent Jesus or Satan, how is it okay for either to undermine God? That doesn’t jive with my theology either way. Satan doesn’t get to have victory. And Jesus said “I and the father are one,” whether one literally, spiritually, or mentally, they are still on the same team according to that scripture. The movie is anti-Christian because no matter how you slice it or interpret it, God the Father is the bad guy, or loser, or simply someone that needs to be taught a lesson and put back in the proper place. That’s NOT my God.

  9. Keven, THANK YOU for being brave enough to write the truth here. I walked out of the Lego Movie Monday, shocked and sick to my stomach, for all of the reasons you mention in the post and in your replies to these comments, and it makes me so sad that other Christians don’t have the wisdom to see the attack on their children (can you say “Indoctrination”?????) and on their God. I searched for hours to find someone else who recognized this in the movie, and every Christian review of it raved about its wonderfulness. No wonder the body of Christ is such a mess. :-(

    1. I agree that we’re running a real danger of turning a blind eye to subtle indoctrination of our children. Anyone who knows anything about changing culture knows that you target children to get the job done. Thank you for recognizing the same thing I saw. We’re not alone. I’ve talked to many IRL that saw the same thing but just haven’t said anything about it publically.

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