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Chris Pratt as Emmet Brickowski and Rex Dangervest in the Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Following The LEGO Movie’s huge success in 2014, you’d think moving on to a sequel was a no-brainer. Apparently not. Everything was so awesome about the first animated film that writer/director pair Phil Lord and Chris Miller were being told left and right not to make another LEGO Movie. In Lord’s words:

We had friends, like prominent filmmaker friends who were like ‘Don’t do it. Don’t make a sequel.’ But we would rather take a risk than not. We’d rather fail trying something new.

A couple weeks after The LEGO Movie was released, Phil Lord and Chris Miller that they started constructing some ideas for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. At first, as the duo recently told io9, their colleagues in the film world didn’t share their enthusiasm to bring back Emmet, Wyldstyle and the gang back to the big screen.

The eventual director of LEGO Movie 2, Mike Mitchell, even tried to talk them out of making it all together. It did come from a place of love. Mitchell said he really loved the first movie, especially the ending, and he couldn’t imagine how they could build on it and make it better.

When Phil Lord and Chris Miller explained their early plans for The LEGO Movie 2 to Mike Mitchell, his mind was completely changed. He had to be part of it. So much so that he took over Lord and Miller’s role this time around as director, while the pair also took on producing the sequel.

While the writers of LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part didn’t write the first movie with a sequel in mind, they ended up using the clever ending to the 2014 animated film as the basis for the sequel. At the end of LEGO Movie, it’s revealed there is a human boy running the events happening for all the LEGO characters.

He’s then interrupted by his dad (played by Will Ferrell) and told that he will soon have to share his play space with his younger sister. The LEGO Movie 2 is then all about sibling rivalry between the brother and sister, as told through the events happening with the various LEGO and Duplo characters clashing.

Sequels can be difficult to pull off, but considering that the early critical reactions for The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part have been positive overall, it looks like the writers’ risk may have been worth it. In CinemaBlend’s review of the movie, our own Eric Eisenberg gave the movie 3.5 stars, calling it “funny, cute, clever and emotional” but not “quite as awesome” as the original.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is the first big animation release of 2019 and is expected to win the weekend at an expected $55 million gross opening when it comes to theaters on February 8.

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