Brick by brick, the LEGO empire continues to grow. After capturing the imaginations of countless children (and adults) for over fifty years, the interlocking blocks have seeped into our pop culture in significantly larger ways recently. On the heels of the Warner Bros. animated feature The LEGO Movie (at the moment the highest grossing film of the year at the North American box office) spearheading a new film franchise and a recent special LEGO-infused episode of The Simpsons, it would appear we’re in the throes of some sort of LEGO mania. A new documentary– Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary explores just that and Radius-TWC, the boutique arm of The Weinstein Company, has just acquired worldwide rights to the film.
The documentary explores our cultural fascination with toy that premiered all the way back in 1958. Made with the participation of the massive company that built them, Beyond the Brick delves into our obsession with LEGO and the corporation that has since produced upwards of 400 billion bricks that have delighted the minds and hearts of the people around the world with our desire to build stuff. Beyond the Brick recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Daniel Junge (Oscar winner for the 2012 documentary short subject film Saving Face) and Kief Davidson (Oscar nominee for the 2013 documentary short subject Open Heart) directed the project, and Jason Bateman narrates. It’s fitting, on many levels, that such a work would be constructed considering the aggressive branding machine the company has turned over in recent years.
On the surface the film may register as a glossy advertisement (in many ways, so was The LEGO Movie, despite its respected critical reception and robust box office) for LEGO, yet it could also transfer into a hit for Radius. “We’ve been looking for a film that families can enjoy together, and Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary surpasses all of those expectations,” Radius co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego said in a statement. “The movie is an amazing ride and will appeal to Lego fans around the world.” It may garner interest from children and families, not the targeted demographic for the documentary genre and may even be strong enough to find placement in the 2014 awards race– imagine that, two different LEGO projects vying for Academy Awards.
Details on release dates haven’t yet been announced.