“The Lego Movie” is now in theatres, bringing with it a cavalcade of famous pop culture properties from the LEGO building block universe.
The movie is a grab bag of cameos, featuring appearances from all sorts of unexpected fictional and non-fictional characters. Is “The Lego Movie” designed to help sell some toys? Absolutely. But despite the presence of almost every franchise the Danish toy company makes playsets for (franchises that studio Warner Bros. also happens to have the rights to), the multitude of positive reviews indicate that “The Lego Movie” is more than just some crass toy tie-in film.
Here are some of the most surprising cameos in 'The Lego Movie.' (Warning: Minor 'Lego Movie' spoilers to follow.)
The Justice League
Warner Bros.’ “Justice League” movie may still be a few years away, but Will Arnett’s Batman isn’t the only member of the DC Comics superteam to get the toy brick treatment in “The Lego Movie.” His fellow Justice League members Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman all get their moment to shine in the film. “21 Jump Street” co-stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill (re-teaming with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller) voice the Man of Steel and the socially awkward Green Lantern, while Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”) voices Wonder Woman. Smulders was reportedly in the running for the live-action Wonder Woman role, but lost out to Gal Gadot. Playing the superheroine’s “Lego Movie” counterpart is likely some consolation.
Milhouse (“The Simpsons”) and Michelangelo (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”)
For the briefest of moments, two characters whose franchises defined 1980s and '90s share the silver screen. Bart Simpson’s best friend Milhouse Van Houten and rad pizza-crazy turtle dude Michelangelo show up as Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) is taking attendance at the meeting of the Master Builders. “TMNT” has had LEGO sets for years, but the company recently unveiled a line of minifigs and brick sets based on “The Simpsons” -- likely making the Milhouse cameo a last minute addition/promotional tie-in.
Gandalf the Grey (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Professor Albus Dumbledore (“Harry Potter”)
At the same Master Builder meeting, Gandalf the Grey and Professor Dumbledore make appearances to discuss the finer points of plastic LEGO beards. Much to Dumbledore's and Gandalf’s dismay, Vitruvius -- himself a bearded wizard -- is unable to tell the two magic-wielders apart due to their excessive facial hair and hilariously similar hats.
Perhaps the most head-scratching cameo in “The Lego Movie” is made by former NBA All-Star (and sometimes actor) Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq plays himself in several scenes, appearing with other members of his champion Los Angeles Lakers team and doing nothing else in particular.
Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and C-3PO (“Star Wars”)
By far the best cameos in “The Lego Movie” are reserved for everyone’s favourite heroes from a galaxy far, far away. Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and C-3PO all make appearances in the film, with the latter two characters actually being voiced by “Star Wars” actors Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels. We won’t reveal the exact details of the scenes, but rest assured that you’ll be able to say that you’ve seen Batman and Lando hang out after seeing “The Lego Movie.”
Eagle-eyed viewers should pay attention during “The Lego Movie.” In addition to these great cameos, there are plenty of other blink-and-you’ll-miss-them character appearances and fun Easter eggs for the spread throughout the film.