Everything is awesome. That’s not only the song that will be pulsing through your conscience for the better part of a week after seeing The Lego Movie, it’s also a perfectly justified reaction to one of the most clever and well-crafted animated movies to hit theaters in a good long while.

The brainchild of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (the geniuses behind the both kid-friendly Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the adult-friendly 21 Jump Street remake) The Lego Movie is knock-your-socks-off great– a rare bird that is both hyper-kinetic and goofy for the kids and mature and heartfelt for the adults.

The voice cast for the ages begins with Chris Pratt as Emmet, a nobody who spends his days on a construction site before stumbling upon a nondescript piece of plastic that, as the ancient prophecy fortells, will save the Lego world. By finding the plastic piece, Emmet becomes anointed as ‘The Special’, who must join forces with all the Legoland master builders (including Batman, Gandalf, and Shaquille O’Neal) to stop evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). By his side is the aptly named WyldStyle (Elizabeth Banks), the Hepburn to his Tracy. The plot goes on for miles after that, but so much of the film’s appeal depends on clever twists and revelations that I won’t elaborate anymore.

The rest of the cast, meanwhile, includes Morgan Freeman, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, and Cobie Smulders. Need I go on? Okay, how about O’Neal himself, Billy Dee Williams, Will Forte, and (in one of the film’s more inspired bits) Jump Street co-stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Superman and Green Lantern.

Lord and Miller have chocked the film full of jokes that not only stick their proverbial landing but appeal across the board. Adult and their offspring will have a ball throughout, and the action doesn’t let up either. And it all culminates with a super-creative third act that comes out of nowhere to make the movie that much stronger.

The Lego Movie is, quite simply, an instant classic, ground-breaking in both its rollicking good fun and super-creative design. And, yes, work has already begun on its sequel. Awesome.

5/5 stars