This is a great year for LEGO-loving Netflix subscribers, with two LEGO documentaries being released less than a month apart from one another! You might remember the special LEGO episode of the Toys That Made Us, which we reviewed at its release in May. The second documentary to roll into Netflix’s lineup is LEGO House – Home of the Brick. LEGO House is the LEGO Group’s own museum of play, designed to highlight both the company’s history and creative possibilities of the brick. Seven years in the making, LEGO House was designed by the Danish firm BIG and opened in September 2017. Home of the Brick is a 47-minute documentary that chronicles the journey the LEGO House took from its conception to last year’s grand opening.
Compared to the Toys That Made Us, Home of the Brick feels more like a traditional documentary. I actually found this to be refreshing given the glut of docutainment shows on TV. Instead of fast-paced editing laced with witty humor, the filmmakers chose a more serious approach with a natural flow. However, though the tone of the film may be serious, that does not mean it always takes itself seriously. Home of the Brick is far from being dry and boring because you can really feel the energy and enthusiasm that went into its production.
Home of the Brick does a great job of providing an insider’s perspective into the development of the LEGO House, so much so that I almost felt like I was a part of the action. Filming took place throughout the multi-year project, showing the building in various phases of construction, exhibits being tested, and even some of the challenges encountered along the way. I particularly enjoyed seeing the use of LEGO bricks in sketching out ideas for interior designs, as well as the selection process for minifigure scenes to be featured in the museum’s World Explorer Exhibition.
Interviews with project team members help to tie the narrative together, with the most notable being none other than the 3rd generation owner of the LEGO Group, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. Kjeld frequently appears throughout Home of the Brick since LEGO House was his vision, and this is my favorite aspect of the film because it offers insight into his personality. His passion and energy for the project really shine through, whether it’s showing off his favorite set in the LEGO Vault (can you guess what it is?) or being almost brought to tears by the construction of the Tree of Creativity. Kjeld has a lot of heart, and it almost makes me want to fly out to Denmark, give him a big hug, and exclaim “congratulations on a job well done!”
Speaking of personalities, it was also a pleasure to see some coverage of the adult LEGO fan community. For example, there are some nice shots from the Danish Skærbæk Fan Weekend, as well as the LEGO House Masterpiece Gallery for showcasing fan models. Various fans are also interviewed, including Brothers Brick alumnus Elspeth De Montes. Her name even appears in the credits.
While watching Home of the Brick, I couldn’t help but think “wow, this seems like it would be a good film to show at the LEGO House.” Perhaps it will be, as the documentary was produced by the Danish studio M2Film. That name may not sound familiar to many of our audience, but M2Film has worked with LEGO in the past, including doing animation-work for the Legends of Chima TV series and producing LEGO Batman Movie toy commercials. This certainly helps explain the high level of access granted to the producers of the LEGO House documentary.
At the end of the day, I found the Home of the Brick to be a thoroughly enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at what is sure to become an iconic piece of LEGO history. Whether you are a hardcore adult fan of LEGO or have a passing interest in the brand, you will not want to miss this Netflix special. Fair warning, though…this documentary may result in the purchase of a plane ticket to Billund immediately after watching. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is entirely up to you!