Episode 450: No Batman is an Island

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle “The LEGO Batman Movie,” and retreat into the Oscar Corner to talk about “La La Land.”

Rachel, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, Ryan Sheely, and Matthew Wrather consider whether The LEGO Batman Movie is in fact the best Batman movie of all time.

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7 Comments on “Episode 450: No Batman is an Island”

  1. Josie #

    So is the conclusion that Lego Batman is a story played out by the dad from The Lego Movie’s frame story (i.e. live action Will Ferrell) – a businessman who is also an obsessive collector of Lego sets and maybe not the best parent?


    • Rich #

      I agree. Both the Lego Movie and Lego Batman have strong stories about fathers and sons. I can see this being Will Ferrell playing this out after the Lego Movie takes place.


  2. Ryan Sheely OTI Staff #

    I’d say that Lego Batman is played out by Will Ferrell’s non-child having single brother (or the equivalent). Thinking in Arrested Development terms, the real world guy playing with Lego Batman is (very appropriately given the casting) more like Gob Bluth, in contrast to the more Michael/George Michael dynamic (but MUCH more toxic) in The Lego Movie.


    • DeanMoriarty #

      So, I listened to this and then immediately went to go see the movie, and on the way back home thought up of a theory about who is “playing out” this movie.
      My theory is that it’s a teenage boy who has been playing w/ legos his whole life, but is now supposedly just a little too old to be playing with toys. His Gotham set up, because he no longer feels “cool” having it on display, is not in a basement but semi-hidden in his closet, right above the dirty laundry hamper (hence the dirty underwear smell of the “abyss”). This is why, I’d argue, Lego Batman acts so much like a teenager in his tastes, personality and attitude. His attitude toward Barbara/Batgirl would indicate that it’s a heterosexual male teenager. His character growth and the issues he struggles with are classic teen drama: Difficulty with parents and family; Starting to form serious relationships, both romantic and non-romantic, where it’s important to tell people how you feel about them; Dealing with the fact that things need to change; Realizing that someday you’ll leave your parents house and they won’t be around to take care of you. Learning to let others help you. Fearing that being emotionally open will lead to getting hurt. Your responsibility toward the people you love; Learning to put those people’s needs before yours.
      I’d bet that pretty much every theme in this movie — if you take out the Batman and Lego aspect — has been at the heart of at least one episode of Degrassi.
      More specifically, I also think that the movie is this teenager playing with his set up one last time before he dismantles it and gets rid of it ( a la Toy Story 3). It’s why so much of the plot revolves around destroying Gotham. Because that’s what he intends to do. It’s why all the villains and all the vehicles come into play, he’s playing with everything one last time before he gets rid of it. Maybe the “phantom zone” in this movie, much like cloud cukoo land in the first one, is the box of legos he’s already stopped playing with. And maybe since this is the last hurrah, this kid’s decided to just play with all the old legos, go crazy with the bricks and just mess everything up. He’s not planning to fix or rebuild anything when he’s done. By the end, though, playing with these toys has helped him work through whatever issues he was dealing with so he decides to keep the legos.


  3. clayschuldt #

    Chis Pratt Lego was able to move on his own as seen in the framing device, suggesting this world works in a way similar to Toy Story except the Lego characters are more dependent on the human characters for personality.

    Also, is LEGO Batman a prequel or sequel to Lego Movie?


  4. DeanMoriarty #

    There’s a Rom-com subgenre called ‘comedy of remarriage’ that I think relates to what you’re talking about. In it’s most classical take it was a way for Hollywood to get around the production code that didn’t allow hints of infidelity in the ’30s. But, I would argue, the tropes and conventions of this genre can also be seen in more recent films as well. One recent example, where the couple isn’t divorced, but rather just in a slump, that comes to mind is Date Night.

    Also, having been a young white person living in Hollywood trying to pursue a career in entertainment, I have to restate my opinion that one of the few worthwhile fictional takes on this situation is the TV comedy “Party Down.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.


  5. cat #

    Rachel captured the essence of one of my big problems with La La Land perfectly. Be happy to be a musical.


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