If you saw the first Lego Movie, it may have caught you off-guard, disarming you with its unexpected charm. Sure, it was about a toy brand, but if you're anything like me, it moved you like few other films did that year. So, now that you're totally over-invested in the film franchise, you'll heave a sigh of relief to hear that The Lego Movie sequel has scored Mike Mitchell as a director. This is big news: Probably one of the reasons the first Lego Movie was such a runaway success was because it had Phil Lord and Chris Miller on board.
The directing duo has an impressive comedy résumé, with both having previously directed films like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and 22 Jump Street together, and given that they wrote the script too, they were clearly a big part of the comic strengths of the movie. Since the pair was likely too busy shooting the untitled Han Solo movie for Lucasfilm, the replacement director mattered.
If Mitchell's name isn't familiar, it should be, because he was the man who helmed Trolls, which scored an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. And if you're not seeing the parallels between The Lego Movie and Trolls here, let me spell them out for you.
Like The Lego Movie, Trolls had to turn a major toy brand into a movie that audiences would pay to see, but would also act as advertising for the brand. And as the Oscar nomination suggests, Mitchell did a great job.
There are further parallels between the two movies, too. Like The Lego Movie, Trolls boasted a star-studded cast (Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Kendrick, Russell Brand, James Corden, John Cleese) and it was riotously funny.
But this isn't the only genius animation Mitchell has under his belt — he also directed some movies I'll wager have made it onto your list of favorite ever animated movies: Shrek Forever After and the unforgettable Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, which mixed live action sequences with animation.
Besides that, if you loved the original movie, you'll be reassured to hear that Mitchell will be working from a script written by Lord and Miller — so presumably the writing will be as sharp as ever. All in all, it's a win-win. We get the sharp visual mind behind Trolls paired with the witticisms of Lord and Miller. Feb. 8, 2019 is still a long way off, but it's worth counting the days already.