Lego Celebrates 80th Birthday With Animated Short Film

17-minute story traces company's history

Lego turns 80 this year. To celebrate, the company released this really neat cartoon short about its humble origins (key words are "fire" and "low sales") and how it revolutionized the toy industry by offering kids a "system of play" instead of ready-made toys with few, if any, customization options. It's weird to hear Lego talk about this now, when half of its output consists of assembly kits for branded properties (Batman, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc.) with tons of specialized parts. It's also weird that, according to the film, company founder Ole Christiansen didn't start visibly aging until his 60th birthday. But that stuff can't diminish how charmed I was by the animation and voice acting and the "fail, try harder, succeed" message communicated here. They should make another short film in five or 10 years about the sadistic person who made Lego bricks razor sharp, because he obviously never stepped on one.

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