Ah, the heady whiff of nostalgia. It was Christmas 1984. I remember excitedly tearing snowman-festooned wrapping paper off a large box and staring wide-eyed at the LEGO construction set that had been the subject of countless unsubtle hints to my parents.
Those tiny coloured construction bricks became a building site for my imagination, and even now, I get warm, fuzzy pangs when I see film-themed kits cluttering up the shelves of toy shops.
That same warm glow permeates Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s rollicking adventure, which cleverly employs the latest technical wizardry to mimic the crude, imperfect movements of stop-motion animation.
The LEGO Movie is a hoot, celebrating the enduring power and popularity of a toy invented in the late 1940s.
Directors Lord and Miller, who donned hard hats at the helm of the first Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs film, strike a delicious tone of irreverence to ensure parents enjoy the ride just as much as younger audiences.
Fast-paced and crammed with primary colours, The LEGO Movie pulls out all the stops to dazzle and delight.
The script is peppered with wry one-liners, cinematic homages and even an infectious theme song.
And the final 10 minutes provide an unexpected, heart-warming surprise, guaranteed to have kids big and small grinning with glee.