Updated: Aug 14
...but the recent LEGO movies come close.
When we were still in Hawaii my son asked me to take him to see the LEGO Batman movie. I’ve always liked Batman. Who in comics hasn’t? So I figured I’d give it a shot.
A couple hours later we returned home thoroughly entertained. I told my wife that the movie was hilarious, not only for my son but for me. There were jokes I was certain our son wouldn't get, but made me laugh out loud in the theater.
My wife told me wryly, "That's because you’re the movie’s target audience.”
Wait. A LEGO movie whose targeted market is a 40 something dad who grew up with LEGOs and comic books and understands profoundly the allusions and pastiche!?!
Now it's all so obvious. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 (with apologies to 2020).
Of course I was the target audience. I was the one springing for the tickets!
A Few of My Favorite "Easter Eggs"
1. Some of the songs are attributed to a duo called Garfunkel and Oates. Obvious allusion for those of us who are over [age redacted to protect the pride of writer]
2. Beck produces a very catchy and funky song called “Super Cool”. Many of you probably remember him for his breakout alt-hip hop song, “Loser”, which was notable for the use of the slide guitar and the lackadaisical flow of his white slacker lyrics (Macklemore came an entire generation later)
3. The spaceman in the picture above was from one of the very first LEGO sets to leave towns and cities behind. Anyone who had this set knows that the helmet always broke at the chin. Take a look at his.
4. My personal favorite: in the second LEGO movie, when they’ve all been exiled to the darkness of the trunk, this spaceman, whose name I'm told is Benny sings:
“Everything’s not awesome. I think I finally get Radiohead.”
Watching these movies with my son...
...made me realize that Baby Barbarian could and should be as much for parent as child.
To this end I have striven astringently to put gut-bustingly hilarious things into the graphic novel; things targeted at YOU.
Because every time I laugh wholeheartedly at an allusion in one of the LEGO movies, my son looks at me as if to ask:
"What on earth in these movies could make my curmudgeonly old man snort his beer out through his nose."
Explaining said chortle is a golden opportunity to share something about my childhood.
After all, despite our kids' disbelief, we too were once young.