Business Insider reports that, according to the film's production notes, a total of 3,863,484 real Lego were used in the film, with many reused throughout the movie. But what if filmmakers wanted to make the entire movie -- which was supplemented with CGI and a software program called LEGO Digital Designer -- exclusively using Lego bricks? According to filmmakers, that would have required 15,080,330 unique physical pieces of the plastic toys.
Obviously, using that many real Legos pieces -- which also would have included 183 different mini-figs, or Lego people -- would have taken too long to create a feature film. As cinematographer Pablo Plaisted explains in a new behind-the-scenes featurette, filmmakers took great pains to make sure their CGI Lego looked authentic, researching every painstaking detail of the toys (including how their unique, non-human proportions looked in scene blocking) to perfect the flick.
Considering "The Lego Movie"'s box office dominance, it seems Plaisted and co. pulled it off.
[h/t The A.V. Club]