LEGO Friends, a five-woman musical act in a theme park, might not seem like a symbol of empowerment but the show has impacted its young audience beyond mere entertainment.
Based on Lego products of the same name, the musical features five characters – sociable Stephanie, outdoorsy Mia, musical Andrea, science-loving Olivia and fashionista Emma from fictional Heartlake City.
With its strong message of friendship and empowerment, the show has made a difference in its young fans’ lives.
“I don’t have a lot of friends at school, but Lego Friends has taught me that when you’re with your loved ones, you can be yourself,” said Nadia Nazurah, 15, who travelled from Kuala Lumpur just to watch the 20-minute performance in Johor.
“I was totally blown away!” she said. “I first discovered them on the Internet and I’ve always wanted to see them live.”
“Legoland is always trying to encourage imagination, creativity, friendship, and kindness,” said Legoland Malaysia public relations manager Deviga Doreraja.
She said Lego Friends – which runs until July 16 – was one of their conceptual ideas for empowering children via performing arts and the power of imagination.
“Children can have a fun learning experience while interacting with real-life Lego characters through Lego Friends,” she said.
She added that interactive visuals are very important for young children as they learn and play.
The Lego Friends performance, which invites children in the audience to dance and sing along, encourages children to get away from computers and back into the pure magic of childhood.
As they inspire more children around the world, their fan-base grows, touching lives like Nadia’s when they interact with children in their performances.
According to the Lego Friends characters (who stayed in character during their interview with BRATs), they are on a mission to empower young boys and girls.
Through their performances, they hope to educate young children on the importance of friendship and being themselves.
During the show, the cast easily got their pint-sized audience to laugh and express themselves freely, as they crowded around the stage eagerly. Some were even invited onstage to join in, which they did with pleasure.
“Every child perceives the world as a limitless playground,” said Deviga after the show, her voice barely audible over the sound of a hall full of excited kids. She added that Legoland put in a lot of effort to maintain the value of imagination in children.
And it definitely showed, with kids staying back to talk to their favourite Lego Friends characters during the meet-and-greet session.
The ever-smiling, professional performers playing Stephanie, Mia, Andrea, Olivia, and Emma had hugs, high-fives and kind words for the children throughout the entire experience.
“Children become very excited when they meet their favourite Lego characters in real life when they come here,” said Deviga.
Nadia was as excited as the younger fans, and confided that she asked the cast for advice on personal problems, like building close friendships.
“We try to inspire children to take a break from the Internet and explore their creative side through performing arts,” said Olivia, still in character. “We believe that exposure to performing arts will build confidence in a child.”
From the look on Nadia’s face, still star-struck and full of the confidence and empowerment she sorely needed, it’s clear that Lego Friends’ ability to inspire is not to be toyed with.