A Friend of the Police is an animated brickfilm based on the video game LEGO City Undercover and Andrew Bermudez's Legoman stories. It was the cinematic debut for Drawn to Life Animation and won the grand prize for the Nightly News at Nine's Police Show Contest.
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
The film opens with police officers Chase McCain and Frank Honey returning from a run to the soccer stadium, where they had to deal with the T-Rex that Peter Whitman brought with him to the present in Late for the Soccer Match. They rest in the recreation room, where Frank turns on the TV, revealing a news story about the arrival of pod pilot ASR1. Just then, Captain Bill arrives to give the duo new partners. Frank has been reassigned to work with Officer Stanley Kenlow and Chase has been reassigned to Officer Max Denver. After Frank leaves, Captain Bill tells Chase that he needs to meet Officer Max at the Grand Emporium, where Questions has stolen some puzzle books. Chase accepts and heads out the door.
At the Grand Emporium, Chase meets Officer Max, who introduces him to crime-fighter Legoman. Chase is skeptical of the superhero, but Legoman shows his detective skills when studying clues left around the store. Legoman determines that Questions is hiding at the cargo train depot, which Max follows along with, trusting Legoman's judgement. Chase is still skepical, but follows along anyway.
At the cargo train depot, Chase, Max, and Legoman arrive, only to find the cargo train depot closed. Just then, Questions' henchmen ambush them with a net. While Max and Legoman get out of the way, Chase trips, catching him in the net. Questions taunts them, with Officer Max talking back. Questions sends his henchmen after the duo, though they are easily defeated by Officer Max's and Legoman's skills. Legoman frees Chase, who thanks him. Questions tries to get away, but Legoman stops him by using his Lego Cuff Launcher. Legoman departs, and Chase and Officer Max haul Questions and his henchmen to prison.
On March 10, 2013, the Nightly News at Nine started their Police Show Contest as a promotion for their then-latest episode, Police Show Commercial. After the success of both Seth Masterson vs. Shark Hoops and Late for the Soccer Match, which also performed well in the contests which they were a part, it was decided that another contest entry would be created, with a late-May 2013 release date. The popularity of the video game LEGO City Undercover also formed the concept towards its finished product.
The film was officially announced on March 15, 2013, the same day Drawn to Life Animation was established. However, the initial press release mainly focused on how A Friend of the Police was going to be better than the mildly-received The Adventures of Legoman, where some of the film's characters originated. Despite that, though, filming progressed steadily for a few weeks. However, the schedule became tight near the end, mainly because of the work being done on New Friends ~ An Environmental Fable and A Bite of MyJobs. Because of this tight schedule, the originally-planned mouth animation had to be scrapped. Despite these issues, the film premiered on-time on May 24, 2013, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
On September 16, 2018, it was announced that this film would be overhauled in time for the 15th anniversary of Mustache Maniacs Film Co. on April 18, 2019. The date for the re-release was set for the next day, on April 19, 2019, but had to be pushed back to June 14, 2019 in order to complete other projects.
During its opening weekend, the film quickly gained popularity, receiving praise right at its release. It went on to have a strong opening weekend and continuing popularity.
Almost a month later, on June 22, 2013, the Nightly News at Nine announced the winners for the Police Show Contest, where A Friend of the Police won the grand prize; a $50 LEGO store gift card.
- Chase McCain (Andrew Bermudez)
- Frank Honey (Andrew Bermudez)
- Captain Bill (Andrew Bermudez)
- Officer Stanley Kenlow (n/a)
- Officer Max Denver (Al Bermudez)
- Legoman (Jim Freeman)
- Questions (Al Bermudez)
- Andrew Bermudez - Director, Writer, Animator, Editor, Actor
- Daniel Bermudez - Assistant Director
- Teresa Bermudez - Writer, Advisor
- Al Bermudez - Actor
- Jim Freeman - Actor
- Grand Prize (Police Show Contest; 2013)
- Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jim Freeman as Legoman; The Second Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards; 2014)
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
A Friend of the Police contains examples of the following tropes.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Almost all of the film's dialogue is written in this manner.
- Bumbling Sidekick: The character of Frank Honey, though he has a minor role in this film.
- The Cape: The character of Legoman.
- The Commissioner Gordon: The character of Captain Bill, though Chase McCain sort of fills this role by the end of the film.
- Continuity Nod: At the beginning of the film, Frank discusses some recent events that mirror the test shuttle ending for Late for the Soccer Match, officially making that version of the said film the canon ending. Also, at the end of the film, Legoman says that he's glad that he brought his Rope Cutting Blade. This calls back to The Adventures of Legoman, where Legoman forgot to bring his Rope Cutting Blade.
- Foreshadowing: When Frank Honey turns on the TV, the news program being broadcast tells about the first of seven Nexus Force pods landing, officially starting a plot thread that culminates in Legends of the Universe. Also, Frank briefly mentions that someone named Dr. Cyber is looking into time travel, not only referring to Out of His Time, but also setting up for A Future in the Past.
- George Lucas Altered Version: Though not to a large extent, this film underwent some cosmetic and auditory changes for its 2019 re-release. The changes made to the film are:
- The logo was updated to match the current branding.
- The police station establishing shot was scrapped and remade with one matching the LEGO City Police Station's canon appearance. The title was also redesigned.
- The audio was cleaned and enhanced.
- Background sounds were added.
- Fight sounds were added to the finale.
- The entire film was filtered with a slight purple tint.
- Harmless Villain: Questions' most evil deed in this film is stealing a bunch of puzzle books from the Grand Emporium. Some could argue that the net that he orders to be dropped on Chase McCain could count as assaulting an officer, but even then, the net doesn't even harm Chase.
- Inescapable Net: One of these falls on Chase McCain.
- Lampshade Hanging: Chase McCain frequently comments about the alliterated dialogue that is being spoken around him, even bemoaning himself when he starts alliterating his sentences at the film's end.
- Mooks: Questions has three that Legoman and Officer Max quickly beat up and arrest.
- Non-Powered Costumed Hero: Legoman is this.
- Recruit the Muggles: Officer Max helps Legoman fight off Questions' henchmen.
- Riddle Me This: Questions' riddles, though these are ridiculously easy variations of this trope.
- Superheroes Wear Capes: Legoman's costume features one.
- Superheroes Wear Tights: Legoman's costume is mostly comprised of this.
- Utility Belt: Legoman wears one.
- Hidden Character: As Chase McCain drives up to the Grand Emporium, you can see the Circus Clown minifigure standing on the sidewalk.
- Hidden Character: In the exact same shot, the Tennis Ace minifigure is standing on the sidewalk closer to the Grand Emporium.
- The subject matter for this film was partially chosen because of the strong performance of LEGO's City theme in a survey conducted by Mustache Maniacs Film Co. in 2012.
- One of the concepts established in this film is the notion that all of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s movies take place in the same universe, a concept that has been expanded upon with Project U.
- The line about Legoman being glad to remember to bring his rope cutting blade is a nod to The Adventures of Legoman, where he forgot to bring his rope cutting blade.
- Legoman's Lego Cuff Launcher was re-used from the never-released The Invention of Bear-Train Cavorting, which also featured Legoman.