Watch : The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Six young ninjas are tasked with defending their island home of Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors using their skill and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy….high school.
I think The Lego Movie is not only a masterpiece, but probably the greatest animated movie ever made. The movie is filled to the brim with fun characters, hilarious jokes, a surprising amount of sociopolitical commentary, and to top it all off it makes fun of all the tropes you see in Hollywood blockbusters and children’s movies today by USING THOSE TROPES WITHIN THE FILM TO MAKE FUN OF IT. It’s a genius film that kids enjoy because they don’t realize what it’s doing and see it as a regular kids movie, and adults can enjoy it because they can see what they’re ACTUALLY doing.
The Lego Ninjago Movie is none of those things.
The Lego Ninjago Movie is, in fact, everything that the original Lego Movie was making fun of. The characters here are exactly what you’d expect: loner high school students that are made fun of constantly that are also actually heroes and no one knows it. They’re fighting the bad guy who is actually the dad of the main hero and if you’ve seen any family movie ever made, you know the rest of the plot. It’s the most cookie cutter kids movie you could make, unfortunately, and it seems as if the directors here never even watched The Lego Movie or understood the actual complexity of the film.
Even comparing it to The Lego Batman Movie, which also drops a lot of the complexity of The Lego Movie and just tries for a hilarious and fun movie for adults and kids, The Lego Ninjago Movie still can’t compare. The jokes within here will make kids laugh for days, but for adults will fall flat on their ears, save one or two good lines. The emotional moments feel completely forced and don’t carry the weight you expect from the previous Lego movies. Even the action scenes are boring, existing only to fill the 90 minute run time.
Compared to other kids movies, The Lego Ninjago Movie is fine. There are times where it doesn’t take itself seriously, and those moments are actually great and will remind you of the previous Lego movies. The environment is also very well done, and I’ll go so far as to say they did a better job designing Ninjago City than Gotham from The Lego Batman Movie. It’s an average movie that kids will definitely enjoy, but when you’ve made two great Lego movies so far that shows how you can create unique animated and children’s movies, it’s disappointing to see them turn their backs on those lessons and create something so mediocre.