If you are anything like us (and if you are reading this here you might be), LEGO roughly translates to ‘shut up and take our money!’ so when we heard there was a new LEGO movie hitting screens across the country we were there opening night to answer the burning question – What the heck is Ninjago?!
Ninjago is a line of LEGO sets first put out around 2010 following with a feudal japan/ninja theme. Unlike previous unlicensed sets (such as Star Wars or Batman) the characters of Ninjago actually had names and personalities instead of just ‘hog dog guy’ or ‘space man’ with an accompanying vehicle or Mech… Sorta like LEGO Voltron or Power Rangers. But with Ninjas! And LEGO!
Got that? Good.
The Ninjago Movie is set in the city of Ninjago as told by a humble store owner Jackie Chan who introduces us to this world. Jackie Chan also voices one of the main characters ‘Master Wu’ (and contributed to the action sequences throughout the film). The story revolves around the Ninjas who protect Ninjago City from the evil 4 armed LEGO minifig warlord Garmadon, who also happens to be the father of one of the Ninjas (Llyod, with two L’s).
So there is a whole Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader subplot, but more if Luke was upset with Vader for not teaching him how to throw.
Being the 3rd movie from the LEGO franchise after the original LEGO movie and the LEGO Batman movie, Ninjago has some pretty big bricks to fill. And the key thing that we loved about this movie over the last few is the feeling of scale. Where the LEGO movie had what we thought was pretty huge amount of things happening on screen, the Ninjago movie just felt that much bigger.
The animation throughout the film, again done by the Australian group Animal Logic responsible for the previous two films also, just felt like it kicked up a notch from the previous with the attention to detail right down to scratches in the tiny mini-fig hands.
As Ninjago is more like a line of action figures it even has an ongoing series which is currently up to season 7! So does following in the footsteps of the series mean you need to binge all the episodes before you can watch the movie? Definitely not… but there are definitely levels to this movie which will appeal more to Ninjago fans much like the LEGO Batman movie did to Batman fans.
So should you go see it? If you are a fan of LEGO then you have already bought your ticket and stopped reading by this point as soon as you learnt the movie was in cinemas. If you aren’t a fan of LEGO then this is more of a school holiday/fans of the show level movie.
But if you do go see it, at least it gives you an excuse to get some pretty awesome sets.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is in cinemas across Australia right now!