Opinions, Warner Animation

‘The LEGO Batman Movie’: What Did You Think? (WYSK Spoiler Discussion)

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(Don’t mind me. Just setting the mood.)

WRITER’S NOTE: This year, my WYSK (What You Should Know) series is getting an overhaul. As part of this upgrade, two movies I missed out on (Sing and The LEGO Batman Movie) will be the first installments of what will now be called ‘WYSK Discussion’ articles.

To learn more about the changes to the WYSK formula, click here. To see the discussion article for Sing, click here

Wow, the 2017 year in animation sure did get started off on the right foot, didn’t it?

The LEGO Batman Movie, the third film from Warner Animation Group and the second film in the LEGO Cinematic Universe (or LCU, for short), is something of a triumph. Not only does it manage to be the rare spinoff that builds upon the mythology of its universe (therefore swiftly justifying the existence of a shared cinematic world) but it also succeeds (for me) as the ultimate love letter to Batman and indeed DC Comics as a whole.

I feel that this is going to be a really fun discussion thread because there is just so much to unpack from its brisk 104 minutes. From the myriad of references (everything from comics, film, TV, and even references from stuff outside of DC superheroes) to its use of deep-cut mythology from the comics to the colorful hyper-speed humor that is now a defining characteristic of LCU films, The LEGO Batman Movie paves an exciting path forward for future installments forward, as well as just being a damn good movie!

Now, I hand it over to our readers. What were your thoughts on The LEGO Batman Movie? What did you think of the ‘time jump’ between LEGO Movie 1 and LEGO Batman, as revealed in the beginning? What do you think of the fact that Batgirl and Catwoman had their ethnicities changed to reflect those of their respective actresses (Rosario Dawson is a biracial actress of Puerto Rican/Cuban descent, while Zoe Kravitz is Black/Jewish). What do you make of the film’s surprising use of Superman mythology? Finally, what do you think of the film’s central theme (Batman’s acceptance of what makes him a hero and embracing a makeshift family)?

Sound off below, and remember that this is a SPOILER discussion thread. If you’ve seen the movie, don’t hold back! 

Final warning: there will be SPOILERS beyond this point! Don’t scroll down if you haven’t seen the movie!

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About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.
  • Manuel Orozco

    I already gave my thoughts but I might as well state them again. The Lego Batman Movie was on par with the first Lego Movie. Colorfully animated, surprisingly heartfelt and absolutely hilarious! I didn’t get all the Batman incarnation references since I didn’t see all of them. I’ve only seen Christian Bale, Ben Affleck (so far) and Michael Keaton’s turns as the Caped Crusader. 4/5 stars

  • Fadi Antwan

    I didn’t really enjoy it. The humor was very dry and silly, just not my style. The story was not nearly as creative or interesting as The Lego Movie and the animation was not as eye-popping. Most importantly, one reviewer (I don’t remember who) asked “why is this film animated in the Lego world?” And I have to agree, It could have been a regular CGI film, and the only difference would be aesthetics.

    I suppose it’s a harmless family movie, just don’t expect to get much out of it.

  • It was a ton of fun! I saw it not even knowing I was even going to see it in theatres at all and it was so much fun!! But maybe also not as fun as I originally thought but that’s again what happens when I get really hyped, I don’t dislike it at the least it was a fun ride and probably one of my favorite Batman movies ever
    Robin was probably my favorite, he was so precious!! :DDDD

  • Not sure what it was, but I just couldn’t connect with this movie. It was the same issue for me with the original Lego Movie also. I think the problem, for me, is the animation. Nothing against the animation at all, it’s done so well that it looks like it could’ve been animated in stop-motion with actual Legos. And that, to me, just isn’t all appealing. Although I find the world and style very creatively done, it just leaves something more to be desired animation-wise. I just can’t get myself into watching jerky moving plastic brick toys up on the big screen. Nothing against these movies at all, but for whatever reason, they’re just not for me. I was hoping that I’d be able to get past this issue since I love Batman, but again for whatever reason, this movie, for me, just didn’t stick. Most the humor was ok, but at some point I just found myself getting bored, which NEVER happens in an animated movie.

    One redeeming thing about the movie is that it’s a clean, decent Batman movie that the whole family can enjoy. I had no problems taking my 9 year old nephew to watch this with me. He’s really into superheroes lately, and has never really been able to watch the live-action films since I don’t consider the content to be “Family-Friendly” even with the Disney/Marvel movie. It was nice to finally say “Yes” to one he asked to go see with me.

    So that’s my opinion. Not a huge fan of the Lego-style animation, but somewhat enjoyed it since it was based on the Batman franchise. Not sure I’ll be checking out future Lego movies in the theater, but might not mind renting them or catching them on Netflix. Also, as stated above, if you have younger kids who love Batman, but feel the Dark Knight trilogy is too much for them, this is the perfect movie to enjoy with them, so definitely take advantage of that.

    • brandon

      LEGO movies do have a very particular ‘look’ to the animation. You’d be hard-pressed to enjoy them if you can’t buy into it, that’s for sure.

  • Dave 52

    The LEGO Batman Movie is already one of my favorites of the year. I am honestly having hard time seeing any other animated film, with the exception of Coco and maybe Ninjago, surprasaing it. Chris Mckay and the entire team have given us a Batman film that is hilarious, fast-paced, very clever, surprisingly emotional, and has a better understanding of the character than his last outing. I loved every single minute of it. If this, as well as WAG’s previous films are any indication, they right reclaim their title for being the animation studio with the cleverly funniest films. Let’s hope that they bring us more great things in the future with Ninjago, Smallfoot, and S.C.O.O.B.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Ninjago should be cool. If S.C.O.O.B.’s teaser is a hit, I will pay to see it in Fall 2018. The animated films I will pay to see this year besides Ninjago are Smurfs Lost Village, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3 and possibly Fernidand from Blue Sky.

  • Fluffydips

    From the 90% of the film I saw it was a classic like the first one. Too bad the movie theater lost power just as the climax began. At least I’ll get to see it twice because I got readmission tickets.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Lost power? That’s not good

  • I was honestly quite disappointed that Lego Batman dropped the hyper realistic approach that The Lego Movie used (and from the trailers at the beginning, it looks like Ninja Go has gone and left it in the dust). I really only went to Lego Batman because my brother’s a huge Batman fan. I don’t no zlich about superheroes in general, so I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like it, but the second the movie started I was pulled straight in. The story is well written and engaging, there is not a moment of boredom to be found. Batman is a fun and lovable character, despite or perhaps because of his rather narcissistic qualities. The humor in this movie is also well done, while some gags did fall flat, most of them had me laughing. The message of The Lego Batman Movie is sweet and dare I say simple? I found the side characters to be quite likable (Alfred is a new favorite of mine), though I could’ve done without the romantic plotline. It never really went anywhere, it wasn’t resolved, and while it did allow for some golden comedic moments, it just wasn’t necessary. All in all a fun film to watch, enjoyable for both Batman enthusiasts and superhero rookies alike. Probably not one I’m going to watch over and over, but who knows, I might just pull it out once and awhile.

    • brandon

      To be honest, the shift from hyper-realism had to happen if future LEGO movies were to dip into other genres (superheroes, martial arts, racing, etc).

  • I had a lot of fun while watching the movie. The opening was enough to set the tone the film was going to be. I’m not sure it balanced the more serious moments that well, but at least we FINALLY got to see a theatrical batman flick where he has a new family at the end and nobody died in the story. Huh, no one did die in this film unlike the Lego Movie. That’s surprising.

    Also the Lego Batman film gave a better suicide squad story than the actual suicide squad film did.

  • I’ll be honest, I didn’t care for this movie. The animation by Animal Logic was fantastic as
    usual and the story was quite clever. It was a fresh take on the story of Batman & Robin,
    while tying together other elements of the DC universe. But, I didn’t like the execution of
    it. The pacing was way too fast, the movie almost never took a break from the constant
    action. I also didn’t care for some of the characterizations, such as making Batman a jerk
    who’s also immature, for the sake of demonstrating that message of teamwork. All in all
    the story was clever, the animation very detailed, but ultimately LB’s hurt by its execution.

    • brandon

      The LCU’s version of Batman was portrayed as an immature man-child from the onset. I personally feel that a lot of his ticks and traits in LEGO Batman were well-established in LEGO Movie 1 and enough so to where people were able to latch on to this version of the characters (he was a fan-favorite in LEGO Movie 1, after all).

      • Never saw the Lego Movie so I didn’t know he was supposed to be like that.

  • brandon

    Two things (concerning the story):

    One, the use of the Phantom Zone from Superman mythology, as incorporated into the LCU mythology, was interesting. It’s even more interesting knowing that there is a ‘multiverse’ of sorts within the LEGO world (or should it be dimension?). I don’t know if this is really the case, but I’m willing to bet that these are all villains that the Master Builders had put away at some point. I do have a feeling the we will see ‘The Ubers’ again.

    Also, the time skip. Unless anybody didn’t catch it at the beginning, LEGO Batman takes place three years after LEGO Movie 1. LEGO Movie 2 is supposed to take place four years after LEGO Movie 1, and it’s been three years since LEGO Movie 1 came out IRL. So that’s cool to see that they are utilizing this gap in time (as it pertains to the ‘real world’ presented in LEGO Movie 1) to tell stories that may link up with each other down the line.

  • Chris

    The script was terrific, with plenty of really funny jokes. But the movie was waaaay too fast paced to tell those jokes correctly.

    If they had slowed down and told fewer jokes, the jokes they told would have been twice as funny. The direction style was to just bombard the audience with jokes, but that style never works. It just becomes tiring, and drains life out of the characters.

    A better director would have had more faith in some of the jokes and would have emphasized some of them, instead of giving every joke equal emphasis.

    • brandon

      I guess the LEGO Movie brand of humor is a lot more of an acquired taste than I once thought.

      For me, I kinda like the fast pace. Should some jokes have more breathing room? Sure, but in too many animated films, jokes can get dragged out to the point of cringe-worthy tedium. The LEGO movies smartly eliminate that problem by simply assuming that the audience can handle layered jokes told in a mile-a-minute fashion rather than running it into the ground.

    • Dave 52

      Actually, the director, Chris Mckay, did a phenomenal with the direction of the movie. The fast pace of the film does not come from lack of faith in the jokes it comes from inspiration from other films with that fast pace and energy.

      Mckay specifically wanted to make LEGO Batman in a vein similar to films like “Airplane!” where there are like five jokes per minute and you might have to re watch the movie to catch all the jokes whether they be verbal or visual. Mckay was a director on several “Robot Chicken” episodes and you can really see that style and influence in this movie that which like “Airplane!” and “Robot Chicken” is essentially a parody or satire of Batman. The quick, non-stop pace, which was also used in the orignal LEGO Movie works for this film and keeps the movie going and it doesn’t really drain anyone except maybe the audience who can’t keep up with the pace. The life of the characters can’t be drained because they are at the same pace of the movie.

  • Renard N. Bansale

    This Dark Knight-centered spinoff of the 2014 breakout animated film The Lego Movie amounts to pure, manic, and unfunny energy coupled tedious, manipulative, and soap opera-quality drama scenes, demonstrating that writer-director Chris McKay’s experience from the hilarious, burst-sketch adult comedy of the Robot Chicken animated TV series translates ineffectively to the big screen. That audiences and critics have accepted as clever humor this film’s constant sloppy piling of Batman references, absent of The Lego Movie’s playing the boundary between reality and imagination, speaks volumes on the sad state of modern cinematic comedy.