Animated Movies, Reviews, Warner Animation

[REVIEW] The LEGO Ninjago Movie

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When I first heard about The LEGO Ninjago Movie, I rolled my eyes, and I thought to myself that Warner Brothers was going to beat this franchise to death. The LEGO Batman Movie was one thing, it had a precedent in the main film, as Batman, was probably the best character, and to give him his own movie, just made sense. Yes, It’s not related to the story of the original movie in any way, but that’s understandable, given that they were going more for a Batman parody film, rather than a true sequel to The LEGO Movie.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie however, is a completely different thing altogether. First up, what even is a Ninjago? I think I’d seen the LEGO sets as I walked past down the toy aisle at Walmart, but beyond the fact that it was a series of toys from a franchise based on no outside properties beyond LEGO, I didn’t know what it was, so what was the point of making it into a movie? I had no plans on seeing it, because I figured it was a cheap cash-in on the success of The LEGO Movie. Then I saw the first trailer. I was actually shocked to find myself laughing through the whole thing, and by the time the giant, live-action cat showed up, I knew I’d been wrong, and I was actually excited to see the movie.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie completely blew my every expectation away. I’m not entirely convinced that this was NOT an attempt to cash in on the success of The LEGO Movie, but even if it was, this is the way you do it. The writing was hilarious, as should be expected in a LEGO movie, the characters were surprisingly well developed, and the designs of everything was excellent. I haven’t bought a LEGO set in years, but now I really want to go out and get myself a set of Lloyd’s giant green dragon mech.

I’m not going to give away much of the plot beyond what is revealed in the trailers, but for those of you who might be wondering about what the movie is about, think Power Rangers meets Transformers, meets LEGO, with a little Indiana Jones type adventure sprinkled in for good measure.

Ninjago is a LEGO city that is constantly threatened by Garmadon, a four-armed villain, who wants to rule the city. Ninjago is protected by a group of six teenage ninjas who all pilot giant mechs, to battle whatever evil force might be attacking their city, usually Lord Garmadon. However, the leader of the ninjas is a kid named Lloyd, Lloyd Garmadon, the son of their greatest foe.

Most of the plot stems from the troubles that Lloyd has endure from being the offspring of this evil tyrant. From the internal struggle to come to grips with this fact, to all the bullies, as well as just about everyone in general, hating him because of who his dad is. In true LEGO movie fashion, none of this is played very seriously, and even when it is, everything is still couched in hilarity. The one liners flow freely in this film, and barely let up even for a second.

All in all, I loved this movie, and if you were a fan of either of the first two LEGO movies, there’s a pretty good chance you will too. This movie is fun, creative, exciting, and hilarious, and I highly recommend it.

Are you planning to see The LEGO Ninjago Movie? If you have seen it, what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.

  • Fadi Antwan

    Whoa, it’s really refreshing to read a positive review for this movie! I’ve heard nothing but bad things about it, and I just find it hard to believe that a movie in the Lego world could really be boring. The first two were anything but boring. Planning to see for myself soon enough.

    • Mr Kidnapper McBlackmail

      teeeeeechnically mpore critics liked it than disliked it. It has 52ish Rotten Tomatoes and even that says it has charm, and it’s biggest sin is not living up to the other movies’ greatness.

      • Fadi Antwan

        Most of the the positive reviews on RT are not really positive.

  • It’s frustrating when critics give Ninjago a bad review just because it’s not as good as the original two LEGO movies. Those original two films are really, really good, (and two of my favorite movies ever) and that’s a really tough bar to clear. Anyways, while I did think there were a couple plot elements in Ninjago that felt familiar from the first two, the clever story, awesome visuals, and zany humor helped make it an entertaining movie. Man, there were so many laugh out loud moments in this movie. Just like Jonathan, I highly recommend The LEGO Ninjago Movie!

  • Rachel Wagner

    I wasn’t a big fan of Lego Ninjago so I am glad you enjoyed it. I found it rather derivative of a lot of other films which made it dull. I did think anything with the cat was very funny.

  • Manuel Orozco

    Ninjango is on par with the previous Lego movies. It wasn’t hysterical like Batman but still has the astonishing visual quality we now expect from a movie with Lego anywhere in the title! Garmadon’s redemption arc was a little cheesy especially when he showed a (spoiler alert) sincere smile for the first time. When (spoiler alert #2) Lloyd touched the cat to set his dad free, I felt a little How to Train Your Dragon deja vu. Kudos to Jackie Chan for his clever use of live action narration and voicing Master Wu. 4/5 stars

  • Dave 52

    Ninjago is definitely the weakest in terms of the LEGO films. However, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It still has the great sense of comedy, fun, anarchy, and heart that made the previous films some of my favorite movies. Is it perfect? No, it does have it’s flaws but as a whole it’s a pretty fun time. Both this and Batman are both good films that, while they may have their flaws and don’t reach the heights of the original, they stand pretty well on their own. It’s films like these that get me excited to see what Warner Animation Group has in store for the future of the LEGO Movies.

  • I really liked the trailers for this one, so I think it might be a good rental for me! Glad to see another more positive opinion on this thats for sure! 🙂