Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

The LEGO Ninjago Movie – A Clever Animated Film With Humor For All Ages

The battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, also secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat the evil warlord Garmadon, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting father against son, the epic showdown tests these fierce but undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash the inner power of Spinjitzu. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a clever animated film that stumbles in its first act but quickly reclaims its footing for a highly enjoyable finish.” Ryan R., adds, “This film is really fun, because it has humor for all ages and the special effects look very interesting and cool.” Calista B. chimes in with, “Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation, made using LEGOs. And, aside from a few live action parts, EVERYTHING is made out of LEGOs. And it looks amazing.” Morgan B. sums it up with, “What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure.” See their full reviews below.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

Surprisingly, I found this movie really enjoyable. I say surprisingly because, I am not a fan of Ninjago. Yet I managed to find it as funny and charming as the previous LEGO Movies.

The movie follows the story of the Green Ninja Lloyd, as he struggles to cope with his father, Garmadon, being an evil villain. This affects how the citizens of Ninjago see him and how they treat him. After Garmadon takes over Ninjago, the ninjas go on a journey to find the ultimate weapon to save Ninjago.

Of course, I have to start this review by mentioning the visuals. This movie is stop motion animation, made using LEGOs. And, aside from a few live action parts, EVERYTHING is made out of LEGOs. And it looks amazing. Like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, this movie looks so good. The city of Ninjago, the subtle Japanese atmosphere, the expressions, they all look great. Since this movie has a lot of action as well, it took over four years to make. It is so impressive and I can’t imagine what patience it took to create.

Similar to the other LEGO Movies, this film manages to be both hilarious, yet deep and meaningful. The story is all about a kid’s life being influenced by his dad’s bad choices, which is a heavy subject. It is handled very seriously and maturely. Kudos to the writers, Dan and Kevin Hageman as they’ve made an amazing product. The movie has moments where Garmadon and Lloyd talk about their relationship and their broken family. That is really well done. The voice actors are also really great. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay is a particular stand out to me. For some reason, I found his voice very adorable and energetic. Honestly, all the voice actors show a lot of energy and effort.

Now, as I previously mentioned, I don’t know much about Ninjago. I was nervous I wouldn’t understand this movie because I don’t follow the series. But thankfully I can say that is not the case. I know almost nothing, yet I got the general idea of the story. So, if you’re worried about not understanding the story, you’re in luck. This movie can stand alone. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. As for who I think would enjoy this movie, I recommend it for ages 5 to 18, and remind you that you don’t need to like Ninjago to enjoy it. This movie comes out in theaters on September 22, 2017 so, look for it.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a very cool and funny movie that is perfect for the whole family.

In this film, you meet Lloyd (Dave Franco), the green ninja, but outside of his ninja life, his dad is Garmadon (Justin Theroux), an evil ninja trying to rule Ninjago, Lloyd’s homeland. When Lloyd is at school he has to deal with bullying and is treated like an outcast because of his father. After a particular incident (can’t elaborate because it is a spoiler), Garmadon and Lloyd are forced to work together and go on an adventure. Joining them on this adventure to find their inner power are Lloyd’s friends, Kai (Michael Pena), Cole (Fred Armisen), Nya (Abbi Jacobson), and Jay (Kumail Nanjiani). The question is: will they find their inner power?

This film is really fun, because it has humor for all ages and the special effects look very interesting and cool. My favorite scene is when a real-life cat comes to Ninjago and starts terrorizing all the LEGOs. The cat looks like it really is destroying all the ninjas and civilians. I additionally like the water effects they use, instead of the using the traditional LEGOs, like they did in The LEGO Movie. I love the comedy because it has adult humor without making it obvious to kids and it’s not inappropriate. My favorite character is Garmadon because he always says Lloyd’s name wrong throughout the film. He also exaggerates when he tells his flashback story and it made me laugh a lot. It will definitely make you laugh as well. I must say this film doesn’t drag and there are a couple of New York anchors that make surprise cameos in this film. However, there is one thing I would like to point out. There are a few intense scenes, so this a know-your-kid kind of movie. This film also contains mild violence and rude humor.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 5 to 18. I think adults may like this as well. People who like action, adventure, family, children, LEGO and comedy films will also enjoy it. This film comes out September 22, 2017 in theaters nationwide, so go check it out. The LEGO genre is rising and you should go see it, because they are stepping up their game. This is a must-see film.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Age 12

What do you get when you mix a crazy cat, stealth ninjas and an evil villain? The LEGO Ninjago Movie which is an action packed adventure. I want to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie again and again because the animation is fantastic and uses real life LEGOs.

This story, told through the eyes of a young boy, captures your heart with friendship, parent controversies and team work. The voiceovers are magnificent. It’s as if you can feel the characters’ emotions from the tone of their voices. This film has terrific characters such as Master Wu (Jackie Chan). I love Master Wu and the way that Jackie Chan portrays this character as someone who knows some amazing karate moves to help their students. My favorite character is Master Wu because he is hilarious and tells some good jokes, even when he doesn’t know that he is making them. Guess what? A crazy fact about Jackie Chan (who has been acting since he was 7-years-old) is that he performs his own stunts and has broken every bone in his body. He is remarkable. I talked with him in person at LEGOLAND California just a few days ago. During our conversation, I discovered that his goal is to introduce children to martial arts and teach them how to find inner peace. Jackie Chan also plays Mr. Liu in The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

Cole (Fred Armisen) is a very kind and musical ninja at heart. When I met Fred Armisen, I discovered that he is very musical and knows how to sing Jingle Bells very well. I love the way that he connects with Cole through music and I love that they both love being ninjas, even when not on camera. Cole is a ninja who is very calm and quiet, yet when it is time to lay a bet no one is better for the task than him.

Lloyd (Dave Franco) is an amazing ninja who tries his best to do what is right and find a way to eradicate the evil Garmadon (Justin Theroux). Lloyd is the kid in school who no one likes because his dad is the evil villain Garmadon. During the daytime, Lloyd deals with bullies. Then at night and when he is needed most, he turns into a ninja with his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane.

Jay (Kumail Nanjiani) is the anxious, yet adorable kid who I love and, who in real life he thinks that the cat was a pain to shoot with. When they were shooting they used two identical, twin cats and it was very hard to shoot them for technical reasons. Kai (Michael Peña) loved the shoot and thought it was a dream come true because, when he was hired he automatically became a ninja inside and out and he loves that feeling. Zane (Zach Woods) says that he was practically born with a robot voice and that he didn’t have to practice at all for this role. Nya (Abbi Jacobson) told me that we all are ninjas and that we don’t have to worry about not being cool or amazing, as we are all those things at heart.

The best scene in this film is when Garmadon and Master Wu have a gigantic martial arts battle and fight each other for good vs evil. I love this scene because it is spot on with the timing and the ending was quite shocking. I recommend this film for ages 6 to 18 as well as adults. People will love it because of the adventure. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.  You can see The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22 when it opens in theaters nationwide.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a clever animated film that stumbles in its first act but quickly reclaims its footing for a highly enjoyable finish.

The storyline follows Lloyd, who on the surface is a typical 16-year-old. It’s Lloyd’s parentage that makes him different. He is the son of a ruthless warlord named Lord Garmadon. You’d think that Lloyd is the man himself considering how his fellow high school students constantly pick on him. Garmadon left when Lloyd was an infant and Lloyd has hated his father ever since. Advised by the noble Master Wu, Lloyd and five of his friends disguise themselves as ninjas in elaborate giant robots to fight against Garmadon’s attacks on their city. Wu sends Lloyd and his friends on a perilous journey to find weapons that can help them defeat a creature that poses an even bigger threat to the fate of Ninjago City than Garmadon and his goons.

My favorite character in this film is Lloyd (Dave Franco). This character has an emotionally rich back story that changes how you see him and made me sympathetic towards his character. Lloyd is surprisingly complex and the film shows how difficult it is for Lloyd to not give in to the negativity going on around him. Despite his evil roots, he comes out good-natured and more aware of the world around him than ever. Justin Theroux is great as Lord Garmadon. He gives the character a big personality. It’s a nice change of pace from his more dramatic work and you can tell he is having a lot of fun voicing this character. The father and son dynamic between Lloyd and Lord Garmadon is an excellent element of the story. The scenes they share are so funny and they do play off one another really well.

The action scenes in this film are very well executed. The fights feel well choreographed and they never lose my interest. The giant robots are cool to look at and fit each of the characters’ personalities and true powers, making them more than just machines.

I recommend this film to ages 4 to 12. Lord Garmadon could be a little frightening to younger children. I also think many adults will enjoy this film because there are some one-liners that are custom built for their amusement. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. You can see it in theaters when it opens September 22, 2017 so, keep your eyes out for it in a theater near you.


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