While LEGO fans have been mostly talking about The LEGO Batman Movie, there is another film later this year that LEGO fans can be excited about; The LEGO Ninjago Movie. It seems like this film has been going through several updates and changes based on what has been revealed so far, but according to the latest information the cast and storyline are now settled, and the movie should be in theaters on September 22nd. 🙂
First of all, there is this gorgeous new poster depicting Lloyd as an ordinary kid, and as the Green Ninja, with the subtitle: “Find Your Inner Piece”. You can tell just from this that the movie is going to be deep and funny at the same time. Then there is the brand new trailer, and a couple of previously released teaser-trailers that let us get a glimpse of what the movie is going to be about. You can watch all of them below.
As you can see, while the characters are the same as in the LEGO Ninjago TV show, their suits, hairstyles and even facial features are quite different. Kai’s hair is even messier than before, Nya grew her hair out, and Cole has some type of headband/hair-bun combination. The suits look simpler and more modern at the same time. I’m wondering if Nya’s leg-armor is going to be a new cloth piece, or (hopefully) soft plastic in the upcoming LEGO sets. Then there are all those amazing mechs!
The voice actors for the characters also changed, which may be quite a shock for many LEGO Ninjago fans. I know I will definitely miss Sensei Wu’s wise and caring voice. The new voice actors are as follows; Sensei Wu (Jackie Chan), Kai (Michael Pena), Nya (Abbi Jacobson), Jay (Kumail Nanjiani), Lloyd (Dave Franco), Zane (Zach Woods), Cole (Fred Armisen), Lord Garmardon (Justin Theroux), and Koko (Olivia Munn).
In addition, a news article published a few days ago in USA Today reveals some other interesting tidbits: For those who rank Darth Vader pretty high as Worst Dad Ever, meet Lord Garmadon. The black-helmeted, four-armed supervillain aims to rule over Ninjago City, and a team of teenage ninjas — led by his estranged son, Lloyd Garmadon – aim to stop the operatic sociopath in The LEGO Ninjago Movie. “It’s about a son having to live with this father who’s a threat to LEGO-manity (but) more about the son’s journey of forgiving him and learning to accept him for who he is.” Justin Theroux says.
Lloyd is a seemingly unremarkable kid in his daily life, but when he becomes the masked Green Ninja of the Ninjago superteam, “he has much more confidence … and wants to do everything he can to protect his home,” Dave Franco says. Also in his squad are the hotheaded Kai, robot Zane, über-rad Cole, insecure Jay, and strong-willed Nya. “They may be really cool as ninjas and the Ninjago world adores them, but at school they’re the geeks and nerds who are ignored.”
Master Wu is the group’s teacher – as well as Lord Garmadon’s brother – and Franco says he and Lloyd have a Mr. Miyagi/Daniel relationship, à la The Karate Kid. “It sometimes takes Lloyd a little while to grasp the lessons that Master Wu is trying to instill within him.” (Chan’s stunt team actually filmed the martial-arts sequences that the filmmakers animate over for the movie’s fights.)
Hanging over Lloyd is the shadow of his father, who left him and his mother, Koko, when Lloyd was a baby. An operatic sociopath, Lord Garmadon doesn’t exactly make the road to redemption easy. “I think he’s suffered a series of slights and cuts over the course of his life when people question his narcissism, so it’s made him more and more evil as a result.” Theroux says.
For Theroux, the magic of the LEGO movies like Ninjago is the blend of the distinctive look, playful energy and goofy humor that hits on multiple levels: Kids will dig Lord Garmadon riding a large mechanical shark with legs, while adults get the comedy of the supervillain frequently pestering Lloyd to find out if his ex-wife is seeing anybody. “Ninjago is one of the most insane places in the universe,” Theroux says. “So much of it makes no sense. It feels like it came out of the mind of a kid rather than out of the minds of some people sitting in a writers’ room.”
Based on a popular toy line and animated TV show, LEGO Ninjago is the third in the LEGO series of interlocking films, each with its own style: The successful The LEGO Movie in 2014 was the “call to adventure” project, The LEGO Batman Movie features action and superheroes, and The LEGO Ninjago is a mix of the martial-arts genre and Japanese kaiju movies with giant monsters and robots.
As you can see, The LEGO Ninjago Movie will have a similar story and settings as the LEGO Ninjago TV show, but different enough to make it into an interesting film. I feel kind of bad for Lord Garmadon that he has to go back to being the badguy. The whole revelation of Garmadon being Wu’s brother and then eventually redeeming himself and turning into Sensei Garmadon was one of the most dramatic features of the TV show. I wonder if The LEGO Ninjago Movie can deliver such a strong emotional impact when we already know the identity and fate of Garmadon.
And of course there are going to be LEGO sets related to the movie. We have briefly discussed them already, but I will include their names here for reference: #70606 LEGO Ninjago Movie Jay’s Electro Waver, #70607 LEGO Ninjago Movie Titanium Turbo, #70608 LEGO Ninjago Movie Samurai Stealth Takedown, #70609 LEGO Ninjago Movie Master’s Dojo, #70610 LEGO Ninjago Movie Nya’s Water Brigade, #70611 LEGO Ninjago Movie Dragon’s Cove, #70612 LEGO Ninjago Movie Spinjitzu Sanctuary, #70613 LEGO Ninjago Movie Ninja Wake Run, #70614 LEGO Ninjago Movie Kai’s Blazing Breaker, #70615 LEGO Ninjago Movie Rai Mech, #70616 LEGO Ninjago Movie Krypt of the Cave, #70617 LEGO Ninjago Movie Backstreet Break-in, #70618 LEGO Ninjago Movie Shadow Legion Ambush, and #70620 Ninjago Movie City Invasion. Besides these fourteen sets, there are also going to be a series of twenty LEGO Ninjago Movie Collectible Minifigures. You can also check out the currently available sets under the LEGO Ninjago section of the Online LEGO Shop.
All in all, I’m very interested to see how The LEGO Ninjago Movie is going to turn out, and I’m definitely rooting for its success. I’m much more a Ninjago fan than a Batman fan, so I hope that the film can deliver and reach the success of the previous two LEGO movies. What do you think? Are you excited about The LEGO Ninjago Movie? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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