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Breaking down LEGO Ninjago brick by brick


Even with the trailer having landed recently there's still a degree of mystery surrounding the LEGO Ninjago film (it is about ninjas after all), but we’ve managed to do some digging. Here’s what we know...

It's based on the Ninjago toy set

This might be an obvious one – it’s literally in the title – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. LEGO’s next film will focussing on one of their own playsets rather than an external pop culture character as they did with Batman. However, unless you’re a LEGO enthusiastic or a 10-year old, you probably don’t know much about Ninjago.

Just as the title suggests, it’s about ninjas. But not ninjas from a bygone era. These ninjas feature in a technology-advanced world, with robots that look like they’ve jumped straight from a Transformers movie. And to make things even crazier, LEGO threw in a dollop of dragons.

LEGO Ninjago is a relatively new thing, with the first set being released in late 2010. Since then, there’s already been a TV series and a few video games based on the series. And now, of course, there’s going to be a feature-length film.

There's some fantastic voices behind the bricks

There’s been some great voice actors in LEGO movies so far. Chris Pratt starred in The LEGO Movie, while Will Arnett was the dark knight in The LEGO Batman Movie. LEGO Ninjago is no different in this regard, with a stellar line-up of actors lending their voices to brick figurines.

Martial arts legend Jackie Chan voices Master Wu, an old ninja who assembles a team of six teenagers to fight evil. Sounds a bit like Marvel’s Nick Fury if you ask us, just with a Gandalf-like beard and awesome ninja skills. James Franco also joins the cast as the as the hero Lloyd Garmadon, while Michael Pena, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods and Abi Jacobsen take up supporting roles.

The big bad, meanwhile, will be voiced by Justin Theroux. He's no stranger to being the bad guy, recently playing as the Evil DJ in Zoolander 2. But rather than playing awful music and challenging people to dance-offs, Theroux will be a lot more evil this time around as he takes the role of Lord Garmadon. Yes, he is our central character's father. Uh oh...

The story is all about family – aww!

While it’s true that dragons and massive robots will appear in LEGO Ninjago, there’s still set to be a lot of heart in this blockbuster. Then again this isn’t the first LEGO movie to have a gooey centre. In fact, both of the previous films centred on family, and it looks like Ninjago will do the same.

As mentioned Lord Garmadon is actually the protagonist’s father. What is it with Hollywood and evil dads? It’s bad enough when they don’t stick around for your childhood, but when they start embarrassing you by destroying cities and beating up your friends, then it’s about time you put a stop to them. Fortunately, the protagonist’s uncle is Master Wu, so not everyone in the family is a bad egg.

As well as making you laugh, LEGO Ninjago is likely to get you all teary-eyed at some point. And if you think that children’s films aren’t capable of forcing tears, then you’re clearly forgetting about The Lion King and Bambi.

The director is a master of family entertainment

While Master Wu knows everything there is to know about ninjas, the movie's director Charlie Bean has directed some of the best cartoons throughout his career, from Dexter’s Laboratory to Samurai Jack and SpongeBob SquarePants.

More recently, he was the director and executive producer of the Tron: Uprising television series on the Disney Channel. His impressive CV does suggest that LEGO Ninjago will be aimed at children more so than the previous two LEGO films, but most of Bean’s work in children’s TV has included the odd joke for adults too, so there’s likely to be something for the whole family.

It's out this year!

LEGO Ninjago hits Cineworld on 13th October. Can’t wait that long? Then go and The LEGO Batman Movie – out now!

Ryan Jones is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.