While older audiences might scratch there heads when hearing the world ‘Ninjago’ but it’s a major IP for the LEGO brand. Having numerous TV show seasons on Cartoon Network, lots of LEGO sets, comic books and even portable games for the PS Vita & 3DS (including being a major franchise in the LEGO Dimensions series); this is a major franchise. The next major step is a feature film and with the success of LEGO in theaters, it makes a lot of sense to give Ninjago some further attention.
A new animated adventure in Warner Bros. Pictures’ LEGO® franchise, “The LEGO NINJAGO Movie” stars Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Zach Woods, and the legendary Jackie Chan. In this big-screen NINJAGO adventure, the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu.
Jackie Chan (“Kung Fu Panda,” The Karate Kid”) stars as Master Wu; Justin Theroux (“Magamind 2,” “The Leftovers”) is Garmadon; Dave Franco (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) plays Lloyd; and Olivia Munn (“X-Men: Apocalypse”) is Lloyd’s mom, Koko. Making up the secret ninja crew, Fred Armisen (“The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “SNL”) voices Cole; Abbi Jacobson (“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) plays Nya; Kumail Nanjiani (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”) is Jay; Michael Peña (“Ant-Man,” “The Martian”) is Kai; and Zach Woods (“Silicon Valley”) voices Zane.
“The LEGO NINJAGO Movie” marks the feature film directorial debut of Charlie Bean (“Tron: Uprising”). The screenplay is by Hilary Winston & Bob Logan & Paul Fisher, story by Kevin Hageman & Dan Hageman and Hilary Winston & Bob Logan & Paul Fisher, based on LEGO Construction Toys. “The LEGO NINJAGO Movie” is produced by Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Roy Lee, who previously collaborated on the worldwide box-office phenomenon “The LEGO Movie,” along with Maryann Garger (“Flushed Away”). Serving as executive producers are John Powers Middleton, Seth Graham
As someone who enjoyed the cartoon and The LEGO Movie, I feel this holds promise. While the overall story is similar to the series (stop Garmadon) from early seasons, the characters and personalities seem very different. But this is a good move; the movie might be many people’s first introduction to the brand and being set within the LEGO Movie universe will allow it to bounce off that movies successes. The animation looks great, writing is quite sharp and general story could be good; I really enjoyed the trailer.