In a world that is dominated by Disney animation, it is all the more satisfying when another worthy contender tosses their hat into the arena and is crowned a victor. Such is the case with The Lego Batman Movie.
“Assembled” by the same animation studio that brought us the Lego Movie (2014), the newest installment of this franchise does not betray its newer fan base. Despite the fact that this film was inspired by a marketing plot to sell toys, (like its predecessor) the movie truly stands its ground and will appeal to audience members that have never touched a Lego block.
In this version of Batman, the Chuck Norris-esque hero has to come to terms with the fact that accomplishments and full trophy rooms can’t replace the need to be wanted. But the depth of the message isn’t the only thing that is winning audiences over. The overall script should receive a nod for being so gosh darn entertaining. Again, similar to the original Lego film, the dialogue cushions grown-up humor in just enough silliness to make it appeal to children and parents alike. Sure, the kiddos won’t understand the commitment banter between the Joker and Batman, but they will definitely giggle when the Joker gives him a quivering lip, puppy-eyed look. In fact, this movie is so funny that I imagine most adults will overlook the highly predictable plot. This is one of the few cases where I didn’t lament the fact that the preview gave away the story. The film is what it is and it works fantastically well.
The impressive script also shines thanks to the extremely talented voice cast. Will Arnett reprises his role as the husky-voiced hero and Michael Cera makes for an “Awww” worthy prepubescent Robin. Other Lego newcomers include favorites such as Zack Galifanakis (Joker), Ralph Fiennes (Albert), and Rosario Dawson (Barbara Gordon). Countless celebrity cameos can be spotted as well. Frankly, it goes without saying that the honor of receiving a cameo in a Lego film is on its way to reaching Muppet and Star Wars level status.
Again, audiences will get a chance to delight in the unique visuals of Lego “worlds”. The simplistic, yet complex use of actual Lego blocks and CG animation makes for a style that can’t be replicated. (That is, unless an off-brand Lego manufacturer decides to invest time in producing a direct-to-DVD feature.) The immense level of detail guarantees that it will take many, many viewings to catch all of the delicious tidbits.
Simply put, Warner Brothers Animation has knocked another one out of the park. If you’re a parent, rejoice that there is another reason to take Frozen out of the DVD player. And if you’re just a person who enjoys to smile, don’t wait for Redbox.