Action Adventure

'The LEGO Ninjago Movie' Blu-ray Review: No Chris Pratt, no Batman, no problem

December 19, 2017Ben Mk





FEATURE: 
It was funny the first time, and, let's face it, it was funny the second time too. Now, the makers of The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie are back with The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and it's proof that films about the power of friendship, family and teamwork never get old as long as minifigs are involved.


Inspired by LEGO's Ninjago toy line, the story follows six teenagers whose secret identities make them some of the most important people their home — Ninjago City — has ever seen. Lloyd (Dave Franco), Cole (Fred Armisen), Jay (Kumail Nanjiani), Kai (Michael Peña), Nya (Abbi Jacobson) and Zane (Zach Woods) may seem like your average high school students, but under the tutelage of their Spinjitzu sensei, Master Wu (Jackie Chan), they're Ninjago's last line of defense against the maniacally evil Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), who also happens to be Lloyd's dad.

The movie often plays the Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader dynamic between Lloyd and Garmadon for laughs, as rightly it should. But if there's one thing that these big screen LEGO adventures have in common, it's that they all excel at injecting some genuine heart into the narrative as well. Thankfully, The LEGO Ninjago Movie is no different, and Franco and Theroux do a great job selling their characters' emotional arcs, even when the story finds them joining forces to stop a rogue feline — yes, an actual house cat — from wreaking havoc on Ninjago City.

With ample humor for both kids and adults, the result proves to be yet another smash hit for the LEGO cinematic franchise. Smart, sidesplittingly hilarious and just as visually enthralling — if not more so — as its predecessors, The LEGO Ninjago Movie once again takes a deceptively simple concept and transforms it into a creation of surprising depth. In and of itself, it's quite an achievement, but it's all the more impressive that the filmmakers have done so without the benefit of iconic superheroes or movie tie-ins this time around.

AUDIO & VISUALS: 
As with previous LEGO movies, The LEGO Ninjago Movie looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Whether it's the red glow of Garmadon's volcano lair, the intricate architecture of Ninjago City or the lush, green jungle foliage that surrounds our heroes as they journey to find the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, the film's CG animation is crystal-clear and the eye-popping and colorful visual palette is vibrant. Add to that not one but two lossless audio tracks — a Dolby Atmos and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix — and this is yet another winning entry in the LEGO franchise.


EXTRAS: 
Warner's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Featurettes (18:19) - Three featurettes that delve into the making of the film, Jackie Chan's LEGO fight choreography, and the winning short films created by fans for LEGO's Rebrick contest ("Team Supreme: Building NINJAGO," "Rumble in the Bricks" and "Rebrick Contest Winners").
  • Mini Movies (9:47) - Three mini-movies ("Shark E. Shark in Which Way to the Ocean," "Zane's Stand Up Promo" and "The Master: A LEGO NINJAGO Short").
  • LEGO NINJAGO TV Series Sneak Peek (11:14) - A clip from episode 75 of NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu - Sons of Garmadon.
  • Music Videos (6:58) - Four music videos ("Oh, Hush! & Jeff Lewis 'Found My Place'," "Everybody Have a Ninja Day," "Warlord Ballad" and "Rocktagon").
  • Deleted Scenes (7:40) - Three scenes with introductory commentary by director Charlie Bean ("Animation Bridge Test," "Baby Fight" and "Dock Scene").
  • Gimme Some Outtakes! (4:42) - A collection of staged outtakes.
  • Promotional Material (20:28) - Ten promotional featurettes for the movie ("The LEGO NINJAGO Movie: Behind the Bricks," "Please Silence Your Cell Phones," "Please Put on Your 3D Glasses," "LEGO Sets in Action," "The LEGO NINJAGO Movie: Ninja Formation," "Find Your Inner Ninja with Jackie Chan," "Ninja Jokes with Jackie Chan," "Kicks & Bricks: Making The LEGO NINJAGO Movie," "The LEGO NINJAGO Movie: Back to School" and "Me and My Minifig").
  • Commentary by Director Charlie Bean and Crew - In this commentary track, Bean is joined by twelve of his editors, layout supervisors, animation directors, associate producers, production supervisors and music executives to talk about the film's animation, the production and visual design, the voice acting, the cinematography, the editing, the music and the score, the jokes and more.


The LEGO Ninjago Movie is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of December 19th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 41 min.






* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on September 21st, 2017.



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