The LEGO Ninjago Movie Parent Guide
Bigger than just a family squabble.
Parent Movie Review
Some kids have a difficult relationship with their father and it may be due to a variety of reasons. But Lloyd’s father is a special case. He’s guilty of some of the usual father mishaps—like forgetting his son’s 16th birthday. But the biggest issue that causes Lloyd so much pain is his dad’s career as an evil bad guy.
Garmadon (Justin Theroux) attacks Ninjago City on a regular basis. His brick-smashing rampages are so frequent that the local TV news depends on him for entertaining programming. (Nice to see the LEGO creators are still offering up some media cynicism.) Even more thrilling for the locals is when the team of mysterious, ninja warriors, who pilot Transformer-like robots, come to the rescue.
Everyone knows Lloyd (Dave Franco) is the offspring of the most evil guy in the world and the citizens of Ninjago City voice their displeasure toward the teen boy by ostracizing and demeaning him. But what they don’t know is that Lloyd is none other than the Green Ninja, one of the six heroes who save the day… everyday.
Teens Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya and Zane (Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Abbi Jacobson and Zach Woods) all bring their unique talents together and, along with Lloyd, are trained in the ways of martial arts by Master Wu (Jackie Chan). But their dependence on oversized robots to defeat their archrival is coming to an end when Garmadon promises to attack with his “ultimate weapon”. Now Master Wu determines to teach his charges the true methods of the warrior, including finding your inner piece.
This movie follows the build template of the previous LEGO outings with jabs at popular culture and specifically the martial arts movie genre. It also offers positive messages that range from the dangers of depending on technology, the desire to understand our role within a team and, for parents, our responsibilities as role models for our children.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a fun diversion that will likely appeal more to the typical ages that would purchase the toys this film deftly markets. Of course, you can expect a lot brick-busting action sequences and Garmadon’s feelings toward his son are often emotionally hurtful—a point that may be bothersome for young audience members experiencing similar situations. Yet, while it’s a good choice for young viewers, it may not prove to be the blockbuster that was the fate of the first LEGO cinematic treat.Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher . Starring Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Fred Armisen, Zach Woods, Abbi Jacobson, Justin Theroux. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release September 22, 2017. Updated September 22, 2017
The LEGO Ninjago Movie
Rating & Content Info
Why is The LEGO Ninjago Movie rated PG? The LEGO Ninjago Movie is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild action and rude humor.
Violence: Many scenes depict confrontation between a menacing adversary and a variety of warriors. The animation depicts LEGO creations (some people) being crushed, broken up and tossed. Fantastical weapons, all made to look like LEGO blocks, fire at buildings and vehicles. Fires burn and a “creature” destroys other parts of the city. A character threatens to throw others into a fiery volcano. In a live action, opening sequence a young boy is bullied by schoolmates and he seeks refuge in a store. Other animated sequences have characters who are bullied and made fun of. A side-storyline discusses marital discord and the reasons why two parents chose to divorce.
Sexual Content: A character’s ethnic dress is pulled off in a fight and his adversary teases him about wearing “tighty whities”.
Profanity: Some mild rude terms are heard, like “butt” and “dork”. Some name calling is included. A character talks about vomiting (but doesn’t).
Page last updated September 22, 2017
More parents' guide for The LEGO Ninjago Movie after the break...
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Parents' Guide
What is Lloyd seeking in his relationship with his father? What statement is this moving making about the role of a father in a child’s life? Do you agree with this statement? Is it valid within the context of what we are observing in our society?
How is television news depicted in this movie? How does this align with the news you see on television? Would you watch TV news that was all about positive stories? Why are we drawn to disaster and tragedy? How might TV news leave us feeling about the world around us?
News About "The LEGO Ninjago Movie"
If this movie is the first you have heard of LEGO’s Ninjago, then you are behind the times. (And likely over ten-years old and not an avid LEGO fan.)
Ninjago has been an offering of the toy blocks company since 2010, and its merchandise includes sets and figures, games, videos, a TV series and theme park attractions. It’s latest marketing endeavor is this feature-length film.
Following in the successful box-office footsteps of The Lego Movie and The Batman Lego Movie, this animation uses Ninjago’s martial arts theme. Based on the pervious character development done with the product, but forging a new storyline, the film features six teenaged Ninja warriors in training: Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya (voices of Dave Franco, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Fred Armisen, Zach Woods and Abbi Jacobson). Their sensei of Spinjitzu is Master Wu (voice of Jackie Chan).
The plot centers mostly on Lloyd, because he is the estranged son of the evil Lord Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux). As the six pals set out to stop the dark villain, Lloyd also faces the stigma of being related to the world’s worst bad guy, the sorrow of never having had a relationship with his dad, and an endless list of unanswered questions about the past.
But don’t feel too bad if you too have questions about this trendy kids’ pastime. Many of the actors weren’t familiar with the phenomenon either when they first approached the script. Justin Theroux said “… when I got cast, [kids reacted] like I just got cast as Luke Skywalker. I quickly educated myself [and] realized how cool it was.”