Thank you to Warner Bros. Pictures for inviting us to Legoland California for THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE press junket!
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE opens in theaters today and trust me when I say, this is a must-see film this weekend. Action-packed and hilariously entertaining for parents and kids, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE brings back to the big screen the unforgettable heart, wit, and humor audiences loved from the franchise's first two LEGO films, THE LEGO MOVIE, and LEGO BATMAN.
Unlike previous LEGO films, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE fuses state of the art digital animation alongside organic elements to craft an all-new look and feel of the film. A style that parallels the imagination a child expresses as they play with LEGO's in their own backyard, inspiring children everywhere to unlock their inner Master Builder.
The story itself touches on the theme of family values and self-discovery, as young Lloyd, who is dedicated to protecting the City of Ninjago from his father Garmadon, is forced to tackle challenges that are bigger than he could have ever imagined.
As the action unfolds, Lloyd and his fellow ninjas will need to look within to find their inner peace, as they learn it takes friendship and teamwork to protect NINJAGO City from Garmadon and the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE is now playing in theaters everywhere. Get your tickets here: http://tickets.legoninjagomovie.com
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Cast Interviews, Toys, Review, and More!
The Legoland Hotel
As we arrived at Legoland California for THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE event, we were excited to check into the Legoland Hotel for the first time ever. It's been a dream for our family to stay at the Legoland Hotel, but, since we live in Southern California we've always made our trips to the park a day visit.
The outside of the Legoland Hotel is designed to look as though it's built out of LEGO's. Inside you will find life-sized LEGO Minifigures, a LEGO play bin, and upon check-in, each child is invited to participate in a LEGO scavenger hunt around the hotel, where they can solve puzzles to find the code that will unlock a safe in the hotel room. Inside the safe is a prize, you've probably guessed by now the prize is a small LEGO set, and best of all guests get to keep the prize for hours of fun at home.
Rooms are themed just as LEGO sets are themed, and for this event, it was no surprise we were booked into a LEGO Ninjago themed room. Check out how amazing our room was in the slideshow below.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Cast Interviews
While at Legoland we also had the opportunity to interview the cast of THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. The movie, now playing in theaters, stars Jackie Chan as kung fu legend and wise teacher, Master Wu. Dave Franco as Lloyd, the green ninja, and the other ninjas' fearless leader. Justin Theroux as Garmadon, Lloyd's father and the guy who is always trying to take over the NINJAGO city. Olivia Munn as s Koko, Lloyd's loving mom, and Garmadon's not so loving ex-wife.
Michael Pena as Kai, the hot-tempered but warm-hearted fire ninja. Kumail Nanjiani as Jay, the surprisingly shy lightning ninja who likes to play with lightning bolts. Zach Woods as Zane, the half-robot ice ninja. Fred Armisen as Cole, the earth ninja and freelance deejay. And Abbi Jacobson as Nya, the tough as nails water ninja with a passion for motorcycles.
Also attending the interview was producer Dan Lin, who has been instrumental in bringing all three of these fantastic LEGO movies to the big screen; producer Chris McKay, who directed the LEGO Batman movie and also has been with the franchise from the very beginning; director Charlie Bean, making his LEGO directing debut, and not only committed four years to this amazing project but moved across the world to do it.
Q: What was the process like of making a film that was built brick by brick?
Charlie Bean: Even though the film is made in a computer, we make the film in a similar way to the way that you build bricks, each individual brick. We make all the bricks in the computer, and then we design the whole world brick by brick in the same way that you would build in real life.
Chris McKay: We want the movie to feel like kids are playing with toys. We try to make it as tactile and photo-real as possible so that it replicates the idea of what it feels like when you're playing with your toys.
That's what we love about it. We try to replicate the stop motion look and feel of real plastic. I think it brings a real charm to these characters. That's what's fun about these movies. It also feels a little bit reverent and innocent.
Dan Lin: Every one of our LEGO movies looks different. You guys saw the–hopefully saw the LEGO movie. LEGO Batman was a little darker. This one's probably our brightest, most beautiful movie yet, and we've incorporated lots of natural elements into it. In the LEGO movie, you saw water made out of bricks. Here we'll see real water, real smoke, real fire, real trees and plants, so it's really beautiful to see LEGO mixed with Mother Nature.
Q: What made you decide to join the franchise?
Dave Franco: The creative team behind these movies somehow finds a way to make the humor appeal equally to my nephews, who are all under the age of five, as it does to my friends who are in their 30s. And that's not an easy task.
Michael Pena: I'm like I didn't care who was making the NINJAGO movie, I was going to try to be in it 'cause me and my son, we've watched the first two seasons. And you know how kids are. They'll watch the same thing over and over, and we love you guys for that.
My son is so psyched on it. We came into LEGOLAND, his head almost exploded, like, three times, I swear to God. “Did we just miss that?” And they were so psyched on it. Then when they saw the movie, I swear my son said it's the best movie he's ever seen in his life.
Q: For Jackie Chan, what advice would you give future kung fu artists and karate artists?
Jackie Chan: Just practice. You don't have to practice to knock somebody down. Martial arts exercises are good for your brain, good for your health, good for your everything. When you know martial art, you respect everybody, your parents, your teacher, and nature, the whole world. I think martial art is a good exercise sport.
Q: Filmmakers, why you decided to include the–a change your point of view line? I don't think I've seen that specific line in a family film before, and I just recently learned that that is part of coping skills or teaching to kids.
Chris McKay: Yep, changing your point of view. Yeah, I think the idea was Lloyd was going through something where he was still a kid and he had a kid mind, and he was selfish. In the beginning of the movie, he's selfish.
He looks at his relationship with his father, one way, that he is an antagonist, that his father is a problem that he needs to solve as opposed to looking at his dad from a different point of view.
We wanted people to look into NINJAGO from a different point of view. That's why Jackie says that in the beginning of the movie. We wanted Lloyd to look at things from a different point of view because that's his arc, to go from being a child, where you're not really sympathetic to other people, where you're not really empathetic.
Empathy is a big part of becoming an adult and understanding other human beings, sympathizing, empathizing with other human beings. The idea of looking at people and sympathizing with other people, sympathizing with what his dad went through, observing what his dad went through, that's a big part of his change. That way then he can help his friends. He can become a better leader. That was sort of where some of the impulses from that came from.
Q: Olivia, with all the focus on the young, how did it feel being the caring mom and then the cool mom, and that you find out was a little cooler than you thought and making every scene count, every single scene that you were in?
Olivia Munn: What I loved about this character was that I wanted to play the mother as just the eternal optimist. Lloyd, her son, is going through a really tough time and she just wanted to love him through it, that no matter what he brought to her, whatever attitude he might have that day, that she wasn't going to judge him for that moment, that she was just going to keep loving him through it.
With Koko, what I loved is, out of all the things that she could be in the world–and it's clear when she shows who she really is and what she's done, out of all the things that she could do, she chose to be a mother. That said so much to me. She could have been a hero for many, but she chose to be a hero for one. That, to me, just shows how important being a mother is. I just loved that part of her, and it was really fun to play.
Q: Jackie Chan, you had Jackie Chan Adventures. You've been in Kung Fu Panda and now LEGO NINJAGO. Has animation been good at showing how martial arts are performed and what martial arts can do?
Jackie Chan: Yes, because sometimes martial art, you have limits. In the cartoon, martial art unlimited in the way you can do anything, everything. You never get old. That's the most thing.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE is now playing in theaters everywhere. Get your tickets here: http://tickets.legoninjagomovie.com
NEW The LEGO Ninjago Movie Toys
At THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE event, we also have the opportunity to check out and play with some of the new LEGO toys featured in the film. Check out our photos from the Master Build Session with LEGO Master Builders from Denmark, as well as some of our favorite new LEGO Toys.
Construct Wu's huge ninja training base, Destiny's Bounty. This highly detailed THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE model consists of 3 modular levels and features a double-headed dragon figurehead, decorated sails, wind-up-and-release anchors, dojo area for ninja training, a bathroom and Wu's bedroom in the hull. This amazing model also includes hidden weapons including the ultimate weapon— the laser-style pointer, plus 7 minifigures with assorted weapons to bolster the exciting role-play possibilities.
Join a ninja mission to infiltrate THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Temple of the Ultimate Weapon. The temple features a secret entrance, trapdoor function, rock-dropping and dynamite-dropping functions, blade-shooting and chopping-sword traps, dungeon, a hanging cage to capture a minifigure inside, and a pull-out section with poles for minifigures to leap between to reach the treasure chest. This set includes 7 minifigures with assorted weapons and 2 buildable temple guardian figures for endless action role-play fun.
Team up with Wu and Kai to take on Jungle Garmadon in this awesome THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Master Falls set. The jungle bridge features an opening cage and a hidden cave with a skeleton inside holding a secret map. Also, includes 3 minifigures with assorted weapons – including Wu's staff and 4-armed Jungle Garmadon's 4 swords – to bolster the role-play action.
Defend NINJAGO City against Garma Mecha Man Includes 4 mini-figures: Garmadon, Great White, Lloyd and Pat Recreate and role-play exciting THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE scenes.
Get set for sizzling battle action with this huge and highly posable THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE mech. The Fire Mech features an opening minifigure cockpit, 2 shoulder disc shooters and 2 arms with non-shooting fire blasters. Includes 6 minifigures with assorted weapons—including Kai's katanas and Zane's bow and arrow—to offer even more thrilling role-play possibilities.
Legoland California and Sea Life Aquarium
After the event, our family was invited to spend a day at our favorite LEGO themed park, ride the LEGO NINJAGO ride, and visit the Sea Life Aquarium. Our kids also discovered minifigurine trading and had a blast running from through the park trading up their figurines pieces, hats, weapons, hair, and more throughout the park.
About The LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE
Find the Ninja Within Ya. The LEGO NINJAGO Movie arrives in theaters September 22!
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. Rated PG
Portions of the material for THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE Cast Interviews, Toys, Review, and More! post has been provided courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.