Movie Review – UglyDolls – Best for toddlers, but a good message for all children


Movie Review - UglyDollsUgly Dolls is 87 minutes of bright color, almost constant motion, and singing — so much singing — which will make your toddler dizzy with delight. Parents will need to go to the nearest Starbucks for a jolt of caffeine before driving home.

The theme of the movie — learning to love yourself for who you are — is easily understood by the parents and kids over 6. However, the younger set, all the way down to the ‘still in diapers’ stage, won’t care, because they’ll be glued to the movement and color on the screen.

The songs all had messages in their lyrics, albeit with mixed messages. One sings about how if you’re ugly you’re not worthy of love; another has a happier message telling the listener that being ‘different’ only means you are “special.”

Again, it doesn’t matter — toddlers like sounds, not words. For all they care, the Ugly Dolls could be singing about tax reform, as long as it’s loud and strident.

Parents, here’s my suggestion: wait for the video. For under five dollars you can rent this movie and avoid the cost of tickets and the gold plated popcorn. And here’s the bonus; you can sleep through it.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: There’s so much color/action/song going on in this short film that I had to use one of the songs as a Peetime. Since the movie is only 87 minutes long, I felt that one Peetime, coming near the midway point in the story, should be adequate.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of UglyDolls. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for thematic elements and brief action
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Movie Review – Missing Link – Fun, will appeal to all ages

Movie Review - Missing LinkLaika Animated Studios has given the fans another film to add to their collection of ‘Must See’ stop-motion movies.

Hiring Zach Galifianakis as the voice of Susan, the missing link, was a stroke of genius. Even though Susan is a large, frightening creature, Zach provided a voice that took away the fright, and replaced it with a calm, gentle, and innocent demeanor that makes us fall in love with the big guy.

Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana brought their ‘A’ game, bringing the two main human characters to life with just right amount of attitude, charisma, and love-ability.

The plot of Missing Link is for Susan to find his own kind of species, which takes him on a global search along with Lionel, a self-proclaimed explorer, and Adelina, a strong determined widow and former girlfriend of Lionel’s. Add all of this together, and you’ve got a fun-filled movie that will appeal to all ages.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: From opening credits to the end of the movie, is only 1 hour & 25 minutes, so I made a judgment call and felt that only 1 Peetime was needed.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Missing Link. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for action/peril and some mild rude humor
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Dumbo Review – The Original 1941 Animated Classic: High Time for a Remake

animated dumbo 1941 classic
Such a cutie. But the classic is off-putting and makes you cry. A lot.

The original 1941 Dumbo is a strange little movie. Not only is only an hour long (it’s almost a long “short”, if you get my meaning), but has many weird scenes of mostly padding (which would make for great Peetimes, BTW).

It’s also…um…wildly racist (there’s no other way to say this, and not in just the scene with the jeering crows — don’t even get me STARTED on Song of the Roustabouts). And Dumbo is so casually, completely inhumane. The moniker “Dumbo” alone is intended as a cruel nickname by his own fellow elephants — his actual birth name is Jumbo Jr, in case you wondered.

But much worse, Dumbo the film depicts the massive abuse of circus animals, with harsh whips, cruelly binding leg chains, and minuscule cages. Circus performers are willing to toss baby animals a thousand feet off of rooftop platforms, because they reason the higher the fall, the more money they will make…and so what anyway, because “Elephants are made of rubber.” (Listen to the clowns talk this over. Seriously.)

Also, a crucial plot point features the main character, an infant, getting massively drunk. The ‘pink elephants’ sequence is played for laughs, but, you know what? I’ve been drunk, and I don’t hallucinate. That watered-down champagne must have had something much more hard-core in it. The scene is weird as hell, and if I was a child, it would give me nightmares.

These things just wouldn’t ‘fly’ today – pardon the pun.

From the get-go, I honestly thought Dumbo was a strange choice for one of the first live-action remakes from the Disney Vault. There are a whole lot more bigger hits to choose from, and at least a dozen Disney Princesses to get through.

But. It’s not all bad: Dumbo has Disney Classic status after all.

So, I re-watched the original to prepare for the 2019 Dumbo redo and, yes,  I sentimentally cried. A lot. Granted, I’m an easy crier, but the mother-child scene set to the tune of “Baby Mine” had me really blubbering. Dear lord. Much as I complain about the unforgivable inhumanity of the 1941 Dumbo, this is absolutely a moment I want to see in the remake.

There’s other good stuff too. The unnamed mouse deserves a medal for going above and beyond in being a true friend. We should all be so lucky to have such a “mouse” in our lives. Compassion, as a concept and in execution, is where Dumbo shines.

I’ll talk about that below the video of the original trailer:

So I wondered about the Dumbo remake. Maybe the general theme of love and kindness is enough of a reason to drag this out of the Vault.

The aforementioned kindly mouse who befriends poor baby Dumbo contains a great message: even one small person can make all the difference in someone’s life.

And Dumbo reminds us that taunts hurt, especially about body image: it’s not just about teenage girls. There is tremendous pressure to be a perfect physical specimen. This is certainly timely in our modern era.

And the crows do come around and help transform Dumbo’s life. Their song is a showstopping standout (“When I See An Elephant Fly“) with the bestest puns, and I hope this is retained — minus the off-putting racism.

Ultimately, my hope is the new Dumbo will increase awareness about the plight of elephants in worldwide circus acts and zoos. And in the wild, if one can dream. I was heartened to learn  PETA contacted Tim Burton to change the ending of the new Dumbo — and Burton did! —  in a way that should be very satisfying and maybe give us a few tears of joy in an iconic film, for once.

You will believe an elephant can fly.

Flying is, of course, a metaphor for finding one’s own path to happiness and meaning. And I say YAY, with fingers crossed, that the remake will give us exactly that transcendence humans can achieve if we care enough.

Soapbox off.

(PS: Extra note: Dumbo won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Original Score. I’m adding the videos and lyrics to some of the iconic songs to RunPee already — see below.)

Movie Grade: I can’t even grade Dumbo without overthinking it. I like the idea, and there are lovely grace notes, but man, is this film is so bizarre for today’s audiences. I wouldn’t let children watch it without a lot of discussion. Maybe give it a C+ for what they attempted to do, within the mentality of the 1940s. Buried under all the uncomfortable weirdness and unpleasantry, there’s a good message and a lot of heart.

Dumbo – Lyrics and Video to the Original Disney Classic Song Baby Mine

Movie Review – Dumbo – A remake your kids will enjoy

The Biggest Upcoming films of 2019 – Get Excited!

Movie Review – Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

Movie Review - Nancy Drew and the Hidden StaircaseWho would have thought that Nancy Drew would still be rocking it after 89 years?

This new and improved version of Nancy Drew is perfect for the target audience of today’s prepubescent girl. The movie addresses bullying, body image hating, peer pressure, and the need to fit in as the new kid in school. So it’s a job well done for the writers, and director Katt Shea. Young girls will flock to this movie.

The acting was well done, and I can’t say enough about the performance given by Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew. She provided most of the comedic relief with her perfect delivery of some hysterically funny lines. The ‘new Drew’ is spunky, funny, rebellious — but in a cute way — and smart, and doesn’t understand the meaning of ‘no’ or ‘you can’t do that’. She’s a great role model!

And it was so nice to see Linda Lavin — of Alice and Barney Miller fame — is still cranking out product at 82 years young.

I whole-heartedly recommend Nancy Drew for kids of all ages, but most especially, prepubescent girls.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This was a short movie, needing only 1 Peetime. I chose 1 at about half way through the movie: it gives you plenty of time to get back to your seat before the drama picks up again.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for peril, suggestive material, thematic elements and language
Genres: Crime, Drama, Family

Zero Song – Video & Lyrics from Ralph Breaks the Internet

ralph breaks the internet and princess venelope
Wreck-It Ralph himself – proof one can be both zero and hero.

Ralph Breaks the Internet, the lovable sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, plays almost like a Disney princess musical, which it kind of is, as an affectionate parody Disney surprisingly put forth in a very meta manner. (Disney having a sense of humor about themselves floored me in almost every way.)

It’s pretty catchy, but not the worst earworm ever: that award has to go to the aptly-named Catchy Song from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

Here’s the charming 8-bit end credit video and movie lyrics from Zero, by Imagine Dragons:


Zero

(Sung by Imagine Dragons)

I find it hard to say the things I want to say the most
Find a little bit of steady as I get close
Find a balance in the middle of the chaos
Send me low, send me high, send me never demigod
I remember walking in the cold of November
Hoping that I make it to the end of December
27 years and the end of my mind
But holding to the thought of another time
But looking to the ways at the ones before me
Looking for the path of the young and lonely
I don’t want to hear about what to do
I don’t want to do it just to do it for you

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

I find it hard to tell you how I want to run away
I understand it always makes you feel a certain way
I find a balance in the middle of the chaos
Send me up, send me down, send me never demigod
I remember walkin’ in the heat of the summer
Wide-eyed one with a mind full of wonder
27 years and I’ve nothing to show
Falling from the doves to the dark of the crow
Looking to the ways of the ones before me
Looking for the path of the young and lonely
I don’t want to hear about what to do, no
I don’t want to do it just to do it for you

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

Let me tell you ’bout it, well let me tell you ’bout it
Maybe you’re the same as me
Let me tell you ’bout it, well let me tell you ’bout it
They say the truth will set you free

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

(Songwriters: Benjamin Arthur McKee / Daniel Coulter Reynolds / Daniel James Platzman / Daniel Wayne Sermon / John Hill Zero lyrics 2018 © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Walt Disney Music Company)


By the way, Ralph Breaks the Internet is up for an Oscar for Best Animated Picture for the 2019 Oscars. It’s a very enjoyable romp, even if you never saw the original movie. Also up for consideration: The Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, and Into The Spider-Verse. My money is on Spider-Verse, because it is that awesome, but each one of these are absolutely worthy.

Related RunPee posts, for your consideration: 

Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet

Movie Review – Wreck-It Ralph

RunPee and the 2019 Oscars – Predictions for the 2018 Movie Awards

Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

Elizabeth-Banks-as-Lucy
Lucy, being moodily awesome.

I was surprised how pleasantly musical the second official Lego movie was, with at least three, and perhaps four, really cheerily/moodily stand-out hits. The original Lego Movie only had the one notable Everything is Awesome tune. It was such an earworm that WB execs clearly decided to build on that base for the continuing adventures of Emmet and Gang.

The sweetest, least potentially irritating Lego song is this new version of the original Awesome pop hit. (Unlike, say, Catchy Song…)

Here’s a video to the Lego sequel’s soulful reprise of Everything is Awesome, both stirringly bleak and sneakily hopeful.  (So far I only can find an audio version, as the movie JUST came out. I’ll add a movie clip when it’s available):


Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

 

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
Everything’s not cool
I am so depressed
Everything’s not awesome

[Verse] Whoa, I think I finally get Radiohead
Bro, you should check out Elliot Smith
What’s the point? There’s no hope
Awesomeness was a pipedream
Aye, my spirits be at the bottom of the sea
Love’s not real, I just wanna eat carbs, pass the ice cream
I am not a thing you can just use to fill emotional voids with
Stop, everyone, okay, just listen

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
But that doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless and bleak
Everything’s not awesome
But in my heart, I believe (I believe)

[Bridge] We can make things better if we stick together (If we stick together)
Side by side, you and I, we will build it together (Yeah, we’ll be together)
Build it together (Together forever)
All together now

[Refrain] This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
Heart

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
Things can’t be awesome all of the time
It’s an unrealistic expectation
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try
To make everything awesome
In a less idealistic kind of way.
We should maybe aim for not bad
cuz not bad right now would be real great

[Bridge] Everything is better when we stick together (We stick together)
Side by side, you and I, we will sing it together (Always together)
Party forever (Together)

[Refrain] This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
Heart…

(Written by James Rushent, Shawn Patterson, and Jon Lajoie. 2019. 
WaterTower Music: sang by Richard Ayoade, Chris Pratt, and Elizabeth Banks. Interpolates Catchy Song by Dillon Francis — Ft. That Girl Lay Lay & T-Pain)


The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

 

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

Stephanie-Beatriz-as-Mayhem
General Mayhem, living up to her name.

One of the fun surprises about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is how it became a full-blown musical ensemble, unlike in the three previous Lego films, which had only the one notable song (Everything is Awesome). In Lego 2, there was a moody reprise of Everything is (Not) Awesome, a show stopper bringing down the house from DUPLO Queen Whatvra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Hadish, having a great year), the insanely irresistible “Catchy Song” — the plus this final credit sequence song Super Cool by Beck, featuring Robyn and the Lonely Island. I found myself bopping along to the beat during the end credits. I see a lot of movies for RunPee each year, and few films inspire a whole ‘seat-dancing’ routine on my end, like this did.

META NOTE: The Super Cool lyrics are innovative on a whole other level –> they’re actually about how amazing it is to be the end credits song itself. They say it’s the best spot to be a song in any movie: “I roll into the theater about 90 minutes late, skip the whole dang movie, ’cause the credits are great. Now if you’re gonna be featured on a movie song, the credits is the part that you wanna be on.” I’ve before never seen or heard any film song break the 4th wall in a self-aware way. Have you?

This is a good little tune. (The actual end credits scene is not available yet on YouTube, but this will get you hyped to dance around to the beat. If you find a better video, please tell me in the comments.)


 Lyrics to Super Cool in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

(Song by Beck)

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

We gotta bring both sides together
Like champagne and leather
Like birds are with feather, we’ll fly
Like rain on a sunny day
Like a million dollars that you’re givin’ away
Like a stray dog on the freeway, we’ll fly

‘Cause we’re all like a team
Livin’ inside a dream

You and me doin’ our thing
And we’ll fly, woo-hoo

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

It’s the credits, yeah that’s the best part
When the movie ends and the reading starts
You can keep your adventure and all that action
‘Cause the credits of the film are the main attraction
And don’t even think about try’na leave
Or you might miss a name like Pam and Steve
Both incredible names, so let’s stay in our seats
And read incredible lists of their incredible feats

‘Cause we’re all like a team
Livin’ inside a dream
You and me doin’ our thing
And we’ll fly, woo-hoo

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

And we’re back, and still lovin’ the credits
Can’t wait to see the one about the person who edits
And even better than that is who edits the credits
I bet I’ll never forget ’cause once I read it then I’m ready
I roll into the theater about 90 minutes late
Skip the whole dang movie, ’cause the credits are great
Now if you’re gonna be featured on a movie song
The credits is the part that you wanna be on

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now
Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now

Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now
Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now…

(Beck, featuring Robyn and the Lonely Action.  2109.)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

Tiffany-Haddish-as-Queen-Whaterva
The most evil Duplo queen in all of Brickdom?

In a Lego Movie sequel full of big musical earworm hits, Tiffany Haddish managed to pull the house down with her showstopper Not Evil, as Queen Whatevra Wa’nabi explains that while she’s a completely totalitarian Duplo Queen, she’s honestly just sweet and loving, and completely misunderstood.

(Also, her name makes meta sense if you say it enough times. BTW, the “Systar System” reference took me a while to get as well.)

Here’s the early video for Not Evil ( I expect the scene itself will be available soon), followed by the Lyrics, below:


Not Evil

(Sung by Tiffany Haddish and Lego Cast, 2019)

[Intro: Elizabeth Banks & Will Arnett]
Oh no, are we in a musical?
Uh, hope not…

[Verse 1: Tiffany Haddish]
Hello, friends, my name is Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
Don’t worry, I’m totally not one of those evil queens
You’ve read about in fairy tales or seen in the movies
And there’s no reason at all to be suspicious of me

[Refrain: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, & Choir]
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
Hmm-mm
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
…I don’t know. It’s very suspicious that you’re leading with this.

[Verse 2: Tiffany Haddish]
I’m so not a villain, I have zero evil plans
No ulterior motive, just want to help where I can
I wanna shower you with gifts ’cause I’m selfless and sweet,
So there’s no reason at all to be suspicious of
Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
The least evil queen in history
And if you do not believe me
I totally won’t imprison your family
‘Cause that’d be evil, and that’s so not me

[Refrain: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, & Choir]
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
…Really? ‘Cause I’m getting super evil vibes here.
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know

[Verse 3: Tiffany Haddish & Charlie Day]
Benny, do you like spaceships? ‘Cause I think they are great
How’d you know that? Loving spaceships is my one defining trait!
Well now, my good friend, you can build the spaceship of your dreams
On your very own planet with your own spaceship-building team

[Interlude: Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, & Nick Offerman]
Come on, do not fall for this!
Wyldstyle!
Haven’t you heard? There’s no reason at all to be suspicious of her!

[Refrain: Elizabeth Banks, Nick Offerman, & Choir]
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
Yeah, I know she keeps saying that, but she’s clearly an evil queen
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
Yar, well, I’m not buyin’ it

[Verse 4: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, & Nick Offerman]
MetalBeard, a pirate without a ship, that’s so cruel
It’s like a spider without a web, or a queen without a fool.
Even her metaphors are suspicious…
I’ve got a surprise for you —
A planet that’s really a pirate ship, and the population: your crew!
Her story checks out, she’s cool, not evil.

[Verse 5: Tiffany Haddish, Allison Brie, Will Arnett, & Elizabeth Banks]
What about me?
Unikitty, what’s the most glitter you can imagine?
A lot!
Times that by infinity —
Woohoo!

And, Batman,
Don’t even try it, lady, I don’t need anything —
Oh, I know, that’s why I’m going to give you half of everything!
Uh, like everything everything?
Everything everything.
She’s rad. This chick gets me.
Here’s some other adjectives people use to describe me:
Unduplicitous, unmalicious, unconniving, unnasty…
— You’re clearly just adding ‘un’ to words that describe you!
Who? Me?

[Chorus: Tiffany Haddish]
I’m Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
I never trick people into trusting me
By hiding my true personalities
So I can use them to accomplish my evil deeds
‘Cause that’d be evil, and that’s so not me

[Bridge: Tiffany Haddish]
I never cheat, I never bribe, I never scheme, I never lie
And that wasn’t a lie when I said just now that I never lie
‘Cause I never lie, and I never laugh when children cry
And I never poison enemies of mine
And I never cry when I’m alone at night
‘Cause I’m not sad — I love my life!
I’m gettin’ off track; let me get back to the point I was makin’

[Chorus: Tiffany Haddish]
I’m Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
The most least evil person you’ll ever meet
And if you make eye contact with me
I totally won’t have you executed immediately
‘Cause that’d be evil (Evil), evil (Evil), evil, and that’s so not…me…

More Lego Movie Song Hit Lyrics & Videos

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

 

Are the Four Lego Movies Sequels or Prequel Films?

chris prat is emmet brickowski in the lego universe
Emmet and his awesome Lego world.

As an adult, I’m surprised at how fun these Lego movies are. Are Legos considered kids’ toys? Or are Legos  nostalgic and expensive boxed kits for adults who refuse grow up?

Let’s take a look at how each Lego movie fits into the series so far. They all have adult humor mixed in with exciting kiddy fun. Some are better than the others, narratively.

So there are four Lego movies in total, right now. But do you need to see each of the previous three to appreciate the “official sequel”? Here’s what you should know:

 

  1. The Lego Movie — This film introduces the characters in the main Lego storyline.  You need to know Emmet, Lucy, Lego Batman, Benny the Spaceman, Unikitty, and Metal Beard. This film is so much fun that you won’t regret making a watch happen to prep for the sequel. This is technically the ‘origin story.’
  2. The Lego Batman Movie – Although this seems like a standalone film about Batman and the Bat Crew, it’s difficult to place, since Will Arnett does the Lego Batman voicing in three films. Before Lego 2 came out, I was wondering how this would fit in, or if it would just be a confusing mess that viewers would have to ignore/live with. I was happy to note Lego Batman had a nice little throw-away line early in The Lego Movie 2, about how he went through love and loss in his own movie (thus being available to continue his story in the “Second” part). I’ll take anything to help me determine continuity, because my geekhood knows no bounds. If this seems confusing, just think about it this way: after Batman’s first appearance with Emmet in Lego 1, he goes on to have his own side-film. Then canonically, he returns in Lego 2, which is either the 3rd or 4th Lego movie in the series, depending on whether you include the Ninjago film. This flick can go either way – you can see it as a stand-alone ‘spin-off’ film about the earlier Batman character, or a sort of side-story that squeezes between Lego 1 and 2. 
  3. The Lego Ninjago Movie – This is the most problematic entry. Not one character from before or after appears in the other flicks (at least on the big screen; apparently there are small-screen Ninjago shows for the fans on Netflix). I’d say this is a stand-alone in the movie franchise, unless future films add the Ninjagos to the larger arc with Emmet and friends. Another note: The Lego Ninjas are teenagers, and the characters in the other films are adults. And they all live on different continents. Just saying – I’m not sure the Ninjas will be brought into the fold. A stand-alone film.
  4. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part – This picks up immediately after the original Lego film with Emmet and Lucy (and yes, Batman)…then quickly makes a five-year jump into an apocalyptic future, with our Bricksburg characters battling the super sweet, creepy Duplos from space. The official Lego sequel.

So, what Lego Movies do you need to watch before Lego 2: The Second Part?

  • You have to watch The Lego Movie (the original) to understand what’s happening with the Lego crew in 2. You just do. I’m not sure you’d understand the sequel at all if you don’t know the backgrounds of Emmet’s pals. There are so many in-jokes and half-hidden Easter Eggs; it was so full of visual gags that we had trouble finding good Peetimes. [pullquote]This is the only previous film you NEED to be up to date on in the Lego series. So that’s okay — you can safely ignore the next two.[/pullquote]
  • You can skip the Lego Batman Movie, since it has no relation to the main narrative…although if you CAN see this, you should. It’s hugely amusing, and Lego Batman’s story does continue in the Lego 2 film. Will Arnett voices all of the Batman roles, and does a bang-up job in his three films. The meta Batman voiceover during the opening logo credits is worth the ticket price right there! Good fun.
  • You can pass on The Lego Ninjago Movie entirely, since it has zero to do with the main arc, and is quite a bit more juvenile in tone, characterization, and plot. I’d say it lies within the Lego Universe, but only loosely.
[pullquote position=”right”]Altogether, all you NEED to see is the first Lego movie to understand Lego 2. [/pullquote]You can watch Lego Batman to fill in some extremely minor gaps, or miss it completely and be fine. Lego Ninjago doesn’t fit at all into the main  narrative, so feel free to ignore it entirely.

So, easy peasy. Just watch the first Lego film at the minimum to get ready. Do you agree with our assessment?

Movie Review – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Chris Pratt and the Lego Cast go to Space Camp

The Cast of Voices for The Lego Movie 2 – The Second Part

Lego Movie 2 Holiday Short – Christmas is Awesome

Movie Review – The LEGO Ninjago Movie (the least exciting Lego film for adults)

Quiz – The Lego Ninjago Movie – Fun kid action in the shared Lego movie universe

Movie Review – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

 

Movie Review - The Lego Movie 2: The Second PartWhat a charming, amusing, engaging, but ultimately fluffy bit of fun The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is. It’s right up there with the enjoyment level of the original Lego film and The Lego Batman Movie, although perhaps a little less sensibly told, narratively, than either.

The story rambles all over the place, with most scenes serving as adorable kiddie sight gags and adulty-level Easter Eggs. Nothing really important happens. ([pullquote]Remember — DUPLOS are the big bad now, so you have to go with that level of absurdly subversive cuteness. Somehow it works. Let your cynicism go.[/pullquote])

I wish there had been more of the kind of Master Builder moments we saw originally — which is kind of what the Lego phenomenon (“Kragle” aside) is about. I think there was one split-second where Lucy has a callback to her Master Building skills, and it’s instantly glossed over. However, note that Master Wrecking is now a thing. The double decker couch does make a return appearance…so yay there. 🙂

[pullquote position=”right”]There’s ultimately a fantastic message in Lego 2, about how your point of view informs your reality. [/pullquote]It’s a timely enough truism for all ages, whether you are a President in charge of the world, or a young kid just wanting to be included.

What else? We don’t get enough Unikitty (NEED MOAR kitty!), MetalBeard, or Benny the Spaceman…although Lucy, Emmet, and Batman do quite well for themselves. Chris Pratt carries off a dual role with his usual big-hearted goofy aplomb. (Most of the runtime showcases Pratt’s two characters talking to each other. It works, but takes away from the initial engaging ensemble appeal.)

There’s also a TON of fantastic minor voice cameos, illustrating how excited many celebrities were to have even a tiny bit to contribute to the Lego spotlight.

Also, if you like science fiction — and especially time travel movies — there’s a little nod to everything notable in that realm of film iconography. [pullquote]Pay close attention, and listen to every throw-away line.[/pullquote] (Example: even Hot Tub Time Machine has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shoutout, and that’s digging deep into adorkable movie randomness.)

You can tell Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and Elizabeth Banks — with the welcome addition of Tiffany Haddish — had a GREAT time filming their sequel. They clearly went all in. According to Chris Prat’s latest tweets, he’s thrilled with Lego 2. While Pratt seems legit thrilled with everything in life (he kind of IS Emmet), this is a worthwhile movie event for everyone.

I have no complaints (besides a couple of minor nits to pick, already mentioned), and had an “Awesome” time at the movies.

I even went to the Lego store next-door to my AMC theater immediately afterward, and picked up a mini-figure of Emmet, because I now kind of love him. (And then lost an hour wandering around and fantasizing about assembling Lego Deathstars, Hogwarts Castles, Millennium Falcons, and Jurassic Park set-pieces, but apparently that’s a hobby for the rich. Yikes. It makes me understand the whole “Kragel” business — if I spend that kind of money and time on something, nobody better not mess with it.)

[pullquote position=”right”]Well recommended, and see the 3D version if you can. Great for adults and children alike, although you’ll be a bit lost if you haven’t seen The Lego Movie 1 (“the first part”).[/pullquote]

PS: You don’t need to see Lego Batman to understand Lego 2 (Batman’s solo films is passed off with a toss-away line). And you can ignore The Lego Ninjago Movie entirely. Trust.

PPS: This song is gonna get stuck  inside your head. 

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: I have 3 decent Peetimes up now and am trying to see if I can squeeze out a better one somewhere. This movie is FULL of Easter Eggs and humor, and it was nearly impossible to find a span of 3 minutes that we’d consider a great Peetime. I had to see this film twice last night. I’m going over my notes to see if I can tweak these to make them better. So far, the 1st Peetime is the best.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for mild action and rude humor
Genres: Action, Adventure, Animation

DVD at Amazon.com

Blue Ray at Amazon.com

Are the Four Lego Movies Sequels, Prequels, or Stand-Alone Films?

The Cast of Voices for The Lego Movie 2 – The Second Part

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

Chris Pratt and the Lego Cast go to Space Camp

Lego Movie 2 Holiday Short – Christmas is Awesome

Movie Review – The LEGO Batman Movie – One of the BEST Batman films, ever

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie