The LEGO Ninjago Movie 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
So what the heck is a Ninjago? I asked myself that question about 8 months ago when I first saw the trailer for the latest LEGO movie, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE. Like most non-LEGO collectors over the age of 15, I was unfamiliar with the original LEGO brand and so my wife and I sat down with our two young boys and watched an episode of the TV show on Netflix. While we appreciated the show for what it was, our boys completely flipped out over it and since then, our house has been nothing but Ninjago and I’ve had to learn to like putting together the LEGO sets. So entering into the feature film, I was at least loosely familiar with the plot; the evil Lord Garmodon wants to take over Ninjago City but his brother is training a bunch of teenage ninjas to stop him. Borrowing heavily from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and loosely from Star Wars, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE isn’t the most original animated film, but it’s surprisingly fun.
I went into THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE with high expectations and ended up severely disappointed with the film that should have been much better than it was. Kind of the opposite is true with THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE; it was a lot better than it probably should have been. Unlike the Batman movie, the Ninjago movie never takes itself too seriously. Everyone involved embraced the type of humor from the original LEGO MOVIE and ran with it. The jokes fly at a furious pace and when the characters aren’t being funny, there are some enjoyable action sequences. I’m sure a lot of people will look at the big “mechs” the Ninjas drive and acknowledge how cool they look, but all I saw were dollar signs flying across the screen and out of my wallet.
If there’s a problem with THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, it’s that the film doesn’t take any time to set anything up, so those unfamiliar with the series might feel a little lost. On one hand, I appreciated that we jumped right into a world where the bad guys and good guys were already defined and we were just there to see how they resolved things. But a part of me feels like they missed an opportunity to win over new fans to the world of Ninjago for the sake of getting to the action. That said, the movie doesn’t follow the cartoon series exactly, so fans of the show will have to be accepting of some of the liberties the filmmakers made.
At first glance, THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE is another toy cash-grab from LEGO and Warner Bros. and even as a fan of the movie, I have to concede that it sometimes feels that way. But the writing team and the filmmakers still managed to craft a fun, exciting film that has enough jokes to appease the adults and plenty of action and humor to entertain young kids. If you’re even loosely familiar with what a Ninjago is, then I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by the movie.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I say this on virtually every animated 4K feature, but the fantastic looking Blu-ray makes the 4K seem less. The film looks great on Blu-ray and there’s not much room to improve with the 4K. You’ll notice some slightly more bold colors and maybe some added detail here and there, but it’s just the nature of these movies that the 4K isn’t going to provide much of an upgrade.
Audio: The same Dolby Atmos track from the Blu-ray is extremely impressive and the movie uses it to its full advantage.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Commentary with everyone involved with making the film: I’m exaggerating, of course, but there are about a dozen people sitting in a room talking about the movie. On the plus side, you get some opinions and facts from people that normally don’t participate in commentaries, but on the downside, it’s impossible to know who is saying what or even catch everything that’s being said. I get why they involved so many people, but there was just too many participants.
Featurettes (18:20): Three featurettes covering the making of the film, Jackie Chan’s involvement and some fan made movies. I had no idea how involved Jackie Chan was in the film.
Mini Movies (9:45): Three mini movies, but only one of which is a fully animated LEGO movie. It involves Master Wu battling it out with an entitled chicken.
Outtakes (4:40): For some reason, animated outtakes crack me up.
Promotional Material: Just over 20 minutes worth of fun little blurbs introducing you to the movie or getting you ready to see the movie.
Deleted scenes (7:40)