Not content to just be plain old building blocks, the LEGO brand has grabbed up licenses to create products based on everything from “Star Wars” to “Harry Potter” and competitors Marvel and DC Entertainment. What was once just a toy has transformed into an animated phenomenon that simultaneously lampoons and pays homage to the biggest franchises in pop culture.
There have already been a couple LEGO “Star Wars” movies and a new TV show entitled “LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.” Anyone who casually keeps up with the world of children’s programming and toys knew it would only be a matter of time before the super hero industry got in on the LEGO animated action. DC Entertainment beat Marvel to the punch with “LEGO Batman: The Movie – Super Heroes Unite.”
In a plot to get himself elected president, Lex Luthor joins forces with the Joker to build a Black LEGO Destructor Ray and incite fear in the citizens of Gotham City and beyond. Batman reluctantly teams up with Superman to take on the destructive duo.
Things get even more complicated when Two-Face, Harley Quinn, the Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, and Poison Ivy join the fight. Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the rest of the Justice League storm into town to help the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel battle the super villains and stop their devious plan.
“LEGO Batman: The Movie – Super Heroes Unite” is the sort of self-referential entertainment that reaches out to both children and their parents. I can’t necessarily say it’s easy to sit through seventy minutes of this type of humor. However, it still provides some light chuckles and a few smiles. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out this is targeted at kids.
The high-definition audio and video transfer for “LEGO Batman: The Movie – Super Heroes Unite” will keep your child’s attention. There are plenty of stimulating explosions and other exciting noises circulating through the 5.1 surround sound mix. Just like the comic books, the vibrant and contrasting colors will have their eyes glued to the screen.
There are a few extra features which kids will enjoy. Their parents might find the bonus material more intriguing than the movie itself. “Building Batman” is a fifteen minute featurette consisting of DCU Lego Video Contest Grand Prize winner Garrett Barati taking us on a tour of his LEGO studio. He also provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of his Batman short film.
We also get to see the top five contestants in “Winning Shorts: DCU Video Contest.” “LEGO Batman Jumps Into Action” is a promotional clip with some stop motion thrown in. Lastly, we get nearly seventy minutes of episodes from “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and “Teen Titans” dragged out “From the DC Comics Vault.”
You’ll find “LEGO Batman: The Movie – Super Heroes Unite” will get a lot of repeat viewing from your children. Just like the LEGO “Star Wars” ones, my sons never seem to get enough of it. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a kid-friendly super hero gift that won’t just get tossed to the side after one watch.
“LEGO Batman: The Movie – Super Heroes Unite” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.