By Ariel Kohane
“Ninjago” is Warner Brothers Studios’ latest and greatest addition to their series of animated LEGO films. With its fun-to-watch animation style, cast of classic characters, and silly jokes, it’s the perfect family movie! And with its incorporation of LEGO sharks, it makes it the perfect movie for any Simmons student!
The movie centres around teenage Lloyd and his gang of undercover ninjas. They use their powers of the elements to protect the Island of Ninjago from the villainous Lord Garmadon, who just happens to be Lloyd’s estranged father. Throughout the film, Garmadon and his son work through the problems in their relationship and stitch their family back together. Although considered a “kids’ movie,” Ninjago brings some difficult issues to the surface.
One of the reasons why Lloyd is so resentful of Garmadon is because his reputation as an evil conqueror has caused Lloyd’s classmates to think that he must be evil, too. This prejudice against him is what drives him to become a “Ninja Master,” so he can prove his peers wrong. Children who feel as if people only see them as a copy of their parents can relate to him, as well as his desire to create his own identity.
The theme of family is also tied into the movie’s theme of identity. At the climax of the story, the audience is given a glimpse into the separation of the Garmadon family. This subplot explains why Lloyd’s mother left his father. It’s quite an emotional scene, because we see how happy the family was when it was together, and how sad Lord Garmadon was as he watched his wife take their son away from him. Movies geared toward younger audiences don’t always go into detail when it comes to broken families. Ninjago portrayed this in a tasteful and heartfelt way that showed the emotionality behind both sides of the split. It doesn’t make Lloyd’s mother look like a monster for what she did, in fact, it makes her seem stronger. She leaves Garmadon because she doesn’t want a life of evil and conquering for their son. Her decision is as hard on her as it is on her husband.
All in all, Ninjago was an excellent movie that I would definitely recommend watching. It makes for a fun evening full of laughs, tears, LEGO sharks, and sick ninja moves.