This post is in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures
“THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE” is coming out in theaters Friday, September 22nd. Trust me when I tell you that you will want to see it immediately. But wait. Let me tell you about what I did last week.
I get invited to some pretty fun events. And I also get to see some pretty sweet movies so that I can tell you all about them.
Last week. Eric and I drove down to Carlsbad (that’s an hour away measuring by California distance) to Legoland for a delightful junket. I’m excited to tell you all about the movie, but of course, I had quite a few adventures before we even got to the interviews.
The Legoland Hotel
We checked into this deliciously fun hotel not knowing what to expect and not having any small children with us.
But our room. It was a Pirate Room, people. Oh, my lucky stars!!
We hadn’t even started our itinerary and already we were crazy-in-love with this delightful hotel. However, I decided it was a bit overstimulating for me. So much to see and do. So many rich LEGO details. I was worried at first that we hadn’t brought the kids. Now it seemed like the smartest move.
On to the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE…
The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.
First of all, have you seen the trailer?
Please appreciate this trailer before I burst from excitement. I’ll wait.
Hilarious, right? The entire movie is like that. Laugh out loud funny from start to finish. Also, it has something for pretty much all ages.
The story focuses on young Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. ()f course!)
Led my 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.
So Eric and I checked into the Legoland Hotel with our group of mom bloggers and soon found ourselves being shuttled over to the local theaters for a special pre-screening of the movie.
Guys! We were both so delightfully entertained. It’s funny and smart and bright. Even the dark parts – and there are a few – have lots of diffusing humor. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a movie more. I’m recommending it to everyone.
We were treated to a party at the hotel after the movie. Lots of delicious food and photo ops. I swear, we were so enamored by everything having to do with The LEGO NINJAGO Movie. I’m pretty sure you can guess that from all these pics.
During the film we sat next to this very familiar looking guy. Full disclosure here – I can’t usually recognize celebrities unless someone is physically pointing them out to me. Shut up. I know. But I recognized Michael Peña, who is the voice of Kai (the hot tempered, but warm-hearted fire ninja) and
forced him I mean, ASKED HIM SUPER NICELY if he would take a selfie with me. He was lovely and posed for a few. Night made!
The party went on late into the night and it happened just outside our window, but that’s not important right now.
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE JUNKET
The voice actors for the film are:
- Jackie Chan – Sensei Wu
- Dave Franco – Lloyd Garmadon
- Michael Peña – Kai
- Kumail Nanjiani – Jay
- Fred Armisen – Cole
- Justin Theroux – Garmadon
- Olivia Munn – Koko
- Abbi Jacobson – Nya
- Zach Woods – Zane
The next morning we had the Legoland NINJAGO World inside Legoland all to ourselves which was sooo accidentally cool, as the voice actors did their interviews with all the news outlets present and prepped for the larger session.
I happened to be standing in just the right spot to catch Justin Theroux (voice of Garbadon, Lloyd’s father, and The Worst Guy Ever) on his way to another interview. I made eye contact and gave the universal “come to me” curling finger signal as I held up my phone. God bless Justin Theroux. He came right over and won my heart forever.
We took a dozen photos. This one was my favorite, where I’m looking at him distrustfully. He was, after all, the voice of Garbadon, The Worst Guy Ever. Had a great conversation with him. Also, you will so appreciate his voice acting in this film.
Before the actual junket took place, we took a group photo with the talent.
Lucky me, I had already bonded with Justin Theroux who came right over and put his arm around me for the photo. That’s us way in the back and me standing on my tip-toes and you can still barely see us.
Did I care? Absolutely not. I felt like I had just won the lotto. (Jennifer Aniston is one lucky girl.)
After our group photo, Fred Armisen (the voice of Cole – earth ninja and freelance dj) came up to me (no lie) and asked what was up with all the moms and kids. I guess I must just have that face, you know? I explained that we were mom bloggers and our audiences expect a different kind of perspective from our stories than from just regular entertainment journalists. I further explained that my blog was called, My Big Fat Cuban Family.
“Hablas español?” he asked me.
And I had another rich conversation – in SPANISH – with one of my favorite actors about what exactly it was that we mom bloggers did.
The Q & A was all kinds of fun. All these actors are so talented in their own right and many as you can probably recognize are awesome at improv, which always makes the time so enjoyable and it helps so much to learn what went into the film making.
Director Charlie Bean: “Even though the film is made with a computer we made it similar to the way that you build bricks. We make each individual brick on the computer, and then we design the whole world brick by brick in the same way that you would build in real life.”
Producer Chris McKay: “We wanted the movie to feel like kids are playing with toys, we tried to make it as tactile and photo-real as possible. It replicates what it feels like when you are playing with your toys. It brings a real charm to the characters and that is what is fun about these movies.”
The richest part of the story, in my opinion, was described by Producer Chris McKay:
“The idea was that Lloyd was going through something and he was still a kid with a kid mind, and was very selfish at the beginning of the movie. He looks at his relationship with his father one way.” During the film, Lloyd goes on a journey of starting to understand his father from a different point of view. “We wanted Lloyd to look at things from a different point of view because that is his arch from going from being a child where you are not really sympathetic or empathetic (empathy is a big part of becoming an adult) to understanding other human beings and empathizing. The idea of empathizing about what his dad went through, and showing empathy was a big part of his change, so then he can help his friends, and become a better leader.”
And truthfully, as funny (and fun!) as this film is, you’re going to leave feeling good about your relationships and about life. In every good story there’s a hero’s journey and this one is about Lloyd finding his way and growing up.
Every hero, of course, needs a guide. Lloyd has Master Wu – kung fu legend and master teacher, Jackie Chan.
I had the distinct pleasure of catching up with Jackie Chan as he made his way from one interview to another. He was an absolute delight.
So to recap: I’m a big star-struck fangirl and brick-lover, loving on this cast, and over the moon about this movie. Taking the rest of the fam this afternoon. The LEGO NINJAGO Movie opens in theaters everywhere today, September 22nd, 2017.
Do yourself a favor and go see it. It’s got everything you want for your weekend entertainment. Warner Brothers and LEGO prove once again that Everything IS Awesome.