Story

The Lego Ninjago Movie is set in a world made of Lego, where everyone is a Lego figure. Lloyd (voice of Dave Franco) is shunned and ostracised by everyone at school and all the inhabitants of Lloyd’s island home of Ninjago. This is because Lloyd is the estranged son of the warlord Garmadon (voice of Justin Theroux), who is the worst guy ever and wants to destroy Ninjago.

Secretly, however, Lloyd is the Green Ninja. Along with his five best friends – Earth Ninja Cole (voice of Fred Armisen), Lightning Ninja Jay (voice of Kumail Nanjiana), Fire Ninja Kai (voice of Michael Penu), Ice Ninja Zane (voice of Zack Woods) and Water Ninja Nya (voice of Abbi Jacobson) – Lloyd is being taught the secret ways of the Ninja by Master Wu (voice of Jackie Chan). Lloyd and his friends work together to stop Garmadon and his band of generals from destroying Ninjago.

Themes

Lego; estranged parents and children; abandonment; superheroes/super powers; martial arts    

Violence

The Lego Ninjago Movie has lots of violence throughout, including gunfire and destruction of property, although much of the violence is presented as young children’s representational play. For example, flashes of light represent gun discharge, while a child’s voice sounding ‘Pew, pew, pew’ represents the sound of gunfire, plastic toy butterflies represent projectiles, and bullets are made of foam. The characters and action will, nevertheless, seem real to young children and some scenes are quite intense. For example:

  • Lloyd is ostracised by school peers and the community in general. At school, students avoid him and talk about him behind his back. In one scene, when he sits down on a school bus, all the students move to the other side of the bus. In another scene, a large group of students repeatedly shout out, ‘Boo Lloyd’.
  • Squadrons of Lego vehicles attack a Lego city. Missiles destroy buildings, leaving behind smoke and rubble. Characters run and scream. During the mayhem a school bus full of students crashes through a bridge barrier and hangs perilously over the edge of the bridge. The students scream as the bus falls over the edge of the bridge and plummets towards the water below before being rescued. 
  • Garmadon has a room referred to as the Lava Room, in which he fires his generals. Every time there is reference to a general being fired, a burning bullet shoots out of the top of the volcano – presumably the fired general. In a later scene the fired generals are shown alive but singed and blackened.
  • There is a violent fight between several teenage Ninjas and Garmadon. During this scene characters kick and punch each other and use weapons including swords. At one point the villain grabs one of the Ninjas by the throat and hurls him through the air.
  • In one scene Lloyd grabs his father by the shirt collar, tells him he should be ashamed of himself, and slams him into the side of a building.
  • A real cat terrorises a Lego city, stepping on vehicles and destroying them, and causing people to run screaming. The cat leaps up and catches a bird-like Lego transformer, dragging it to the ground and toying with it. In one scene, the cat eats a character and later spits him out. We see the figure covered in slime.
  • Lloyd and his father are placed in a wooden cage and taken to the top of a volcano where it seems they’re about to be thrown into the crater. They manage to fight their way past a spear-wielding mob but in the fight Lloyd loses his arm, which his father re-attaches. 

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The Lego Ninjago Movie has some scenes that could scare children under five years. For example:

  • Garmadon is a scary-looking character. His hideout is a volcanic island complete with red glowing lava and smoke pouring out of the top. It rumbles as if it’s about to erupt. The entrance to the volcano resembles a maw of gigantic teeth.
  • Several leading characters have giant transformer-like battle vehicles fitted with weapons, including lasers and missile launchers. One vessel looks like a giant green dragon that destroys enemy vessels in the air by blowing green fire out of its mouth. It also launches missiles. Another vehicle has crab-like qualities.
  • Sharks swim out of the water and climb up onto the land and attack people.
  • One scene shows a macabre field of Lego skeletons and skeleton pieces. 

From 5-8
Younger children in this age group might be scared by some scenes and characters.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The Lego Ninjago Movie features Lego products, particularly the Ninjago line.

Coarse language

The Lego Ninjago Movie contains infrequent low-level coarse language, name-calling, put-downs and toilet humour that children might copy. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Lego Ninjago Movie is suited to school-age children and all fans of the Lego movies. The movie is funny and has several positive messages.

The Lego Ninjago Movie has less violence than the Lego Batman Movie, but it could scare younger children who see the characters and situations as real. Therefore it isn’t recommended for children under 6 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 6-8 years.

The main messages from this movie are that people are capable of positive change and that weapons don’t solve problems.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • forgiveness and acceptance
  • courage and selflessness.