Jackie Chan kickstarts Ninja Toy story with Lego Ninjago

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    Brian Viner For The Daily Mail

    As you approach the cinema, you will smell the merchandising opportunity emanating from this children’s film.

    It is enough to overpower the sickly whiff of popcorn, and if your little ones aren’t nagging you to buy Ninjago sets when you arrive, they will be by the time you leave.

    Ninjago conflates the words ninja and Lego. 

    It is enough to overpower the sickly whiff of popcorn, and if your little ones aren¿t nagging you to buy Ninjago sets when you arrive, they will be by the time you leave

    It is enough to overpower the sickly whiff of popcorn, and if your little ones aren’t nagging you to buy Ninjago sets when you arrive, they will be by the time you leave

    The company invented it for a range of toys and quickly whipped it into a TV show, which, in turn, has given birth to a series of video games. 

    Still, The Lego Movie (2014), followed this year by The Lego Batman Movie, showed that the sheer fun and inventiveness of these animations are more than a match for anyone’s cynicism.

    The latest is the least engaging yet, but I can’t knock it as a half-term family treat. A real little boy encounters a mysterious shopkeeper (martial arts supremo Jackie Chan, no less) who offers to tell him the legend of Ninjago, a city under attack by evil warlord Garmadon (voiced by Justin Theroux).

    Computer-animated wizardry then whisks us off to Ninjago, where Garmadon’s estranged teenage son Lloyd (Dave Franco) secretly runs a gang of ninjas, who eventually deploy the Ultimate Weapon. It’s a real, liveaction cat called Meowthra.

    It’s daft but slickly written and brilliantly animated. Take the kids, but be prepared for the pong.

     

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