Playmobil: The Movie                review by Bobby Blakey

One of the most surprising hits came when LEGO decided to make a feature film. The idea was ridiculous but ended up being awesome and kicking off a franchise. Its success meant it was only a matter of time before other toy properties stepped up as well. The latest toy that hit the big screen was Playmobil featuring a great voice cast including Daniel Radcliffe, Anya Taylor-Joy, Gabriel Bateman, Jim Gaffigan, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson and Meghan Trainor, but can it build something worth seeing or will it not be a playset worth playing in?

 

Playmobil follows Marla who must go on a quest of a lifetime when her younger brother Charlie unexpectedly disappears into the magical, animated universe of PLAYMOBIL®, to bring him home. As she sets off on a fantastic journey across stunning new worlds, Marla teams up with some unlikely and heroic new friends - the smooth-talking food truck driver Del, the dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher, a wholehearted misfit robot, an extravagant fairy-godmother and many more. Through their vibrant adventure, Marla and Charlie realize that no matter how life plays out, you can achieve anything when you believe in yourself.

 

I love animated films, but admit I wasn’t overly excited to see this one, but at the same time I never thought LEGO was going to work either. I know the film didn’t do well at the box office, but went in with an open mind hoping for some big surprising fun. This film tried really hard to capture that same magic complete with live action segments bookending the story and while not as bad as I had expected still doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

 

The animation is a lot better than I expected and the voice work is fine, but the issue here comes more in the lack of trying to jam as much stuff in there as possible to push the brand. This offers up a story that is fun at times bringing all sorts of genres together including knights, pirates, spies and more, but this also keeps it unbalance and all over the place. I would have preferred maybe picking a single world to inhabit initially that allowed us to invest and care about the characters a lot more. LEGO had an easier job with established properties so we were already all in where this one needed more.

 

In the end this isn’t near as bad as I had heard and will work better for the younger audiences that it was no doubt intended for. Give it a chance and decide for yourself.

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