A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie includes a fictitious chemistry lesson as Luthor mixes several elements to make Kryptonite. Otherwise, this is strictly for entertainment value.
At first, Batman is fairly inconsiderate toward others in this story. He is uncomfortable asking for help, and doesn't like to give praise to others. He also mistrusts his friends (keeping a store of Kryptonite on hand just in case Superman goes bad). Fortunately, he does eventually realize that asking for help is not necessarily a bad thing, and finally praises Robin for a job well done.
Positive Role Models
These LEGO versions of superheroes are a little more comical, and less serious than usual, but they're still on the side of good and justice. They sometimes seem a little inept, or arrogant, or socially maladjusted.
Violence & Scariness
The story features lots of lightweight, comic-book fighting, with a kind of humorous -- not scary -- tone. The Joker has a Kryptonite-powered gun that breaks apart LEGO structures and frees an army of bad guys. He and Lex Luthor also rampage through the city in a giant Joker-like clown robot (which is potentially scary for little ones). The crazy, laughing Joker might also be a bit scary. There are lots of explosions and chases.
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Products & Purchases
The movie is, of course, one big advertisement for LEGO superhero toys (the DVD even comes with a little Clark Kent/Superman figure). Though the movie doesn't overtly mention toys for sale, kids will know that these toys are available and will likely want them after viewing.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LEGO Batman: The Movie -- DC Superheroes Unite is a full-length animated movie, released direct to DVD, featuring the slightly humorous LEGO versions of the popular superheroes Batman, Superman, etc. The movie concentrates on thrills and fighting, with a huge Kryptonite-powered gun, and a giant (potentially scary) Joker robot, along with fighting, chasing, and explosions. The tone of the conflicts is always light and funny. The only other issue is consumerism: while there's no specific mention of toys for sale, it will be clear to kids that the entire movie is an ad for LEGO superhero toys. (The DVD even comes with a Clark Kent/Superman figure.) Still, this is a much more age-appropriate fare for superhero fans 8 and up than stuff like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
LEGO Batman: The Movie -- DC Superheroes Unite will entertain adults just as effortlessly as it does kids. It's funny to see the opening credits, designed, LEGO-style, to copy the opening credits for Tim Burton's Batman (1989). It even lifts parts of Danny Elfman's original Batman music score (as well as parts of John Williams' Superman score).
The movie looks great and moves well, using its 71 minutes wisely. It has time for both thrills and humor without feeling rushed or forced, and the characters are funny and likeable. The only real issue is that it takes place, more or less, within the real superhero universe, and fans may balk at the somewhat jokey treatment of their heroes. Otherwise, though the movie doesn't specifically mention toys for sale, it's hard to escape that the entire thing plays like a toy ad.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.