A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows is a 2005 computer-animated feature whose characters are based on toys marketed and manufactured by the LEGO toy company. Like the previous two films in the series, the level of enjoyment one can get from this movie is entirely dependent on how much one enjoys the Bioncle toys in general. Besides the commercialism, there is frequent fantasy-style violence, in which characters do battle with swords, fire, and lasers. Overall, however, the biggest concern is the difficulties in understanding the complicated storyline, and trying to figure out who is who, with so many characters who all talk and act the same. This movie is best enjoyed by kids and adults who enjoy delving deep into a fantasy world.
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What's the story?
The Toa have returned to what is left of Mata Nui, in the hopes of freeing the remaining Matoran. They find that their island has been conquered by spider-looking robots ruled by the evil rulers Sidoorak (Paul Dobson) and Roodaka. The Toa are caught by these spiders and captured in cocoons that drastically change their appearances and give them different powers. Emerging from these cocoons, they must learn these new powers as they try to restore themselves to their former selves, while doing everything they can to reclaim Mata Nui and to restore it to its former glory.
Is it any good?
Similar to the previous two movies in the series, BIONICLE 3: WEB OF SHADOWS suffers from too many characters who all act the same, and too many needless complications in the storyline. Not to mention an overabundance on fantasy cliches in the dialogue revolving around words like "destiny." The animation is as strong as ever, and it makes the various LEGO action figures look quite nice, but for those who are uninterested in fantasy or the Bionicle line of toy products manufactured by LEGO, there's simply too much to try and understand and keep track of here, with little payoff.
Between the dialogue and the bombastic music, the movie feels at times like a self-parody. However, for those interested in Bionicles and obsessed with detailed fantasy, there is much to delve into, and much to enjoy. The only problem is that it leaves everybody else out in the cold.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about commercialism. Why do you think LEGO would want a series of feature-length movies in which their toys are prominently featured?
Did you find this movie easy to follow? Why or why not?
How was this movie similar to and different from other fantasy movies?
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