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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego DC Comics Superheroes: The Flash is the latest partnership between Lego toys and DC Comics. The Flash is a member of the Justice League, and his superpower is speed. Flash is fast. He can run like "a flash" and do just about everything with extraordinary velocity, sometimes overcoming the laws of physics. In this adventure, Flash and the Atom are the primary heroes. Other classic League members (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) are mostly in the background. The expected animated action is frequent, often comic, and no one is ever injured or killed. Characters come up against lightning, ray guns, cannon fire, explosions, capture, and cackling villains -- who, as usual, want to rule the world, or at least the city. The movie spotlights some DC characters relatively new to the Lego brand (i.e., the Atom, Firepower, Reverse Flash), enhancing the marketing potential for younger fans of the DC Comics franchise. OK for kids who are comfortable with real versus pretend violence.
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What's the story?
In LEGO DC COMICS SUPERHEROES: THE FLASH, Flash (James Arnold Taylor) and the Atom (Eric Bauza), this story's newest member of the League, take on the Joker and Reverse Flash, two recurring supervillains. It isn't enough that the Joker has taken Metropolis by storm -- it's a storm of laughing gas, which threatens to find its citizens "laughing themselves to death." No sooner are his nefarious efforts stopped when the Flash experiences a strange phenomenon: He's being forced to relive the same day over and over again in a never-ending time loop. Who or what is responsible? Could it be Reverse Flash, who desperately wants to prove himself the "greatest speedster of all time," and take over the world in the process? Making matters even worse, the Atom, despite all of his scientific knowledge, can't regain his human-size form; he's trapped and tiny just when the world needs him most. Could these two Justice League members have met the enemy that will finally be their undoing? Or will they regain their powers and help the Justice League in its latest mission to save the world?
Is it any good?
It's hard to imagine that Lego and DC Comics could jam any more characters into one film meant to delight kids and market colorful plastic bricks at the same time. Fortunately for the brand, there's a boundless supply of superheroes, superpets, and supervillains that have been created over decades. Lego DC Comics Superheroes: The Flash focuses on one of the most likable. As a role model, Flash is helpful, loyal, less brash than some. And, on a positive note, a strong message is clearly delivered in the movie, and repeated for emphasis. Kids learn that when undertaking a task, it's valuable to "slow down, be aware of your surroundings, and have a plan." If young audiences can't follow the multiple plots and keep track of the onslaught of characters, they'll still enjoy the near nonstop cartoon action and the jokes, including a funny musical number.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "cross-marketing," which has companies working together to help sales. In the case of Lego DC Comics Superheroes: The Flash, the movie helps sell toys, and the toys help sell the movie. How does your family handle the pressure to buy toys introduced in the movies you see?
This movie has an important message for its viewers: "Slow down, be aware of your surroundings, and have a plan." In what way(s) might you apply this message to your own behavior? Does it surprise you when you learn something positive from a movie?
Reliving the same day is a popular fantasy theme in movies and stories. Why do you think such a "do-over" is so appealing? Be creative: Imagine and write about a day in your life that you would like to live again -- either simply to enjoy that day, or to make changes.
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