The Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure review – everything still awesome in Legoland release

You will need to hotfoot it to Windsor to check out the new 12-minute Lego short – but it should leave your kids buzzing long after you have left the park

A freezing cold day in early March may not be the best way to investigate the Legoland theme park in Windsor for the first time, but the launch of new Lego movie – or rather, a new LEGO® Movie™ – meant that the siren call of the all-day kiddie attraction could not be resisted.

What we got to see wasn’t exactly Lego Movie 2 – that’s still in production, and not due till 2018 – but a snappy 12-and-half-minute short designed to play in the theme park’s own cinemas, with “4D” effects, which in the case of A New Adventure amounts to light-show effects, party poppers and and a blast of snow-like mist, along with the 3D specs. But it is a warm-up for the big sequel: Lego Movie 2 director Rob Schrab is in charge of this one, and a number of the medium-sized names from the hit movie – Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Charlie Day – have been persuaded to lend their voices again for this one. (That isn’t Chris Pratt doing Emmet though, nor is Will Ferrell back – though A New Adventure has secured a pretty decent sub, Patton Oswalt, for the lead villain, Risky.)

Lucy and Zoe with the real life Benny from The Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure Photograph: Andrew Pulver

Risky turns out to be Lord Business’s brother, hence his groanworthy, Gen X-baiting full character name ... Risky Business. That sets the tone for the whole short, which like its mothership film, operates with the required two levels: a straightforward toy-on-toy demolition derby for the kids, and a stream of sardonic meta gags for the grownups. (Small note: though A New Adventure is ideal for five years and up, littler kids may well be overwhelmed by some of the grander fight scenes, or apparently-mild threat and peril sequences.)

What the original Lego movie did so brilliantly was to act as both a shameless product-shilling vehicle and a self-ironising, extremely funny satire on exactly the same thing. Plus it came across as if the film-makers had just downed a kilo of aspartame just before turning the cameras on. Well, A New Adventure keeps the pace up to a frightening degree, with the story – such as it is – thundering past in a blur. I concentrated really hard, but only made out a vague outline: something about Risky trying to lure Emmett and Wyldstyle to Brickworld, his knockoff Legoland, forcing them to try and escape somehow.

As with the product-placement, knock-offery and rubbish substitutes become a significant comic theme, with particular attention being drawn to a deliberately crummy almost-reworking of Everything Is Awesome, clearly not one of the wealth of assets available to the new film. Without giving too much away, the final scene indulges in a more theme park-specific meta narrative, and ends in a giant blast of scarlet party streamers. Your kids will be buzzing for hours; so, in all probability, will you.


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part review – even more awesome
Duplo figures from outer space threaten the world of Lego in a ceaselessly inventive, eyeball-popping, nonstop gag-storm

Peter Bradshaw

28, Jan, 2019 @3:52 PM

Article image
The Lego Movie – review

Mike McCahill: This imaginative and delightful film doesn't think outside the box so much as operate on another astral plane

Mike McCahill

13, Feb, 2014 @9:10 PM

Article image
The Lego Movie – a toy story every adult needs to see

Playfully subversive and countercultural, the Lego Movie satirises surveillance culture and our modern-day neoliberal struggles

Ben Walters

11, Feb, 2014 @1:47 PM

Article image
The Lego Batman Movie review – relentlessly funny superhero parody
Will Arnett voices a brilliantly gruff, macho, humourless Dark Knight in this expressive, cinematic and subversive Gotham City satire

Steve Rose

04, Feb, 2017 @11:00 AM

Article image
The Lego Ninjago Movie review - zippy spinoff brings familiar, forgettable fun
The third movie in the surprisingly astute toy-based franchise covers similar ground but at such a fast pace, it’s impossible to be bored

Benjamin Lee

20, Sep, 2017 @2:46 PM

Article image
Rosario Dawson to voice Batgirl in Lego Batman movie
Kids actor will play the masked crimefighter in spin-off from 2014 animated smash The Lego Movie

Ben Child

19, Oct, 2015 @9:41 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey lends her voice to Lego Batman Movie
The singer-songwriter is set to join a voice cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson and Michael Cera in Lego Movie spin-off

Andrew Pulver

10, Nov, 2015 @12:18 PM

Article image
The Lego Movie builds on blockbuster weekend with Simpsons episode | Media Monkey
Media Monkey: Episode featuring Homer and family as Lego characters to be part of show's 25th season including Futurama collaboration


17, Feb, 2014 @9:31 AM

Article image
Bricking it: why the Lego movie franchise is on shaky foundations
The Lego Ninjago Movie can’t hope to live up to the standard of either the original film or Lego Batman. Has quality already been sacrificed to quantity?

Stuart Heritage

03, Oct, 2017 @11:37 AM

Article image
The Lego Movie rebuilds ITV ad break

Warner Bros jumps on trend of remaking famous scenes with bricks by recreating ads for Premier Inn, BT and By Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

07, Feb, 2014 @10:54 AM