The Lego Ninjago trailer hints at another block-filled blockbuster

Chris McKay, Lord and Miller's animation director on The Lego Movie, takes the centre seat here, and with his writers (among them Community's Chris McKenna and Pride And Prejudice And Zombies's Seth Grahame-Smith) harvests the DC toybox for literally every Bat-character.

There may be a little snark in this review, but I want to be clear.

It's hard not to have a good time watching "The Lego Batman Movie", which is something that you can't say about most of the other recent "Batman" films.

The film is riddled with an endless supply of jokes, and it is not afraid to make fun of itself.

The colors in this movie were very bright, which is unusual in Batman films both live action and animated. I was lucky to be able to see it early and here is what I thought of it.

The glimpse into the mundane side of Batman works not only as a great gag but also as a genuinely moving view into the extent of his loneliness. No man is an island, not even Batman.

Meanwhile, the retirement of Commissioner Gordon means a new top cop is in town: Gordon's daughter Barbara (voiced by Rosario Dawson), a graduate of "Harvard for Police" with a plan for tackling crime.

Now imagine the Caped Crusader is an inch tall and made of plastic.

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Batman's loyal manservant Alfred (Ralph Fiennes, beautifully cast) worries his boss can't form any attachments, whether to demonic clown-faced villains or anyone else.

Fear not: like the explosive "KAPOWs!" and "THWACKs!" of the campy 1960s Batman TV series, which this movie not only sends up but actually imitates, the moping is shoved aside.

While that's certainly clever and leads to some killer sight gags, this sudden infusion of villains almost derails the proceedings.

In fact, numerous usual Bat-film relationships are altered somewhat in "Lego Batman". Parents who grew up on DC Comics' heroes and heroines won't mind, but that's a lot of sitting for young ones.

While Ninjago might not necessarily have the same broad appeal as something like Batman does (it doesn't), it still looks kind of cool, and highlights what is truly the forgotten great accomplishment of these Lego films: The animation.

2017 is perhaps WB/DC's most important year ever.

Behind-the-scenes footage from the film shows several of the actors in front their microphones, recording dialogue with their LEGO counterparts in hand, and McKay said they weren't the only ones who used the tiny characters to glean some inspiration. Recent portrayals have refused to let the orphan-turned-superhero be anything but dark, stormy and brooding. 106 minutes. Rated PG for rude humor and some action.

  • Carlos Nash