It's impossible not to draw comparisons with The LEGO Movie as this toy brand attempts to come to life on the big screen, but in reality I would rather stand on a piece of LEGO than sit through this another time.
The film begins with a real-world brother and sister singing and dancing their way around their home, pondering adventures and world travel, and promising to not live lives that are ordinary. When their worlds are turned upside down with the news that their parents have died in a car accident, fun and games are no longer the order of the day; dreams are shattered, hope is lost and adventure is a distant memory.
I'm all for working real-life trauma and big issues into kids films, but it just isn’t dealt with in an effective way here and is solely a plot device for the sake of plot device.
All of the bits that are meant to be emotional, tug at the heart strings or make you think, are so heavy-handed and forced that you're likely to eye-roll your way through instead of enjoy yourself. It's more commercial advertising than entertainment.
After an argument, our brother and sister duo are sucked into the world of Playmobil where they encounter vikings, dinosaurs, cowboys and more, and their adventures bring them closer together as they remember the good times once spent playing with their toys. These are themes Toy Story and LEGO have done spectacularly, so there is a high bar here to meet and if that bar cannot be even neared, what is the point?
There is no heart at the centre of things, there is no real connection to these characters, and without a connection, we’re at nothing.
It feels like a cop out to suggest that the youngest of audiences may enjoy this adventure as with so many superior options out there for toddlers, their tastes should be more discerning.
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