Playmobil – The Movie Review (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

After the LEGO Movie comes PLAYMOBIL – THE MOVIE in USA cinemas. The target group is likely to be similarly large, but the likelihood that the film could gain a similar fan status as its counterpart made of LEGO bricks is extremely low. We reveal more about this in our review.

The characters face punishment from the Emperor Maximus.

The plot summary

When her younger brother Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) suddenly disappears into the magical, animated PLAYMOBIL universe, Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to bring him home. On her incredible journey through new, exciting worlds, Marla meets very different, strange and heroic companions, including the crazy food truck owner Del (German voice: Christian Ulmen), the intrepid and charming secret agent Rex Dasher (Matthias Schweighöfer), a loyal, lovable one Robots, a fairy godmother who is as funny as she is good (Beatrice Egli) and many more. Over the course of their spectacular adventure, Marla and Charlie realize that you can achieve anything in life if you believe in yourself!

Playmobil: The Movie Meaning of ending

Before “The LEGO Movie” came into cinemas in 2014, there were certainly quite a few who assumed that this was just another classic cash cow. Anything that has fans – and the Danish toy block giant has a lot of them – will eventually be made into a film. This is a tried and tested Hollywood law. But in this case there was also some damn good, creative animation fun coming into the cinemas that appealed not only to the younger, but especially to the older audience on various meta levels, which to this day has a direct (and even better) sequel and two led to spin-offs . The Playmobil Group has always been considered direct competition to LEGO in the toy world. As a child you had to decide whether you would rather play with the bricks from one company or the building sets from the other – the connection between the two was almost impossible due to different plug-in systems and size scales – you could now choose both, first of all the LEGO – and then watch the Playmobil film. But on this level, the Danish market leaders are clearly ahead, because “Playmobil – The Movie”, which is now in cinemas, is everything that “The LEGO Movie” pleasantly wasn’t and will only appeal to the very little ones due to the intoxicating, colorful world of images entertaining, while the irrelevant story couldn’t be more tired.

Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) and her little brother Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) are big Playmobil fans.

While the realization that the events in “The LEGO Movie” actually took place on the playing field of real people the whole time was a twist for many at the time, those responsible for Playmobil: The Movie are making use of the anchoring of their story in the Reality never hides. The three-person screenwriting team of Blaise Hemingway (“Vampires vs. the Bronx”) , Greg Erb (“Senseless”) and Jason Oremland (who was responsible for the story of “Kiss the Frog” together with Erb) opens their film with a handful of live-action scenes in which we get to know the two main characters Marla and Charlie. However, the characterization of the two is limited to the following attributes: The two siblings are ardent Playmobil fans and a few minutes after they have expressed their joy in adventure and discovery in a boring pop musical number, they find out that they are now orphans have to take care of yourself. Now we don’t necessarily expect the really big human dramas from a film that is already designed for the younger target group and it is certainly a bitter blow in the pit of the stomach for some people that the first ten minutes of Playmobil: The Movie are made up of them exist that two children are confronted with the death of their parents. At the same time, the constellation of initial happiness, sudden stroke of fate and subsequent alienation is a series of generalities that benefits from individualities such as good acting or the odd change of perspective in order to at least gain a bit of independence. And this is exactly what Playmobil: The Movie lacked in every corner.

The majority of the film takes place in an animated universe based on the Playmobil play worlds, into which the two young protagonists are magically drawn into. Charlie and Marla are now Playmobil figures, but after a brief irritation about their new appearance (and especially the shape of their hands), which can also be seen in the trailer, they can move completely normally. While the Lord Miller duo in “The LEGO Movie” repeatedly discussed the peculiarities of the LEGO models and the characters also had to struggle with the resulting limitations, in “Playmobil – The Movie” it hardly plays a role the world here consists entirely of Playmobil toys. Because although Marla’s search for her brother stops in a western town as well as in a fairy world or a knight’s castle, all of these sections could exist just as easily in any other film universe. But that somehow also fits with the fact that the story itself didn’t need the animation superstructure in order to follow its course with few surprises in exactly the way you see it coming from the first minute. At least the toy giant itself should be happy: Of course, the Playmobil online shop already lists various game sites that match the movie. How could you blame him…

And so Playmobil: The Movie doesn’t get beyond the status of a (not even really successful) advertising film. Not really successful because the film doesn’t even exploit the limitless play possibilities of the plastic figures and sets. As he ticks off various thematic worlds, director Lino DiSalvo (the debutant director has already worked in various positions as an animator on films such as “Frozen”, “Rapunzel” and “Meet the Robinsons”) seems as if he simply wanted to briefly remind people that what you could buy after watching the film – just to recreate much more creative adventures at home. In terms of narrative, Playmobil: The Movie comes across as piecemeal; Here Marla meets one character, there the other, then she has to briefly go to the fairies and in the finale the big battle against the villain follows. The only one that provides a bit of humor is the one in USA by Matthias Schweighöfer (“100 Things”) spoken secret agent Rex Dasher, who pokes fun at the secret agent profession. In general, a large part of the humor depends on the speaker’s performance: Ralf Schmitz as the crazy Emperor Maximus performs confidently as usual, guest speakers like Michael Patrick Kelly or Beatrice Egli make a noticeable effort, but are simply better off in their actual profession. Otherwise, the film mainly lacks charm. And we can’t even count how many times we’ve boiled down the message of a family film to “If you believe in yourself, you can do anything!” Since it is even formulated again in Playmobil: The Movie, we save ourselves the statement at this point that, despite all its hackneyedness, it never loses its relevance and timelessness. At some point our patience runs out.

Conclusion: Playmobil: The Movie does not benefit from the fact that it can draw on a large toy cult. Honestly, it could be set in any other universe. The story would still be largely lacking in tension, the humor would be stale and the message would be dusty.

Playmobil: The Movie can be seen in USA cinemas from August 29th.

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