Imagine the pitch: Daniel Radcliffe and Jim Gaffigan are going to headline an animated movie (with Kenan Thompson, Meghan Trainor, and Adam Lambert) based on a hit toy series with direction and story by Prep & Landing animator Lino DiSalvo. You’re in, right? It’s going to be a runaway hit!
With Playmobil the Movie, audiences find that the imagination behind the film – and the toys – is a diverse, world-building affair that knows no limits. But it’s so scattered, so imaginative, that it’s like the kid who sets up all of the action figures around the room in different landscapes and then doesn’t know what to do with them. It’s unfortunately a mess of storytelling with random “breaking into song” that ultimately isn’t nearly as funny, poignant, or exciting as the film it clearly draws comparison from: The Lego Movie.
Basically, the plot involves two orphaned kids in the real world who get sucked into the imaginary Playmobil one when a magical lighthouse shines on them. Now, as Playmobil figures, they’ll battle Vikings, pirates, Roman warriors, and ride on a T-Rex on their way back to the real world. It’s really supposed to be about the emotional journey that the siblings take to get back together after growing apart in their grief, but it plays like one big rollercoaster ride of Playmobil backdrops.