It’s definitely not as witty as #TheLegoMovie, but Playmobil The Movie is a colorful mix between a musical animation and live action, perfect for kids under double digits.
The Playmobil movie is not full of meta jokes or references to other movies. The movie does not make fun of the quirks of old Playmobil sets. It’s not self-aware. The characters don’t know that they are toys. The fairy godmother behaves exactly like a fairy godmother; she’s not behaving oddly or making sarcastic jokes. If you are expecting all those things, you are simply in the wrong movie.
There is at least a good amount of effort put into it and it’s not an ugly movie from that point of view. I thought the scenes outside the Playmobil universe were really awful like that kid who was bad at acting. The Playmobil universe stuff fairs a tiny bit better, but it was still very predictable and basically felt like a very watered down Lego Movie, with almost all of the jokes falling flat.
The movie being a Musical did catch me off guard and I respect them trying, but honestly all the songs are forgettable. There’s not really any memorable characters or locations either, which doesn’t help alleviate the blandness at all.
There are plenty of laughs for adults as well which is always great in a kids film, as is no lulls for kids to get bored. The premise of the story is light but the characters are good and amusing.
It seems to have fallen between stools as to whether it’s a musical, it has a few songs but not that many to make it a fully fledged musical.
There are a few musician numbers that are forgettable and awful, except “Give The People What They Want” that was alright, but not enough, Heitor Pereira’s score is beautiful and “Run Like the River” by Meghan Trainor is quite good, but it doesn’t stand out at all really, just by the numbers, bland and very basic songs.
The Playmobil movie is exclusively targeting children, not adolescents or adults. From this point of view, it’s a solid movie. The 3D animation looks a bit outdated but it brings very well the look and feel of the Playmobil toys to the big screen. The story is okay but I think it would have been better to spend more time on the characters instead of rushing through the different sceneries. There are locations that don’t contribute anything to the story (e.g. the scene with the lava and the dinosaurs on the road), while potentially interesting characters like the fairy only have a short appearance. But again, that’s me as an adult overanalyzing a children movie. Children will probably enjoy to see all their favourite Playmobil themes.