Once the ruler of an entire universe, the Great Spirit Mata Nui finds himself cast out of his own body, his spirit trapped inside the fabled Mask of Life, hurtling through space. After ... See full summary »
Once the ruler of an entire universe, the Great Spirit Mata Nui finds himself cast out of his own body, his spirit trapped inside the fabled Mask of Life, hurtling through space. After landing on the far-away planet of Bara Magna, the mask creates a new body for Mata Nui, who unwillingly gets caught up in the furious battles of the nearly barren and dangerous planet. The locals, called Agori ask for his help against the unrelenting army of the Rock Tribe, called the Skrall and their leader, Tuma. The Glatorian warriors start to train him, teach him how to protect himself, while Mata Nui also adds some of his special powers to their fighting skill. The experienced veteran Ackar, the feisty female Kiina, the young Glatorian Gresh, and a friendly, special beetle named Click aid him on his way. But there is a traitor among the Agori, and bigger secrets lay hidden under the sands of the desert planet. Mata Nui must help his new-found friends, but he also has to find a way to return to his ... Written by
The name of the desert planet Bara Magna means "Great Barren". See more »
In some shots, the animation of the tiny spinning gears, propellers, and bolts that can be found on various body parts of the characters is absent. They seem to be spinning in one shot, then suddenly stop in the next, and so on. See more »
[we see a tropical island paradise, in the middle of a beautiful, endless ocean]
It is said that all endings are merely beginnings, waiting to be born.
[two brightly glowing eyes suddenly light up below the island]
My beginning was much the same.
[...] See more »
Mata Nui, the great god of the Matorans has been betrayed and stripped of his power. Cast out into the universe, the once powerful deity must now fend for himself as a mere mortal in the barren lands of Bara Magna. there he would face untold dangers, make new comrades, and launch his quest to return to his homeworld and rescue his lost people.
I loved the premise. It is a classic "fall of a king" story coupled with an almost Greek epic styled hero's journey. The story is easy enough to follow, straightforward and with little twists. (there is actually only one twist, but it didn't really catch me by surprise). The creative team manages to throw in an ideal mix of seriousness and fun, with some really good comedy moments involving Mata Nui's inexperience in dealing with Bara Magna inhabitants and adjusting to his new life. A real treat for the whole family to enjoy.
Despite their rather inhuman appearance, I found the characters in this show very appealing and easy to relate to. Granted, some of them may come across as cardboard cutout stock characters from a Saturday morning cartoon, but the very professional level of the acting and a well written script makes up for the perceived lack of character development. Special mention goes to Star Trek: The Next Generation's Michael Dorn(Worf) who nails the role of Mata Nui head on, maintaining a regal air of importance while infusing realistic believability into every spoken line.
No complains as well about the overall look of the show. The character designs are intricately detailed and the movements are fluid. I could not help but be reminded of the robot designs in the live action Transformers movies(of course, Bionicle came before the Transformers movie.) Of course the quality of the CGI in this show is not up to Pixar's standards but it is easily one of the best i've seen in direct to DVD CGI animated movies. Even the gears and turning parts on each character are fully animated and everything is given a dirty gritty look.
Now Bionicle The Legend Reborn may attract viewers by its entertaining story, script, fabulous acting and great graphics, but it would be REALLY HARD for viewers to actually "jump in". For one thing, the movie seems to require some familiarity of the bionicle universe. For casual animation movie fans like me, there just wasn't enough backstory. Is this supposed to be a sequel? or a prequel? Or maybe even a reboot? A small booklet or featurette in the DVD to explain the Bionicle backstory would have benefited the majority of viewers who might not be familiar with the Bionicle brand.
Secondly, I have to sadly admit that the fine looking CGI graphics feel kinda wasted on some terrible scene directing; this is the part where this movie suffers the most. Mark Baldo(whose only other directing credit is a couple of episodes of a TV series called "Father of the Pride") is the director here and his camera work can only be described as "LAZY". Most of the fight scenes are unusually static, as if i'm watching a documentary and not a fight scene in a movie. There is hardly any dramatic effect or intensity conveyed with his lackluster "matter of fact" directing style which leads to some very boring action sequences.
Music was relatively mediocre; sounded like standard dramatic animation movie fare but there were a couple of themes that stood out. The opening theme in particular had just the right epic feel to go with the story. Sound effects could have also been better. Right now, the sound effects come across as too "light", giving a sense of weightlessness to the characters. Tech Specs on the Bionicle wikipedia says that the Bara Magna characters are around 7 feet tall. But those light sounding sound effects and lack of a heavier bass make them seem like only 7 inches tall. Swords clashing sound like toys hitting each other, rocks crumbling down a slope sound like pebbles; that sort of thing.
All in all, Bionicle The Legend Reborn is a valiant attempt at bringing Bionicle once again into the animation DVD market. However, i don't think that this movie would be able to impress anyone but the kids and the hardcore Bionicle fans. Whats more is that there was hardly any publicity about this show prior to its release. Maybe it might attract some Star Trek fans thanks to Michael Dorn's awesome performance. It would not impress and might not even win many new fans, but it sure as hell will be able to entertain. At least until the "hinted-at" sequel comes around.
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