While Legos have been around since 1949, until recently there were only a few Lego movies, TV series, and short films. Over the last ten years or so the number of Lego releases has grown exponentially, especially after the hugely successful release of The Lego Movie in 2014. Some Lego movies and other content are based on already existing franchises (mostly Star Wars and DC Comics) while others are completely original movies or series based on their various toy lines. This post will be a constantly updated ranked list of all Lego movies, TV series, and short films I have seen so far broken up into which ones I think are essential to watch, worth watching for most audiences, average, or just aren’t worth your time and money. Whenever I watch a new Lego release, this post will be updated with my thoughts so make sure to check back in the future.
At the bottom of this post is a list of Lego movies, TV series, and short films I know about but have yet to watch. If you know of any additional Lego releases that aren’t on my list, feel free to let me know in the comments section and I will add them to the list (and I will try to get around to watching them as soon as possible). This list only includes officially licensed Lego movies, TV series, and short films (brickfilms and things like that are not included but will probably have a separate list eventually).
Essential Lego Movies and TV Series:
1. The Lego Movie (2014 Film)-Did you really expect anything else to top this list? The Lego Movie is an amazing, almost Disney or Pixar quality animated film with tons of humor, gorgeous animation, and a surprisingly deep and touching story. It is an absolute must-watch for just about everyone, even those who don’t normally like animated films. Everything is truly awesome about The Lego Movie.
Since I’m sure almost everybody out there has seen The Lego Movie and knows how great it is, I’m not going to go into too much detail about why I love it. I will just simply say that the film is laugh-out-loud funny (one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen averaging at least one or two laughs per minute). What’s especially great about the humor is that it is equally funny for adults and kids. There is easily enough humor for both audiences. Yes, the comedy can get a little silly at times and fans of more highbrow humor might not like it but everyone else should. Even though the main point of The Lego Movie is to make people laugh, the story isn’t too bad itself. In fact, the story is actually surprisingly great and even touching at times. For people who grew up with Legos as a child, The Lego Movie is also quite nostalgic and might just force you to dig out your old Legos and build something. It definitely helped rekindle my love for Lego when I first watched it.
I’m sure most people have already seen The Lego Movie, but if you somehow haven’t you really need to give it a shot. Before release most people thought The Lego Movie would be just another cash-grab toy-based film, but it wound up being an extremely funny and sweet film that everyone should watch at least once. Not only is The Lego Movie the most essential Lego release to watch, it is also an essential watch for all movie fans.
Recommended Lego Movies and TV Series:
2. Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (2016 TV Series)-Taking place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is a surprisingly fun and humorous series that doesn’t just rely on parodying aspects of Star Wars (unlike most Lego Star Wars films and series). The show is about a family of salvagers (siblings Rowan, Kordi, and Zander) as well as their loyal battle droid R0-GR/Roger. When it is discovered that Rowan can sense Kyber Saber crystals, the family finds themselves in the middle of the battle between the Empire and Rebel Alliance as Rowan attempts to find all of the crystals to reassemble the Kyber Saber.
Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures has cameos or even regular appearances from almost all major Star Wars characters (Luke, Leia, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, Admiral Ackbar, and Maz Kanata all make appearances and Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine are in most episodes). However, the series is mostly about completely new characters, all of which are at least decent. The four main characters are all fun though not particularly original. Zander in particular is your typical idiot character (though this character trait does lead to a lot of funny moments). R0-GR is the standout of the main cast and he is the biggest source of the humor in the series. Darth Vader also gets some pretty good highlights. While the main cast is fine, some of the best characters are actually the more minor, recurring ones. I especially loved Durpin (voiced by Richard Kind), a cowardly Imperial Lieutenant Commander who knows how treacherous it is to get promoted in the Empire and does whatever he can to avoid promotion. Every time he shows up, he is one of the highlights of the episode.
I have Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures ranked as the best Lego Star Wars release mainly because it is both funny and actually manages to tell a pretty good story as well. Most Lego Star Wars films and series focus on the humor and somewhat sacrifice the story in order to add more comedy. The Freemaker Adventures is a great mix of both. There is still more comedy than story, but at least the story is interesting and compelling. The humor is quite silly and even slapstick at times but even as a grown adult, it had me laughing out loud quite often. If an adult like me laughed that much, I can’t imagine how much younger viewers would enjoy The Freemaker Adventures.
While there is a lot of action and violence (lots of ship explosions, fighting, etc.), there are no blood or deaths, even though based on the size of explosions there definitely should have been. Overall, while it may be a little violent for really young children, I think it is suitable for children eight and up. However, The Freemaker Adventures isn’t just for kids. I’m an adult and I really enjoyed it to the point that I would recommend it for all Star Wars fans. Before I watched it, I really didn’t think it would be anything better than average but I was shocked by how good the series is. Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is the best Lego Star Wars series or film ever made and one of the best Lego releases in general. Even if you don’t think the concept sounds that great or you don’t think you would like something that aired on Disney XD, give it a chance. I think The Freemaker Adventures will surprise you, it certainly surprised me.
3. Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales (2015 TV Series)-Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales is pretty much an outright parody of the prequels and original trilogy (and even Star Wars: Rebels in one episode) with just a small original story wrapping around the parodies. While you may think that sounds like a boring or outright bad idea (parodies usually suck even though Lego is pretty good at them), this parody is actually quite good and had me laughing out loud quite often. Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales is kind of inconsistent but overall, I would say it is a great parody and definitely worth watching. I think the series was mostly meant as a way for kids to catch-up on Star Wars before The Force Awakens premiered (it aired just a few months before the movie opened) but it is also quite funny and entertaining to watch even if you’ve seen the movies a hundred times and don’t need to catch up on the story.
C-3PO (surprisingly voiced by Anthony Daniels, C-3PO’s original actor) acts as the narrator in Droid Tales, telling anybody who will listen to him about what he and his friends went through in the first six movies (the series takes place right after the conclusion of Return of the Jedi). While he tells his tale, he is also on the lookout for R2-D2 who was abducted by a mysterious stranger. However, this story is very minor and the main focus of Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales is recapping the movies in a funny way.
Droid Tales starts off with an awesome first episode which is easily the funniest in the series. That isn’t too surprising given that it is the episode parodying The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, which are easily the weakest Star Wars films ever made. There are so many funny moments in this episode and the show is definitely not afraid to poke fun at its subject material. The first episode even makes fun of the changes George Lucas made in the special editions of the films by having the characters not recognize Hayden Christensen as ghost Anakin Skywalker (a very funny moment). Droid Tales continues to poke fun (in a loving way) at the other movies, but since they aren’t as easy to mock the series does peak in the first episode and fall off after that. I would say the first episode is a 4.5/5 while the rest are more around a 3/5. I wish the rest of the episodes would have been as funny as the first episode but the entire Droid Tales series is still definitely worth watching. The last four episodes are still funny, they just aren’t laugh-out-loud funny like the first episode.
If you love the Lego Star Wars video games, you will almost certainly love this series (since the comedy style is pretty similar). The humor is mostly parody but there is some slapstick and even pop culture references (Mace Windu’s Snakes on a Plane reference was pretty clever and got a big laugh out of me). Overall, I liked Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales quite a bit and as long as you are a Star Wars fan who doesn’t take things too seriously, you probably will as well. Obviously a lot of the humor is meant for kids (and kids should really love this release) but I personally found a lot of it to be pretty funny even as an adult. The Freemaker Adventures is ranked slightly higher because it has a better story and isn’t just a parody but Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales is definitely worth a watch as well.
Average Lego Movies and TV Series:
4. Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (2012 Short Film)-A 22-minute Cartoon Network TV special, The Empire Strikes Out is a decent entry in the Lego Star Wars series but certainly not a must-watch. While there are some funny moments here or there (and it is slightly better and funnier than the TV special that came before it, The Padawan Menace), it really doesn’t have quite enough humor to support its below average story.
Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out features Luke Skywalker, who is on a mission to find and destroy an Imperial base on Naboo. However, his mission doesn’t go as planned and he is chased around by a group of his fans. While I laughed the first time Luke’s fans showed up, they quickly become annoying and unfortunately this is one of the main gags of The Empire Strikes Out. However, there are still some very funny moments and jokes from time to time. In particular, I enjoyed the meta joke about Han shooting first and the fact that it is a subject of some debate. The ending also does a great job of parodying the Royal Award Ceremony (which is kind of a tradition in Lego Star Wars films and series).
While there is an above average amount of humor, the story in The Empire Strikes Out is unfortunately below average. There really isn’t much to it and it mostly just exists as a small diversion between jokes. The animation is solid but the voice actors (especially the ones for Luke and Leia) are pretty awful and sound nothing like the original voices.
Since Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out is only 22-minutes long, it really isn’t that big of a time investment. If you aren’t really a fan of Lego’s style of humor, it probably isn’t worth a watch (since the story certainly isn’t anything special). However if you do generally enjoy Lego releases or are a big Star Wars fan, its probably worth a watch. It isn’t as good as the more recent Lego Star Wars releases (hence its placement in the “average” category) but it won’t be a waste of your time either.
5. Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace (2011 Short Film)-Like The Empire Strikes Out, The Padawan Menace is a 22-minute Cartoon Network TV special. While The Padawan Menace is ranked one spot below The Empire Strikes Out, the two are pretty much tied in my book and I think they are basically equal quality. I personally slightly prefer the humor in The Empire Strikes Out just a little bit more. However, I definitely think people who are more interested in story than comedy will prefer Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace.
The Padawan Menace features Yoda, Commander Cody, C-3PO, R2-D2, and a few annoying (in my opinion) young padawans. Yoda senses a disturbance in the force and must go on a mission to save the Republic, leaving C-3PO and R2-D2 to keep the young padawans safe (which they do a poor job of and unsurprisingly end up in danger). It isn’t an amazing story or anything but it is better than the one in The Empire Strikes Out (which pretty much was just a means to deliver jokes).
There is a decent amount of comedy in The Padawan Menace, but not quite as much as The Empire Strikes Out. There are some generally funny moments (the Galactic Senate bumper cars, George Lucas “directing” Darth Vader, using the Star Wars name generator app to create a fake name, etc.) but I slightly prefer the humor in The Empire Strikes Out. However, Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace is still worth watching if you are a huge Star Wars fan or love Lego films and series.
Below Average Lego Movies and TV Series:
6. Lego Scooby-Doo!: Knight Time Terror (2015 Short Film)-Knight Time Terror is a TV special that aired in November 2015 to help promote the release of the first Scooby-Doo Lego sets. While it is slightly better than Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood (a 2016 direct-to-DVD film that is more than three times as long), that is mostly just due to the lengths of the two films. Unfortunately, the Lego Scooby-Doo releases are some of the weakest Lego versions of already-existing properties. While most of the Lego Star Wars releases are funny parodies of the film series or even just great stand-alone adventures like The Freemaker Adventures, Lego Scooby-Doo!: Knight Time Terror is basically just a mediocre Scooby-Doo episode in Lego form.
In Knight Time Terror, the Scooby gang visits Grimsley Manor, home to a mysterious Black Knight that has come to life as well as a hidden treasure that has yet to be unearthed. If that sounds like the plot of basically every episode of Scooby-Doo ever made, that’s because it pretty much is. As usual for Scooby-Doo the plot is extremely formulaic and effectively just exists as a set piece for light spookiness for kids and cartoon humor. Except for the characters, items, and the set being made out of Legos, there really isn’t any difference between this and any other Scooby-Doo episode or movie ever made. I was hoping Lego Scooby-Doo!: Knight Time Terror would do a good job of parodying the formulaic nature of the series but it doesn’t really even try and the humor is just your typical Scooby-Doo style of humor. The main reason why I love the Lego Star Wars stuff (and the reason almost all of it is ranked pretty high on this list), is because those films and TV series have no problem poking fun at their subject material. I still like Scooby-Doo even as an adult but the series has a lot of stuff that could have been made fun of in a loving way. The closest Knight Time Terror comes is the overly long hallway chase scene.
While I really wish Lego Scooby-Doo!: Knight Time Terror would have tried to be more of a parody than a Lego version of the show, it will probably still be fun for kids. Obviously as an adult, I’m not going to laugh at a lot of Scooby-Doo’s humor anymore but kids will probably enjoy it. The short is pretty well-made and the voice cast includes many veterans of the series (original Fred Jones voice Frank Welker who also does Scooby-Doo, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, and Grey Griffin as Daphne). The only new addition to the roster in Kate Micucci as Velma who actually has a pretty similar voice to the original Velma and does a solid job in the role. The animation is solid but not spectacular.
Knight Time Terror is included as a bonus feature on the Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood Blu-ray and DVD releases so you might as well give it a watch if you are interested in or already own that release. I would say Knight Time Terror is slightly better than the main feature, just due to length reasons (it is just 22 minutes long versus 72 minutes for Haunted Hollywood). In terms of recommendations, if you are interested in Knight Time Terror because you think it will be a Scooby-Doo parody like most Lego movies and TV series are, you will be disappointed and should probably skip it. If you are fine with a mediocre Lego version of the show or think your kids might be interested in it, its solid but unspectacular.
7. Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood (2016 Film)-Most of what I wrote for Knight Time Terror also applies to Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood, with the added problem of an expanded 72-minute run time (which makes the lack of humor even more noticeable). While Haunted Hollywood does have a slightly more in-depth and better story (about an old, haunted monster movie studio), more comedy was needed to sustain the run time and the film unfortunately fails in that area. I wouldn’t say the film is completely without humor (kids in particular should enjoy some of the comedy) but it is way less funny than most Lego films and series, mainly because it doesn’t make fun of its subject material as much as it should.
Like Knight Time Terror, Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood is basically just another entry in the Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD film series, not a funny parody of the series like most Lego versions of already-existing franchises are. If you enjoy those direct-to-DVD films, I’m sure you’ll like Haunted Hollywood enough to give it a try. However, if you are looking for a funny send-up of the well-known Scooby-Doo tropes and conventions, you will be disappointed. Lego films and series are at their best when they are poking fun (in a loving way) at their subjects. Of course, the infamous Scooby-Doo tropes are still here (“I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids,” chase scenes, ridiculously obvious mystery solutions for anyone over the age of ten, etc.), but Haunted Hollywood doesn’t do a very good job of poking fun at them or subverting them. There are so many things about Scooby-Doo that could have been parodied and this could have been a very funny film, unfortunately they decided to stick with the normal Scooby-Doo film format.
One thing that really hurts Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood is the 72-minute run time. If the film was condensed down to 45 minutes or so, it would have been a slightly better film (and definitely would have outranked Knight Time Terror due to the better story). It still probably wouldn’t have broken out of the “below average” rankings but it would have been better. Instead, we get unfunny sub-plots like Fred becoming a pretentious and terrible movie director. There are some decent moments in the film (especially some of the early scenes) and a shorter run time would have helped the film from becoming boring.
Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood includes the same voice cast as Knight Time Terror (Frank Welker is the only original cast member but the film also includes Scooby-Doo veterans like Matthew Lillard and Grey Griffin). The animation is good but not amazing (slightly better than Knight Time Terror but that’s due to this being a direct-to-DVD film versus a TV special). Like Knight Time Terror, I wouldn’t recommend Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood to Lego film fans or general audiences. However, for huge Scooby-Doo fans, this is pretty much just another film in the series and you may enjoy it.
8. Lego Star Wars: Bombad Bounty (2010 Short Film)-While also below average, Lego Star Wars: Bombad Bounty is slightly funnier and better than the short film that came before it (The Quest for R2-D2, which you will find further down this list). The director is the same, the production company is the same, and both short films run for five minutes but this one wins out just slightly on the basis of it being a little bit funnier.
The story features Jar Jar Binks as a janitor who winds up causing mayhem like putting Darth Vader in a leg cast when he slips and falls on wet floor, vacuuming everything (including the band) up at the Mos Eisley Cantina, and other mishaps at events from the original trilogy of films (all while Boba Fett attempts to take him out to collect a bounty Darth Vader placed on him). The short film is very strange but definitely earned some laughter from me, even with the large amount of Jar Jar Binks (he is actually more funny than annoying in this short film). However, it certainly isn’t laugh-out-loud funny and at just five minutes long, there really isn’t much to Lego Star Wars: Bombad Bounty. If you already own the Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace DVD or Blu-ray (which this short film was released on) and you really like Star Wars, it might be worth a watch. Otherwise, it is easily skippable.
How to Watch Lego Star Wars: Bombad Bounty: Bonus Feature on Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace Release
9. Lego Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2 (2009 Short Film)-Lego Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2 is an extremely short film (just five minutes long) that aired on Cartoon Network in 2009 to celebrate ten years of Lego Star Wars releases. The short film takes place during the prequels and includes many characters from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series (Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Commander Cody, as well as others). The story is about R2-D2 being blasted into space and both the Jedi and Separatists race to find him. Obviously with the film being just five minutes long, the story really isn’t that important or very in-depth. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a lot of humor either (it got just a few small chuckles out of me).
The Quest for R2-D2 is just the second Lego Star Wars “film” ever made and you can definitely tell it is a bit dated and obviously had a microscopic budget at least compared to more recent releases. The animation is much more janky and less fluid and pales in comparison to bigger and more recent Lego films and series. The sound is also pretty poor with very little voice acting at all (and the little that there is isn’t that great either). Obviously I don’t expect a short film to have amazing animation, voice acting, or sound but the poor quality is definitely quite noticeable.
For most people, Lego Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2 is easily skippable. However, huge Star Wars fans might as well give it a try. It certainly isn’t anything special but its not like its unwatchable. This short is available on the Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace DVD and Blu-ray releases.
How to Watch Lego Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2: Bonus Feature on Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace Release
Lego Movies and TV Series to Skip:
Nothing so far.
Lego Movies and TV Series Not Yet Ranked:
The following is a list of Lego TV series, movies, and short films that I know about but have yet to see. When I find a copy and/or get around to watching each special, I will update this post with my thoughts so make sure to check back often. If I am missing any Lego TV series, movies, or short films on this list (officially licensed ones only, brickfilms will eventually get their own list), feel free to let me know in the comments section.
- Bionicle: Mask of Light (2003)
- Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui (2004)
- Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows (2005)
- Bionicle: The Legend Reborn (2009)
- Edward and Friends (1987)
- Hero Factory: Rise of the Rookies (2010)
- Hero Factory: Savage Planet (2011)
- Jack Stone (2001)
- Legends of Chima (2013-14)
- Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers (2010)
- Lego Atlantis: The Movie (2010)
- The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
- Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite (2013)
- Lego Bionicle: The Journey to One (2016)
- Lego City: A Clutch Powers 4-D Adventure (2011)
- Lego Clutch Powers: Bad Hair Day (2010)
- Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered (2014)
- Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom (2015)
- Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash (2016)
- Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout (2016)
- Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (2015)
- Lego Elves (2015-Present)
- Lego Elves: Unite the Magic (2015)
- Lego Friends of Heartlake City (2012-Present)
- Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship (2016-Present)
- Lego Hero Factory (2010-14)
- Lego Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Brick (2008)
- Lego Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape (2016)
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled! (2015)
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload (2013)
- Lego Nexo Knights (2015-Present)
- Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (2011-Present)
- Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises (2016)
- Lego Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick (2005)
- Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles/The New Yoda Chronicles (2013-14)
- Mixels (2014-16)
- Monty Python & the Holy Grail in Lego (2001)
- The Simpsons: “Brick Like Me” (2014)
- The Simpsons: “It’s a Simpsons Christmas!” (2016)