Bionicle: Mask of Light Movie Review
Membership Level› Guest
Author/Source: Larry Shallenberger
Topic: Movie Review
This is a movie review about a recently released video by Legos based on their very popular Bionicle toys.
These aren’t your father’s boxy LEGO bricks. The new bricks are sleek, space-aged, and they have their own made-for-video movie, Bionicle: Mask of Light. This 2003 Miramax release chronicles the latest adventures on the island of Mata Nui.
The recently struggling LEGO Company seems to have revived itself with this popular toy series. Bionicle is an invented word, which blends “biology” with “chronicles.” Bionicle: Mask of Light succeeds in bringing the story of the Matorans to life. The Matorans are a race of diminutive creatures who live under the protection of the Toa. Each Toa possesses a special elemental power and is considered to be a god by the Matorans.
The movie opens with two of the Matorans, Takua, and Jaller, accidentally discovering the Mask of Light. The prophecies reveal that this mask belongs to a seventh Toa, the Toa of Light. Once discovered, the Toa of Light will help rescue the Island from darkness and help awaken the Great Spirit. However, the evil Makuta, also aware of the prophecies, sends out his reptilian army of Rahkshi to defeat the Makuta.
This computer-generated film is a delight to watch. The fluid animation turns plastic play toys into nimble acrobats. The story is paced brilliantly. The values of teamwork, honor, and being true to one’s destiny pepper the movie without bogging down the story.
The mythology of Bionicle presents a challenge to Christian viewers. According to the Matoran writings, the Great Spirit cannot be awakened until shadow and light mix. During the final fight scene, the evil Makuta and the Toa of Light combine to form the Takutanuva, “the most powerful being to walk the island of Mati Nui.” This new hybrid being of light and darkness rescues the Matoran so they can awaken the Great Spirit.
The Bionicle universe appears to mirror a Bhuddistic solution to conflict. Harmony occurs when what appears to be good and what appears to be evil are joined together in harmony. If I viewed this scene correctly, then Bionicle keeps company with Star Wars and The Matrix in presenting this dualistic view of morality.
I’m not ready to clear out all the Bionicle toys in my son’s room. However, we did have a conversation this evening on how God defeats evil by conquering it. God never merges with darkness to create piece. If a parent or pastor helps a child navigate the spiritual message of Bionicle, this film can be a valuable chew toy to help a young person cut their teeth of discernment.