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The Mask of BIONICLE

CINESCAPE attends the world premiere of the new animated feature

By SCOTT COLLURA and ANTHONY C. FERRANTE     September 25, 2003


Jeff Tahler (vice president acquisitions, Miramax Films), Tahu the Toa of Fire and Bob Thompson (executive producer, Create TV & Film) at the BIONICLE: MASK OF LIGHT premiere.
© 2003 Alberto Rodriguez / BEImages

It was a big day in LEGOLAND this past September 13, when celebrities, filmmakers and their families gathered at the Carlsbad, CA site for the world premiere of BIONICLE: MASK OF LIGHT. A joint production between the LEGO Company and Miramax Films, the animated adventurewhich is based on LEGO's popular line of toyswas released on DVD and VHS on September 16.



BIONICLE tells

Jeff Tahler (vice president acquisitions, Miramax Films), Tahu the Toa of Fire and Bob Thompson (executive producer, Create TV & Film) at the BIONICLE: MASK OF LIGHT premiere.

the tale of the powerful guardians of Mata Nui, the Toa. When the "Mask of Light" of the title is discovered, it becomes apparent that a new, seventh Toa will soon be joining their ranksbut the evil Makuta will do whatever it takes to gain the mask for themselves. What follows is a fun mythology that is nicely rendered through CGI animation.



On hand at the film's premiere were co-directors Terry Shakespeare and David Molina and producer Sue Shakespeare, who were more than happy to discuss the project as well as plans for future movie installments in the BIONICLE mythos.



"We didn't

BIONICLE: MASK OF LIGHT

know about the [planned] second one until we finished the first one," said Sue Shakespeare. "And I'm sure there had been planning within the company itself for quite some time. We were kept out of the loop until they were ready to tell us!"



"I think they wanted us to concentrate on what we were doing," added Molina with a grin.



Whether the next BIONICLE film is a direct-to-video venture or instead a theatrical release remains to be seen. "We figure if we keep doing a good job, they'll use us," said Terry Shakespeare. "We hope so. We really know this world now and we're really into it." What is known about the project right now is that the LEGO creators and writers are currently working on a script with Miramax.



"We don't

Tahu, the Toa of Fire, surfs the lava falls with Takua on his back in BIONICLE: MASK OF LIGHT.

know what the story is yet," said Molina. "They haven't told us, but I think it will be more of a bigger theatrical CG adventure. [This] movie has a great depth in all the lore and all the fans know it. Each character and the world itself is very deeply written so we had to match that visually to what the fans know already as far as story is concerned. The visuals and the storytelling came naturally because we had so much material already."



Check out the adventures of the Toa in BIONICLE: MASK OF LIGHT, available on DVD now!



Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at comments@cinescape.com.

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