Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui

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Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui
Bionicle 2 Legends of Metru-Nui2.jpg
Directed by
  • Terry Shakespeare
  • David Molina
Produced bySue Shakespeare
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Bob Thompson
  • Henry Gilroy
Music byNathan Furst[1]
Edited byCraig Russo
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • October 19, 2004 (2004-10-19)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryDenmark
United States
LanguageEnglish

Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui is a 2004 direct-to-video science fantasy action film and the second film based on Lego's Bionicle toy line. It is a prequel to the first film, Bionicle: Mask of Light. This movie follows the 2004 storyline and was created using Lego elements from the Bionicle series. It is also the second of the two films in the franchise to be given a rating by the MPAA. It was released on DVD and VHS on October 19, 2004.

In this movie, Vakama recalls events that took place long before the classic Bionicle stories at Mata Nui, during which he, along with his friends Nuju, Matau, Onewa, Whenua, and Nokama were chosen to be the new Toa of the island of Metru Nui. To save the city, they must prove themselves worthy Toa, find their mask powers, and protect the "Heart of Metru Nui". However, they also find themselves caught up in the schemes of the evil Makuta.

The film has many scenes taking stock footage from itself. The film was received with mixed reviews, with some noting the filling in of plot holes from the last movie. The series continued to be noted for its visual effects and musical score. It was followed by a sequel, Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows.

Plot[edit]

The film begins with Turaga Vakama describing a land that existed before Mata Nui called Metru Nui, where the local Toa were falling in battle as a relentless shadow sought to conquer the great city.

Lhikan, the last remaining Toa, travels throughout the entire city, giving Toa stones to six Matoran: Whenua, Nuju, Matau, Onewa, Nokama, and Vakama. After giving the last stone to Vakama, Lhikan is captured by two Dark Hunters, Nidhiki and Krekka. Vakama later meets the other Matoran at the Great Temple in Ga-Metru; there, they are transformed into six new Toa. After Vakama has a vision, they all set out to recover the six Great Disks hidden throughout Metru Nui, hoping to prove to Turaga Dume, the city's leader, that they are worthy Toa. However, Dume issues that "small gifts" will not confirm them as Toa, and puts them to a grueling test instead. When the six fail to pass, Dume denounces them as "imposters" and unleashes the Vahki (the city's law enforcers) upon them. In the ensuing chaos, Onewa, Nuju, and Whenua are captured while Vakama and the others escape the Coliseum by leaping into a chute system, with the Dark Hunters giving chase.

Vakama, Nokama, and Matau abandon the chute system at Ko-Metru when the Dark Hunters get the flow reversed and set out to find the other Toa and Lhikan, whom Vakama believes is still alive. They hitch a ride on a Vahki transport to Po-Metru, where are ambushed by the Dark Hunters and flee from a herd of Kikanalo beasts. Nokama discovers that her mask allows her to speak and understand foreign languages and persuades the Kikanalo to help them find Lhikan; Matau discovers his mask power (shape-shifting) along the way.

Meanwhile, Onewa, Whenua, and Nuju are trying unsuccessfully to escape when are approached by a mysterious Turaga, who explains that Toa mask powers are needed to escape and teaches them how to activate them. Growing impatient, the Toa argue until Onewa's mind-control and Nuju's telekinesis mask powers activate, and Nuju uses his to create an escape route. Whenua then discovers his mask power (night vision) before the four reunite with Vakama, Nokama, and Matau. The Turaga then reveals himself to be Lhikan, who sacrificed his power to turn Vakama and company into Toa. He inquires as to the safety of the "Heart of Metru Nui", which Vakama believed was Lhikan himself, but is actually the Matoran. Vakama then discovers a small canister that contains Dume; the Dume from before was an impostor. Pursued by the Vahki, the Toa, along with Lhikan, set out to stop the false Dume, who has summoned the Matoran to the Coliseum to be placed in canisters to sleep. The false Dume reveals himself to be Makuta in disguise, and plunges the Great Spirit Mata Nui into slumber. The Toa gather as many Matoran capsules as they can and race to escape the crumbling city. On the way out, the Dark Hunters attack them again, but are killed, along with a Nivawk (Makuta's spy), when Makuta absorbs them.

As the group leaves Metru Nui, Vakama creates the legendary Mask of Time, which he unsuccessfully tried to do as a Matoran, from the Great Disks. Makuta pursues and in the ensuing battle, Lhikan is killed protecting Vakama. In an anguished rage, Vakama knocks the Mask of Time into the sea and defeats Makuta in combat using his newfound concealment mask power. The Toa combine their powers to seal Makuta in a protodermis prison and move on to the surface, emerging on an island they name "Mata Nui", in honor of the Great Spirit. There, they sacrifice their Toa power to awaken the Matoran and become Turaga. Vakama gives Lhikan's mask to an injured Matoran named Jaller, to the cheers of the other Matoran and Turaga, and their new lives on Mata Nui begin.

Cast[edit]

  • Alessandro Juliani as Toa Vakama, the Toa of Fire, a former mask-maker who sees prophetic visions of the future.
  • Gerard Plunkett as Turaga Dume, the leader of Metru Nui.
  • Tabitha St. Germain as Toa Nokama, the Toa of Water, a former teacher who strives to do her duty.
  • Michael Dobson as Toa/Turaga Lhikan, a Toa of Fire and former guardian of Metru Nui & Krekka, a powerful but unintelligent Dark Hunter.
  • Brian Drummond as Toa Matau, the Toa of Air, a lighthearted former test driver & Toa Onewa, the Toa of Stone, a headstrong and independent former carver.
  • Paul Dobson as Toa Whenua, the Toa of Earth with respect for the past & Nidhiki, a former Toa turned Dark Hunter.
  • Trevor Devall as Toa Nuju, the Toa of Ice with respect for the future.
  • Lee Tockar as Makuta, the main antagonist & Kongu, a Matoran operating the chutes in Metru Nui.

Production[edit]

Plans were in place before the release of the first Bionicle movie to create a second movie.[2] The directors Terry Shakespeare and David Molina did have some input into the storyline, though most of the mythology had already been sketched out.[3]

For the visual style of the film, director David Molina stated “We wanted to give this audience a bigger view of the Bionicle world – more environments, larger vistas.” Also, “The island of Bionicle 2 is something like Manhattan, with lots of commerce and large buildings. The first film was very intimate, very organic. Metru Nui is more mechanical, so it has a different feel.”[4]

Talking about the camera work, director Terry Shakespeare said "We really concentrated on depth of field with the camera," Comparing the two Bionicles, he felt "The first film had primary colors that were coded to the areas and a younger feel. For BIONICLE 2, we opened it up – the palette had to be more sophisticated, more realistic with earth tones, so we desaturated the characters."[4]

Most of the animation was created in Taiwan by a company called CGCG.[3] The process of creating the movie, from storyboarding to delivery of the film took 12 months.[3] Molina additionally added that the pipeline and process for creating this film was faster and more refined than the original Bionicle movie. “Our strength is bringing characters to life and not just robots,” added Shakespeare.[4]

Soundtrack[edit]

Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui Original Score Soundtrack
Film score by Nathan Furst
ReleasedDecember 12, 2017
GenreSoundtrack
Length57:27
LabelRising Phoenix Records
Nathan Furst chronology
Bionicle: Mask of Light
(2017)
Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui Original Score Soundtrack
(2017)
Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows
(2017)

Nathan Furst, composer of the first film's soundtrack, returned to score Legends of Metru Nui. In place of the tribal elements used in Mask of Light, Furst integrated electronic and techno sounds into the second film's music to accommodate its futuristic style.

The Legends of Metru Nui score was released as a digital album on December 12, 2017,[5] thirteen years after the film's release. Unlike the Mask of Light and Web of Shadows soundtracks which contain the complete scores from their respective films, this release contains most of the Legends of Metru Nui score while omitting music from some scenes. Furst stated that two tracks were excluded on purpose due to their redundancy and because they would have disrupted the "flow" of the album, though he has also said that he plans to distribute them.[6][7][8]

This release includes two "bonus tracks"; the first is an alternate "Desert/Kikeinalo" theme that was unused in the film, while the second is Furst's original sketch for Lhikan's theme which was used partially in the film's DVD menus and incorporated into the score at various moments featuring the character.

The soundtrack's initial lack of availability was partially due to it being lost in a hard drive crash for several years, as Furst stated multiple times.[9][10] Prior to the 2017 release, Furst revealed that the "entire score" was eventually recovered thanks to his assistant.[10]

No.TitleLength
1."Legend of Metru Nui / Toa Stones"5:33
2."Lhikan's Capture / Vakama's Vision"2:46
3."Dume's Request"1:03
4."Faithful Matoran to Mighty Toa"4:13
5."Arena Challenge"3:26
6."Vahki Attack!"1:36
7."Escaping Dark Hunters"2:02
8."Bad Things Happen in the Desert"5:05
9."Mask Powers / Herd of Vahki"4:32
10."Makuta Is Dume"2:05
11."Heart of Metru Nui"6:17
12."Follow the Light / Mask of Time"4:52
13."Lhikan's Death / Vakama's Power Found"5:27
14."Island of Mata Nui"4:25
15."Bionicle 2 End Titles"1:28
16."Unused Alternate Desert/Kikeinalo Theme (Bonus Trk)"1:28
17."Lhikan Theme Sketch (DVD Menu)"1:09
Total length:57:27

Reception[edit]

Cartoon Network's Toonami aired several scenes from the film along with the first Bionicle movie Mask of Light.[11] The film was first screened on October 6, 2004, at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California.[3] Cartoon Network aired the movie for the first time less than two months after its release on December 18, 2004, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.[12]

Though reviewers were still skeptical as to the toy promotional nature of these films, several noted their marked improvement over the original Bionicle movie, including its filling-in of major plot holes that had been present in the first film. It was also noted for its references to The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Matrix, and Excalibur.[13] There was concern that the Bionicle brand promoted violence, running counter to the LEGO themes of patience and careful construction.[14] A sequel entitled Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows was released in 2005.

Bionicle 2 was nominated at the DVD Exclusive Awards for Best Animated Premiere Movie.[15] It was also nominated for best director and best original score.[16] Bionicle was nominated at the 32nd Annual Saturn Awards for Best DVD release.[17] It was also an iParenting Media Award winner for Best Home Video/DVD.[18] Two awards were won by the studio that created Bionicle 2 at the 27th Annual Telly Awards.[19] It also won the Golden Reel Award for Sound Editing in a Direct to Video Release.[20]

DVD release[edit]

Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui was released on DVD on October 6, 2004 in the United States. The DVD included a number of documentaries including the making of the movie and associated toy line.[21] There is also a featurette entitled "The Legend Revealed" that has a brief question and answer session with the production team.[22] Some critics were concerned that the DVD makes too much of an attempt to sell the Bionicle product.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bionicle 2: Legends Of Metru Nui". TV Guide. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Hettrick, Scott (September 16, 2003). "Bright prospects for bow of Bionicle". Video Business Online. Archived from the original on January 11, 2007. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  3. ^ a b c d Feng, Yunda Eddie (October 15, 2004). "Bionicle 2 Screening and Interview". DVD Town.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  4. ^ a b c "BIONCLE 2 DVD Opens Up Characters and Environments". Animation World Network. October 20, 2004. Archived from the original on May 13, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  5. ^ Nathan Furst | Facebook, 8 December 2017
  6. ^ Nathan Furst - There ARE two tracks missing... | Facebook, 16 December 2017
  7. ^ Nathan Furst on Twitter | Twitter, 22 December 2017
  8. ^ Nathan Furst on Twitter | Twitter, 1 February 2018
  9. ^ Nathan Furst - In a #Bionicle mood tonight.You can tell it... | Facebook, 8 February 2015
  10. ^ a b Nathan Furst - Yes. And was for years. Thanks to... | Facebook, 10 December 2017
  11. ^ Binkmeister, Kelly (April 1, 2004). "Mask of Light on Cartoon Network Bonuses". Lego. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  12. ^ "Bionicle 2 on Toonami Next Saturday". BZPower.com. December 11, 2004. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  13. ^ Hattaway, Judge Mitchell (October 27, 2004). "Bionicle 2: Legends Of Metru Nui". DVD Verdict.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  14. ^ Feng, Yunda Eddie (October 13, 2004). "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui". DVD Town.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  15. ^ Hettrick, Scott (January 2, 2005). "Spidey takes on Frodo in DVD kudos". Variety. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  16. ^ Ball, Ryan (January 3, 2005). "Lion King 1½ Rules DVD Exclusive Noms". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  17. ^ "Saturn Award Nominations". The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. January 3, 2005. Archived from the original on October 9, 2003. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  18. ^ "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui". iParenting Media Awards. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-07-01. Retrieved 2006-06-27.[not in citation given]
  19. ^ "27th Annual Telly Awards (2006)". Telly Awards. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-08-28. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  20. ^ "Golden Reel Winners Announced by MPSE". Mix Online.com. February 28, 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  21. ^ Ruest, Gaetan (October 19, 2004). "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui". UpcomingDiscs.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  22. ^ Miller III, Randy (October 13, 2004). "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui". DVDTalk.com. Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  23. ^ Alley, Dodd (2005). "Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui". Movieweb.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-06-27.[not in citation given]

External links[edit]