Cartoon Network’s animated Lego Movie spin-off doesn’t have any actual Lego

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Unikitty was one of the biggest breakout stars from 2014’s The Lego Movie — Lego has made the temperamental, perky unicorn-cat character a marketing focus, with a series of individual playsets, and eight different mini-figure variants to date. But she was also an audience favorite, prompting a wave of cosplay and fan art. So like Lego Batman, she’s getting her own spin-off property — in this case, an animated Cartoon Network TV show called Unikitty!

In the new show, Unikitty will be voiced by Tara Strong from Teen Titans Go!, replacing Alison Brie, who originated the role. In keeping with the character’s manic obsession with happiness in the movie, she and her little brother and best friend, Puppycorn; her bodyguard, Hawkodile; and scientist Dr. Fox spend their time trying to make everyone’s day as happy as possible. A press release summarizing the show suggests that the character will remain as forceful and demanding as she was in the film: “While she may be full of boundless energy and creativity, Unikitty is a force to be reckoned with if anyone gets in the way of spreading her positive vibes.”

Various members of the production teams of The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie will serve in executive-producer roles, including Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. The new show also shares an executive producer and supervising producer with Teen Titans Go!, which may explain the specific art style on the teaser images. But while it’s nice to see that one of the most popular characters from The Lego Movie is getting a spin-off (especially an original character, instead of a Lego-ized version of an existing pop-culture icon), based on the promotional art, it feels like Unikitty! is missing the point of the Lego conceit.

Half of the fun of the Lego movies (at least for me) was the incredible commitment to making the world look like an actual Lego playset, down to the part numbers and scratches on the CGI plastic. And while I can understand the shift to traditional animation for the presumably much lower-budget Unikitty show, I can’t help but wish for the digitally re-created bricks of the films.

Cartoon Network has green-lit the series, but no release date has formally been announced.

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