The Lego Movie is finally getting a sequel... well, sort of. Instead of a direct sequel to the surprise 2014 hit, the film's popular Lego Batman character has received his own spinoff, The Lego Batman Movie. The movie, which hits theaters on Feb. 10, looks like it will showcase the same humor and wit as its predecessor, but what if you've never seen the first film and want to catch up before seeing the spinoff? Well, unfortunately, it's unclear when The Lego Movie will be on Netflix for our streaming pleasure.
I wouldn't get too optimistic about the film showing up on Netflix anytime soon. Netflix doesn't just distribute random movies, they put out films from studios with which they have streaming deals. Most are familiar with Netflix's massive Disney deal, which gives them first rights to stream new Disney releases, but they also have similar deals in place with DreamWorks Animation and Sony Animation. That's why you'll find recent films from these studios, like DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda 3 and Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2, respectively, on Netflix. Netflix even has a deal in place where they can negotiate the release of certain Universal Pictures animated films if Universal's first rights partner, HBO, doesn't want them. That's why Universal's Minions is on Netflix, and not HBO. But unfortunately for fans of Warner Bros.' The Lego Movie, Netflix has no deal for recent releases from the WB.
The only hope for The Lego Movie coming to Netflix would be if Netflix were to strike a new deal with Warner Bros. — unlikely since the company is now more focused on creating original content than forging new partnerships with other content generators — or if they gain the rights to the film several years in the future. Netflix has some Warner Bros. movies now, like 2005's Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, but they're all several years old, so it's possible that a few years down the line they could secure the rights to The Lego Movie. So where can you watch The Lego Movie now?
At this time, the only place where you can stream The Lego Movie for free is on HBO. If you have HBO Now or HBOGO, then you can watch the movie as part of your subscription. If not, then your only other option is to rent it from sites like iTunes and Amazon.
You should definitely stream The Lego Movie before seeing The Lego Batman Movie, not because you'll need the background for the plot, but because you'll want to expose yourself to as much of Will Arnett's hilarious Lego Batman as you possibly can.