— -- Four years after Warner Bros. announced plans to make "The Lego Ninjago Movie," the third installment in the franchise hit theaters today.
According to director Charlie Bean, creating the world in which the latest Lego movie is set was a labor of love -- and a process with which viewers are familiar.
Bean told ABC News at the movie's L.A. premiere last weekend that his team built the film “brick by brick,” much like fans would with real-life Lego pieces.
“It sort of incorporates a lot of different animation styles,” he said, adding that it is a fully animated, miniature, and stop-motion film all in one.
"The Lego Ninjago Movie,” which is based on the toy's "Ninjago" line, focuses on a group of teenage ninjas who come together to defend Ninjago City.
For the cast, being part of the movie also felt like magic.
Michael Peña, who voices Kai, the red ninja of fire, said that the film connects him to his son, as they play with ninjago Legos together at home.
Kumail Nanjiani, the voice behind Jay, the quiet, blue ninja of lightning, said he “almost cried the first time I saw [his character].”
Olivia Munn, the actress behind Koko, the mother of the film's hero, said that her attachment to the film was based on her connection to her character as well.
“Of all the roads she could have chosen, she chose to be a mother,” Munn said. “She could have been a hero to many, but she chose to be a hero to one.”