Playmobil the Movie trailer rex dasher

Here’s one way to make sure film marketing piques my interest: completely change approaches from one trailer to the next in the hopes of obscuring a movie’s actual premise. I honestly wouldn’t have given a second thought to the animated feature Playmobil: The Movie after seeing its first trailer, but today’s new one got my attention for the way it hides the premise explored the first time around. The film even has a brand new official synopsis which also tries to shield its actual plot. See what I mean below.

Playmobil: The Movie Trailer

Here’s the new synopsis that came along with this trailer:

In PLAYMOBIL’s® animated action adventure, a top secret organization has caused citizens from different lands to vanish from thin air. The dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe) must partner with smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Jim Gaffigan) and Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) a smart, savvy civilian with her own secret agenda, to rescue them. Against unthinkable odds, the trio go on a fantastic journey across stunning new worlds as they gather clues for their rescue mission.

With all that in mind, now watch the film’s first trailer, which reveals the real story this movie has in store:

There’s no mention at all of the live-action elements in that trailer, which came with a description that had no problem leaning into those details:

When her younger brother Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) unexpectedly disappears into the magical, animated universe of PLAYMOBIL®, unprepared Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) must go on a quest of a lifetime to bring him home. As she sets off on a fantastic journey across stunning new worlds, Marla teams up with some unlikely and heroic new friends – the smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Jim Gaffigan), the dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe), a wholehearted misfit robot, an extravagant fairy-godmother (Meghan Trainor) and many more. Through their vibrant adventure, Marla and Charlie realize that no matter how life plays out, you can achieve anything when you believe in yourself!

Interestingly, the release date for this one has been all over the calendar. The film was originally slated to arrive back in January, but it’s changed distributors and release dates several times since then, moving from January to April to August 16 to August 30, and ending with this trailer just promising that the movie is “coming soon.”

Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Bateman, Adam Lambert, Kenan Thompson, Meghan Trainor and Daniel Radcliffe star, Blaise Hemingway and Greg Erb & Jason Oremland wrote the script, and the movie marks the directorial debut of Lino Disalvo, the head of animation on Disney’s Frozen.

This will be the second major animated project released by STX Entertainment, and I must say that from a pure filmmaking angle, this one at least looks better than this year’s UglyDolls. While the characters are clearly simplified to match the Playmobil toys that inspired them, the animation looks pretty slick and there’s some interesting lighting going on in a few of the shots on display here. Of course, whether that will actually translate into this being a good movie remains to be seen.

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