We love Batman. He has a depth of character rarely seen in superheroes. Batman’s villains have the highest educational level per capita than any other fictional city (exceeded in the real world by Antarctica). Batman’s adventures are a doctoral thesis in misapplied psychology.

The beauty of the non-powered hero is his ability to change what he is. Batman has a number of incarnations, each unique, yet still Batman. The Dark Knight is as canon as Adam West or Batman Adventures, and Lego Batman is no exception.

The core of Batman is not the tragic story of a billionaire orphan seeking to eradicate the plague of crime, which claimed his parents. The core of Batman is the relationship between the caped crusader and a rogue’s gallery of colorful villains—chief among them, the Joker.Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman.

The Lego Batman Movie delves into this relationship in hilarious fashion, and shows the conflict of personality in a way even a child will understand. The Joker’s only desire? Get Batman to admit that Joker is his arch-foe—or destroy Gotham City and every brick and mini-fig in it. This is easily accomplished with the several tons of explosives stolen from MacGuffin Airlines, since “as everone knows, Gotham City is built on two giant base plates held together by a single line of studs, over an abyss that smells like old socks and dirty underwear.”

Lego characters are keenly aware that they live in a universe made of interlocking bricks that can be reassembled and repurposed at will. This omniscience is used sparingly enough to remain funny, and frequently enough to make it a persistent part of an internally consistent universe. Most successful children’s movies work in innuendo and double entendres to give the parents’ something to giggle about as they are bombarded by a sappy glossed-up story about brightly colored but one dimensional characters. The Lego Batman Movie does not do this.

The story is deep enough to be meaningful, while attacking the classic tropes of superhero fiction and still contributing to the glorious canvas that is conveyed by the three simple words, “Because I’m Batman.”

It may be childish in parts. After concluding that Batman and Bruce Wayne are roommates, Joker’s crew breaks into the Bat Cave.  The Joker taunts Batman by rubbing his butt on the Batmobile, remarking “we’re going to have to call this ‘the Buttmobile’.” The movie balances such adolescent humor by dialing it up to eleven. Okay, it doesn’t balance; it just goes.

Normally we try to keep reviews spoiler free, but the humor starts before the logos, and I could fill this page with lines from the movie and not spoil it. Just as listing every obscure character who makes an appearance would max out our (self imposed) five hundred word limit. This movie is so fast paced with its wit and references, that I doubt anyone will catch them all in one viewing.

And that’s okay, because The Lego Batman Movie is worth seeing more than once.