So now we come to the sequel... thats a prequel, but is also a prequel to its own sequel... and because the last review got way to long for its own good (which in hindsight was to be expected as its the same review twice... I won't be bringing out the Matoran font again (unless you want it to return...). 2004 is described as one of the best years for the series. The play sets are still loved to this day by a lot of people, the collectables were fun and the story was engaging... speaking on which...
One of the things that the first three films open with are these into "prologues", the reason why I didn't cover it in the Mask of Light review is because that prologue actually covers the events of the Metru Nui arc (in vague detail, but still). The prologue actually covers the war between the Brotherhood of Makuta and the Toa (which you'll have to look into yourself for now as its never mentioned in the movies aside from that). After the prologue, we're introduced to the last surviving Toa of Metru Nui, Toa Lhikan (silent h), who is retrieving six Toa Stones, to bring forth six new Toa, these Toa being Vakama, Nokama, Matau, Nuju, Whenua and Onewa... which may be familiar names if you looked into the lore for Mask of Light. These six Toa will eventually become the Turaga of Mata Nui. In an attempt to be recognized as the new Toa of Metru Nui, they retrieve the Great Kanoka Disks (in a small montage as it had to be cut from the movie) and in presenting them to the sole Turaga of Metru Nui, Turaga Dume (Duma being the pronunciation...), where half of them get captured due to them being labeled as imposters.
In rescuing Nuju, Whenua and Onewa, all but Vakarma discover their Mask powers... I should probably stop there as I glossed over it in Mask of Light. The masks of Toa and Turaga each have a special power unique to each shape of mask. As a example, Tahu and Lhikan's masks grant them the ability to create shields around themselves, Matau's allows him to shape shift ect. When you see the masks glow in the films, its the power of the mask itself. As I was saying, five of them discover their Mask powers and they discover Lhikan who has become a Turaga as a result of the Toa Metru becoming Toa, as he infused some of his own power into the Toa Stones (its a blink and you'll miss it moment). Lhikan informs them of what's called the "Great Cataclysm", to which they promptly return to the Metru Nui Coliseum to stop. Turaga Dume is revealed to be a Makuta Teridax in disguise who is imprisoning all the Matoran and is going to "reprogram"... best way of describing it... them to see him as their true god, not Mata Nui, who falls into his sleep in the first movie as a result. Lhikan is killed by Teridax, Vakama discovers his Mask power (invisibility) as a result, the Toa seal Teridax in Protodermis (look that one up for yourself, imagine special water though as a base) and the movie finishes with the Toa becoming Turaga.
As with Mask of Light, Legends of Metru Nui expects you to have some knowledge of what's going on in terms of lore, but not to the same extent as Mask of Light. It's not expecting you to know about Metru Nui as this was the year the city was introduced so that's one less problem. The Brotherhood of Makuta aren't even mentioned, the main thugs, Krekka and Nidhiki, while a different aliance to Teridax, are just general thugs in this so its not important info. The only info the movie really expects you to know are the Matoran, Toa, Turaga and the Kanohi masks, and even the masks have a slight back story. It is much better passed then Mask of Light was, especially for newcomers but it comes as a trade off. I glossed over the Great Kanoka Disks as their side plot is almost entirely cut, with the only parts that remain are what's required for the plot maguffin mask of the movie, the Kanohi Vahi, the Mask of Time. There's a lot more to it including the Morbuzakh plant (imagine a sentient weed). There's also a air bit of time dedicated to the Toa Metru adapting to being Toa, by way of discovering the Mask powers.
The animation is similar to Mask of Light, but I like it better in Legends of Metru Nui because of the world. Mata Nui was a island paradise whereas Metru Nui is a city. Its much more mechanical while still keeping that nature aspect to it which looks beautiful. Apart from that, my stance on the Animation is the same as what I had for Mask of Light... Not surprising as I believe it is the same team and if it isn't broken, don't fix it.
That's pretty much it though for Legends of Metru Nui, while it is a new, simpler plot for newcomers, its extremely similar to Mask of Light in every other factor. Return next week for the conclusion of the Metru Nui saga, Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows