The Lego Batman Movie Takes On Dramatica Story Structure

A hilarious send-up of Batman movies parodies our favorite concepts of story structure.

Struggling with trying to comprehend the Dramatica theory of story and wish there was a film you could just watch that explained it all?

Then check out The LEGO Batman Movie.


I know–you would think something like The Godfather or Manchester by the Sea would be the better, but I’m telling you–this movie is not only funny but also funny in how it makes fun of story structure!

Check out this take on the classic “You and I” moment:

Great, right?!

When I was watching the film a second time (always good when it comes to doing an analysis–looking at you Doubt, Moonlight, and Captain America: Civil War), there was a moment where I said to myself:

This HAS to be a Main Character Signpost of the Future...if it isn’t, maybe I can tweak my analysis to reflect it or something because Batman is so clearly dealing with issue of the future now, it’s almost like the writers and directors were using Dramatica...

This moment happens right after the Joker turns himself into the proper authorities. A bewildered Batman stares off into space, not knowing what to do next–and that’s when someone hits him with a concern for the Future. Let me show you:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more obvious example of a 2nd Signpost in the Future.

So imagine how excited I was when I uploaded the entire storyform to my site and found this:

Storyform Settings for the Main Character Throughline of The LEGO Batman Movie

Dramatica predicted a Main Character Signpost of the Future. I didn’t put that in at all. In fact, if you look at the analysis on the site and scroll down to the bottom, you’ll find an image that looks like this:

The Story Engine Settings for The LEGO Batman Movie

The only choices I made were the ones in BLUE – the Dramatica Story Expert application automatically picked the ones in RED based on its internal story engine.

That’s the kind of magic that astounds me every day.

And this kind of thing happens throughout the entire film.

Personally, I don’t have an issue with the film being too predictable. Like Sing!, this latest from LEGO stays relatively close to the base storyform.

But as far as I’m concerned, that was part of the humor–a send-up of both Batman and story structure. Why else would you have four completely different You and I scenes from four different Influence Characters?

And that’s why I think it’s a great film for you to watch if you’re just getting into Dramatica and want to understand how the different parts–like a Main Character Signpost of the Future–work.

Load the storyform available within Subtext (a feature available for Subtext Subscribers), and follow along as the movie plays. You’ll start to pick up on so many different things: the Joker’s missed Expectations, Alfred’s historical recounting of Batman’s lack of Progress in the first Main Character Signpost, and so much more.

And, of course, if you want to learn more you can always sign up for my Dramatica® Mentorship Program and become your own Dramatica Story Expert.

Totally up to you.