Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu

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Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
Lego Ninjago - Masters of Spinjitzu logo.svg
Genre Action, Comedy, Science Fantasy, Martial arts
Written by The Hageman Brothers
Directed by Michael Hegner
Justin Murphy
Voices of Jillian Michaels
Vincent Tong
Michael Adamthwaite
Paul Dobson
Brent Miller
Kirby Morrow
Kelly Metzger
Mark Oliver
Brian Drummond
Michael Kopsa
Ian James Corlett
Kathleen Barr
Scott McNeil
Composer(s) Jay Vincent & Mike Kramer
Country of origin
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 54 (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Erik Wilstrup and WILFilm
Running time 22 minutes
Distributor The Lego Group
Release
Original channel Cartoon Network (US)
Nickelodeon (Denmark)[1]
Original release January 14, 2011 (2011-01-14) – present[2]
Chronology
Related shows Legends of Chima

Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is an American-Danish[3] action comedy family animated TV series that centers on the adventures of six ninja. The series is based on the Lego toy series of the same name.

Overview[edit]

The show is set in the fictional world of Ninjago, a place inspired by Chinese and Japanese myths and culture. The land is divided between Ninjago proper and the Dark Island, where the Overlord resides. It has an underworld, where beings of evil like Lord Garmadon and the Skullkins dwell, together with sacred places where many things are hidden or forgotten (like the Serpentine tombs or the Golden Weapons). Similar to Lego's past product line Bionicle, the main characters are in tune with certain elemental properties (the elements in this case being Fire, Ice, Lightning, Earth, Creation and Water.) While featuring several historically designed buildings and traditional clothing, Ninjago is a modern setting incorporating large metropolises with skyscrapers, current-age (and futuristic) vehicles, modern electronics and semi-robotic exo-suits; among other temporal displacements.

Plot[edit]

The pilot episodes feature Sensei Wu struggling to train four young Ninja in the ways of an ancient battle art called Spinjitzu (which manifests as an elemental spinning movement faster than any normal fighting style) to defeat his evil brother Lord Garmadon, ruler of the Underworld, to stop him from gaining power through the Four Golden Weapons. Traveling across Ninjago, Sensei Wu and his four elementally-attuned students, Kai Smith (Fire), Jay Walker (Lightning), Zane Julien (Ice) and Cole Bucket (Earth) recover the Golden Weapons while rescuing Kai's sister Nya from the Skullkins aiding Garmadon. Kai is tricked and runs off alone and finds the Sword of Fire, but is confronted by Garmadon in shadow-form. Kai rescues his little sister Nya and makes peace with the Dragon guardians, but, in order to keep the Sword of Fire from Garmadon, Wu travels to the Underworld to fight his corrupted brother. The four Ninja follow him down on their dragons, who are magical and can exist in both worlds. After defeating the Skeleton Army with the ultimate Spinjitzu move, the Tornado of Creation, they come upon Sensei fighting the general of the Skeleton Army, Samukai, who is in possession of three of the Golden Weapons (stolen from the Ninja earlier while they rested in the forests near the Fire Temple). Wu is defeated and Samukai tries to take the weapons for his own, but their combined power is too much for any normal being to control, destroys him and creates a portal into another realm between space and time, allowing Garmadon to escape, but one day return with enough power to wield the Four Golden Weapons. With Garmadon gone, the balance is temporarily restored, and the Ninja will prepare to train themselves for the day the ruler of the underworld returns.

Season One, focuses on the Ninja trying to determine which one of them will be destined to become the Green Ninja, a warrior destined to face the Dark Lord for the fate of Ninjago. It also focuses on Garmadon's young son Lloyd Garmadon, who has released an ancient evil: an army of four snake-like tribes known as the Serpentine who are united under Pythor, the last member of the extinct Anacondrai tribe. Wu manages to convince Lloyd join their side out of pity while the Ninja are aided by Nya in her Samurai X battle suit before Garmadon returns help them deal with the Serpentine as they attempt to summon a giant snake called the Great Devourer. In the end, as Lloyd is revealed to be the Green Ninja, Garmadon uses the Golden Weapons to destroy the Great Devourer before running off.

During first half of season two, the Ninja train Lloyd so that he can face his father one day and save Ninjago, something which he was afraid to for the sake of their bond. But Garmadon efforts to thwart the prophecy by recruiting the masterless Serpentine and merging the Golden Weapons into the powerful Mega Weapon that can only create. After Garmadon's last attempt resulted with Lloyd aged to a teenager like his four mentors, he attempts to change the events of the past. But Kai, Jay, Zane, and Cole followed after Garmadon and used the Golden Weapons to cause a chain reaction with the Mega Weapon that nearly restores the timeline with Garmadon betrayed by the Serpentine. While Garmadon ends up on an island belonging to a disembodied entity calling him the Overlord, the venom of the Great Devourer seeps into catacombs beneath Ninjago and animate Overlord's Stone Army with the Serpentine trapped underground in the Stone Army's resting chamber. Along with Misako, Lloyd's mother, the Ninja group travel to the Dark Island while joined by Zane's father. Despite the Ninja's attempt to stop the Celestial Clock that Garmadon triggered, they fail as they face Garmatron while the Overlord, revealed to be the dark lord of the Green Ninja prophecy, possesses Garmadon's body to reach Ninjago. The Ninja follow, and Lloyd uses his newfound Golden Power to defeat the Overlord with Garmadon purged of his evil as he becomes human and reunites with his family.

In season three, Ninjago City has been rebuilt into a futuristic metropolis of New Ninjago City. The ninja, striving for action, learn that Overlord survived the final battle and entered the Digiverse. Cyrus Borg, creator of Borg Industries, realizes this and give the ninja the Techno Blades, which could be used to destroy the Overlord. The Overlord uses P.I.X.A.L. (an android who works at Borg Industries) to create the Nindroid army from Zane's blueprints and plans to get Lloyd because Lloyd's golden power will help him escape the digital realm. The hard drive containing the Overlord is later stolen by Pythor, revealed to have survived the Great Devourer and out for revenge as he captures Lloyd so Overlord drains him of most of his Golden Power. Though the ninja defeat him in the Digiverse to shut down the process, Overlord escapes the digital realm half-formed. Lloyd then splits his remaining golden power among the four ninja, knowing that the power would be a big responsibility for him to bear alone. The Overlord, needing to complete his transformation, sends the Nindroids to space to retrieve the Golden Weapons, which they succeed in doing. The Overlord becomes the Golden Master, fulfilling an old Serpentine legend, and wreaks havoc on New Ninjago City after Pythor got shrunk taking a hit meant for his master. With no other option, Zane sacrifices himself to destroy the Golden Master. But Zane is proved to have survived in the Digiverse, and rebuilds himself, becoming the Titanium Ninja.

During Season Four, the ninja learned of Zane's survival when they an invitation to the Tournament of Elements hosted by Master Chen, Garmadon's mentor and Anacondrai fanatic. But as the ninja learned, besides other element users besides themselves, Chen uses the tournament to secretly steal the element power of the defeated and make them his slaves in his his noodle factory. Eventually, Nya goes looking for the ninja and finds out that Chen intents to use the stolen powers to transform him and his followers into Anacondrai. Though Kai destroys the Staff of Elements, Chen finds the spell can be completed with his daughter Skylor due her elemental powers. After Garmadon banishes Chen's right hand Clouse to the Cursed Realm, Chen manages to complete the spell, and everyone possessing the Mark of the Anacondrai (including him, Skylor, and Garmadon) turn into Anacondrai. Chen and his followers go to Ninjago to start a second Serpentine War with the Elemental Masters in pursuit on their Elemental Dragons, learning later that he needs the essence of a true Anacondrai to make the spell permanent. While the ninja guard Pythor, they learn that Chen was the orchestrator of the first Serpentine War before Pythor is captured and forced to exert enough sweat for Chen's use. Pythor is able to escape with the spellbook and tells Garmadon that the only way to stop the war is to release the spirits of the Anacondrai Generals who were locked in the Cursed Realm. But this required Garmadon to banish himself, which greatly upsets Lloyd. Garmadon carries out the process not before telling his son that while he wanted to make the world is his image, he never realized he already had in his own son. And the Anacondrai Generals are freed and they banish Chen and his men to the Cursed Realm while restoring Skylor's humanity and Pythor's size. They also thank Lloyd for bringing peace to the Serpentine and humans. Afterwards, everyone rejoices and a figure of Garmadon is carved into the Corridor of Elders. Lloyd, the ninja, Nya, Wu, and Misako gather around a campfire, speak words about Garmadon, then burn the spellbook.

During Season 5, due to Garmadon's sacrifice, Morro, both the Elemental Master of Wind and Wu's first student, escaped the Cursed Realm and possesses Lloyd to find the Realm Crystal to bring his master, the Preeminent, to the physical world. Due to Lloyd's possession, the ninja become powerless. The four ninja, along with Wu, Nya, who is told she is the Elemental Master of Water, and Misako, travel to uncharted lands to find the First Spinjitzu Master's tomb (with the Realm Crystal in it) before Morro does. After deciphering the three clues (Clue #1: Airjitzu, Clue #2: the Sworld of Sanctuary and Clue #3: the Tomb), the ninja discover the tomb is underwater. In the process, Cole is turned into a ghost and they meet Ronin. The ninja find the Realm Crystal, but decide to save Lloyd (who is now free from his possession) rather than escape. In the end, Morro obtains the Realm Crystal. Then Morro and his Ghost Warrior allies bring the Preeminent, which is proved to be the Cursed Realm itself. Lloyd is sent to the Cursed Realm, and with his father's help, he manages to escape, but is trapped in a parallel realm by Morro. While the ninja are evacuating everyone from the town of Stiix, Nya unlocks her true potential and creates a wave that drowns the Preeminent. Morro, who feels remorseful, gives Wu the Realm Crystal as he says "You can only save those that want to be saved" and drowns, and he is erased from existence. With the Realm Crystal, they bring back Lloyd who is ready to begin his training to become a Sensei.

Characters[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
Pilots 2 January 14, 2011 (2011-01-14)
1 13 December 2, 2011 (2011-12-02) April 11, 2012 (2012-04-11)
2 13 July 18, 2012 (2012-07-18) November 21, 2012 (2012-11-21)
3 8 January 29, 2014 (2014-01-29) November 26, 2014 (2014-11-26)
4 10 February 23, 2015 (2015-02-23)[4] April 3, 2015 (2015-04-03)
5 10 June 29, 2015 (2015-06-29) July 10, 2015 (2015-07-10)


Release and reception[edit]

In the United States, two pilot episodes were shown on Cartoon Network on January 14, 2011, sometimes split into four episodes. They were released in Europe on January 24, 2011.[5] Due to the popularity of the pilot episodes, the first season was launched from December 2011 – April 2012 alongside a new line of sets marketed as "Rise of the Snakes". The pilot episodes were released on DVD in March 2011, and the first season became available on DVD in Region 1 on June 26, 2012.[6] The series as a whole has an estimated budget of kr 37 million[7] (approximately £4.6 million or US$$6.7 million.

Due to the positive reception of the pilot, a full series was commissioned and began broadcast in December 2011. The first five episodes of season 1 aired in Canada on November 25. The season once again aired in Canada from January 11, 2012, to April 11, 2012. The first two episodes of season 1 aired in the United States on December 2. The season once again aired in the United States from January 11, 2012, to April 11, 2012.

Lego Ninjago was recommissioned for a second season, which premiered on July 18, 2012, to an audience of 2.8 million. On the whole, the series has been very well received by fans.[8] In late September, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced that it would be releasing the first part of the second season ("Darkness Shall Rise" to "The Stone Army") under the title Rise of the Green Ninja in November 27, 2012 (though this was later pushed forward to December 11),[9] while the complete second season and the complete series has been released on March 5, 2013.[10] A third season was made and premiered on January 29, 2014. In June 2013, Warner Bros. announced that a movie based on the toyline would be made, though it would take a different approach to the TV series. It will be written by the Hageman Brothers, who also wrote the story for The Lego Movie.[11]

Season 4 premiered on February 23, 2015 in North America and Great Britain on Cartoon Network.[12] On June 8, Lego released the trailer for the fifth season, titled "Possession."[13] It premiered on June 29 in the USA. On July 12, 2015, the show's writers revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that in season six, the ninjas will be on the run and hiding.[14][15]

The series has been nominated twice for awards: Peter Hausner was nominated at the 39th Annie Awards for his direction, but lost to Simpsons director Matthew Nastuk. The composers Michael Kramer and Jay Vincent, were nominated for the BMI TV Music Award, which they won.[16]

All episodes feature a theme song called "The Weekend Whip" performed by The Fold.

Home media[edit]

The pilot episodes were released on DVD March 27, 2012.[17][better source needed] Season 1 was released June 26, 2012,[18] and Season 2 was released on DVD March 5, 2013.[10] Season 3 was divided into 2 volumes with volume 1 being released on August 5, 2014[19] and volume 2 being released on January 20, 2015.[20] Season 4 is planned to be released on July 21, 2015.[21]

Video games[edit]

A video game named Lego Battles: Ninjago was released in spring 2011 and was based on the two pilots of the series. It features the some of the characters that appear in the original episodes (Kai, Jay, Zane, Cole, etc.).

A follow-up titled Lego Ninjago: Nindroids was released in July 2014. It features the first five episodes of season 3. In March 2015, Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin was released.

Film[edit]

The Hageman brothers, who wrote the animated series and as well The Lego Movie (which Lloyd Garmadon appeared in as a Master Builder) will be penning the film adaptation and the film will feature a new take that diverges from the TV series while being one of the spin-offs of The Lego Movie. The brothers will reteam with The Lego Movie team of Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller will produced the film and Charlie Bean (animator) to direct the film.[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LEGO Ninjago - Nick.dk". Nickelodeon. 
  2. ^ The Deadline Team. "Cartoon Network Unveils Upfront Slate For 2014–15". Deadline. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Wil Film - Production Company - Wil Film". wilfilm.dk. 
  4. ^ "cartoon network". Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Premiering on Cartoon Network – LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu". Lego Group. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Lego Ninjago Series 1 on Amazon.com". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Lego Ninjago business section on IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Lego Ninjago review". Commonsense Media. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  9. ^ David Lambert. "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – Short Delay for Warner's 'Rise of the Green Ninja' DVD Release". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  10. ^ a b "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – Warner Press Release Announces 'Rise of the Green Ninja' DVD". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ Scott Collura (June 27, 2013). "LEGO's Ninjago Gets a Movie". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  12. ^ "LEGO Club Magazine". lego.com. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Ninjago "Possession" (Official Trailer Season 5). YouTube. 8 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "LEGO Ninjago San Diego Comic Con 2015 Panel Recap". The Brick Fan. 
  15. ^ YouTube. youtube.com. 
  16. ^ "Awards for "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu"". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  17. ^ "Lego Ninjago pilot episodes on Amazon.com". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Lego Ninjago Series 1 on Amazon.com". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Amazon.com: LEGO:NINJAGO:MASTERS SPINJITZU:REBTD: Season 3 Battle for New Ninjago City Season 3 Part 1: Vincent Tong, Kirby Morrow, Michael Adamthwaite, Brent Miller, Paul Dobson, Kelly Metzger, Jilian Michaels, Kathleen Barr, Scott McNeil, Jennifer Hayward, Lee Tockar, Alan Marriott, Torsten Jacobsen, ERIK WILSTRUP: Movies & TV". amazon.com. 
  20. ^ "Amazon.com: LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu: Rebooted: Season 3 Part 2: Vincent Tong, Kirby Morrow, Michael Adamthwaite, Brent Miller, Paul Dobson, Kelly Metzger, Jilian Michaels, Kathleen Barr, Scott McNeil, Jennifer Hayward, Lee Tockar, Alan Marriott, Torsten Jacobsen, ERIK WILSTRUP: Movies & TV". amazon.com. 
  21. ^ "LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - Season Four... : Target". Target. 
  22. ^ Tatiana Siegel. "Warner Bros. to Bring Lego's 'Ninjago' to Big Screen (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  23. ^ Borys Kit. "'Tron: Uprising' Director to Helm 'Ninjago' for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 

External links[edit]