Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (TV series)

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Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
Lego Ninjago - Masters of Spinjitzu logo.svg
Logo of the series
Genre
Created by Michael Hegner
Written by Dan Hageman
Kevin Hageman
Directed by Michael Hegner
Justin Murphy
Voices of Jillian Michaels (2011–2017)
Samuel Vincent (2018–present)
Vincent Tong
Michael Adamthwaite
Paul Dobson
Brent Miller
Kirby Morrow
Kelly Metzger
Mark Oliver
Kathleen Barr
Mackenzie Gray
Opening theme The Weekend Whip by The Fold
Ending theme The Weekend Whip by The Fold
Composer(s) Jay Vincent
Michael Kramer
Country of origin Denmark
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 9
No. of episodes 94 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Torsten Jacobsen
Producer(s) Erik Wilstrup
Cinematography Serem Ohana
Editor(s) Fred Georgia
Camera setup Universal Pictures
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor The Lego Group
Release
Original network Cartoon Network (US)
Nickelodeon (Denmark)[1]
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original release January 14, 2011 (2011-01-14) – present
External links
Website

Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (also known as Ninjago), 2011 is a Danish-American[2] animated television series produced by Wil Film ApS and The Lego Group and distributed by The Lego Group for Cartoon Network. Based on the Lego Construction Toys of the same name, it centers on the fictional world of Ninjago, telling the story of a group of Ninja and their battles against the forces of evil.

Origins[edit]

In the year 2009, LEGO proposed to make a series about ninja, deciding that there would be four ninjas with elemental powers. Later, Tommy Andreasen and Thomas Fenger created the martial art of Spinjitzu.

Overview[edit]

The show is set in the fictional world of Ninjago, a place inspired by East Asian myths and culture. The land is divided between Ninjago Lighting, Ice, Energy, and Water). While featuring several historically designed buildings and traditional clothing, Ninjago is in a modern setting, incorporating large metropolises with skyscrapers, current-age (and futuristic) vehicles, modern electronics and semi-robotic exo-suits, and other futuristic technology. It includes elemental masters, pirates from another realm, and a criminal gang known as the Sons of Garmadon are all included in this series.

Plot[edit]

Pilot season[edit]

The pilot episodes feature Sensei Wu struggling to train four teenage 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 corrupted brother Lord Garmadon, ruler of the Underworld, to stop him from gaining power through the Four Golden Weapons - The Sword of Fire, Scythe of Quakes, Nunchucks of Lightning, and Shuriken of Ice. Travelling across Ninjago, Wu and his four elementally-attuned students, Kai (Fire), Jay (Lightning), Zane (Ice) and Cole (Earth) recover the Golden Weapons. Kai rescues his sister Nya, whose capture fueled his desire to become a Ninja, from skeletons, and makes peace with the Dragon guardians of the Golden Weapons. However, in order to keep the Sword of Fire from Garmadon, Wu travels to the Underworld to fight his corrupted brother. The four ninja follow Wu down on the dragons, who have the capability to travel between the worlds. After defeating the Skeleton Army with the ultimate Spinjitzu move, the Tornado of Creation, they come upon Wu fighting the general of the Skeleton Army, Samukai, who is in possession of three of the Golden Weapons (the nunchucks, shuriken and scythe - stolen from the ninja earlier while they rested in the forests near the Fire Temple). Wu is defeated and Samukai tries to take the sword for his own, but is destroyed due to their combined power, which no one can withstand except the First Spinjitzu Master himself. This allows Garmadon to escape through a portal between space-time, but he vows to one day return with enough power to wield the Golden Weapons. With Garmadon gone, the balance is temporarily restored, and the Ninja prepare to train themselves for the day the Dark Lord returns.

Season 1: Rise of the Snakes[edit]

Season one opens with the Ninja trying to determine which one of them will become the Green Ninja of a prophecy, the warrior destined to face the Dark Lord, determining the fate of Ninjago. The story focuses on Lord Garmadon's young son Lloyd Garmadon, a trouble making little boy 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 fifth Anacondrai tribe. Wu manages to convince Lloyd to join their side ("The best way to defeat your enemy...is to make him your friend") while the Ninja are aided by Nya in her Samurai X battle suit. A four-armed Garmadon returns to help them deal with the Serpentine as they attempt to summon a large serpent called the Great Devourer, but their plan backfires when Pythor is eaten and the Serpentine are driven into hiding. Lloyd is revealed to be the Green Ninja, and Lord Garmadon uses the Golden Weapons to destroy the Great Devourer before running off with them.

Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja[edit]

In Season two, the ninja prepare to train Lloyd to become the Green Ninja. The ninja train Lloyd so that he can face his father one day and save Ninjago, something which Lloyd was afraid to do, for the sake of his bond with Garmadon. Meanwhile, Garmadon works to thwart the Ninja's plan by recruiting the Serpentine and forging the Golden Weapons into one powerful Mega Weapon. After Garmadon's last attempt ends with Lloyd aging to a teenager like his four mentors, Garmadon attempts to change the events of the past. The original four ninja follow Garmadon into the past, and use the Golden Weapons of the past to destroy the Mega Weapon, restoring the timeline and sending the Golden Weapons into space. While Garmadon ends up on an island with a disembodied voice called the Overlord, the venom of the Great Devourer seeps into catacombs beneath Ninjago and awakens the Stone Army, who are indestructible warriors who fought with the Overlord against the First Spinjitzu Master, trapping the Serpentine underground in the process. Along with Misako, Lloyd's mother, the Ninja travel to the Dark Island to stop Garmadon, meeting Zane's father, Dr. Julian, who helped them in their fight against the Overlord and his army. The ninja then discover the Temple of Light, where they receive elemental powers and help Lloyd unleash his true potential (the Golden Dragon). The Ninja fail to stop the countdown to the final battle, and the Overlord is revealed to be the Dark Lord from the prophecy. He possesses Lord Garmadon and heads to Ninjago, with the Ninja in tow. Lloyd uses his new-found Golden Power to defeat the Overlord, purging his father Garmadon of his evil in the process and "making him normal" again.

Season 3: Rebooted[edit]

In Season three, Ninjago City has been rebuilt into a futuristic metropolis and renamed New Ninjago City. The Ninja, striving for action, learn that the Overlord has survived the final battle and entered the Digiverse, an electronic world. The crippled cyborg Cyrus Borg, creator of Borg Industries, realizes this and gives the ninja the Techno Blades, which could be used to destroy the Overlord by rebooting the Digiverse system. The Overlord uses P.I.X.A.L. (a nindroid who works at Borg Industries) to create a Nindroid army from Zane's blueprints. The Overlord plans to capture Lloyd, as Lloyd's golden power will help the Overlord escape the digital realm. The hard drive containing the Overlord is later stolen by Pythor, who is revealed to have survived being eaten by the Great Devourer. Pythor captures Lloyd, and the Overlord drains Lloyd of most of his Golden Power. Though the Ninja defeat the Overlord in the Digiverse, the 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 from the constellation Arcturus, which the ninja failed in retrieving. The Overlord becomes the Golden Master, fulfilling an old Serpentine prophecy, and wreaks havoc on New Ninjago City. With no other option, Zane sacrifices himself to destroy the Golden Master.

Season 4: Tournament of Elements[edit]

During Season four, the Ninja take part in the "Tournament of Elements" when they learn that Zane is still alive, having rebuilt himself using titanium. The tournament, run by Master Chen (an Anacondrai fanatic and Garmadon's former evil mentor) and his assistant Clouse, who knows dark magic and trained alongside Garmadon, is host to many elemental masters who the ninja never knew existed. When one is eliminated from the tournament, Chen secretly uses his "Staff of Elements" to steal their powers. Eventually, Nya goes looking for the Ninja, and finds out that Chen intends to use the stolen powers to transform him and his followers into Anacondrai. Though Kai destroys the Staff of Elements, Chen finds that the spell can be completed with his daughter Skylor, due her elemental power of absorption. Chen manages to complete the spell, and everyone possessing the Mark of the Anacondrai (including him, Skylor, and Sensei Garmadon) turn into Anacondrai. Chen and his followers go to Ninjago to start a second Serpentine War, while the elemental masters pursue on their elemental dragons. Chen uses Pythor to make the spell permanent, and the elemental masters' only hope is to stop him at the Corridor of Elders. When they cross the line of no return, Garmadon sacrifices himself to defeat the Anacondrai-wannabes by releasing the spirits of the Anacondrai generals, who were banished to the Cursed Realm in the original Serpentine War. The ninja mourn over Garmadon's sacrifice as they burn the spellbook that banished Garmadon.

Season 5: Possession[edit]

During Season five, after Garmadon's sacrifice, Morro (the elemental master of Wind and Wu's first ever student) escapes the Cursed Realm, and possesses Lloyd. Morro does this so that he can find the Realm Crystal, so he can bring his master, the Preeminent, to the physical world to curse, and eventually rule, all sixteen realms. The four ninja, along with Wu, Nya (who is revealed to be the elemental master of Water), and Misako travel to uncharted lands to find the First Spinjitzu Master's tomb and retrieve the Realm Crystal before Morro does. Morro steals the Allied Armor of A'zure, a piece of armor that can summon allies and summons an army of ghosts to help him. After taking the Aeroblades (which can defeat a ghost) from Ronin, learning Airjitzu from the ghost of Master Yang (at the price of Cole becoming a ghost himself), and retrieving the Sword of Sanctuary from the Cloud Kingdom (one of the sixteen realms), the Ninja discover the tomb is underwater. The Ninja find the Realm Crystal, but decide to save Lloyd (who is now free from his possession) rather than take it. Morro and his Ghost Warrior allies bring the Preeminent to Ninjago. While the ninja are evacuating everyone from the city of Stiix, Nya unlocks her true potential and creates a wave which drowns the Preeminent. Morro, who feels remorseful, gives Wu the Realm Crystal and drowns with his master instead of staying with Sensei Wu. The ninja use the Realm Crystal to bring back Lloyd, who is ready to begin his training to become a Master, as he received his father's robes while the two were briefly together in the Cursed Realm.

Season 6: Skybound[edit]

During Season six, the Ninja are popular, thanks to saving Ninjago from The Preeminent, but trouble rises when Clouse returns after having escaped the Cursed Realm. Clouse frees Nadakhan, a Djinn who can grant three wishes, and captures people by forcing them to 'wishing it all away'. Nadakhan frames the ninjas for crimes they didn't commit while the Ninja are in Stiix. Misako tries to rescue them in the Bounty, but she and the ship are captured by the police, later being captured by Nadakhan along with Wu. The Ninja try to escape the police, but they are caught and arrested by Ronin in exchange for a clean reputation. The Ninja are thrown in Kryptarium Prison, but escape with the help of Captain Soto, who tells them how to find the only thing that can stop Nadakhan: Tiger Widow Venom. Meanwhile, Jay uses his first two wishes and finds out he was adopted. Nadakhan uses the Realm Crystal to free his crew, attack Ninjago City, and capture Kai. The Ninja sail to Tiger Widow Island to obtain the venom, but Zane is captured, Jay is kidnapped by Nadakhan, and Nya, Lloyd and Cole are stranded on the island until Ronin and the Police Commissioner come to rescue them, after finding out what side they were on. After attacking Misfortune's Keep, Jay and Nya are the only two remaining Ninja. They hide in Dr. Julien's lighthouse, where they meet Echo Zane, Zane's counterpart. Jay is forced to escape while Nya is kidnapped. Jay teams up with Echo Zane, Ronin, the Commissioner, Soto, Skylor and Dareth to save the others. Nadakhan gets Infinite Wishes and freezes everyone except Jay, but Nadakhan is poisoned by the venom. Incidentally, the venom hits Nya, and she dies. A disheartened Jay uses his last wish to erase recent events and ensure Clouse didn't find the Teapot of Tyrahn in the first place, thus removing the events of the season from the timeline. As a result, Nadakhan is never released and Jay and Nya, who are the only ones who remember the erased events, renew their relationship.

TV special: Day of the Departed[edit]

In a 44-minute TV special, Cole faces his struggles againist Sensei Yang, the creator of airjitzu and the one responsible for Cole's ghostly appearance. He resurrects the past villains from their statues in the hall of villainy and each one goes after a ninja. Samukai fights Jay, Pythor fights Lloyd, Kozu fights Dareth, Cyrptor fights Zane, Chen fights Kai and Nya and Morro fights Wu. Yang fights Cole but stop when they realize that they have something in common: Both were forgotten. The lunar eclipse is almost closing and Cole and Yang airjitzu their way to the rift. Yang stays behind while only 99% of Cole makes it through the rift, leaving the 1% as a green scar. The ninja defeat the resurrected villains and celebrate in peace.

Season 7: The Hands of Time[edit]

In Season seven, the ninja fight Acronix and Krux, the Hands of Time, who have the power to manipulate time. When the ninja first face Acronix at the old monastery, Acronix teleports away with his time blade after hitting Wu with the 'time punch', accelerating Wu's aging. The ninja think Acronix was defeated, but when something attacks Zane, they look into his memories and slow it down just enough so they can see that Acronix attacked Zane while he was distracted by Dr. Saunders, AKA Krux. The Time Twins then gather up an army called Vermillion which are samurai snake warriors. They steal all the metal and the most skilled producers in Ninjago to help build the "Iron Doom", which if they collect all 4 time blades (Fast-Forward, Slow Down, Pause, and Reversal), they could travel wherever they wanted in time. Kai finds out that he and Nya's parents, Ray and Maya, are still alive, having been captured by Krux and forced to work for him. Soon after Kai and Nya retrieve the fourth and final Time Blade, the Reversal Blade, Acronix hits Ray with the time punch. Upon completion of the Iron Doom, the Time Twins go back to during the Serpentine Wars, 40 years in the past, where they first got banished into time. They try to win the battle against the elemental masters, but luckily, Kai, Nya and Wu traveled back with them, and they defeated them. With the Reversal Blade, the two ninja stop Wu's rapid aging. Acronix and Krux decided to go far into the future, but when they discover they have stowaways, (Kai, Nya and Master Wu), a battle breaks out on the Iron Doom, ending with Sensei Wu pulling the Reversal Blade from the Iron Doom and pushing Kai and Nya into the present, while staying on the Iron Doom to finish the battle, and Acronix, Krux, and Wu get lost in time. Kai saves Ray with the Reversal Blade, and Lloyd goes from "Temporary Master Lloyd in Training", to Master Lloyd, who plans to find Wu.

Season 8: Sons of Garmadon[edit]

About a year after the events of Master Wu being lost in time, Lloyd Garmadon encounters a group of skilled biker-themed thugs who steal one of the three prized Oni masks (The Mask of Vengeance) from a vault in Borg Industries. After these events, Lloyd learns that the group who stole the mask was part of a criminal syndicate known as the Sons of Garmadon (S.O.G) and are after the two other Oni Masks (The Mask of Deception and The Mask of Hatred) in order to resurrect Lord Garmadon from the dead. In light of the crime spree committed by the Sons of Garmadon, the Ninja are paid to be temporary guards to the Royal Family, but Sons of Garmadon succeed in stealing the second Oni mask from the Royal Family's palace in Ninjago, destroying it in the process and leaving only Harumi, the Princess and Lloyd's love interest, the sole survivor. During their attempt to infiltrate the Sons of Garmadon, Cole ends up imprisoned and rescues a baby that the Sons of Garmadon believe is the key to the Mask of Hatred, discovering a map on the baby's blanket. They soon discover the baby is a regressed Master Wu, who is recovering from the excessive use of the Reversal Time-Blade in the previous season. Eventually, the Sons of Garmadon succeed in obtaining all three Oni masks, but with help from the police, the Ninja stop them, unfortunately, it was too late as Garmadon was resurrected and when Lloyd tries to reason with him, he ends up defeated and powerless. When Garmadon creates Colossi and terrorizes Ninjago, four of the six Ninja attempt to keep Wu safe from his brother, but end up in the Realm of Oni and Dragons after using Traveller's Tea to escape the Colossi's grip. Meanwhile, back in Ninjago, Garmadon takes over the world and declares himself Emperor of Ninjago while the remaining Ninja, Misako and P.I.X.A.L. assume that Kai, Jay, Cole, Zane and Wu are dead. In this season, many things are explained, as the origin of the First Spinjitzu master, which is as follows: in the First Realm, two beings existed: the Oni and the Dragon. The Dragon had the power to create, while the Oni had the power to destroy. A child was born from both of them: the First Spinjitzu Master. When he was pressed on which side to choose, he left the First Realm and created Ninjago. The season also explains how Zane inherited his Ice power, which was given to him by his ill predecessor off-screen, the identity of the new Samurai X, which is revealed to be P.I.X.A.L. in a new body, and the identity of a new villain, dubbed "The Quiet One," who is the mysterious leader of the S.o.G, revealed to be Harumi and has been around since the beginning, believing Garmadon is the real hero as he killed the murderer of her biological parents: The Great Devourer.

Season 9: Hunted[edit]

While Lloyd and Nya resist Emperor Garmadon’s oppressive hold on Ninjago City, Young Wu and the rest of the Ninja are stranded in a barbaric realm where fierce dragons are being hunted down by Iron Baron and his gang of Dragon Hunters. With Lloyd stuck in Ninjago City, the others need to find the fabled Dragon Armor and restore Wu's adulthood if they ever hope to get back home to stop Emperor Garmadon once and for all. The ninja find a good hunter woman named Faith, that will help them find the Dragon Armor to return home. In episode 92, Harumi and Mistake, the Oni and the woman making tea that sent the ninja to the first realm died. In episode 93 Iron Baron dies and Wu that is a full adult, is the dragon master. Now the ninja climb on their elemental dragons while Wu climbs on Firstbourne and return to Ninjago, ready to fight.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

  • Master Lloyd Garmadon (voiced by Jillian Michaels in seasons 1–7 and Samuel Vincent in seasons 8-present), the legendary the Green Ninja destined to save Ninjago from the ultimate evil. He is the son of Garmadon and Misako and the nephew of Master Wu.
  • Kai (voiced by Vincent Tong), the hotheaded red Ninja of Fire and Nya's elder brother.
  • Jay Walker/Gordon (voiced by Michael Adamthwaite), the quick-witted and motormouthed blue Ninja of Lightning.
  • Zane Julien (voiced by Brent Miller), the intelligent and calculating White Ninja of Ice
  • Cole (voiced by Kirby Morrow), the grounded and solid black Ninja of Earth.
  • Nya (voiced by Kelly Metzger), the Grey/Maroon Ninja of Water, original Samurai X, and Kai's sister.
  • Sensei/Master Wu (voiced as an adult by Paul Dobson and as a baby by Caleb Skeris), the wise, old master and mentor of the ninja. He is Lloyd's uncle and Garmadon's younger brother.
  • Lord/Master/Emperor Garmadon (voiced by Mark Oliver), Lloyd’s father and Wu's older brother. Garmadon was a main antagonist for the first two seasons but was later cleansed of evil and became a Sensei to the Ninja. He was later sacrificed to the Cursed Realm to stop Master Chen's Anacondri Army. Garmadon was revived in season 8 by the Sons of Garmadon as a being of pure evil and proceeded to conquer all of Ninjago as the Emperor.

Ninja Allies[edit]

  • Misako (voiced by Kathleen Barr), an archaeologist who is Lloyd's mother and Garmadon's wife.
  • Dareth (voiced by Alan Marriott), the bumbling self proclaimed "Brown Ninja" and Grand Sensei of Dareth's Mojo Dojo is a frequent ally of the Ninja both by choice and coincidence.
  • P.I.X.A.L. (voiced by Jennifer Hayward), originally an assistant to Cyrus Borg who joined the Ninja after being influenced by Zane. She was later disassembled but then uploaded into Zane's systems as an AI. She secretly rebuilt herself and became the new Samurai X. She often provides technical support to the Ninja.
  • Cyrus Borg (voiced by Lee Tockar), a tech genus and head of Borg Industries who has invented all sorts of cutting edge electronic tools and gadgets.
  • Ronin (voiced by Brian Dobson), a mercenary motivated by self interest who will assist the Ninja if it suits his needs.
  • Police Commissioner (voiced by Michael Donovan), head of Ninjago police.
  • Dr. Julien (voiced by Mark Oliver), the inventor father of Zane. He passed away between seasons 2 and 3.
  • Ed Walker (voiced by Colin Murdock), the adoptive father of Jay and the husband of Edna Walker, as well as the co-owner of Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk.
  • Edna Walker (voiced by Jillian Michaels), the adoptive mother of Jay and the wife of Ed Walker, as well as the co-owner of Ed & Edna's Scrap N Junk.
  • Lou (voiced by Kirby Morrow), Cole's father and a notable member of the Royal Blacksmiths, a famous song and dance troupe.

Skulkin[edit]

  • Samukai (voiced by Michael Kopsa), the four-armed former ruler of the underworld until Lord Garmadon defeated him in single combat and took over. He was killed by being overloaded with power after trying to control a four golden weapons at once. He temporarily returned on the Day of the Departed seeking revenge on Jay.
  • Kruncha (voiced by Brian Drummond), the brutish Skulkin General of Earth.
  • Nuckal (voiced by Brian Drummond), the crazy Skulking General of Lightning.
  • Whiplash (voiced by Michael Dobson), the Skulking General of Ice.

Serpentine[edit]

  • Pythor P. Chumsworth (voiced by Michael Dobson), the last remaining member of the Anacondri Tribe. He is a frquent enemy of the Ninja who united the Serpentine Tribes to release the Great Devourer, allied himself the Overlord and plotted to killed Lloyd out of revenge.
  • Skales (voiced by Ian James Corlett), the current general of the Hypnobri Tribe and leader of the Serpentine following the perceived death of Pythor.

The Overlord's Forces[edit]

  • The Overlord (voiced by Scott McNeil)
  • General Kozu (voiced by Paul Dobsonl), leader of the Overlord's Stone Army
  • Cryptor (voiced by Richard Newman), commander of the Overlord's Nindroid Army.

Anacondri Cultists[edit]

  • Master Chen (voiced by Ian James Corlett), the eccentric and deceitful leader of the Anacondri Cultists. He was exiled to an island after allying himself with the Serpentine during the first Serpentine War. He later attempted to steal the powers of the elemental masters to transform him and his followers into powerful Anacondri worriers to conquer Ninjago but was defeated and banished to the cursed realm.
  • Clouse (voiced by Scott McNeil), Master Chen's right hand man and master of dark magic. He and Garmadon has previously trained under Master Chen before the First Serpentine War. He was sent to the cursed realm after being defeated by Garmadon, but escaped and is currently a ghost.

Current Elemental Masters[edit]

  • Skylor (voiced by Heather Doerksen), the Elemental Master of Amber and Master Chen's daughter. She has the ability to copy other elemental powers.
  • Karlof (voiced by Scott McNeil), the Elemental Master of Metal and metalworker from Metalonia. He has the ability to turn his entire body into metal and grow slightly in size.
  • Griffin Turner (voiced by Doron Bell), the Elemental Master of Speed. He has the ability to move at super speeds.
  • Shade (voiced by Andrew Francis), the Elemental Master of Shadow. He has the ability to disappear and move on shadows.
  • Neuro (voiced by Paul Dobson), the Elemental Master of Mind. He has the ability to read minds.
  • Paleman (voiced by Kirby Morrow), also known and Mr. Pale, the Elemental Master of Light. He has the ability to turn invisible.
  • Tox (voiced by Ian James Corlett), the Elemental Master of Poison.
  • Morro (voiced by Michael Dobson), the Elemental Master of Wind.
  • Krux (voiced by Michael Daingerfield), one of the co-Elemental Masters of Time and brother to Acronix.
  • Acronix (voiced by Ian Hanlin), one of the co-Elemental Masters of Time and brother to Krux.

Sons of Garmadon[edit]

  • Princess Harumi (voiced by Britt McKillip), also known as the Jade Princess and the Quiet One. Harumi is the adopted daughter of the Emperor and Empress of Ninjago after being orphaned when the Great Devourer killed her parents. She blamed the Ninja for her parent's deaths and accordingly idolized Garmadon after he defeated the Devourer. She secretly created and led the Sons of Garmadon, a criminal biker gang, to uncover the three Oni Masks in order to resurrect Garmadon and exact revenge on the Ninja. She orchestrated an attack on the royal palace which resulted in her adoptive parents' deaths. She gained the Ninja trust by pretended to be in love with Lloyd and in order to locate the whereabouts of the third Oni Mask. Though the Ninja eventually discovered she was the Quiet One, they did not succeed in preventing the resurrection of Lord Garmadon, resulting in the fall of Ninjago. She and the Sons of Garmadon currently rule Ninjago as underlings of Lord Garmadon. She frequently wears the Oni Mask of Hatred as well she becomes Lord Garmadon's daughter of darkness.
  • Mr. E (voiced by Brent Miller), the silent and robotic general of the Sons of Garmadon. He frequently wears the Mask of Vengeance but gets destroyed by Emperor Garmadon for failing to catch Lloyd.
  • Ultra Violet (voiced by Maggie Blue O'Hara), the unhinged general of the Sons of Garmadon. She frequently wears the Mask of Hatred.
  • Killow (voiced by Garry Chalk), also knowns as the Big Man. The hulking general of the Sons of Garmadon. He frequently wears the Mask of Deception.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
Pilot2January 14, 2011 (2011-01-14)
113December 2, 2011 (2011-12-02)March 30, 2012 (2012-03-30)
213June 30, 2012 (2012-06-30)December 30, 2012 (2012-12-30)
38December 30, 2013 (2013-12-30)September 26, 2014 (2014-09-26)
410February 23, 2015 (2015-02-23)April 3, 2015 (2015-04-03)
510June 29, 2015 (2015-06-29)July 10, 2015 (2015-07-10)
610March 24, 2016 (2016-03-24)July 15, 2016 (2016-07-15)
SpecialOctober 29, 2016 (2016-10-29)
710May 5, 2017 (2017-05-05)May 20, 2017 (2017-05-20)
810April 14, 2018 (2018-04-14)May 25, 2018 (2018-05-25)
910June 30, 2018 (2018-06-30) (SGP)July 19, 2018 (2018-07-19) (SGP)

Release and reception[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

In the United States, two pilot episodes, later split into four episodes total, were shown on Cartoon Network on January 14, 2011. They were released in Europe on January 24, 2011.[3] . The pilot episodes focused on Kai as he goes from being a blacksmith to a Ninja to save his sister, Nya. 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.[4] The series as a whole has an estimated budget of kr 37 million (approximately £4.6 million or US$6.7 million).[5]

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 aired again in the United States from January 11, 2012, to April 11, 2012. Season 1 focused on the four original ninjas (Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane) as they try to find out who will be the Green Ninja.

Lego Ninjago was recommissioned for a second season, which premiered on July 18, 2012, to an audience of 2.8 million. Season 2 focused on Lloyd as he trains to become the Green Ninja in order to face his father.

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 was written by the Hageman brothers, who also wrote the story for The Lego Movie.[6] It was released on September 22, 2017.

A third season, "Rebooted", premiered on January 29, 2014. Season 3 focused on Zane as he and the other Ninja help a designer deal with old enemies, ending with Zane's death.

In the United Kingdom, the series premiered on 21 July 2014 on Cartoon Network.[7]

Season 4 premiered on February 23, 2015 in North America and Great Britain on Cartoon Network.[8]Season 4 focused on Kai as he and the other Ninja try to find a new and improved Zane on a secluded island, where they participate in a tournament.

On June 8, Lego released the trailer for the fifth season, titled "Possession."[9] It premiered on June 29 in the United States. Season 5 focused on Nya during her training to be the Water Ninja while the others fight Wu's first student, who's ghost has possessed Lloyd.

Season 6, "Skybound", was released on June 8, 2016. It tells the story of Nadakhan, a djinn, and his pirate crew who are trying to bring Ninjago to the skies. Season 6 focused on Jay as he and the Ninja are framed by a Djinn, who grants each of them three wishes. Jay's last wish erases all the events. [10][11]

A Halloween special called "Day of the Departed" was released on October 29, 2016. It focused on the villains of the past return - and Sensei Yang as the mastermind. The special focused on Cole, who is fading from existence.

A seventh season, titled "Hands of Time" was released in May 2017. The plot focused on Kai, Nya and their parents, with the main villains being the Elemental Masters of Time (Acronix and Krux) and their army of Vermillion warriors, trying to rewrite history.[12][13]

The eight season, "Sons of Garmadon" featured redesigns to closely resemble visually The Lego Ninjago Movie, and was released April 16, 2018 in the US. It focused on the ninjas trying to prevent Garmadon's resurrection, albeit with no good in him, by a criminal organization, the Sons of Garmadon (SoG), via three Oni Masks, but failed.[14]

The ninth season, "Hunted", will premiere on June 30, 2018 in Australia. It is the first season where they'll be no focus character due to two separate plot lines. The first trailer, released in Japan confirms that the Elemental Masters will return as part of the resistance.

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.[15]

All episodes feature a theme song called "The Weekend Whip", performed by The Fold, except for Seasons 8 and 9. In each season, the song is remixed.

Critical reception[edit]

On the whole, the series has been very well received by fans and critics.[needs update?][16]

The pilot and episodes received overall positive reception, with people praising the characters, plot, music and overall exciting and new tone brought to this new LEGO theme.

The first season received genuinely positive reviews, more so than the pilots. Fans and critics praised the character development, score, pacing, storytelling and fun nature of the series. Mixed reception was aimed towards the annoying nature of the Serpentine, however this was an extremely minor complaint. People continued to praise how unique and surprising this theme continued to be and how well a full LEGO TV-series could work.

The second season received high critical acclaim. The first half of the season was not as acclaimed as the second half however, due to the filler nature the first six episodes had to them. The second half of the season continues to be viewed as the best run to come out of the entire franchise. The storytelling, continued character development, score and cinematic tone the second season contained lead to continuous praise and positive reviews. Fans and critics alike felt as if the season was "the perfect way to close off this incredible TV series." While many fans and critics were saddened that the series was supposed to conclude after this season, everyone saw it as "the highest note for the series to go out on."

Following the theme's revival in 2014, the third season, much like the second, received high critical acclaim. Fans and critics appreciated the change in tone in introducing technology as the main focus, as well as the season's pacing. The character development and score continued to receive praise, however the airing of the season in which two episodes were released every two months highly irritated majority of fans. The season finale was a high point of critical acclaim, still standing out as one of the series' best episodes. Many praised the season for developing the character of Zane and Garmadon, as well as the introduction of P.I.X.A.L.

The fourth season continued to receive high amounts of critical praise. The new characters - mainly Skylor, Chen and Clouse - were major highlights to majority of fans. The Mortal Kombat tone present to the season was highly praised by fans, as well as the character development, tone, music, pacing and focus on Garmadon's character. Fans describe the season as "a major step in the right direction to keep this franchise feeling fresh, fun and exciting." As of 2018, this season is often looked at as either the best or second best season of the entire series. Fans praised the introduction of other Elemental Masters, and often look at this season as Ninjago's biggest step forward into new territory.

The fifth season has received mixed to generally positive reception from fans. Critics and fans praise the genuinely darker tone to the season, as well as the characters of Morro and Ronin, as well as Nya's character arc throughout the season. The idea of ghosts and possession was also praised by fans alike. However this season holds the most criticism of any Ninjago season. The Cloud Kingdom, the more somber pacing and crossover with LEGO Legends of Chima were the main points of criticism here. However the season still received mainly positive reviews.

The sixth season received much more positive reviews however. Fans and critics commented on how unique the season is and how it stand out from other seasons. The focus on Jay and Nya and the character of Nadakhan are main points of critical praise here, as well as the higher focus on action and character development, with many people commenting on how far Ninjago has come since its beginning in 2011. Much like the fourth season, this season is seen as one of, if not, the most unique season in the Ninjago franchise, and is seen as one of the series' best seasons.

The halloween special Day of the Departed received mainly mixed reception. Whilst fans and critics praised the dark tone, recurring old characters and story idea, majority of reception was negative. This is due to the lack of development for Cole, being the focus character, the short and underwhelming action sequences and a disappointing conclusion. An alternate version of the special was released on January 31st, 2017, released for countries such as China. Though produced in Chinese, this version was far more critically applauded than the original, with many addressing how it's overall nature and pacing were "more fun and thrilling" and the fight scenes were "intense and well choreographed".

The seventh season also received mainly mixed reception. The introduction of the Elemental Power of Time was well received, as well as the story conclusion of Kai and Nya's parents - Ray and Maya - and the masters of Time themselves, Acronix and Krux. The negative reception was aimed at the more somber and dull tone present throughout the season. The animation of the seventh season was also a high point of criticism. The season finale was a high point of critical praise however. The season is often considered to be the weakest season of the series, just in front the Day of the Departed special and behind the fifth season.

The eighth season has received critical acclaim, receiving the most amount of praise since the second season. The animation, more complex storytelling, a deeper yet darker tone, new characters and in-depth character development have been extremely high point of praise so far. Prior to the season premiere however, the redesigning of the Ninja was a strong point of hate within the community. Over time however, said complaints have lowered as fans have adjusted. However, said hatred still exists. Fans and critics have referred to the eighth season as their favourite, with writers Dan and Kevin Hageman themselves called season eight their favourite. The character development of Lloyd,Zane and Cole have been high points of praise, as well as the new characters of Harumi, Mr. E and Ultra Violet. The battle of Zane V.S. Mr. E has even praised as the best battle and moment in the season. Fans also praised the larger role of P.I.X.A.L., as her character had now become "relevant".

The first trailer for the ninth season has been loved by fans alike so far, with many describing it as "the next perfect step for the series" and "a perfect companion season for the eighth, yet still strong enough to be its own story".

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 the second season was released on DVD March 5, 2013.[19]

In late September 2012, 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 on November 27, 2012 (though this was later pushed forward to December 11),[20] while the complete second season and the complete series has been released on March 5, 2013.[19]

Season 3 was divided into 2 volumes with volume 1 being released on August 5, 2014[21] and volume 2 being released on January 20, 2015.[22]

Season 4 was released on July 21, 2015.[23]

Season 5 was released on February 16, 2016.[24]

Season 6 was released on March 14, 2017, and Day of the Departed was released on February 7, 2017.

Season 7 was released on October 6, 2017.

Video games[edit]

The ninja appear as playable characters in Lego Dimensions. Additionally, a large range of Ninjago mobile games have been released. Three video games have been released.

Lego Battles: Ninjago[edit]

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

Nindroids[edit]

Lego Ninjago: Nindroids is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita,[25] The game was developed by Hellbent Games and co-published by TT Games Publishing July 29, 2014.[26][27] Lego Ninjago: Nindroids was announced March 2014 as the second video game based on the Lego Ninjago line of play sets.[26] The game was targeted at a younger audience.[28]

The game has the same plot as the third season of TV series.[26] In the game, the player assumes the role of a Spinjitzu Master tasked with defending the New Ninjago City from The Overlord's evil Nindroid army.[25][26] The game contains 30 levels consisting of puzzles and battle sequences.[25]

NintendoLife thought this game was beginning to evidence the formulaic nature of the Lego universe of video games,[27] while JeuxVideo thought the game was repetitive.[28] The game was in a top-10 best-selling list of games for PlayStation Vita in New Zealand in May 2017.[29]

Shadow of Ronin[edit]

Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin is an action-adventure game developed by TT Fusion and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in March 2015.[30] The game was released initially for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita,[31] and later for iOS[32] and Android.[33] The game further adapts the TV series,[34] and serves as a sequel to Lego Ninjago: Nindroids.[30] Although non-canon to the TV series,it takes place just after the fourth season.

After Garmadon sacrificed himself and was sent into the Cursed Realm, Lloyd left the team to cope with losing his father. The remaining members meet the new threat Ronin, a mercenary, who partially erases the Ninja's memories. The Ninja travel to the Toxic Bogs, after which they have a vision of weapons that can restore their memories. They collect the weapons and go to see Lloyd, who takes them to see his mother for help. Once they find the Primal Fulcrum, the Ninja free Lloyd's mother from Ronin's control. Ronin freezes them and grabs the remaining elemental crystals. He plans to use the Fulcrum to bring back Chen from the Cursed Realm. The Ninja chase Ronin into a portal, where the Ninja have a final battle with Ronin; he escapes and knocks the Ninja's weapons into the abyss. The ending reveals the game was a story told by Kai. In an epilogue, Dareth steals the Helmet of Darkness to control the Stone Army.

Warner Brothers announced the game in December 2014.[35] The game is single-player.[36] It has new gameplay items, though the gameplay and characters are familiar.[35] The game was targeted at a younger audience.[37][36]

Both PocketGamer and Nintendo Life said the game negatively felt the same as the previous games in the Lego series.[36][30] PocketGamer praised the better graphics but was frustrated with the controls on iOS, especially with time-sensitive actions.[36] Nintendo Life appreciated the humor but thought the graphics had issues on the 3DS.[30] The game was in a top-10 best-selling list of games for PlayStation Vita in New Zealand in May 2017.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LEGO Ninjago - Nick.dk". Nickelodeon.dk. Viacom International. 
  2. ^ "Wil Film - Production Company - Wil Film". wilfilm.dk. 
  3. ^ "NINJAGO: MASTERS OF SPINJITZU Rise of the Serpetine - Season 1". Retrieved 2018-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Lego Ninjago Series 1 on Amazon.com". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lego Ninjago business section on IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ Scott Collura (June 27, 2013). "LEGO's Ninjago Gets a Movie". IGN. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tHqGLaYiSs.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "LEGO Club Magazine". lego.com. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Ninjago "Possession" (Official Trailer Season 5). YouTube. 8 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "LEGO Ninjago San Diego Comic Con 2015 Panel Recap". The Brick Fan. 
  11. ^ YouTube. youtube.com. 
  12. ^ "Beni Bavuwu Lunkeba". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  13. ^ "Beni Bavuwu Lunkeba - Google+". plus.google.com. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  14. ^ "Sons of Garmadon - LEGO NINJAGO - Season 8 Trailer". YouTube. 
  15. ^ "Awards for "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu"". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-01-21. 
  16. ^ "Lego Ninjago review". Commonsense Media. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  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. ^ a b "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – Warner Press Release Announces 'Rise of the Green Ninja' DVD". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  20. ^ David Lambert. "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – Short Delay for Warner's 'Rise of the Green Ninja' DVD Release". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2012-10-16. 
  21. ^ "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. 
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ "LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - Season Four... : Target". Target. 
  24. ^ "LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - Season Five... : brickblogger.com". brickblogger.com. 
  25. ^ a b c Seibert, Dustin J. (25 March 2014). "LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids Announced". IGN. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c d Whitehead, Thomas (24 March 2014). "LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids Confirmed for a 3DS Arrival This Summer". NintendoLife.com. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  27. ^ a b DelVillano, Ron (2014-08-13). "Review: LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids (3DS)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2017-09-25. 
  28. ^ a b Epyon. "Test LEGO Ninjago : Nindroïds sur 3DS". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Retrieved 2017-09-25. 
  29. ^ a b Makuch, Eddie (2017-05-17). "Best-Selling Games Of The Past Week In Australia And New Zealand Revealed". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-09-25. 
  30. ^ a b c d DelVillano, Ron (2015-04-29). "Review: LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin (3DS)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  31. ^ Whittaker, Matt. "LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Receives Adorable Launch Trailer". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  32. ^ "LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  33. ^ "LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Mobile Video Game". Lego.com. Archived from the original on 2017-05-17. 
  34. ^ Sirani, Jordan (2015-01-30). "LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Key Art Revealed". IGN. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  35. ^ a b Blake, Vikki (2014-12-05). "Warner Bros. Announces LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin". IGN. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  36. ^ a b c d Fox, Glen. "LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  37. ^ Olney, Alex (2014-12-05). "Warner Bros. Announces LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin for Nintendo 3DS". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 

External links[edit]