Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
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|Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu|
|Created by||Michael Hegner|
|Written by||Dan Hageman
|Directed by||Michael Hegner
|Voices of||Jillian Michaels
Ian James Corlett
|Opening theme||The Weekend Whip by The Fold|
|Ending theme||The Weekend Whip by The Fold|
|Country of origin||
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||64 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Erik Wilstrup and WILFilm|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||The Lego Group|
|Original network||Cartoon Network (US)
|Original release||January 14, 2011– present|
Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (also known as Ninjago), is an American–Danish action comedy family animated TV series that centers on the adventures of six ninja: Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane, Lloyd (as of Season 2), and Nya (as of Season 5). The series is based on the Lego toy series of the same name.
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 formerly resided. It has an underworld, where beings of evil like the Skullkins dwell, together with sacred places where many things are hidden or forgotten (like the Serpentine tombs or the tomb of the First Spinjitzu Master). 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. The fifth season reveals Ninjago is one of the sixteen realms of the show.
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The pilot episodes feature Sensei Wu struggling to train four young 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 earthquake, Nunchucks of Lightning, and Shurikens 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 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 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 came upon Sensei fighting the general of the Skeleton Army, Samukai, who is in possession of three of the Golden Weapons (the nunchucks, shurikens 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. 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 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 fifth Anacondrai tribe. Wu manages to convince Lloyd to join their side 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. The Ninja then prepare to train Lloyd to become the Green Ninja.
During Season 2, 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. Garmadon works to thwart the prophecy by recruiting the masterless Serpentine and merging the Golden Weapons into the powerful Mega Weapon. After Garmadon's last attempt ended with Lloyd ageing to a teenager like his four mentors, he attempts to change the events of the past. The original four ninja follow Garmadon 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 animates the Stone Army, trapping the Serpentine underground in the process. Along with Misako, Lloyd's mother, the Ninja group travel to the Dark Island to stop Garmadon. 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 Garmadon and heads to Ninjago, the ninja in tow. Lloyd uses his new found Golden Power to defeat the Overlord, purging Garmadon of his evil in the process.
In Season 3, Ninjago City has been rebuilt into a futuristic metropolis and renamed New Ninjago City. The ninja, striving for action, learn that Overlord survived the final battle and entered the Digiverse. 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. 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 capture Lloyd, as his golden power will help him escape the digital realm. The hard drive containing the Overlord is later stolen by Pythor, revealed to have survived being eaten by the Great Devourer. He captures Lloyd, and the Overlord drains him of most of his Golden Power. Though the ninja defeat him 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 they succeed in doing. 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. However, he survives, and rebuilds himself using titanium.
During Season 4, the ninja take part in the "Tournament of Elements" when they learn that Zane is still alive. Run by Master Chen (an Anacondrai fanatic and Garmadon's former mentor), the tournament is host to many elemental masters that 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 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 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 Lloyd's father's sacrifice as they burn the spellbook.
During Season 5, due to Garmadon's sacrifice, Morro (the elemental master of Wind and Wu's first student) escapes the Cursed Realm and possesses Lloyd to find the Realm Crystal so he can bring his master, the Preeminent, to the physical world. 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. After taking the Aeroblades (which can defeat a ghost) from Ronin, learning Airjitzu from the ghost of Sensei 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/Agatha to Ninjago. While the ninja are evacuating everyone from the city of Stiix, Nya unlocks her true potential and creates a wave that drowns the Preeminent. Morro, who feels remorseful, gives Wu the Realm Crystal and drowns with his master. The ninja use the Realm Crystal to bring back Lloyd who is ready to begin his training to become a Sensei as he received his father's robes while he was briefly in the Cursed Realm.
During Season 6, the Ninja are popular thanks to saving Ninjago from The Preeminent, but trouble rises when Clouse returns after having escaped the Cursed Realm and frees Nadakhan, a Djinn who can grant 3 wishes and will capture you by 'wishing it all away',. Nadakhan frames the ninjas for crimes they didn't commit while they were 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 and 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 and 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.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilots||2||January 14, 2011|
|1||13||December 2, 2011||April 11, 2012|
|2||13||July 18, 2012||November 21, 2012|
|3||8||January 29, 2014||November 26, 2014|
|4||10||February 23, 2015||April 3, 2015|
|5||10||June 29, 2015||July 10, 2015|
|6||10||June 9, 2016||July 15, 2016|
Release and reception
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. 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. The series as a whole has an estimated budget of kr 37 million (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. 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), while the complete second season and the complete series has been released on March 5, 2013. 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. Season 4 premiered on February 23, 2015 in North America and Great Britain on Cartoon Network. On June 8, Lego released the trailer for the fifth season, titled "Possession." 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.
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. All episodes feature a theme song called "The Weekend Whip" performed by The Fold.
The pilot episodes were released on DVD March 27, 2012.[better source needed] Season 1 was released June 26, 2012, and Season 2 was released on DVD March 5, 2013. Season 3 was divided into 2 volumes with volume 1 being released on August 5, 2014 and volume 2 being released on January 20, 2015. Season 4 was released on July 21, 2015. Season 5 was released on February 16, 2016.
A video game named Lego Battles: Ninjago was released in spring 2011 and was based on the two pilots of the series. It features 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.
Lego Ninjago was one of the first fourteen franchises to feature in Lego Dimensions, which was released on September 27, 2015.
In 2016, Lego Ninjago Skybound was released. The Game focuses on the plot of Skybound, featuring Jay as he battles with sky pirates.
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