Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (TV series)
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|Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu|
Logo of the series
|Created by||Michael Hegner|
|Written by||Dan Hageman (2011–2018)|
Kevin Hageman (2011–2018)
|Directed by||Michael Hegner|
|Voices of||Jillian Michaels (2011–2017)|
Samuel Vincent (2018–present)
Ian James Corlett
|Opening theme||"The Weekend Whip'" by The Fold|
|Ending theme||"The Weekend Whip" by The Fold|
|Country of origin||Denmark|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||98 (+2 pilot episodes +1 special + movie) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Torsten Jacobsen|
|Running time||22-44 minutes|
|Distributor||The Lego Group|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||January 14, 2011 –|
Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is a Danish-American-Canadian-Singaporean 3D animated television series produced by Wil Film ApS and The Lego Group and distributed by The Lego Group for Cartoon Network. It centers on the fictional world of Ninjago, telling the story of a group of young Ninja and their battles against the forces of evil. Ninjago is the oldest show currently airing on Cartoon Network, having premiered in January 2011. In the United Kingdom, it airs on Cartoon Network and CITV.
The show is set in the world of Ninjago, a place inspired by East Asian myths and culture. 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.
Long ago, the First Spinjitzu Master used the power of the Golden Weapons to create the world of Ninjago. Trained in the legendary art of Spinjitzu by the wise Master Wu, a group of young ninja (Kai, Jay, Cole, and Zane, and eventually Lloyd and Nya) with mastery over the elements fight to defend their land against those who wish to conquer it. Each season focuses on a different one or more of the Ninja, and features a different group of varied antagonists.
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. 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. 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 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. 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.
Season 4 premiered on February 23, 2015 in North America and Great Britain on Cartoon Network. 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." 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.
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.
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 Ninja 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.
The ninth season, "Hunted", premiered on June 30, 2018 in Australia. It is the first season where there is no one focus character due to the season's plot being split between two separate plot lines. The first trailer, released in Japan confirms that the Elemental Masters will return as part of the resistance.
The tenth season, Day of the Oni, premiered on April 19, 2019.
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, except for Seasons 8, 9 and 10. In each season, the song is remixed.
Overall, the series has been well received by fans.
Following the release of The Lego Ninjago Movie in 2017, the six main characters of the series were redesigned to match their film counterparts. This was done to make the transition to the television series easier for fans brought in from the film. In July 2017, footage of the eighth season was released at San Diego Comic-Con, showcasing Lloyd's new appearance in the series. Despite the film and television show remaining non-canon from one another, the series' eighth season and onwards saw all the Ninja take on their film designs.
|Pilot||27 March 2012||2 June 2014|
|Season 1||26 June 2012||23 June 2015||16 February 2015||2 November 2015|
|Season 2||5 March 2013||31 August 2015|
|Season 3||5 August 2014||15 August 2016|
|Season 4||21 July 2015||7 November 2016|
|Season 5||16 February 2016||27 March 2017|
|Season 6||14 March 2017||17 July 2017|
|Day of the Departed||7 February 2017||22 January 2018|
|Season 7||3 October 2017||2 October 2017|
|Season 8||8 January 2019||1 January 2018|
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.
A video game named Lego Battles: Ninjago was released in April 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.).
Lego Ninjago: Nindroids is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, The game was developed by Hellbent Games and co-published by TT Games Publishing July 29, 2014. Lego Ninjago: Nindroids was announced March 2014 as the second video game based on the Lego Ninjago line of play sets. The game was targeted at a younger audience. The game has the same plot as the third season of TV series. 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. The game contains 30 levels consisting of puzzles and battle sequences. NintendoLife thought this game was beginning to evidence the formulaic nature of the Lego universe of video games, while JeuxVideo thought the game was repetitive. The game was in a top-10 best-selling list of games for PlayStation Vita in New Zealand in May 2017.
Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin is an action-adventure game developed by TT Fusion and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in March 2015. The game was released initially for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, and later for iOS and Android. The game further adapts the TV series, and serves as a sequel to Lego Ninjago: Nindroids. 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 forges. 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. The game is single-player. It has new gameplay items, though the gameplay and characters are familiar. The game was targeted at a younger audience. Both PocketGamer and Nintendo Life said the game negatively felt the same as the previous games in the Lego series. PocketGamer praised the better graphics but was frustrated with the controls on iOS, especially with time-sensitive actions. Nintendo Life appreciated the humor but thought the graphics had issues on the 3DS. The game was in a top-10 best-selling list of games for PlayStation Vita in New Zealand in May 2017.
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