Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
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|Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu|
Logo of the series
|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||Denmark
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||74 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Torsten Jacobsen|
|Producer(s)||Erik Wilstrup and WILFilm|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Wil Film ApS|
|Distributor||The Lego Group|
|Original network||Cartoon Network (US)
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||January 14, 2011– present|
Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (also known as Ninjago), is a Danish-Canadian 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 East Asian myths and culture. The land is divided between Ninjago and the Dark Island, where the Overlord formerly resided. It has an underworld, where beings of evil like the Skulkins dwell, together with sacred places where many things are hidden or forgotten (like the Serpentine tombs or the tomb of the First Spinjitzu Master). Similarly to Lego's past product line, Bionicle, the main characters are in tune with certain elemental properties (in this case, Earth, Fire, 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.
Cast and characters
- Vincent Tong as Kai
- Michael Adamthwaite as Jay Walker
- Brent Miller as Zane
- Kirby Morrow as Cole
- Kelly Metzger as Nya
- Paul Dobson as Master Wu
- Kathleen Barr as Misako
- Jillian Michaels as Lloyd Garmadon (Seasons 1-7, Day of the Departed)
- Samuel Vincent as Lloyd Garmadon (Season 8-present)
Seasons and Episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilots||2||January 14, 2011|
|1||13||December 2, 2011||April 11, 2012|
|2||13||July 18, 2012||December 1, 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 8, 2016||July 15, 2016|
|Special||October 29, 2016|
|7||10||May 15, 2017||May 26, 2017|
The pilot episodes feature Sensei Wu struggling to train four teenage ninja in the way is 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, 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, 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, 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 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.
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 merging the Golden Weapons into the 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, 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 creator, Dr. Julien. 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.
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. The Overlord uses P.I.X.A.L. (an android 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 solar 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.
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 and Nya and Sensei Wu), a battle breaks out on the Iron Doom, ending with Sensei Wu pulling a time blade from the machine 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, and Lloyd goes from "Temporary Master Lloyd in Training", to Master Lloyd.
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.[needs update?] 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 on 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. 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. It also focuses on Jay. A Halloween Special called Day of the Departed was released on October 29, 2016. It focuses on the villains of the past return- and Sensei Yang is the master mind. A seventh season, titled "Hands of Time" was confirmed in late 2016. The plot focuses on Kai, Nya and their parents.[needs update] the main villains for the season will be Vermillion soldiers.
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. Season 6 was released on March 14, 2017, and Day of the Departed was released on February 7, 2017.
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.). A follow-up, titled Lego Ninjago: Nindroids was released in July 2014. It features the first five episodes of season 3. On March 27, 2015, Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin was released. The ninja appear as playable characters in Lego Dimensions.
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