The Lego Ninjago Movie

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The Lego Ninjago Movie
The Lego Ninjago Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
  • Bob Logan
  • Paul Fisher
  • William Wheeler
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Jared Stern
  • John Whittington
Story by
Based onLego Ninjago
by Lego
Produced by
Edited by
  • Julie Rogers
  • Garret Elkins
  • Ryan Folsey
  • John Venzon
  • David Burrows
Music byMark Mothersbaugh[1]
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[2]
Release date
  • September 16, 2017 (2017-09-16) (Regency Village Theater)
  • September 21, 2017 (2017-09-21) (Denmark)
  • September 22, 2017 (2017-09-22) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[5]
Budget$70 million[7]
Box office$123.1 million[8]

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a 2017 computer-animated martial arts adventure-comedy film based on the toy line of the same name and the tie-in animated television series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. The film is directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan (in their feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Logan, Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, and John Whittington. It is the first theatrical film to be based on an original Lego property. It is the third instalment in The Lego Movie film series as well as its second spin-off. It stars the voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Michael Pena, Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen and Olivia Munn, as well as a live-action role by Jackie Chan (who also voiced Wu in the film). The film focuses on a young teenage ninja Lloyd Garmadon, as he attempts to accept the truth about his villainous father while a new threat emerges to endanger his homeland and learn to became a true ninja warrior.

The film is an international co-production of the United States and Denmark . The film was produced by the Warner Animation Group alongside RatPac Entertainment, Lego System A/S, Dan Lin's Lin Pictures, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's Lord Miller Productions, Roy Lee's Vertigo Entertainment, and Animal Logic, and was released in the United States on September 22, 2017, in 2D, 3D, and Dolby Cinema formats by Warner Bros. Pictures.[9] Unlike its the first two films in the franchise, the film was not as well-received, getting mixed reviews from critics. As it grossed $123.1 million worldwide against its $70 million budget, the film was the franchise's first box-office disappointment.


A young boy (Kaan Guldur) meets the mysterious owner of a relic shop, Mr. Liu (Chan), who tells him the story of Ninjago, a city within the LEGO universe. It is frequently terrorized by the evil warlord Garmadon, who is the father of teenager Lloyd Garmadon (Franco) and estranged husband of Koko (Munn). Everybody in the city of Ninjago hates Lloyd for being Garmadon's son, which puts Lloyd under emotional stress. Unbeknownst to them, Lloyd is the Green Ninja and part of a Secret Ninja Force comprising Kai (Peña), Cole (Armisen), Jay (Nanjiani), Zane (Woods), Nya (Jacobson), and their master named Wu (Garmadon's brother), who always stop Garmadon from taking over Ninjago City by fighting with mechs. When Garmadon is again unsuccessful at conquering Ninjago, his tech division shows him a giant new mech.

Lloyd and his friends see the return of Master Wu, who tells them that only their "unique element" will defeat Garmadon. Lloyd is frustrated to learn his element is green while Kai has fire, Cole has earth, Jay has lightning, Zane has ice and Nya has water. Wu also mentions the "Ultimate Weapon", giving Lloyd new hope of stopping Garmadon, despite Wu warning them that nobody can ever use the device. The next day, Garmadon attacks Ninjago City with his new giant mech and this time defeats Lloyd. As Garmadon gloats, Lloyd returns with the Ultimate Weapon and fires it, only to reveal that it is really a laser pointer that attracts a live-action cat named Meowthra. Garmadon points the laser at the ninja's mechs, which the cat destroys, but Lloyd breaks the laser pointer. As Garmadon celebrates his victory, Lloyd unmasks himself and denounces his father, leaving Garmadon confused.

Lloyd meets up with his friends and Master Wu, who tells them they must use the "Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon" to stop Meowthra from destroying Ninjago City, which can be found on the other side of Ninjago Island. Garmadon overhears his brother talking about the weapon, follows close behind, intercepts Wu, and fights him only to end up in a cage defeated. However, Wu loses his balance and falls off a bridge into the river below. Before being swept away, he tells the ninja they must find "inner peace". The ninja continue on with Garmadon leading them, much to Lloyd's disappointment. Despite this, the two bond throughout their journey, while the ninjas learn not to rely solely on their mechs to fight. The group survives an encounter with Garmadon's fired generals, and Garmadon teaches Lloyd to throw.

They eventually crash down onto the Temple of Fragile Foundations, Garmadon's childhood home. He tells Lloyd that his mother was a warrior named Lady Iron Dragon and that he wishes he had stayed with him and his mom after deciding to conquer Ninjago, but he couldn't change so they had to stay apart. The ninjas find the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, a chest consisting of a set of LEGO pieces that resemble their elemental powers, only to have it stolen by Garmadon, who remains resolute in taking over the city after Lloyd rejects his offer to replace a mutinous general. In a villainous turnaround, Garmadon locks all of them inside the temple as it begins to collapse. Lloyd realizes that "inner peace" means that they must unleash their elemental power, and they escape from the collapsing temple. As they fall off a cliff, Wu saves them with his flying ship, the "Destiny's Bounty", and they head back to Ninjago City.

Garmadon arrives and tries to defeat Meowthra with the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, but Meowthra eats him whole instead. Lloyd and the crew arrive and begin fighting Garmadon's army. As Lloyd approaches Meowthra, he reveals to everyone that he is the Green Ninja and realizes that green means life and that his element is what connects the ninjas and his family together. He comforts Meowthra and apologizes to Garmadon profusely, saying that he forgives him. Garmadon cries tears of fire, which causes Meowthra to vomit him out. After Lloyd and his father are reconciled, Meowthra becomes the mascot of Ninjago and Lloyd is hailed as a hero.

Mr. Liu finishes the story of Ninjago informing the boy that he will start training him as a ninja at dawn after the boy shows potential while the film ends.


  • Dave Franco as Lloyd,[10] the Green Ninja, leader of the Secret Ninja Force, Lord Garmadon and Koko's son and Master Wu's nephew.
  • Michael Peña as Kai,[10] the hotheaded red Ninja of Fire and Nya's brother.
  • Fred Armisen as Cole,[10] the laid-back music-loving black Ninja of Earth.
  • Kumail Nanjiani as Jay,[10] the quiet and cautious blue Ninja of Lightning.
  • Zach Woods as Zane,[10] the robotic white Ninja of Ice.
  • Abbi Jacobson as Nya,[10] the strong silver Ninja of Water, Kai's sister, and Jay's crush.
  • Jackie Chan as Master Wu,[10] the wisecracking leader of the group, Lord Garmadon's brother and Lloyd's uncle.
    • Chan also plays Mr. Liu, an elderly shopkeeper who appears in the live-action part of the film.
  • Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon,[11] the Lord of Evil, an evil warlord, the father of Lloyd, the ex-husband of Koko and the brother of Master Wu.
  • Olivia Munn as Koko,[11] Lord Garmadon's ex-wife and Lloyd's mother. She was formerly known as the legendary "Lady Iron Dragon" when she worked as a warrior-queen.
  • Randall Park and Retta as Chen and Maggie, the cheerleaders at Ninjago High School who bully Lloyd.
  • Constance Wu as the Mayor of Ninjago.
  • Charlyne Yi and Vanara Taing as Terri and Asimov, the IT Nerds working for Lord Garmadon.
  • Chris Hardwick as a radio DJ working in Ninjago City.
  • Robin Roberts as herself, a Lego caricature of the newscaster. In the UK version, she is replaced by Kate Garraway.[12]
  • Michael Strahan as himself, a Lego caricature of the known media personality and former New York Giants defensive end. In the UK version, he is replaced by Ben Shephard.
  • David Burrows as a fuchsia ninja who has the "element of surprise."
  • Alex Kauffman as Ninja Computer.
  • Ali Wong as General Olivia, the fish-themed general of Garmadon's Shark Army.
  • Todd Hansen as General Omar, the shark-themed general of Garmadon's Shark Army.
  • Doug Nicholas as General Jollty, the jellyfish-themed general of Garmadon's Shark Army.
  • Bobby Lee as the owner of a pilates studio in Ninjago City.
  • Laura Kightlinger as Mrs. Laudita, a teacher at Ninjago High School.
  • Pearl and Ruby as Meowthra, a live-action cat that terrorizes Ninjago.
  • Kaan Guldur as a young boy who appears at the live-action part of the film whom Mr. Liu tells the story of Ninjago to. At the end of the film, he begins to train as a ninja by Mr. Liu as the story ends.


On September 17, 2013, Warner Bros. announced that it was developing an animated Ninjago film based on the Lego toy line Lego Ninjago. The Hageman Brothers, who wrote the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu show and co-wrote the story of The Lego Movie, would write the adaptation.[13] Charlie Bean was announced as director, and The Lego Movie team of Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller as producers.[13] On June 27, 2016, the film's voice cast was announced, including Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen, Jackie Chan, and Abbi Jacobson.[10] Additional voice cast included Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon and Olivia Munn as Koko.[11]


In order to give the film a more believable father-son atmosphere, Dave Franco and Justin Theroux recorded most of their lines where their characters interact with each other together in a single recording studio. During the process, Franco openly admitted he found himself uncontrollably crying while recording some of his lines. Franco stated "I found myself getting caught up in the moment and basically crying harder than I have in any live-action movie I've ever been in".[14][15][16]

Jackie Chan choreographed all of Master Wu's fight scenes in live action before they were recreated in animation for the film. Chan found the experience new to him as well as interesting. "Everything the stunt team does, the ninja do also", Chan commented.[17]


The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Mark Mothersbaugh and various artists
ReleasedSeptember 15, 2017
StudioTrackdown Studios in Sydney, Australia
GenreFilm soundtrack, film score
LabelWaterTower Music
ProducerMark Mothersbaugh, Shawn Patterson, Bartholomew
Mark Mothersbaugh chronology
Brad's Status
The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Thor: Ragnarok
Singles from The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Heroes"
    Released: September 15, 2017

Mark Mothersbaugh, who composed the score for The Lego Movie, returned to score The Lego Ninjago Movie.[1] Along with the score, the album includes Master Wu's flute music, played by Greg Pattillo, and five new songs created for the movie ("Heroes", "Operation New Me", "It's Garmadon", "Found My Place", and "Dance of Doom"). The song "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar appeared in the film's trailers but is not included on the score album; other pop songs in the film are likewise not included. One of Wu's flute music is a cover of (It's the) Hard Knock Life from the 2014 version of Annie.[18]


The Lego Ninjago Movie premiered at the Regency Village Theater on September 16, 2017,[19] before it was widely released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 22, 2017, in 3D, RealD 3D, and Dolby Cinema.[20] It was originally scheduled for a September 23, 2016 release.[21] The film was released in Denmark on September 21, 2017.[22] It was released in the Philippines on September 27, 2017.[23]

A short film, The Master, that promoted the feature film was shown in front of screenings of Storks, which took the original September 23 release date.[24] On February 8, 2017, the first trailer was released. The trailer was shown in front of screenings of The Lego Batman Movie. On July 22, 2017, a second trailer for the film was shown as part of San Diego Comic-Con and released on YouTube later in the day.[25] Both trailers feature the song "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift, with the second trailer also featuring "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette, "Ain't Gonna Die Tonight" by Macklemore and "I Wanna Go Out" by American Authors.

The Lego Ninjago Movie was originally planned for an IMAX release, as evident in trailers (attached to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Transformers: The Last Knight), and Facebook, but was cancelled and only received non-IMAX presentations and then eventually, Kingsman: The Golden Circle took over the IMAX screenings.


Over twenty Lego sets inspired by scenes from the film were released for the film including a set of Collectible Minifigures. A video game by TT Fusion based on the film, The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, was released on September 22, 2017, for Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[26][27] The game is similar to previous Lego games, with some new features such as multiplayer and new techniques.[26]

Home media[edit]

The Lego Ninjago Movie was released on Digital HD on December 12, 2017, and DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and 4K Blu-ray on December 19, 2017, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.[28][29][30]

Video game[edit]

Based on The Lego Ninjago Movie, it was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, alongside the film, in North America on 22 September 2017, and worldwide on 20 October 2017.[31] It serves as the second spin-off video game and the third game in The Lego Movie franchise.



Box office[edit]

The Lego Ninjago Movie grossed $59.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $63.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $123 million against a $70 million budget.

In North America, the film was released alongside Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Friend Request. Various tracking services had the film projected to gross anywhere from $27–44 million from 4,047 theaters in its opening weekend.[32][33] After making $5.8 million on its first day, weekend projections were lowered to $21 million. It ended up debuting to $21.2 million, finishing third at the box office and ranking as the lowest opening of the Lego franchise by over 50%.[7]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 56% based on 135 reviews and an average rating of 5.80/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Despite ample charm and a few solid gags, The Lego Ninjago Movie suggests this franchise's formula isn't clicking like it used to."[34] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[35] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[7]

Andrew Barker of Variety wrote: "Plenty entertaining and occasionally very funny, Ninjago nonetheless displays symptoms of diminishing returns, and Lego might want to shuffle its pieces a bit before building yet another film with this same model."[36]


List of Accolades
Award / Film Festival Category Recipient(s) Result
16th Visual Effects Society Awards[37] Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Gregory Jowle, Fiona Childton, Miles Green, Kim Taylor Nominated
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Arthur Terzis, Wei Hei, Jean-Marc Ariu, Gibson Radsavanh for "Garma Mecha Man" Nominated
Matthew Everitt, Christian So, Loic Miermont, Fiona Darwin for "Garmadon" Nominated
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Kim Taylor, Angela Ensele, Felicity Coonan, Jean Pascal leBlanc for "Ninjago City" Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Mark Mothersbaugh to Score 'The Lego Ninjago Movie'". Film Music Reporter. February 13, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Film releases". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  4. ^ DeFore, John (September 20, 2017). "'The Lego Ninjago Movie': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "The LEGO Ninjago Movie (U)". British Board of Film Classification. September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)". AllMovie. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 23, 2017). "'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Ropes $38M+; 'Ninjago' Dulls Sword To $21M; 'Friend Request' A Loner With $1.8M". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
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  13. ^ a b Kit, Borys (September 17, 2013). "'Tron: Uprising' Director to Helm 'Ninjago' for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  14. ^ Schwerdtfeger, Conner (27 July 2017). "Dave Franco Cried Uncontrollably Filming The Lego Ninjago Movie". Cinema Blend. Gateway Blend Entertainment. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
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  16. ^ Topel, Fred (18 September 2017). "Dave Franco exclusive: How making The Lego Ninjago Movie left me in tears". Monsters & Critics. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  17. ^ Russian, Ale (9 August 2017). "Watch Jackie Chan Create Real-Life Stunts for The LEGO Ninjago Movie". Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Mark Mothersbaugh – The Lego Ninjago Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Etemadi, Fatema (September 17, 2017). "Jackie Chan, Justin Theroux and More Get Animated for 'Lego Ninjago Movie' Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 22, 2021. The Regency Village Theatre was decked out with life-sized caricatures Saturday afternoon.
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 20, 2015). "Batman Lego Movie, 'Lego' Sequel Get Release Dates". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  21. ^ ""Ninjago" Coming to Theaters on September 23, 2016". Warner Bros. May 20, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  22. ^ Fokus, Ritzau (20 September 2019). "Caroline Fleming filmdebuterer: Sønnen var ved at gå i gulvet". Se og Hør (in Danish). Aller Media. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  23. ^ InqPOP! (September 12, 2017). ""The LEGO NINJAGO Movie" – an epic tale of good and…dad". InqPOP!. InqPOP!. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  24. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (August 25, 2016). "New Lego Short 'The Master' to Debut Before 'Storks'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  25. ^ Opam, Kwame (July 22, 2017). "The Comic-Con trailer for The Lego Ninjago Movie is all about family". The Verge. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  26. ^ a b Skrebels, Joe (2017-06-29). "The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game Announced and Dated". IGN. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  27. ^ "New Details on The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game - IGN Video". IGN. July 20, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  28. ^ "THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE – Official Movie Site – Digital Movie Available 12/12 & On Blu-ray™ 12/19". THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE – Official Movie Site – Digital Movie Available 12/12 & On Blu-ray™ 12/19. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  29. ^ "The LEGO Ninjago Movie DVD Release Date December 19, 2017". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  30. ^ "Lego Ninjago Movie". Warner Home Video. December 19, 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  31. ^ Franseze, Tomas (23 September 2017). "The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game Releases on PC and Consoles with a Spectacular Launch Trailer". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
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  33. ^ "September B.O. Booming To Near All-Time $700M Record As 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' & 'Lego Ninjago' Enter Fall Fray". Deadline Hollywood. September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
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  35. ^ "The LEGO Ninjago Movie reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  36. ^ Barker, Andrew (September 20, 2017). "Film Review: 'The Lego Ninjago Movie'". Variety.
  37. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 16, 2018). "Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2018.

External links[edit]