The Lego Ninjago Movie

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The Lego Ninjago Movie
The Lego Ninjago Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Bob Logan
  • Paul Fisher
  • William Wheeler
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Jared Stern
  • John Whittington
Story by
  • Hilary Winston
  • Bob Logan
  • Paul Fisher
  • William Wheeler
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Dan Hageman
  • Kevin Hageman
Based on
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh[1]
Cinematography David Scott
Edited by
  • David Burrows
  • Garret Elkins
  • Ryan Folsey
  • Julie Rogers
  • John Venzon
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
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[3]
Language English
Budget $70 million[5]
Box office $123.1 million[6]

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a 2017 3D computer-animated martial arts comedy film directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan. The film was written by Logan, Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern and John Whittington. It stars Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Olivia Munn, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Peña, Zach Woods and Jackie Chan. The story within a story focuses on Lloyd Garmadon, a teenage ninja, as he attempts to accept the truth about his villainous father, while a new threat emerges to endanger his homeland.

Based on the Lego Ninjago toy line, it is an international co-production of the United States and Denmark, the first theatrical film to be based on an original Lego property, and the third installment of The Lego Movie franchise. It was released in the United States on September 22, 2017, in 3D, 2D and Dolby Cinema by Warner Bros. Pictures.[7] The film underperformed at box office while grossing $123.1 million.


At the start of the film, a young boy walks inside an old relic shop where he meets the mysterious and elderly owner Mr. Liu, who tells the boy about the legend of Ninjago, a city within the Lego Universe that is frequently terrorized by the evil Lord Garmadon, who is the father of teenager Lloyd Garmadon and ex-husband of Misako (a.k.a. Koko). Ninjago despises Lloyd for being Lord Garmadon's son which puts Lloyd under emotional stress. Unbeknownst to them, Lloyd is part of the secret ninja force consisting of Nya, Zane, Jay, Cole, Kai and their master named Wu, who always stop Garmadon from taking over Ninjago City by fighting with mechs. On Lloyd's 16th birthday, Garmadon attacks Ninjago City once again only to be defeated. He escapes and fires nine generals of his Shark Army for failing to help him. He then begins to plan a big attack to conquer Ninjago, and his GIT's show him plans to build a gigantic mech that is immune to weapons.

Meanwhile, Lloyd and his friends see the return of Master Wu, back from a long trip he took. Master Wu tells them they aren't real ninjas if they use only mechs to fight, and discusses with Lloyd that his element is green, confusing Lloyd. Master Wu tells Lloyd he must not be angry at Garmadon; he must use his mind to fight. Wu mentions an Ultimate Weapon, giving Lloyd the hope of defeating Garmadon once and for all, despite being forbidden to use the weapon.

The next day, Garmadon attacks Ninjago City with his giant mech and defeats Lloyd. As Garmadon declares his rule over Ninjago, Lloyd returns with the Ultimate Weapon. He fires it, revealing it to be a laser that attracts a real-life cat named Meowthra. Meowthra starts destroying the city while trying to get the laser. Garmadon points the laser to make the cat destroy the other mechs, before Lloyd breaks it. As Garmadon celebrates his victory, Lloyd reveals that he is the Green Ninja, and tells Garmadon that he wishes he weren't his father, leaving Garmadon confused.

Lloyd meets up with his friends and Master Wu, who are all upset with him for using the weapon. Wu tells them they must use an Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon to stop Meowthra from destroying Ninjago City, which they would reach by crossing the Forest of Dangers, the Canyon of Death, and the Temple of Fragile Foundations at the other side of Ninjago Island. Garmadon overhears Wu talking about the weapon and follows close behind. He meets up with Wu and fights him, only to end up in a cage, defeated. However, Wu loses his balance and falls off a bridge into a river, telling Lloyd he must use "inner peace" before getting swept away.

The ninjas decide to continue on, with Garmadon leading them much to Lloyd's disappointment. They are caught by former members of the Shark Army, now gone mad from being fired by Garmadon and shot out of his volcano lair; they want revenge on him. The ninjas try to fight, but are easily defeated. They retreat, leaving Lloyd and Garmadon behind to be caught by the Shark Army. The Shark Army begin to drop Lloyd and Garmadon into a replica volcano, but the rest of the ninjas save the day using stealth fighting. They all work together with Garmadon to escape the angry Shark Army by building a makeshift helicopter, and Lloyd and Garmadon bond together in the process.

They eventually crash down onto the Temple of Fragile Foundations. Garmadon reveals that it is his childhood home, and that Koko was formerly a ninja warrior herself. He tells Lloyd that he wishes he had stayed with him and his mom after deciding to conquer Ninjago, but he couldn't change, so he had to stay behind. The ninjas find the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, consisting of a set of trinkets, only to have it stolen by Garmadon who still wants to take over the city. He offers for Lloyd to be his general, but Lloyd rejects his offer. Out of fury, Garmadon locks all of them in the temple as it begins to collapse. Lloyd realizes that "inner peace" (piece) means for them to unleash their power within, and they successfully do this, using their elemental powers and escaping from the collapsing temple. As they fall of a cliff, Wu saves them with his ship, the Destiny's Bounty, and they head toward Ninjago.

Garmadon arrives and tries to defeat Meowthra with the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, but Meowthra eats Garmadon 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 of green is what connects the ninjas together, and his family together. He comforts Meowthra and tells Garmadon he forgives him and that he's sorry. Garmadon cries tears of fire, which causes Meowthra to spit him out. After reconciling, Meowthra becomes the mascot of Ninjago and Lloyd is hailed as a hero.

As the story concludes, Mr. Liu tells the boy that he will start to train him as a ninja.


  • Dave Franco as Lloyd Garmadon,[8] the Green Ninja, leader of the Secret Ninja Force, Lord Garmadon and Misako's son, and Master Wu's nephew.
  • Michael Peña as Kai,[8] the hotheaded, red Ninja of Fire and Nya's brother.
  • Kumail Nanjiani as Jay,[8] the quiet and cautious, blue Ninja of Lightning.
  • Abbi Jacobson as Nya,[8] the strong, silver Ninja of Water, Kai's sister, and Jay's crush.
  • Zach Woods as Zane,[8] the robotic, white Ninja of Ice.
  • Fred Armisen as Cole,[8] the laid-back, music-loving black Ninja of Earth.
  • Jackie Chan as Master Wu,[8] 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 to explain the story of Ninjago to a young boy, played by Kaan Guldur.
  • Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon,[9] the Dark Ninja, an evil warlord, the father of Lloyd, the ex-husband of Misako and the brother of Master Wu.
  • Olivia Munn as Misako "Koko",[9] 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 pick on 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.[10]
  • Michael Strahan as himself, a Lego caricature of the known media personality and former New York Giants member. 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 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.


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.[11] Charlie Bean was announced as director, and The Lego Movie team of Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller as producers.[11] 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.[8] Additional voice cast included Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon and Olivia Munn as Koko.[9]


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".[12][13][14]

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 ninjas do also”. Chan commented.[15]


The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Mark Mothersbaugh, various artists
Released September 15, 2017
Recorded 2017
Studio Trackdown Studios in Sydney, Australia
Genre Film soundtrack, film score
Length 60:09
Label WaterTower Music
Producer Mark Mothersbaugh, Shawn Patterson, Bartholomew
Mark Mothersbaugh chronology
Brad's Status
(2017)Brad's Status2017
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Thor: Ragnarok
(2017)Thor: Ragnarok2017
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. 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.

All tracks written by Mark Mothersbaugh and performed by The Sydney Scoring Orchestra, except as noted[16].

1."Heroes"Alexander Geringas, William FullerBlaze n Vill3:26
2."Operation New Me"Chris McKay, Jared Gutstadt, Taka Moriuchi, Jamil Kazmi, Jeff PetersJingle Punks2:37
3."It's Garmadon"The De Luca BrothersThe De Luca Brothers2:49
4."Found My Place"Chris Sernel, Jeff LewisOh, Hush! feat. Jeff Lewis3:16
5."Dance of Doom"Cole, ArtadiLouis Cole, Genevieve Artadi3:24
6."LEGO Ninja Shop"  2:41
7."It's the Hard Knock Life"Charles Strouse (music)
Martin Charnin (lyrics)
Greg Pattillo0:16
8."Wise Master Wu"  3:01
9."Garmadon Attacks"  3:15
10."The Rise of Kitty Kitty"  3:38
11."A Wish and a Ruined City"  3:37
12."Journey to the Control Tower"  2:20
13."Welcome to the Jungle"Axl Rose, Saul Hudson, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin, Steven AdlerGreg Pattillo0:28
14."The Power"Antoinette Colandreo, Benito Benites, John Garrett IIIGreg Pattillo0:21
15."Sibling Rivalry"  2:36
16."A Grave Amount of Generals"  3:30
17."Ninjas to the Rescue"  2:17
18."Arm Popping Flying Lesson"  4:53
19."The Lady Iron Dragon"  5:01
20."The Ultimate Ultimate Weapon"  5:10
21."The Art of Spinjitsu"  4:21
22."Here Kitty Kitty"  3:17
23."Big Hug"  2:39
Total length:1:09:00


The Lego Ninjago Movie was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 22, 2017, in 2D and 3D.[17] It was originally scheduled for a September 23, 2016 release.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21][22] The game is similar to previous Lego games, with some new features such as multiplayer and new techniques.[21]

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.[23][24][25]


Box office[edit]

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

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.[26][27] However, 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%.[5]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 55% based on 119 reviews and an average rating of 5.8/10. 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."[28] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[5]


List of Accolades
Award / Film Festival Category Recipient(s) Result
16th Visual Effects Society Awards[30] 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 "Film releases". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "The LEGO Ninjago Movie (U)". British Board of Film Classification. September 18, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)". AllMovie. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  7. ^ "Past, present and future releases to Past, Present and Future Releases | UK Recent and Upcoming Movie". Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Lego Ninjago Movie cast revealed". Brickset. June 24, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (August 11, 2016). "'Lego Ninjago Movie': Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan Join Voice Cast". Variety. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway star in The LEGO Ninjago Movie". Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  11. ^ a b Kit, Borys (September 17, 2013). "'Tron: Uprising' Director to Helm 'Ninjago' for Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  12. ^ Schwerdtfeger, Conner (27 July 2017). "Dave Franco Cried Uncontrollably Filming The Lego Ninjago Movie". Cinema Blend. Gateway Blend Entertainment. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Dave Franco plays Lloyd in The LEGO Ninjago Movie". Herald Sun. News Pty Ltd (subscription required). 20 September 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  14. ^ Topel, Fred (18 September 2017). "Dave Franco exclusive: How making The Lego Ninjago Movie left me in tears". Monsters & Critics. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  15. ^ Russian, Ale (9 August 2017). "Watch Jackie Chan Create Real-Life Stunts for The LEGO Ninjago Movie". Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Mark Mothersbaugh – The Lego Ninjago Movie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Discogs. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 20, 2015). "Batman Lego Movie, 'Lego' Sequel Get Release Dates". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  18. ^ ""Ninjago" Coming to Theaters on September 23, 2016". Warner Bros. May 20, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  19. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (August 25, 2016). "New Lego Short 'The Master' to Debut Before 'Storks'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  20. ^ Opam, Kwame (July 22, 2017). "The Comic-Con trailer for The Lego Ninjago Movie is all about family". The Verge. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Skrebels, Joe (2017-06-29). "The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game Announced and Dated". IGN. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  22. ^ "New Details on The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game - IGN Video". IGN. 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  23. ^ "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 2017-11-18.
  24. ^ "The LEGO Ninjago Movie DVD Release Date December 19, 2017". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  25. ^ Lego Ninjago Movie, Warner Home Video, 2017-12-19, retrieved 2017-11-18
  26. ^ "'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' and 'Lego Ninjago' will battle 'It' for box office victory". Los Angeles Times. September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ "The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "The Lego Ninjago Movie reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  30. ^ 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]