- This article is about the episode. For the event, see here.
|“So it is agreed. You will all enter this ‘Ninjaball Run’ to save the dojo.”|
|— Wu to the ninja|
|Season 2, Episode 4|
|Air date||August 8, 2012 (US)|
|Written by||Dan & Kevin Hageman|
|Directed by||Thomas Østergaard Poulsen|
When the ninja learn that Darreth's Mojo Dojo is to be destroyed and Darreth doesn't have the money to save it, our heroes enter the annual NinjaBall Run to win its cash prize in order to save the dojo.
The episode begins with Lloyd's training in Dareth's dojo. In preparation to bear the fate of Ninjago on his shoulders, he is doing a one-handed handstand while balancing the ninja and Sensei Wu on his feet. This goes surprisingly well, but Lloyd drops them when a wrecking ball crashes through the dojo's wall.
As Dareth rushes in to assess the damage, the operator of the wrecking ball explains; Dareth has fallen behind on his dojo payments, though Dareth says they would have started the next day if he didn't have the money. Unless he can pay fifty thousand dollars, a company named Darnagom Enterprises plans to buy the entire block and put in a frisbee golf course. Zane realizes that "Darnagom" is an anagram of "Garmadon"—their perennial foe, Lord Garmadon, is trying to destroy the dojo so Lloyd will have nowhere to train. Nya tells the ninja that the Ninjaball Run, the biggest and most dangerous road race in Ninjago, is the next day and the grand prize is one hundred thousand dollars. The four ninja decide to enter with the Ultra Sonic Raider and Lloyd enters with the Ultra Dragon.
The next day, the race is about to begin. Nya shows up to tell the ninja about a special addition she added to the Raider in case they need it, activated by a lever, but because of the uproar, they are unable to hear what it does, and Nya has to leave before she can explain it again. Soon after, the other racers make their way to the starting line, including the Royal Blacksmiths, Ed and Edna, Captain Soto and his pirates, Kruncha and Nuckal, Gene and Brad, and the Mailman. The race begins, and the contestants race off—except for the ninja, whose Ultra Sonic Raider loses a track (due to Gene and Brad tampering with it before the race).
Meanwhile, the Serpentine Generals succeed in freeing Skales from jail and they escape on a Serpentine Bus. However, the police pursue the four and in an attempt to escape, they accidentally join the race, much to the confusion of Skales. Back at the starting line, the ninja succeed in fixing the Raider and join the race again.
On the Black Bounty, Lord Garmadon is shocked to see the ninja participating in the race and decides to cut in to ensure they won't win. The race has now changed terrain to the desert where the Pirates crash into the rocks and are put out of the race, due to No-Eyed Pete's driving. Just as the ninja start to catch up to the other racers, Lord Garmadon appears and begins to shoot at the ninja, but Lloyd accidentally crashes the Ultra Dragon into the ship, causing the shot to miss them. After the talk it over, Lloyd and the ninja decide to work together to win.
At the Birchwood Forest just as Lloyd points out a shortcut for the ninja to take, the Ultra Dragon is brought down by Kruncha and Nuckal, but they crash soon after. The action then cuts to the stands, where the announcers ask Dareth the ninja's purpose in participating. After Dareth tells them how they're trying to save the dojo, the crowd energetically cheers for the ninja.
Back on the race track at the Glacier Barrens, the ninja notice their gas is running out. Ed and Edna, after hearing about the dojo, offer to give them their gas, but if the ninja stop they'll be put in last place. The only option is for them to connect a pipe to both gas tanks and transfer the gas while they're racing. Lord Garmadon interferes and sends the Serpentine to stop them. Although this fails, Ed and Edna's car is wrecked in the progress. Jay takes a piece from their car and attaches it to the front of the Raider to ensure that at least a piece of their car would make it to the finish line.
The race is in its final stretch, and Lord Garmadon and the ninja are in the lead. To ensure he wins, Lord Garmadon wishes for a divide that the ninja will not be able to cross. Although hope seems lost, Kai uses the lever that Nya installed which causes the Raider to fold out hidden wings and cross the divide. Both Lord Garmadon and the ninja fight for the lead, but the ninja win by the piece from Ed and Edna's car crossing the finish line first.
Lord Garmadon argues how it isn't fair since that wasn't part of their vehicle, to begin with. He then realizes that while he stepped off the Black Bounty, Lloyd has gotten on and regained it for the ninja. The police arrive soon after and inform Lord Garmadon he is under arrest, but Skales pulls in and Lord Garmadon escapes with the Serpentine. As Nya points out that it's not the last time they'll see him, Dareth celebrates the Dojo being saved by cannon-balling into the money-filled trophy.
- Acidicus - Paul Dobson
- Announcer - Colin Murdock
- Brad Tudabone - Kathleen Barr
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Color Commentator - Alan Marriott
- Contractor - Paul Dobson
- Cop - Vincent Tong
- Dareth - Alan Marriott
- Ed Walker - Colin Murdock
- Edna Walker - Jillian Michaels
- Garmadon - Mark Oliver
- Henchman - Brent Miller
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Kruncha - Brian Drummond
- Lloyd Garmadon - Jillian Michaels
- Lou - Kirby Morrow
- Nuckal - Brian Drummond
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Serpentine General - Colin Murdock
- Serpentine - Paul Dobson
- Skales - Ian James Corlett
- Soto - Alan Marriott
- Wu - Paul Dobson
- Zane - Brent Miller
For the transcript of the episode, click here.
- The name of this episode is a nod to "The Cannonball Run," a 1981 American comedy film starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise, Farrah Fawcett, and an all-star supporting cast. The film is based on the 1979 running of an actual cross-country outlaw road race beginning in Connecticut and ending in California.
- The name of the episode, as well as the episode's namesake race, the Ninjaball Run, might also be a reference to Jojo's Bizzare Adventure's 7th part: Steel Ball Run. Steel Ball Run is about Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli racing across America for a $50,000,000 cash price, quite similar to the ninja racing for the Ninjaball Run's cash price. The pair also use a technique called "Spin," which sounds quite similar to the ninja's own Spinjitzu.
- The concept of Lloyd doing a handstand and balancing the ninja on his feet is later replicated in the "Wu's Teas" intro.
- Brad and Gene's sabotage of the Ultra Sonic Raider may be an attempt at payback against Lloyd for ruining their schemes in the previous episode.
- Kai misquotes a baseball coach's quote "Nice Guys finish last."
- In the end credits, Nuckal and Kruncha were listed as "Knuckal" and "Cruncha."
- The participants in the Ninjaball Run include (in reverse order of when they were taken out during the race):
- The ninja, in the Ultra Sonic Raider (won the race with the Raider's flight mode)
- Lord Garmadon and the Serpentine, in the Black Bounty (joined in the desert portion to stop the ninja; reached the finish line and was commandeered by Lloyd)
- Ed and Edna, in their jalopy (crashed into the Ultra Sonic Raider and hit by the Serpentine Bus, the Darkley's school bus, and the Mailman's bike; had a piece attached to the Ultra Sonic Raider when it crossed the finish line)
- The Serpentine Generals, in the Serpentine Bus (joined by accident while evading the police; crashed into the Darkley's school bus, Ed and Edna's jalopy, and the Mailman's bike; recovered and reached the finish line in time to pick up Lord Garmadon)
- Brad, Gene, and the other Darkley's students, in their school bus (hit by the Serpentine Bus and crashed into Ed and Edna's jalopy)
- The Mailman, on his bike (knocked off by a snowman; the bike was later hit by the Darkley's school bus)
- Two police officers, in their cruisers (joined by accident while chasing the Serpentine Bus; crashed into an igloo; may have recovered and reached the finish line)
- Kruncha and Nuckal, in the Skull Truck (crashed after the chain of their truck's bone hand was pulled taut by the Ultra Dragon's weight and wrapped around a tree)
- Lloyd, on the Ultra Dragon (brought down by the Skull Truck's bone hand; recovered and reached the finish line in time to commandeer the Black Bounty)
- The Royal Blacksmiths, on a modified pickup truck (hit a fallen tree and skidded into a snowbank)
- Captain Soto and his pirates, in a van (crashed into a canyon wall, thanks to No-Eyed Pete's driving)
- Of the participants, only the Ultra Sonic Raider, the Black Bounty, the Serpentine Bus, and the Ultra Dragon made it to the finish line. The police cruisers may have finished the race, as a pair of officers were seen at the finish line attempting to arrest Lord Garmadon.
- This episode uses the classic "big race" plot, wherein most if not all of the main characters of the show join a big racing event. This type of plot has at times been used for either plot relevance (like the characters having to claim an important item that's the reward for winning the race) or just for fun: this episode, however, is a mix of both.
- When Kai first mentions the upgrades to the Ultra Sonic Raider, he is wearing his original outfit from the pilot episodes and first season. When the camera goes back on him, he's back in his ZX outfit.
- When Ed and Edna bump into Soto's van, it is a regular pirate driving, but when it crashes at the entrance to Crash Course Canyon, No-Eyed Pete is driving.
- Lasha asks Lord Garmadon if he is going to use the Mega Weapon, however, after Lord Garmadon responds, Spitta is there in his place.
- When Garmadon slaps Mezmo, he is slapped on the left side of his face, but he is seen touching his right side instead.
- Fangdam has Fangtom's torso.
- When Ed told Jay to grab the gas nozzle, his mouth doesn't move.
- When Ed and Edna were heading to Crashcourse Canyon, Edna was seen without her helmet.
For the gallery of the episode, click here.