Ninjago (formerly known as Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu) is a CGI comedy-action family television show that aired on Cartoon Network in the United States, Teletoon in Canada, Nickelodeon in Denmark and Greece, and Disney XD in Latin America (pilot episodes-Season 7) and Cartoon Network (Season 11-).
The pilot episodes were released on January 14, 2011, and the first two episodes of the first season were released on December 2, 2011. The first proper season aired in February, March, and April 2012.
In 2019, the series dropped the subtitle of Masters of Spinjitzu and the episode run-times were changed from 22 minutes to 11 minutes.
- 1 History
- 2 Before Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
- 3 Premise
- 4 Main plot
- 4.1 Pilot episodes (2011)
- 4.2 Mini-movies (2011)
- 4.3 Season 1: Rise of the Snakes (2011-2012)
- 4.4 Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja (2012)
- 4.5 Season 3: Rebooted (2014)
- 4.6 Season 4: Tournament of Elements (2015)
- 4.7 Season 5: Possession (2015)
- 4.8 Season 6: Skybound (2016)
- 4.9 Day of the Departed (2016)
- 4.10 Season 7: The Hands of Time (2017)
- 4.11 Season 8: Sons of Garmadon (2018)
- 4.12 Season 9: Hunted (2018)
- 4.13 Tales from the Monastery of Spinjitzu (2018)
- 4.14 Season 10: March of the Oni (2019)
- 4.15 Season 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu (2019)
- 4.16 Prime Empire Original Shorts (2020)
- 4.17 Season 12: Prime Empire (2020)
- 4.18 Season 13: Master of the Mountain (2020)
- 4.19 Season 14: The Island (2021)
- 4.20 Season 15: Seabound (2021)
- 5 Canon side stories
- 6 Cast
- 6.1 Team
- 6.2 Allies
- 6.3 Villains
- 6.3.1 Skulkin
- 6.3.2 Serpentine
- 6.3.3 Stone Army
- 6.3.4 Nindroids
- 6.3.5 Anacondrai warriors
- 6.3.6 Ghost Warriors
- 6.3.7 Sky Pirates
- 6.3.8 Vermillion
- 6.3.9 Sons of Garmadon
- 6.3.10 Dragon Hunters
- 6.3.11 Oni
- 6.3.12 Pyro Vipers
- 6.3.13 Blizzard Samurai
- 6.3.14 Unagami's army
- 6.3.15 Whack Rats
- 6.3.16 Re-Awakened
- 6.3.17 Keepers
- 6.3.18 Merlopians
- 6.4 Other characters
- 7 Episodes
- 8 Videos
- 9 DVD Releases
- 10 Influences
- 11 Unused concepts
- 12 Production/Behind the scenes
- 13 Recurring patterns in the series
- 14 Trivia
- 15 Galleries
- 16 References
Creation of the series
In 2009, LEGO wanted to continue the idea of a story-driven original theme, which they had previously done with LEGO Atlantis. The company decided to do a retake on a theme that had existed for a few years: Ninja, which was a Castle subtheme that was discontinued in 2000. Taking some ideas from the old theme, they revamped it into a new one called Ninjago, though it was originally still called LEGO Ninja.
Though it was initially meant to only introduce the toyline, potential was seen in the pilot, and at some point in the pilot's production, a proper series was commissioned.
In early 2011, the pilot episodes were released. The first season released starting in December of that year and lasted a few months into 2012. The second season aired in July of that same year, with the two-season run intended to be the full run of the show.
Originally LEGO had planned that the series would end after two seasons. Due to fan demand, in 2014, it returned with Season 3. During this time, the production of the third season was choppy, starting out as thirteen episodes, then being reduced to two before they were able to settle on eight.
The show continued strongly in 2015, going for two seasons a year, with 2016 being a slight exception, having a season, and a holiday special in the latter half of the year. There was a small hiatus on this schedule in 2017 to make way for The LEGO Ninjago Movie. 2017 was also the first year to have nothing written by the Hageman Brothers, as David Shayne and a team of writers wrote the seventh season.
Given the release of The LEGO Ninjago Movie expected to bring in new fans to the show, the show underwent a refresh. The main characters were given redesigns to match their appearances in the movie. Lloyd was also given a new voice actor, to reflect him growing up in the time between the seventh and eighth seasons. The animation was also done through a new pipeline, improving the quality, and the tone became noticeably darker.
Animation studio change (2019-Present)
After eight and a half years and 100 episodes, LEGO gave the show a soft reboot, starting with Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu. The Masters of Spinjitzu subtitle was removed from the franchise's branding, and now the show is simply titled Ninjago. The animation studio changed from WILFilm ApS to WildBrain (formerly called DHX Media). With this came a more fast-paced animation style and mediums of animation beyond the 3D rendered LEGO figures occasionally being used (such as the 2D style in "The Absolute Worst," "The Last of the Formlings," and "Dungeon Party!"). The biggest change of all is that the runtime of the episodes was reduced from 22-minutes to 11-minutes.
There is some confusion about whether this soft-reboot is a new show that is a continuation of the original, or the same show albeit with many changes. Television and streaming networks treat this as a new show, calling Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu the first season of Ninjago. However, several showrunners call Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu "Season 11," implying it is the same show as before, despite the myriad of changes to the format. LEGO no longer refers to the season number when advertising new installments on YouTube or other such places, instead referring to them mainly by their respective subtitles.
Before Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
"Long before time had a name, Ninjago was created by the First Spinjitzu Master by using the four weapons of Spinjitzu: The Scythe of Quakes, the Nunchucks of Lightning, the Shurikens of Ice, and the Sword of Fire. Weapons so powerful, no one can handle their power at once. When he passed away, his two sons swore to protect them. But the oldest was consumed by darkness and wanted to possess the weapons. A battle between brothers broke out, and the oldest was struck down and banished to the Underworld. Peace returned and the younger brother hid the weapons. But knowing his older brother's relentless ambition for power, he placed a guardian to protect them. And for fear of his own demise, a map for an honest man to hide." -Master Wu, "Way of the Ninja"
The show is set primarily on the fictional island, Ninjago. It draws inspiration from a blend of East-Asian culture and popular Western media while taking place in a modern setting.
Long before the events of the series, the First Spinjitzu Master used the power of the Golden Weapons to create 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, more, or all of the ninja and features a different group of varied antagonists.
The show can be divided into three parts: a pilot consisting of four episodes, thirteen full seasons, and a Halloween TV special. There are some canon and non-canon mini-movies that take place between moments or alongside certain moments of the show.
Pilot episodes (2011)
Long before time had a name, the First Spinjitzu Master created the realm of Ninjago with the four Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu: the Scythe of Quakes, the Shurikens of Ice, the Nunchucks of Lightning, and the Sword of Fire. Before he passed away, his sons swore to protect the weapons from evil, but the older brother Garmadon was infected with evil, plotting to obtain and wield all four weapons so he could rule Ninjago in his own evil image. In the ensuing battle between brothers, the younger brother Wu fought hard enough to cast Garmadon down to the Underworld, hiding the weapons across the land and placing a guardian dragon at each hiding spot.
In anticipation and preparation for Lord Garmadon's return, Master Wu recruits four gifted young men—Kai, Cole, Jay, and Zane—and trains them in the way of the ninja, tasking them with retrieving the Golden Weapons from their Dragon guardians. Along the way, they must unlock their Spinjitzu, become a team, and search for Kai's younger sister, Nya (kidnapped by the Underworld's Skeleton Army under Lord Garmadon's orders), to learn the ways of the Ninja, master the art of Spinjitzu, and find the Golden Weapons before Garmadon and the Skulkin can claim them for their maniacal machinations while the Skulkin army and their four-armed leader, Samukai, who is the former King of the Underworld and Lord Garmadon's second-in-command, hunt them down.
Following the disappearance of Lord Garmadon, the Ninja enjoy a short period of peace. During this time, Master Wu reveals bits of the backstory to his pupils, including how Lord Garmadon fell to the Underworld and usurped Samukai. The Ninja also take some time to enjoy their new Dragon mounts and defeat the plots of the remaining Skulkin, led by their Generals: Kruncha, Nuckal, and Wyplash.
Season 1: Rise of the Snakes (2011-2012)
Ever since Lord Garmadon's disappearance, peace has returned to Ninjago. Rather than prepare for his return, the Ninja have become lazy, playing video games and eating pizza instead of continuing their training. With their guards down, they find themselves thrown back into action when Garmadon's son when Lloyd Garmadon attacks Jamanakai Village. Although the son of Lord Garmadon is a "mischievous, childish brat" than "dark overlord", he inadvertently unleashes a much greater threat onto Ninjago—the ancient evil race of snake people known as the Serpentine, releasing the five warring tribes of a race of snake-people who once ruled over Ninjago before being sealed away in underground tombs. Now led by the treacherous scheming Pythor P. Chumsworth, last of the fearsome Anacondrai, the vengeful snakes seek revenge on the people of Ninjago for sealing them away, on the hunt to find the four Silver Fangblades to awaken and unleash the Great Devourer, a monstrous beast and an unkillable giant serpent that consumes all in its path, growing the more it consumes. Now the Ninja must stop both the Serpentine and Lloyd, all while bracing for the inevitable return of Lord Garmadon himself.
To stop them and gain more manpower, Wu and the Ninja form a shaky, uneasy alliance with Lord Garmadon, who also perceives Pythor as a nemesis because Pythor has captured and held Lloyd captive (Garmadon dearly loves and cares about his son) in addition to hating the Great Devourer because that’s what caused him to turn evil in the first place. As our heroes try to overcome emotional barriers with the evil dark lord Garmadon and team up together against this greater mutual enemy, the Ninja unlock their True Potential one by one, all while trying to learn the identity of the legendary Green Ninja destined to defeat the "dark lord".
In addition to battling the forces of evil, the Ninja must also continue their training, overcoming physical and emotional challenges alike to reach their True Potential. Along the way, they will make new allies, learn new truths, and may even discover the identity of the legendary Green Ninja.
Despite the Ninja's efforts, Pythor and his tribe manage to collect all three Fangblades, however, the Ninja unlock their true potential and gear up, ready to take on the Serpentine army. In the end, through Kai's realization, all of the training Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane underwent wasn't to become the Green Ninja, it was to protect him. Lloyd is revealed to be the destined chosen one. This causes grief to Wu and Garmadon since their family has become even more divided. In the end, the Ninja, Wu, and Garmadon give a look of nervous sadness because of how heartbreaking, emotionally difficult and heart-wrenching it will be for Lloyd to battle his own father in the near future. After Wu, Nya and the Ninja are held captive after going undercover, infiltrating and spying on Pythor's inner circle, the evil, villainous Garmadon grudgingly rescues them. Although Pythor unleashes The Great Devourer, his plan backfires when the gigantic evil snake swallows both him and Wu, going on a rampage destroying the city.
Lloyd, Nya, the Ninja and Lord Garmadon come up with a plan to defeat the giant snake. Despite the Ninja's suspicion of Garmadon, the plan pays off. The Great Devourer is destroyed, Garmadon successfully getting revenge on the snake who's evil venom infected and corrupted him, with Wu emerging alive, with a teapot and a cup of tea in his hands.
They discover that predictably, Lord Garmadon has slyly turned traitor to them, treacherously deserted the group with said weapons and is now ominously, schemingly plotting against them (putting his evil plans into motion to conquer the city, rule it with an iron fist, and turn the city into his own evil, tyrannical, dystopian regime). The first season ends with a bittersweet ending as the 4 ninja celebrate their temporary victory while Lloyd nervously tries to come to terms with the fact that he will have to face his own father in battle one day, knowing that the war is far from over.
The second season begins with the aftermath of the Ninja's battle with the Serpentine. After defeating the Great Devourer, Lord Garmadon has treacherously fled and deserted Wu and the Ninja with the Golden Weapons, now plotting against them and putting his evil plans of conquering the city in motion, having taken command of the Serpentine. Gathering the remaining Serpentine under his command, Lord Garmadon travels to the Golden Peaks. At the Golden Peaks, birthplace of the weapons, he he unites the four weapons and forges them into an even more powerful Mega Weapon. With the power to create whatever he pleases, Lord Garmadon is more dangerous than ever, and the Ninja must quickly begin training Lloyd—revealed to be the Green Ninja—so he may fulfill his destiny and stop his father from remaking Ninjago in his own image. Able to create anything he pleases, Garmadon aims to interrupt Lloyd's training and prevent him from achieving his destiny as the Green Ninja by harming the Ninja. To ensure Lloyd is ready to face his father, the Ninja combat Garmadon's creations at every turn. But both sides are unaware of an ultimate, supernatural evil force of darkness and destruction that lurks on the fabled Island of Darkness, pulling the strings for thousands of years to conquer and consume it all. The fate of Ninjago hangs in the balance as the "Final Battle" between good and evil looms even closer.
Midway through the season, a number of complications arise: Lloyd is aged to a teenager and reunites with his mother, Misako; Skales betrays Lord Garmadon and takes command of the Serpentine; and Lord Garmadon finds himself upon the fabled Island of Darkness, where he allies himself with the Overlord, the original source of evil in Ninjago. Lord Garmadon soon gains control over the Stone Army, an ancient force of indestructible warriors. Now, the Ninja must delve into the past—both their own and the world's—to find the power to save all of Ninjago from the most dangerous villains it has ever seen.
Season 3: Rebooted (2014)
Good prevailed in the Final Battle with Lloyd as the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master defeating the Overlord and saving both Ninjago and his once-evil father. Ninjago City was left in ruin until genius inventor Cyrus Borg led the reconstruction process bringing about New Ninjago City, a hub of futuristic technological advancements. In this hi-tech age of peace, the Ninja —minus Lloyd—Wu, and Nya take over Lloyd's old boarding school ( Darkley's Boarding School for Bad Boys) and turn it into Wu's Academy. On a field trip to the city, they visit the technology company Borg Industries, only to learn a horrifying truth from Cyrus Borg at the Borg Tower, center of all this innovation, they discover that the Overlord has survived his fight with the Golden Ninja in the form of a virus and has been reborn as the Digital Overlord, a computer virus infecting Borg's systems. To escape the Digiverse, he plots to steal Lloyd's Golden Power and become a prophesied evil known as the Golden Master and destroy the other ninja before they can use Borg's Techno Blades to reboot the system and destroy him for good. In order to aid him, he uses Borg's technology to copy Zane's design and create an army of Nindroids. Leaving Lloyd under the protection of a now pacifistic Sensei Garmadon, the Ninja must find the hard-drive containing the Digital Overlord and reboot the system with Borg's tech-hacking Techno Blades, to keep their friend safe and put an end to the Overlord's evil once and for all.
To counter this threat, the Ninja—rejoined by Lloyd—team up with Borg's robotic assistant P.I.X.A.L. and their old foe Garmadon, now living with Misako, as a master who practices the Art of the Silent Fist. However, they are also forced to face Wu, turned into a cyborg under the Overlord's control, and a mysterious Serpentine warrior who has joined forces with the villain. The struggle to stop the Overlord takes the Ninja to the stars and back, with a final showdown with the Overlord awaiting them upon their return.
To defeat the Overlord Golden Master, Zane was forced to absorb power from the Golden Armor, "sacrificing" his life and leaving the Ninja team fractured in the process. But when notorious crime boss and noodle house owner Master Chen invites them to his Tournament of Elements; a competition between other Elemental Masters like them, with the promise of seeing Zane again, hinting that their fallen comrade may yet be alive, they have little choice but to travel to Chen's Island. The Ninja, accompanied by Sensei Garmadon (who has a personal history with Chen and his underling Clouse and learns of the Elemental Masters, other warriors with powers derived from Ninjago's elements), find themselves traveling to Chen's Island and quickly making enemies. Arriving on the island, they learn Chen's intention: to pit them against each other, with winners advancing through the rounds while the losers mysteriously vanish. However, when they discover that Chen and his cult of Anacondrai worshippers use the Staff of Elements to strip those who lose their Elemental Powers for a spell that could restart a war from Ninjago's past, they attempt to form an alliance with the Elemental Masters.
New friends and enemies are made—Kai notably taking an interest in Skylor, master of Amber—and discover Chen's true plan: to steal the Elemental powers of the competitors for a spell. This spell, once complete, will allow Chen and his followers to become a new army of Anacondrai, the fiercest of all Serpentine tribes, who will then wage war on Ninjago. It will take an alliance of Ninja, Elemental Masters, and more to stop this threat—and an even greater sacrifice may be required in the end.
Season 5: Possession (2015)
Chen and his Anacondrai Cultists have been banished to the Cursed Realm by General Arcturus and the Anacondrai Generals. But to free the generals, Garmadon had to take their place amongst the cursed. As a distraught Lloyd mourns the loss of his father, he is called to a solo mission where he is possessed by the jealousy ghost of Wu's first student Morro, the Master of Wind, who escaped the Cursed Realm when Garmadon opened the portal. Obsessed with claiming this right for himself, Morro possesses Lloyd, thus leaving the other four Ninja powerless. Now, the powerless Ninja face their friend as evil ghosts from the Cursed Realm led by Morro, Master Wu's original pupil and the Master of Wind, whom Wu once thought could be the Green Ninja, wreak havoc. It is then revealed that Morro is seeking to find the Tomb of the First Spinjitzu Master, which can only be accessed through the art of Airjitzu, and use the Realm Crystal, a gateway to the Sixteen Realms parallel to Ninjago, to allow his master to curse all that exists. To stop him, the Ninja ally with mercenary and shady, corrupt and two-faced businessman Ronin, mastering the lost art of Airjitzu and following three clues to the tomb's location engraved on Wu's staff. The attempt to secure the Scrolls of Airjitzu leads the Ninja first to Stiix, where they encounter their old foe Ronin, and then to the Temple of Airjitzu, where they face the ghost of Master Yang and obtain a scroll only to suffer a severe blow, at the cost of Cole turning into a ghost.
Elsewhere, Wu is teaching Nya to unlock her powers, and she is learning to unlock her hidden potential as the daughter of the Elemental Master of Water, a formidable weapon against Morro's Ghost Warriors. The Ninja and Morro make their way to the Cloud Kingdom in search of the Sword of Sanctuary, a tool necessary to bypass the traps within the tomb, only for Morro to capture the Realm Crystal. Using this tool, Morro returns to Stiix with a plan to unleash his monstrous master, the Preeminent, who will curse all of the Sixteen Realms. It falls to the Ninja—including Lloyd and Nya—to face the threat of the Cursed Realm and save Ninjago. But the true key to victory lies with Nya, who learns she is the current Master of Water Waves Oceans Tides and Fluids, which happens to be a ghost's greatest weakness.
Season 6: Skybound (2016)
In the wake of the Preeminent's defeat, the Ninja have become celebrities because their victory over the Preeminent has brought the Ninja overwhelming fame, but Nya is struggling with both her new status on the team and Jay's lingering feelings for her. While they struggle to continue to defend Ninjago while warding off obsessed fans, Jay tangles with seeing a future with Nya in the First Spinjitzu Master's Tomb.
Things go further downhill for the heroes when the ghost of Chen's right hand man Clouse, (their old foe) who survived the destruction of the Cursed Realm, unleashes the villainous Djinn, Nadakhan; captain of the Misfortune's Keep and Sky Pirates, a wish-granting pirate who quickly captures Wu and Misako before setting out to locate his long-missing crew after framing the Ninja for a series of crimes that turns the populace against them. Framing the Ninja (by shapeshifting into them wreaking havoc across the city) and reuniting with his crew, Nadakhan learns that the destruction of the Cursed Realm has caused the collapse of its Sister Realm and his former home and kingdom of Djinjago. After returning to his home realm of Djinjago only to find it falling apart; he then receives the Djinn Blade from his father and returns to Ninjago intended on reshaping it into a new version of his home. In an effort to halt him, with their fans turned against them and their team dwindling in numbers as the Djinn turns their wishes against them to trap them in his Sword of Souls, the Ninja seek advice from Nadakhan's old foe Captain Soto, who advises them to seek out Tiger Widow Island for the means of weakening the Djinn.
The Ninja find themselves in a battle across Ninjago to stop a vengeful Nadakhan from rebuilding his Realm with chunks of theirs. They succeed in obtaining the venom of the Tiger Widow, but in the process, Kai and Zane are trapped with Nadakhan's blade and their power enables him to lift pieces of Ninjago into the sky in his bid to recreate Djinjago. At the same time, he sets his eyes on marrying Nya—the double of his lost love Delara—in order to gain the ability to grant himself infinite wishes. In the end, it is up to Jay—the only Ninja who hasn't used all three of the wishes Nadakhan can grant him—to assemble a team of reserve heroes to find the right wish to save his love, home, and save his friends in order to stop Nadakhan from conquering Ninjago with infinite power.
Day of the Departed (2016)
On the Day of the Departed, the people of Ninjago light lanterns to remember those they've lost. The Ninja in particular gather to remember their passed loved ones but are reminded of old foes by the Ninjago Museum of History's new Hall of Villainy exhibit. While his friends celebrate, Cole, whose ghostly state has deteriorated to the point of him randomly fading in and out of existence, receives an unexpected message from Yang. He sets out to confront the evil gjost villain and intends to exact revenge on Master Yang for turning him into a ghost during the Ninja's attempt to learn Airjitzu, in revenge for his transformation. He unwittingly plays into Yang's hands by delivering to him the Yin Blade (a dark magic weapon Yang once used in an attempt to gain immortality), and Yang takes advantage of the Yin-Yang Eclipse to revive some of the old enemies of the Ninja to pit them against them. Cole enters the Temple of Airjitzu and prepares to "close the circle" by defeating the Airjitzu Master. But when his gambit for revenge leads to the accidental revival of some of the Ninja's greatest enemies, the heroes find themselves facing their vengeful foes once again as they attempt to take the Ninja's place amongst the living using magic Departed Blades. As these revived foes—joined by Pythor—hunt down the various Ninja, Yang sets out to open the Rift of Return, leaving it up to Cole to stop him once and for all. Cole faces Yang and his students alone as, thanks to his actions, the Airjitzu Master has reclaimed the Yin Blade and plots to take advantage of a special Yin-Yang Eclipse to cut the Rift of Return which will allow him to return to the living world.
Season 7: The Hands of Time (2017)
Following the events on the Day of the Departed, both Cole and the Temple of Airjitzu have been restored. As the Ninja setup base in the temple, they find themselves stuck cleaning up the damage at the Ninjago Museum of History. Here, they learn of the Hands of Time; twin Elemental Masters of time itself who betrayed the Elemental Masters after the Serpentine Wars in belief their Element was the strongest.
Meanwhile, at the ruins of the Monastery of Spinjitzu, Wu awaits the return of Acronix, the younger of the "Time Twins", to finish the battle they started 40 years ago. Acronix, one of the Time Twins passes through a time vortex and is challenged to a fight by Master Wu. After the arrival of the Forward Time Blade, but without the rest of the team by his side, Wu is overwhelmed by Acronix who uses a move known as the "Time Punch" to accelerate Wu's aging one day per hour. Even with the intervention of the Ninja, Acronix escapes and reunites with his brother Krux; the older twin, who has remained hidden in Ninjago disguised as Museum Curator Dr. Saunders. Now the two Hands of Time have a plan that could change history and revert Ninjago back to its old-fashioned roots. They control an army of Serpentine known as Vermillion, from the eggs of the Great Devourer, who can form into Samurai using metal. The Vermillion began capturing Ninjago builders, including Cyrus Borg, and stealing metal, all to build the Iron Doom, which can travel time, using the Time Apparatus to utilize all 4 Time Blades. With Master Wu unable to fight, P.I.X.A.L. offline, 3 other Time Blades scattered throughout time, and a mysterious new Samurai X to learn the identity of, Lloyd leads the team to stop the Hands of Time and save Master Wu. The Ninja must now battle the Hands of Time and their army of Vermillion; children of the Great Devourer, as they begin kidnapping Ninjago's best builders and stealing metal all over the city. But as they near closer to uncovering the villains' ultimate goal, the battle becomes personal for Kai and Nya who discover who discover shockingly dark, horrible secrets about their parents being involved with the Hands of Time when it turns out their own parents could have ties to the villains.
Season 8: Sons of Garmadon (2018)
This season was released in January 2018 in Australia and April 2018 in the United States. It takes place one year after Hands of Time, with Lloyd now a master.
One year after Wu and the Hands of Time were lost in time aboard the Iron Doom, the Ninja have scattered across Ninjago, tackling missions while searching for their master's whereabouts. In their absence, unfortunately caused by their search, Ninjago City has been overrun by a cult-like crime syndicate known as the Sons of Garmadon who worship the evil Lord Garmadon and pose a new threat to Ninjago and the Royal Family. Their plan is to resurrect Lord Garmadon with the three Oni Masks.
With Lloyd acting as their new master, the Ninja team reunites to heed a request from the usually private Royal Family, who ask the heroes to protect the three Oni Masks (The Mask of Deception, the Mask of Vengeance, and the Mask of Hatred); relics from the First Realm which when united would allow the Sons of Garmadon to resurrect a purely evil Garmadon, with most of his soul gone, as well as their adopted daughter, the Jade Princess Harumi. In order to stop the Sons of Garmadon from desecrating his father's sacrifice, Lloyd and the Ninja attempt to find the identity of their leader, the Quiet One, before they can determine the location of the elusive Oni Mask of Hatred, while learning secrets about the origins of Ninjago itself. In the process, Lloyd begins to bond with Harumi who has also lost her parents. But as they grow closer, the Ninja make the startling discovery that someone in their makeshift family is the Quiet One.
The animation was stepped up this season and certain changes were brought in, notably the characters' design changes, due to the expected new fans brought in by The LEGO Ninjago Movie.
Season 9: Hunted (2018)
With a resurrected, diabolical Lord Garmadon now ruthlessly ruling a dystopian Ninjago City in ruins with an iron fist while the original four Ninja and young Wu stuck in the Realm of Oni and Dragons, after the Colossus destroyed the Destiny's Bounty, any ally of the Ninja and citizen is hunted and imprisoned in Kryptarium Prison. Lloyd, Nya, and the rest of their remaining allies, including a portion of the Elemental Masters, form a resistance to endure and fight back against the tyrannical rule of Lord Garmadon and Harumi. Unbeknownst to them, the other Ninja are alive and thanks to Mystake's Traveler's Tea, they're in the First Realm; the Realm of the Oni and the Dragon. Here, the barbaric Dragon Hunters, led by the power hungry Iron Baron, capture Dragons and exploit their Elemental Powers to sustain their society. As dragons are the only beings who can ferry between realms, the Ninja and a teenage Wu must find the mythical Dragon Armor once worn by the First Spinjitzu Master himself, in order to convince Firstbourne; leader mother and queen of all dragons, to allow them to ride her children out of the Realm so they can rejoin the fight against Lord Garmadon, and save Ninjago. While in the Realm of Oni and Dragons, the Ninja and Wu fight the Dragon Hunters in a quest to claim the Dragon Armor and get back to Ninjago. It takes place one week after the events of Season 8.
The season was aired in North America on August 11, 2018.
The ninja of LEGO® NINJAGO® are rebuilding the Monastery of Spinjitzu after it was burned down by the Hypnobrai tribe. To preserve the Legacy of Spinjitzu for generations to come, Master Wu is overseeing the making of a mural that depicts some of the most defining and epic moments in the history of Spinjitzu. Watch these all-new original stories to see how the ninja remember past LEGO NINJAGO adventures.
Season 10: March of the Oni (2019)
As Ninjago city rebuilds from Emperor Garmadon's ransacked demolition, he calls out to Lloyd to tell him what will happen in the future, Lloyd distrusts his father's intentions of helping him. Faith later returns from the first realm explaining what happened in the realm of Oni and Dragons. The Oni have invaded Ninjago. As demonic darkness descends upon the realm of NINJAGO, the time has come for our heroes to rise again and protect the land that all Masters of Spinjitzu call home. It is a world filled with a rich history and legacy, and it is from here where our ninja heroes must unlock an even greater power to defeat the darkness that is marching towards them. What could these shapeshifting dark forces be, why do they want to destroy NINJAGO, and how can they be defeated? Since the destructive power that escaped through the realm crystal is too powerful for our heroes, the evil dark lord Garmadon must now choose a side. Will he team up with the Ninja and fight the Oni or tear the fabled world and legacy of Ninjago apart forever?
This season takes place 6 months after the Ninja defeated the Oni in March of the Oni. The Ninja have become relaxed, lazy, and out of shape. In order to keep their skills and powers intact, they search for an activity or a threat to face. Strangely enough, Ninjago has been in a state of lasting peace. However, Zane begins suffering odd visions of him being "killed" by Snake Queen Aspheera, leader of the evil Pyro Vipers, who are invading Ninjago. As well as a mysterious castle guarded by an Ice Dragon; home to the Ice Emperor and his Blizzard Samurai. While Zane remains unsure about these frightening visions, the Ninja find their quest when Professor Clutch Powers discovers a mysterious pyramid which supposedly only a Ninja could survive exploring. Unbeknownst to them, the next threat to Ninjago is right around the corner.
Prime Empire Original Shorts (2020)
Short episodes that take place after Season 11 and during Season 12. These six short episodes are divided into before and after Jay enters Prime Empire. The first two, titled "Let's Dance" and "Upgrade," follow the Mechanic and his alliance with Unagami and also feature Jay and Nya in some bonding time.
Season 12: Prime Empire (2020)
When the old, legendary video game, Prime Empire, resurfaces, players, begin to disappear. In order to solve the mystery, the Ninja enter a dangerous digital world ruled by the mysterious villain Unagami.
This season on NINJAGO: Master of the Mountain: The ninja are invited to the beautiful Shintaro Kingdom to celebrate the young Princess Vania’s birthday. At first glance, the Ivory City looks like a pristine place, but the ninja soon uncover a dark, obscure, long-forgotten underworld: The Dungeons of Shintaro. Once inside, they must fight their way to freedom through a maze of tunnels paved with dangers and strange creatures ruled by the merciless Skull Sorcerer. The ninja must choose their path wisely…
Season 14: The Island (2021)
An expedition led by Misako, Master Wu, and Clutch Powers has gone missing! With so much at stake, the ninja embark on a rescue mission to a mysterious and uncharted island full of surprises.
Season 15: Seabound (2021)
When Nya’s powers are disrupted, the ninjas set off in search of answers and find themselves at the bottom of endless oceans where they discover that her powers are linked to an ancient mythical creature.
Canon side stories
Set after the events of Skybound, Clouse somehow escaped the Cursed Realm and is planning to plunge Ninjago into darkness by using Bandit, a young YinYang Dragon. He is also gathering a force of Shadow Minions to help him, capture Bandit.
Set between Skybound and "Day of the Departed." After investigating the Dark Island following the disappearance of several sailors, Misako and Ronin are attacked by pirates in the midst of a storm; sometime later, their boat washes up back in Ninjago. Wu, who has been meditating for some time and sensing a growing threat, quickly assembles the six Ninja to take the Destiny's Bounty in search of them, bringing along a mysterious crate in the process. Unfortunately, the group is caught in a storm on the way to the island that scatters them, with Kai waking up in what appears to be a vast desert. Wu wakes up and finds the Bounty damaged nearby, only for Lloyd to appear being chased by a group of angry gorillas. After eluding them, uncle and nephew get the Bounty seaworthy and begin sailing upriver, with Wu noting that the influence of Dark Matter appears to be growing stronger all around them in his journal entries.
Elsewhere, Jay and Nya awake at No Man's Bluff and find their communicators inactive, and so begin searching for the others. They soon come across an unexpected sight: the pirates who attacked Misako and Ronin, who happen to be members of Nadakhan's crew, though only Jay and Nya remember the events of their previous encounters due to Jay's wish. The pirates have captured Ronin, who reveals that he was forced off their ship only for it to disappear along with Misako. As the Ninja and Pirates battle, the Leviathan appears and grabs Ronin, and Nya orders Jay to stop the Pirates while she deals with it; however, he helps free Ronin instead, and the thief unveils his new Mech and aids the Nya in driving off the sea beast. The trio then set off to find Misako.
Lloyd and Wu continued their journey up the River of Darkness, only to notice the effects of the Dark Matter upon the environment and be affected by it themselves, with Lloyd abusing his powers before taking off alone in search of Misako. Wu is similarly affected, with an insect bite causing him to envision a dark copy of himself who taunts him for using the Ninja for his own gains; however, Wu is able to banish this illusion. Meanwhile, Zane and Cole awaken and, after encountering a large bird, find a mine where Misako and the captured fishermen are being forced to dig up dark matter. An enraged Lloyd arrives and begins attacking, but Zane and Cole are able to calm him down before going after Misako, who has fallen under the influence of the dark matter but is purified by Lloyd's Energy.
The Sky Pirates mass for another attack, but the three Ninja and the freed prisoners are aided by the arrival of Ronin, Nya, and Jay. Elsewhere, Wu discovers that the villain behind the troubles on Dark Island is none other than Clouse, who had come to the island after failing to acquire the Teapot of Tyrahn (due to Jay's final wish to Nadakhan). Having used his magic to forcibly recruit Nadakhan's crew, Clouse now seeks to use the Dark Matter to corrupt the Temple of Light, which will reunite the Dark Island and Ninjago as a landmass of darkness that Clouse will control. Clouse escapes Wu aboard Misfortune's Keep, while the Ninja acquire new vehicles created by Monkey Wretch and purified by their elemental energy. Cole then discovers Wu but is sent to search for the missing Kai.
Kai, who has been wandering lost in the Billy Badlands, is captured by a pair of pirates but rescued by Cole, whose partial immunity to the Dark Matter enables him to reason with a partially corrupted Kai. The pair acquire new vehicles and set out to meet with the other Ninja, eventually succeeding in doing so and making their way towards the Temple of Light. Unfortunately, the final convoy of Dark Matter needed to overwhelm the Temple of Light's defenses and corrupt it is already in motion, and the Dark Island itself is falling into chaos as a result of the evil energies. The Ninja team reunites and attempts to stop the convoy, only to be attacked by Clouse and nearly buried under a magical sandstorm. Undeterred, the heroes make their way to the Temple of Light, determined to stop Clouse or die trying.
Upon arriving at the temple, the Ninja find that Clouse's plan is already well underway and are forced to confront his Shadow Army and Sky Pirates. Defeat seems inevitable, but Wu arrives and reveals the contents of his crate—his father's Golden Mech, which he soon pilots into battle against Clouse. Clouse responds by creating his own Shadow Mech from the members of his army, and the two engage in battle only for Wu to emerge victoriously. The merging of Ninjago and the Dark Island is halted, the Temple of Light is restored to its original glory, and a vortex draws Clouse—unwilling to accept help from his enemies—into the Underworld. With the Sky Pirates captured and the balance restored, for the time being, the Ninja celebrate their victory.
However, after returning to Ninjago, Wu notes in his journal that he senses another threat on the horizon: something involving Kai and Nya's mother and father and two twins he believed were lost to time. . . .
After the events of "Day of the Departed" and shortly before The Hands of Time, the Ninja decide to take the day off and move into the Temple of Airjitzu. Lloyd receives a text from Dareth inviting them to a fun activity at the museum. Once they arrive, however, he reveals he needs them to clean up the mess he made during his fight with Kozu. He asks them to complete the task, claiming he needs to be present for a rumored reveal of the BorgWatch, a highly anticipated device designed by Cyrus Borg. Dareth then leaves them to fix the mess. Pythor hears it all and steals the prototype, threatening to reveal it all on tv.
Protect this book from dark forces. If it falls into the wrong hands, the knowledge contained within could put all of time and space in danger.
LEGO® Ninjago: Book of Spinjitzu contains Master Wu's wise lessons in the wonders of Ninjago, giving readers the power to master Spinjitzu and unlock the secrets of this mysterious philosophy. Master Wu has recorded the lessons his father, the First Spinjitzu Master, taught him as a boy and has added to them throughout his life.
Now, Master Wu is sharing all that he has learned, in the hope that those with potential will become Ninjago's great champions and continue to practice the art of Spinjitzu.
The book is written in the form of young Harumi's journal, from soon after her adoption by the Royal Family to shortly before Garmadon's resurrection.
This all-new chapter book includes three original stories about the ninja! When Master Wu calls his old student Kai, he has a special mission for him: it's time to go BACK to his old ninja monastery and fix it up. That might sound boring, but what starts as a simple chore ends up as a ninja training jungle gym extravaganza! Plus, two more stories about classic ninja Zane and Lloyd! It contains full-color illustrations throughout three action-packed, easy-to-read adventures.
- Wu (Paul Dobson) (Caleb Skeris/Kelly Metzger; as the Baby) (Madyx Whiteway; young; Season 9-present)
- Lloyd Garmadon (Jillian Michaels; Seasons 1-7) (Sam Vincent; Season 8-present)
- Kai (Vincent Tong)
- Nya (Kelly Metzger)
- Jay (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Cole (Kirby Morrow)
- Zane (Brent Miller)
- Misako (Kathleen Barr)
- Mystake (Mackenzie Gray; Seasons 1-2) (Mark Oliver; Season 4) (Tabitha St. Germain; Seasons 8-9)
- P.I.X.A.L. (Jennifer Hayward) (Michael Donovan; as Samurai X)
- Dareth (Alan Marriott)
- Cyrus Borg (Lee Tockar)
- Ronin (Brian Dobson)
- Ed Walker (Colin Murdock)
- Edna Walker (Jillian Michaels)
- Lou (Kirby Morrow)
- Dr. Julien (Mark Oliver)
- Ray (Vincent Tong)
- Maya (Jillian Michaels)
- Nelson (David Reynolds)
- Jake (Nicholas Holmes)
- Akita (Tabitha St. Germain)
- Kataru (Cole Howard)
- Krag (Brian Drummond)
- Sorla (Patty Drake)
- Scott (Adrian Petriw)
- Okino (Alessandro Juliani)
- Racer Seven (Shannon Chan-Kent)
- Vania (Sabrina Pitre)
- Benthomaar (Cole Howard)
- Skylor (Heather Doerksen)
- Karlof (Scott McNeil)
- Griffin Turner (Doron Bell Jr.)
- Neuro (Paul Dobson)
- Shade (Andrew Francis)
- Mr. Pale (Kirby Morrow)
- Gravis (Mark Oliver)
- Bolobo (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Ash (Brent Miller)
- Chamille (Marÿke Hendrikse)
- Tox (Ian James Corlett; Season 4) (Maggie Blue O'Hara; Season 9)
- Jacob Pevsner (Paul Dobson)
- Samukai (Michael Kopsa)
- Kruncha (Brian Drummond)
- Nuckal (Brian Drummond)
- Wyplash (Michael Dobson)
- Chopov (Trevor Devall)
- Krazi (Trevor Devall)
- Pythor P. Chumsworth (Michael Dobson)
- Skales (Ian James Corlett)
- Slithraa (John Novak)
- Mezmo (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Rattla (Paul Dobson)
- Fangtom (Mackenzie Gray)
- Fang-Suei (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Skalidor (John Novak)
- Bytar (Kirby Morrow)
- Chokun (Vincent Tong)
- Snike (Brent Miller)
- Acidicus (Paul Dobson)
- Lizaru (Vincent Tong)
- Spitta (Kirby Morrow)
- Lasha (Brent Miller)
- The Overlord (Scott McNeil)
- Kozu (Paul Dobson)
- Giant Stone Warrior
- Stone Warriors
- Stone Swordsmen
- Stone Scouts
- Chen (Ian James Corlett)
- Clouse (Scott McNeil)
- Zugu (Brian Dobson)
- Eyezor (Michael Donovan)
- Kapau (Alessandro Juliani)
- Chope (Ian Hanlin)
- Morro (Andrew Francis) (Michael Dobson; Episode 44)
- Soul Archer (Brian Dobson)
- Bansha (Kathleen Barr)
- Ghoultar (Paul Dobson)
- Wrayth (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Nadakhan (Scott McNeil)
- Flintlocke (Paul Dobson)
- Dogshank (Nicole Oliver)
- Doubloon (Vincent Tong)
- Monkey Wretch (Ian James Corlett)
- Clancee (Ian James Corlett)
- Sqiffy (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Bucko (Brian Dobson)
- Acronix (Ian Hanlin)
- Krux (Michael Daingerfield)
- Machia (Kathleen Barr)
- Raggmunk (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Blunck (Brian Dobson)
- Garmadon (Mark Oliver) (Kai Emmett; young; Season 9) (Dean Petriw; young; Season 11)
- Harumi (Britt McKillip)
- Killow (Garry Chalk)
- Mr. E (Brent Miller)
- Ultra Violet (Maggie Blue O'Hara; Season 8-9) (Sharon Alexander; Season 11)
- Luke Cunningham (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Chopper Maroon (Sam Vincent)
- Iron Baron (Brian Drummond)
- Faith/Heavy Metal (Kathleen Barr)
- Jet Jack (Rhona Rees)
- Daddy No Legs (Ian James Corlett)
- Muzzle (Brent Miller)
- Chew Toy (Scott McNeil)
- Arkade (Michael Donovan)
- Skullbreaker (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Mambo V (Michael Dobson)
- Mambo's advisor (Vincent Tong)
- Aspheera (Pauline Newstone) (Ashleigh Ball; young)
- Char (Brian Drummond)
- Pyro Destroyers
- Pyro Slayers
- Pyro Whippers
- Fire Fang
- Elemental Cobras (Brian Drummond)
- Vex (Michael Kopsa)
- Blizzard Warriors
- Grimfax (Brian Drummond)
- Blizzard Sword Masters
- Blizzard Archers
- Unagami/Empire Dragon (Dean Redman) (Zion Simpson; child)
- Red Visors (Sam Vincent)
- Avatar Harumi (Britt McKillip)
- Sushimi (Vincent Tong)
- Hostess (Shannon Chan-Kent)
- Mammatus (Paul Dobson)
- PoulErik (Brian Drummond; first head) (Vincent Tong; second head)
- Rumble Keepers
- Thunder Keepers
- Trimaar (Ron Halder)
- Kalmaar (Giles Panton)
- Glutinous (Sam Vincent)
- Maaray Guards (Michael Adamthwaite; Episode 170) (Brent Miller; Episode 171)
- Clutch Powers (Ian James Corlett)
- Soto (Alan Marriott)
- First Mate (Brent Miller)
- No-Eyed Pete (Paul Dobson)
- Postman (Michael Adamthwaite)
- Noble (Paul Dobson)
- Rufus McCallister (Paul Dobson)
- Gayle Gossip (Kelly Sheridan)
- Yang (Michael Donovan)
- Nelson (David Raynolds)
- Brad Tudabone (Kathleen Barr)
- Gene (Kathleen Barr)
- Patty Keys (Cathy Weseluck)
- Tour Guide
- Hyper-Sonic (Matt Hill)
- Anthony Brutinelli (Bill Newton)
- Milton Dyer (Mark Hildreth)
- Bob the Intern (Colin Murdock)
- Leroy (Kelly Metzger)
- Sky Folk
- Main article: List of Ninjago episodes
- Main article: Ninjago (TV series)/Promo videos
LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
The pilot episodes ("Way of the Ninja," "The Golden Weapon," "King of Shadows," and "Weapons of Destiny") were included in a DVD released by LEGO in late 2011. The packaging depicted the four episodes as two full-length episodes, titled "Way of the Ninja" and "King of Shadows." The combined episodes were depicted as a made-for-television movie.
LEGO Club DVD #1
A LEGO Club DVD was released in the November–December 2011 issue of the LEGO Club Magazine. If the viewer selected "NINJAGO" from the main menu, two katanas would slice across on the main menu, transforming it into the Ninjago menu. The viewer could then choose between three mini-movies: "Secrets of the Blacksmith," "The New Masters of Spinjitzu," and "Flight of the Dragon Ninja."
LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Season One
All thirteen episodes of Season 1 were released on a two-disc DVD set. The first disc contains seven episodes, from "Rise of the Snakes" to "Tick Tock," and the second disc contains six episodes, from "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" to "Day of the Great Devourer."
Note: This section does not include episode titles referencing other movies or shows, as these are often not connected to the story besides being the title of the episode.
- The shots of the season's mascot ninja in their hoods that used to open episodes before Season 11 was inspired by the cover art of The Last Ninja, a game released in 1987 on the Commodore 64.
- Kevin and Dan Hageman cited The Wire and Breaking Bad as examples of shows with the sort of serialized, ongoing stories that they intended to create with Ninjago. This is as opposed to the more self-contained, "disposable" episodes seen in other children's shows.
- According to the Hageman Brothers, Wu was based the general mentor character archetype rather than any one specific character, though he may have been somewhat inspired by Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid franchise.
- Brent Miller drew his performance for Zane from Data from the Star Trek franchise.
- Michael Jackson's dance moves are the basis for several moments in scenes.
- The ninja's Ninjago Talent performance in "The Royal Blacksmiths" is based on the video for The Jackson 5's song, "I Want You Back."
- Cole does the moonwalk and says "Hee hee" in "Island of Darkness."
- The scene where Cole sings "Glow-Worm" in "The Oni and the Dragon" is based on the cinematography from Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" music video.
- Star Wars serves as a major influence.
- Lloyd and Garmadon's relationship is reminiscent of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader's relationship from the original trilogy.
- There are also more minor references in dialogue:
- Nya says "Never tell me the odds" in "Day of the Great Devourer," referencing Han Solo's line from The Empire Strikes Back.
- Wu says "I feel there is a great disturbance in the force" in "Darkness Shall Rise," referencing Obi-Wan Kenobi's line, "I felt a great disturbance in the Force," from The Empire Strikes Back.
- Zane says the Rift of Return can only be opened every 3,721 years in "Day of the Departed," referencing C3PO's line, "The odds of navigating an asteroid field are 3,720 to 1," from The Empire Strikes Back.
- A few episodes have references to the Back to the Future franchise.
- "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" draws heavily from the films.
- Lloyd fading away from the photograph is a clear reference to the original film in which the Marty and his siblings slowly fade away from the McFly family photograph as a result of Marty McFly's alterations to the timeline.
- Master Wu says "Great Scott!" when he sees clouds of smoke rolling over Ninjago, referencing Doc Brown's iconic catchphrase.
- The ninja revisit the events of a previous installment just as Doc and Marty revisit the events of their first film in Back to the Future Part II.
- In "How to Build a Dragon," Iron Baron exclaims "Manure! I hate manure!" after being covered in dragon dung, referencing the iconic line from the film trilogy.
- "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" draws heavily from the films.
- Apocalypse Now is referenced a few times throughout the series:
- The opening scene of "Island of Darkness" is inspired by the opening sequence of the film.
- The film served as an unintentional inspiration for the Dark Island Trilogy, specifically for Wu journeying down the River of Darkness in the Destiny's Bounty.
- In "A Line in the Sand," Raggmunk says, "Ah, I just love the smell of screams in the evening." This is a reference to the line, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."
- The same line is parodied in "The Calm Before the Storm" when Jay says, "I love the smell of arcade in the morning."
- The river seen in "The Quiet One" is inspired by the film.
- Rebooted was influenced by The Terminator and The Matrix.
- Tournament of Elements was based on the film, Enter the Dragon.
- Master Chen was based on Lo Pan from the film, Big Trouble in Little China.
- Indiana Jones is another significant influence throughout the series.
- The Lord of the Rings film series can be seen as an influence at various points throughout the show.
- In "Spellbound," Garmadon says, "The tournament may be over, but the next Serpentine War may have just begun." This is very similar to Gandalf's line in The Two Towers, "The battle of Helm's Deep is over. The battle for Middle-earth is about to begin."
- In "The Darkest Hour," ninja almost say "You shall not pass!" one word at a time, but Zane misses the reference and says "be granted permission to traverse beyond this point" instead.
- In a broader sense, Jay Vincent has stated "about 70% of everything I know about film music was from making a [list of musical themes] in high school and studying their every iteration throughout the Lord of the Rings trilogy."
- Nadakhan was inspired by "Aladdin stuff. And Dracula for love story".
- The Dark Island Trilogy was partly inspired by the Mad Max franchise, specifically Mad Max: Fury Road, being described by Tommy Kalmar as "Ninjago meets Mad Max." This is especially prominent with Kai's story line in the desert in Part 3.
- "Day of the Departed" was inspired by Game of Death.
- The visual aesthetic of Sons of Garmadon was inspired by Akira.
- The Colossus from Sons of Garmadon and Hunted was inspired by Attack on Titan.
- Prime Empire was inspired by the Polybius urban legend, the films Blade Runner and Tron: Legacy, and the video games Street Fighter II, Dance Dance Revolution, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Contra, and WipeOut.
- Music inspired by Prince's "1999" is played when Jay makes his entrance in "Superstar Rockin' Jay."
- Much of the episode, "Dungeon Party!," was inspired by the 1980s cartoon, He-Man, and the style of the Filmation company from the 80s.
- The Island was inspired by the setting of King Kong films, the structure of Scooby-Doo, and the story idea of "The Monster of the Misty Lake" (from the Dutch comic series, Douwe Dabbert). A scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was also likely an inspiration.
- The structural similarities with Scooby-Doo are as follows: a character or group is shown in the first scene to be attacked by a mysterious villainous force; the next scene has the main cast getting the call to adventure; eventually, it's revealed the monster was a costume or machine set up by an ordinary human who was hinted at earlier in the story. In the finale, Ronin even says a version of the well-known line from Scooby-Doo, "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids."
- Zippy's movement is very similar to that of Scooby-Doo himself.
- The show has holiday specials.
- Garmadon is the one to release the Serpentine.
- At the end of "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master," Sensei Wu, after seeing Misako and Garmadon reconcile, walks away with the Overlord manifesting inside of him as the screen fades to black.
- "The Titanium Ninja" ends with P.I.X.A.L. looking directly at the camera and the outline of Zane being reflected in her eyes when he asks, "Are we compatible now?"
- The Elemental Masters of Magnetism, Crystal, and Sight appear in Tournament of Elements. The Master of Crystal is named "Gazor." Masters of Time and Water also appear in the season, with the Master of Water being named "Rayne."
- Following Zane becoming titanium and Cole becoming a ghost, Jay becomes a master of disguise and Kai becomes a rock fire lava monster when he gets angry.
- The Djinn Blade sucks its victims' souls out of their bodies, leaving them as lifeless husks.
- Cole and Lou light a lantern for Cole's aunt in "Day of the Departed."
- Nelson accompanies Cole in "Day of the Departed."
- Chen is revealed to be the mastermind behind the Time Twins' betrayal.
- The Hands of Time ends with the twins arriving forty years in the future.
- Season 8 acts as more of a continuation of the previous season and does not include Garmadon's resurrection.
- Mr. E is revealed to be Echo Zane.
- Hutchins returns later in Sons of Garmadon as a red herring for the Quiet One.
- Garmadon resurrects Harumi.
- At the end of March of the Oni, Garmadon flies away on Firstbourne with the four Golden Weapons to create a new realm as the First Spinjitzu Master had done.
- Nya takes control of Boreal with her powers and rips its wings off instead of crushing it with ice.
- Jay's mother is connected to the creation of Prime Empire, powering the game.
- Jay's mother's relationship with her father is explored.
- Lilly's illness is further explored.
- Note: It's unknown when the following concepts would have taken place in the series.
- A crossover short of Ninjago and Legends of Chima takes place. In the words of Tommy Andreasen: "Jay was watching Chima on TV. Dreamed about an adventure with Eris. Other ninja and animals showed up. Spinjitzu vs Chi." "It was a misunderstanding. But there was Chi powered Spinjitzu." "But then [Jay] called Nya Eris by mistake and made her mad."
- A statue of the First Spinjitzu Master comes to life to help save Ninjago.
- The ninja visit the home of a scientist who works on combining elemental powers in his lab.
Production/Behind the scenes
- Various official sources (channels, different countries, LEGO) consider Ninjago as two different series, the first subtitled Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (pilot episodes - Season 10) and the second sharing the same continuity simply called Ninjago (Season 11 -).
- Sometimes the WildBrain seasons are considered a new series and receive new numbering, some consider them the same series and are counted as Seasons 11-, and often (noticeably in LEGO's promotional material) they aren't referred to by season numbers at all (i.e. "Ninjago: Prime Empire").
- Tommy Andreasen often calls the WildBrain seasons "chapters".
- The animation studio change was due to a number of different reasons that Tommy Andreasen couldn't get into, "But collaboration/ quality/ creativity were not those reasons. WilFilm is awesome!"
- The show and the sets are both influenced by each other.
- Every major Ninjago installment has had a set wave except for Season 10.
- When the toys are designed but not yet finalized, the show's writing influences them.
- The writers come in after the sets are developed to a certain stage.
- After the final script of an episode is submitted and approved, it takes nine months until production is completed. Multiple episodes of a season are produced at once.
- Development is typically at least 18 months ahead of whatever the currently airing installment is. For example, while viewers were waiting for "Day of the Departed" to release in late 2016, Sons of Garmadon (which aired in early 2018) was being conceptualized.
- There are three to five drafts made before the final script is completed.
- Before an episode is completed, the production process is:
- Script writing
- Voice recording
- 3d layout
- Grade and Sound
- When teaser trailers are being created, Ninjago creates it in a specific way so that:
- No dialogue means no dubbing and translation needed; all countries can use one master.
- A teaser needs to raise questions, not answer them.
- The trailer will elaborate without spoiling the story.
- Regarding the creation of scores for upcoming seasons, "We always have a call where we talk to them about the concept and themes of new seasons. Then Michael Kramer rushes out and buys new exotic instruments."
- There have been several occasions where a scene would be censored or removed in different countries.
- In order to avoid possible issues with the word "Sensei" due to different meanings in different countries, from "Day of the Departed" onward, usage of the word has ceased in the show. To fulfill the same purpose, the word has been replaced by "master" for all characters once referred to as "Sensei". Thus, Wu is now "Master Wu", Garmadon was "Master Garmadon", Yang is "Master Yang", and so on.
- At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, it was announced that while it'll continue to use the 3D Minifigure-based style of animation, certain episodes will be done in different animation styles, so long as it makes sense with the narrative.
- According to Tommy Andreasen about the current 11-minute episodes:
- "I have wanted to do it since season 3, but it only become a possiblilty now with the 11 minute format. As much as I love what the 22 minute episodes provide, the 11 minutes really keeps us at our toes an give us more creative freedom ... and I love creative freedom too."
- "We all agreed it would be a challenge. But I felt it could be done well, and I am up for a challenge. And importantly at the time, it had to be done for the show to live."
- The show will not change back to a 22-minute format for a while. "We enjoy playing in the 11 minute space.
- "Pacing is definitely a challenge with 11 mins. And more than twice the amount of work."
- Regarding a live-action series, Tommy Andreasen claimed the budget would be massive and he wouldn't want it to look like a live-action Nickelodeon show. He also said, "it would remove one of the shows greatest strengths: That kids can project themselves onto the characters: No specific age, eye colour, ethnicity etc. Ninjago is flexible."
- When asked if Ninjago would still be a children's shown if it was not a LEGO show, Andreasen responded, "It wouldn't be a show."
- According to Tommy Andreasen, concept development has been going on for several years, and some of the stories are also inspired by 80's movies.
- Ninjago episodes being pirated and leaked on YouTube is a danger to the livelihood of the show, because it can make viewers less likely to watch the episodes when they air on TV, which in turn can make networks less motivated to air them.
- Tommy Andreasen has stated, "We fill in that blank when we get to it. We don’t settle on anything until we have to. One of the mantras of developing Ninjago is to walk forward into the mist, feel comfortable about being uncomfortable and trust the ideas we haven’t had yet."
- There is a "canon bible" made to "give the developers of the Ninjago movie a quick overview of logics, events and timelines." There is "Tons" of information in the document that is not currently known but will eventually make its way into the show.
- The promotional art made for the pilots, Season 1, and Season 4 was done by Christian Damm.
- According to Tommy Andreasen, images are rendered in the mid-spectrum, so darks don't 'close' and lights don't burn out. During the grading process, the contrasts are adjusted and the details thus get enhanced.
- Tommy Andreasen has acknowledged that the show often introduces more side characters than it reuses. He also stated, "We love introducing new quirky characters. They are part of Ninjago's DNA and without them it just wouldn't be Ninjago."
- There are often instances of characters appearing in the incorrect suits for the scene. When asked why this was the case, Andreasen explained, "3d is hard to control. Lack of quality control basically."
- According to Tommy Andreasen, the two main factors in creating Ninjago are "to entertain in an emotionally engaging way" and to be accessible to newcomers and younger viewers.
- Though the series will inevitably end one day, "It won’t be due to lack of ideas".
- According to Tommy Andreasen, "we [creators] only use our best ideas. What makes it into the series is only about 20% of our ideas. A lot of stuff is considered and we only use the best. Some of the stuff we don't do is really good and painful to leave behind."
- According to Bragi Schut, the writers try to come up with one-word descriptions for villains' motivations each season, as this helps give more variety to the villains.
- Tommy Andreasen suggested that in order for the show to reach its twentieth anniversary, it would need to be reinvented every third year or so.
Recurring patterns in the series
- Starting with Season 7, there has been a plot twist involving a villain in every season except Season 10.
- In Season 7, it is revealed that Dr. Saunders is Krux, one of the Time Twins.
- In Season 8, it is revealed that Harumi is the Quiet One.
- In Season 9, it is that Heavy Metal is a woman.
- In Season 11, it is that Zane is the Ice Emperor and that Wu was the Treacherous Deceiver.
- In Season 12, it is that Unagami is not the same person as Milton Dyer.
- In Season 13, it is that Vangelis is the Skull Sorcerer.
- In The Island, it is that Ronin creates a fake Wojira, although a real monster also exists.
- The show often uses various tropes or patterns from cartoons or other series:
- The popular "Wilhelm scream" sound effect is used in a number of episodes: "Home", "The Rise of the Great Devourer," "The Last Hope", "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master", "The Greatest Fear of All", "A Line in the Sand", "The Weekend Drill", "Samurai X-Treme", "The Darkness Comes", and "A Day in the Life of a Golden Ninja".
- Objects will sometimes float in a circle around a character's head, a play on the common animation trope that often involves birds or stars circling around a character's head to indicate a temporary head injury. This technique is used on Brad with dodge balls in "Double Trouble," Cole with barrels in "The Last Hope," and Lloyd with Golden Dragons in "The Art of the Silent Fist."
- All Ninjago TV installments have special weapons or artifacts that are part of the main plot of the season or special. The Golden Weapons in the Pilots and Season 10, the Serpentine Staffs and Fangblades in Season 1, the Elemental Blades in Season 2, the Techno Blades in Season 3, the Jadeblades in Season 4, the Aeroblades in Season 5, the Djinn Blade in Season 6, the Departed Blades in "Day of the Departed," the Time Blades in Season 7, the Oni Masks in Season 8, the Dragon Armor in Season 9, the Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu in Season 11, The Key-Tanas in Season 12, the Blades of Deliverance in Season 13 and the Storm Amulet in The Island.
- Some villains share several similarities with other villains, such as Pythor and Nadakhan, and later Morro and Vex. See the trivia sections of their individual pages for more information.
- The villainous factions have often had comedic duos, these being Kruncha and Nuckal, Kapau and Chope, and Raggmunk and Blunck. They are often scolded by a higher-ranking villain, these being Samukai, Eyezor, and Machia respectively.
- Some of the installments share significant similarities with others, such as the pilot episodes with The Hands of Time, Rebooted with Tournament of Elements, Tournament of Elements with Master of the Mountain, and Skybound with Prime Empire. See the individual pages for more information.
- There are various generalized sound effects for certain character reactions (Cole screaming, Jay attacking, Jay laughing, Nya screaming, Kai grunting) used throughout the series.
- Scenes often appear there in which Wu contacts the ninja via a computer in their vehicle to tell them something. This was seen in "The Void," "Day of the Departed" or "Blue Lightning."
- In Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu, Master of the Mountain, and The Island, the story of the ninja always starts in the monastery. According to Tommy Andreasen, it's because "We like our beloved characters to rest a bit. Who would deny them that after all their hard work?"
- The joke about Jay's underwear is often repeated during the show.
- In "The Last Voyage", he forgot to take his underwear on a journey to the Dark Island, despite his mother's warning. He mentions it several times throughout the episode until he steals one of Dr. Julien's boxer shorts.
- In "The Oni and the Dragon", Harumi notices Jay's blue boxer shorts on the bridge on the Destiny's Bounty, to which Jay replies that they're usually more organized, but their master was lost in time and lied that it belongs to Cole, who argues that they are blue. Kai then jokes that they're lucky they're not yellow.
- In "The Darkness Comes", Jay's boxer shorts are visible on a potted plant in a relaxation room as Jay trains with Kai how to ask Nya to be his Yang.
- In "Unsinkable", Maya tells Jay that she will teach him how to bleach his boxer shorts.
- Characters often wear disguises that should be very easy to see through, but no one notices, or at least, no one notices for a while. This is most often seen when the ninja disguise themselves as members of villainous factions (see here for more information). Another example is Lloyd's snake disguise in "The Snake King."
The Trivia on Ninjago (TV series) needs to be organized.
- The title cards from the pilots to Season 7 use a font called "Aldo the Apache." As of The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Season 8 of the TV series, this font was replaced with "Kunoichi."
- The Hageman Brothers hinted at the possibility of a spin-off show, but there are no current known plans as of March 2018.
- Andreasen noted how there could be "endless spin-offs" of the show, acknowledging the idea for a spin-off starring Dareth, Ronin, and Clutch Powers and proposing "The Wacky Adventures of the Upply" as another idea. He also once joked that there could be a "wacky adventures of the Brown Ninja" show.
- The show has its own long running magazine series, which have non-canon comic stories set between episodes and seasons of the current season at the time. Most include a minifigure, most are repacked from sets but with less parts, such as Chen without his staff or cape. Sometimes there is an exclusive figure, absent from sets and canon, such as Sawyer.
- The Hageman Brothers almost did a season about aliens after Rebooted, and the Project Arcturus storyline (episodes "Codename: Arcturus" and "The Void") was going to be setting this up.
- The series, along with Legends of Chima, exists as a fictional universe within the world of Nexo Knights, another LEGO theme and TV series. Ninjago is referenced in the episode "The Golden Castle," where Lance Richmond is offered the leading role in the film "Knightjago 3" and soon after this a squirebot is seen practicing a villainous role with a mask that clearly resembles Lord Garmadon.
- The series often airs in other countries before the U.S., allowing fans in the U.S. to watch the newest seasons before they are officially released. Skybound officially aired in the U.S. around half a year after the episodes were first made available elsewhere.
- With the transfer to WildBrain, the "smear frame" animation technique, in which a character is stretched out to give the illusion of motion blur, is used more often than before. Vlad Tutu is an example of a character who always appears stretched out when moving.
- "Nya's Mural" from "Wu's Teas" is currently the only episode produced not to have a single line of dialogue.
- Characters with brief speaking roles in an episode are not always credited. Some examples are the kid at the beginning of "A Line in the Sand" and Mister Whiskers's owner in "Questing for Quests".
- In terms of genre, Ninjago could be considered a science-fantasy story, as the villains are usually related to mystical or ancient powers or races but the ninja often use technologically advanced vehicles and weapons as well.
- Prime Empire is the only season without any notable fantasy elements, technically making it the only sci-fi season. Rebooted and Decoded are also very technology-focused, but the main villain of both is the Overlord, who fits the category of "fantasy villain" first and foremost.
- Michael Knap has referred to Ninjago as "a fantasy theme with a sci-fi twist to it."
- In 2020, LEGO released a few YouTube videos (see the above "Videos" section) leading up to the 10-year anniversary of Ninjago. Two of these, "Meet the Villains of LEGO NINJAGO" and "Meet the LEGO NINJAGO Heroes," contained a number of spelling errors and incorrect facts, and it seems that most of the trivia points were taken from the Ninjago Wiki pages for the characters.
- To celebrate the 10th anniversary, LEGO has released a four-part series called NINJAGO: A Musical Journey, which features previously unreleased soundtracks from the show.
- The word Ninjago was created by combining the words Ninja and LEGO.
- When asked about the possibility of a reboot, Tommy Andreasen said, "I'm not sure I would want to be a part of a complete reboot. That's about new eyes. Not unless it was to interpret the concept into something VERY new, including a completely new style of execution (anime, live action or something)."
- Note: The following trivia piece includes language some may consider inappropriate.
- When asked in 2016 if there could be more female ninja in the future, Tommy Andreasen said, "I hope we can make a kick ass girls team some day. For the sake of contrast and new opportunities."
Ninjago (TV series) · Ninjago (sets)