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This article is about a subject that is canon to the storyline of Warner Bros' The LEGO Movie franchise.

“Are you ready to risk your life for Ninjago?”
Master Wu to the Secret Ninja Force in the trailer[1]

The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a theatrical martial arts adventure-comedy film directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan in their feature film directorial debuts, based on a screenplay by Fisher, Logan, Tom Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, and John Whittington. It is a spin-off of 2014's The LEGO Movie and is based on the plot and characters from the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV show. The film was released on September 22, 2017.

The film introduced an entirely new voice cast and crew and is not canon to the TV show. To create a transition for new fans of the series, the film inspired a new design for the TV show's eighth season.

The film follows the origins of the ninja, who start off as six teenagers that are trained by an elderly ninja master, Wu, to save their city from the evil Lord Garmadon. Yet Garmadon must cope with the fact that one of the Ninja, Lloyd, is his son.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie garnered mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its animation and voice performances, but criticism for its humor, lack of originality, and being underwhelming. It grossed $123.1 million worldwide against its $70 million budget, making it a box-office disappointment.


Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, leads a fierce team of secret ninja warriors to defeat the evil warlord Garmadon and save NINJAGO City.[2]

Six teenagers are "hired" by an old master (Jackie Chan) and become ninja heroes at night, defeating monsters and riding awesome vehicles and dragons to protect the far-away land of Ninjago and its capital city. Meanwhile, a hungry warlord (Justin Theroux) plots for revenge on his brother, who is the master that trained the ninjas.[citation needed]

The battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, aka 'The Worst Guy Ever', who also happens to be Lloyd's dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power of Spinjitzu.[3]


A young boy ventures into an old relic shop, where he meets its mysterious owner, Mr. Liu, who begins to tell the boy the legendary story of Ninjago. Ninjago is a city that is frequently attacked by the evil Lord Garmadon, who is the father of Lloyd Garmadon and husband of Koko. The city despises Lloyd for this relationship, which puts Lloyd in emotional stress. They do not know that Lloyd is part of the Secret Ninja Force, consisting of Nya, Zane, Jay, Cole, Kai and their master, Wu, who always stop Garmadon from taking over the city. On Lloyd's birthday Garmadon attacks the city once again, only to be defeated. He escapes and throws many of his generals out the volcano for failing to help him. He then beings to form a big attack to conquer Ninjago, and decides to build a gigantic mech that is immune to weapons.

Meanwhile, Lloyd and his friends see the return of Master Wu, back from his long trip. Master Wu tells them they aren't real ninjas if they use only mechs and machines. He discusses with the Ninja of their respective powers: Nya's power over water, Kai's power of fire, Jay's power over lightning, Cole's power over earth, and Zane's power over ice. Wu then states that Lloyd is the green element, only to be confusing Loyd with that topic. 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 an idea to finally defeat Garmadon once and for all, despite being forbidden to use it. The next day Garmadon attacks the city with his giant mech. He successfully defeats Lloyd and his own mech. 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 wasn't his father, leaving Garmadon speechless.

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 the city, which they would reach by crossing the Jungle of Lost Souls, the Bridge of Fallen Mentors, the Canyon of General Unhappiness, and the Temple of Fragile Foundations. 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 Garmadon's former generals, who want revenge. The ninjas try to fight but are easily defeated; they retreat leaving Lloyd and Garmadon behind to be caught by the generals. The generals begin to fire Lloyd and Garmadon into a volcano, however the rest of the Ninja save the day using stealth fighting. They all work together with Garmadon to escape the angry generals by building a makeshift helicopter, and Lloyd and Garmadon bond together in the process, like teaching Lloyd how to catch, drive, and pops his arm back onto his body.

They eventually crash down onto the Temple of Fragile Foundations. Garmadon reveals that it is his home, as well as revealing to Lloyd that Koko formerly being a ninja warrior herself, her cover name being The Lady Iron Dragon, Nya's idol. He reveals to 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 wants 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, while saying that he should have taught Lloyd how to catch. Lloyd realizes that inner peace means for them to unleash their power within, and they successfully do this, escaping from the collapsing temple. As they fall of a cliff, Wu saves them with his ship, and they head towards Ninjago. Garmadon arrives and tries to control Meowthra with the weapons 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, which brings everything 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 Garmadon's reconciling with Lloyd and Koko, Meowthra becomes the mascot of Ninjago, and Lloyd is hailed as a hero. As Mr. Liu concludes the story of Ninjago, he tells the boy that he will start to train him as a ninja.



Box office

As of its close date of November 30, 2017, The LEGO Ninjago Movie has grossed $59.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $63.0 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. 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%.[4]

Critical reception

The LEGO Ninjago Movie received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator website "Rotten Tomatoes," the film has an approval rating of 56% based on 109 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10 and 46% from the audience. 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."[5] On "Metacritic," the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[7] iMDB rated the movie 6.1/10, while IGN gave it a 7.5/10. 86% of Google users liked the film.


For the transcript of the movie, click here.


Lloyd was the mascot character for the sets. Besides Master Falls and Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, every set took place in Ninjago City or was focused on something from the first half of the movie. The sets heavily focused on vehicles. Various characters from the TV series appeared in the sets, especially the two Ninjago City sets, but their designs were different from their TV series counterparts.



Main article: The LEGO Ninjago Movie Soundtrack

Series connections

  • "The Weekend Whip" by The Fold is used as the ringtone for Lloyd's cellphone when Garmadon "accidentally" calls him. The theme was used in the opening sequence from Season 1: Rise of the Snakes to Season 7: The Hands of Time.
  • Koko is based on the character of Misako, Garmadon's wife in the TV show. In the film, Koko is much younger than Misako.
  • When he discovers what his element is, Lloyd asks Wu why his element can't be gold. This is a reference to the TV show, in which Lloyd became the Golden Ninja.
    • Shortly after, he mentions the element of Wind. In the TV show, Morro is the Master of Wind, and believed he was destined to be the Green Ninja and he also possessed Lloyd for a short period of time.
  • When Garmadon says he was bit by a snake which had been bitten by a spider, he refers to how he was bit in the TV series by the Great Devourer, the snake that turned him into evil. In fact, however, the snake did not give him four arms in the show, as in the film.
  • During the flashback to when Garmadon met Koko, they're seen fighting an army of warriors who wear the helmets of Anacondrai Cultists.
  • In the film, the Ninja lose Wu and must make a shaky alliance with Lord Garmadon to defeat Meowthra. This bears resemblance to "Day of the Great Devourer," in which Wu had been eaten by the Great Devourer and the Ninja had to make a brief alliance with Garmadon to defeat the creature.
  • When Garmadon tells the Ninja that he could be their master to fill in for Wu, this is a reference to Master Garmadon, when he used to be their mentor when he was good.
  • When Garmadon tells Lloyd about how he met his mom, he state that he had a Skeleton Army, which is a reference to the Skulkin, the first army Garmadon had as well as the first enemies of the Ninja in the pilot episodes.
  • After helping his friends unlock their powers save them from the temple, Master Wu states that Lloyd's heroism could make him a true Ninja Master. This could also be a reference to Lloyd become a Master himself in the series, where he is now known as Master Lloyd.
  • There are many easter eggs to the show in the sets.
  • Some characters in the movie or sets wear shirts with logos for other LEGO themes. These include Rufus McCallister with the Galidor logo, Nancy with the M-Tron logo, and another Ninjago High School with the Blacktron logo.
  • After the movie, the designs of several characters changed to be more similar to their movie counterparts. These characters include all the ninja and Garmadon, whose designs changed in Season 8, and Ed and Edna, whose designs changed in Season 14, their first appearance after the movie, although Edna has a different hair piece.
    • Misako is the only character whose design has not changed after the movie, probably due to the fact that Koko is much younger and it would not make sense for the character to be younger.
    • Wu is the only character whose design hasn't hardly changed in the movie, except for his clothes.
  • The "Wu-Cru" symbol is seen on the back of a boy.[9]

Impact on the TV series

  • Although the TV series was originally scheduled to end with Season 7, the show was extended due to the film[10] and received a higher budget, which was one of the reasons for the significant jump in the quality of animation in Season 8.
  • The ninja and Garmadon's designs were also redesigned to attract new fans from the film. You can read more here.
  • Ninjago City has been redesigned to resemble its film counterpart, so it has been placed on the coast, and big blimps have appeared in seasons 8 and 9.
  • According to Tommy Andreasen, "to align with the prominently featured characters in the LEGO Ninjago Movie, we had to get creative on how to get Garmadon back into the story and reintroduce Wu in a credible way which would remain true to the TV series canon."[11]
  • Ninjargon started being used as the main written language instead of English, with a few exceptions.
  • "Aldo the Apache" font on the title cards is replaced with Kunoichi.

Behind the scenes

  • Tommy Kalmar spoke about how the goal of this film, from how he understood it, had been to create another LEGO movie first and foremost, rather than working off of the show. Kalmar was not involved with the creation of the movie, nor were any of the main crew members from the show, and it was instead largely controlled by Warner Brothers.[12]
  • It was originally scheduled to be released on September 23, 2016.[13] As a result, installments such as the Dark Island Trilogy were created to fill the void of content during 2016.[14]
  • No voice actors from the show voice any characters for the movie.
    • The Czech and Latin American dubs are the only versions with the same voice actors as in the show, except for Lloyd, Nya and Wu in the Latin American version.
      • However, Koko isn't voiced by Misako's voice actor, because Koko is much younger than the original character.
  • The ninja's masks are made of two pieces instead of the usual one-piece masks. This is to provide a way they can make the lower half of the mask move when they speak (much like in the TV show), as the LEGO movie animation style did not provide the same type of elasticity of clothing seen in the show. The same two-piece mask was used for the TV series in the eighth and ninth seasons.
  • Nearly all of the ninja's weapons are different than that of their TV show counterparts.
  • In the movie, the ninja don't use their weapons except Lloyd in a brief scene at the start.
  • This is not Lloyd's first cinematic appearance, as he made several cameos in The LEGO Movie.
  • The movie was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 19.[15] It included the first 11 minutes of "The Mask of Deception" as a sneak-peek for Season 8.
  • The movie is 101 minutes long, the exact same runtime as The LEGO Movie.
  • It is the second theatrical film with a wide release to be based on a Cartoon Network series after The Powerpuff Girls Movie and followed by Teen Titans GO! To the Movies.
  • Like the other three LEGO movies by Warner Bros. (The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO Movie 2), not all items are made of LEGO (e.g. smoke, the Ultimate Weapon, plants on the Destiny's Bounty).
    • Water and sky are also depicted as in reality, unlike The LEGO Movie, where they are also made of LEGO.
  • Also like the other LEGO movies, the filmed often showed movement by creatively using LEGO pieces to represent motion blur. In the production of The LEGO Batman Movie this was called "brick blur."[16]
    • For The LEGO Batman Movie, this was accomplished with large print-outs with images of every brick so the animators could find the perfect brick for each situation.[17] It's very likely the same technique was used for this film.
  • Jackie Chan and his stunt team performed the martial arts for this movie in live-action in order for the animators to create the fight scenes in the most realistic way.[18][19]
  • There was a lot of improvisation during recording, with the actors stating that it "was like the improv Olympics" and "recording with all the other cast members was really really exciting, 'cause you could kind of just play around and see what would happen."[20] This is especially evident in the scene where the ninja talk to Garmadon while carrying him in his cage.
    • Occasionally, the cast members would improvise inappropriate dialogue.[21]
  • The trailers show Lloyd revealing himself to Garmadon at the bottom of Ninjago City. This was likely a work-in-progress scene as the final version shows Lloyd revealing himself to Garmadon on top of Ninjago Tower after Meowthra is unleashed.
  • In the trailers, the songs "Bad Blood" and "I Wanna Go Out" by Taylor Swift and American Authors respectively were used.
  • While trailers showed Koko explaining her and Garmadon's backstory to Lloyd, Garmadon was the one to do so in the movie.
  • This was the fourth film released by Warner Animation Group, the first three being The LEGO Movie, Storks, and The LEGO Batman Movie.
  • It is the only movie in the LEGO Movie franchise that is rated "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes.
    • The Hageman Brothers noted that "It's hard to follow the 1st Lego movie and Batman. A bit of a letdown was inevitable. Also consider adults don't know Ninjago."[22]
  • Minifigures bearing Cole and Nya's original hairs appear throughout the movie. Though this is more likely because those pieces are commonly used by LEGO for minifigures (even predating Ninjago) than this being a reference to the show.
  • The movie's Twitter and Instagram account are mostly inactive, and they only post to wish Dave Franco a happy birthday each year.[23][24]


  • There is a new gag character called the "Fuchsia Ninja," and his element is "Surprise."
  • Running gag: Lord Garmadon keeps mispronouncing Lloyd's first name as as "Luh-Loyd" (which captions interpret "La-Loyd").
  • The Wilhelm scream is heard several times when Lloyd fires missiles at Shark Army members early on in the movie.

Cultural references

  • Some of the students attending the ninja's high school resemble characters from popular movies:
    • A LEGO version of Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller's Day Off makes a cameo appearance in both the second trailer and the released film alongside the other students moving away from Lloyd as he is entering the bus.
    • The Making of the Movie book reveals five of the students attending the high school resemble the main characters from The Breakfast Club.
  • Mr. Liu's decision to train the boy into a ninja may be a reference to the 2010 film The Karate Kid. This is likely because Jackie Chan, the actor of Mr. Liu, also has an iconic portrayal as a mentor and sensei to another young boy, Dre Parker.
  • The scene where Wu tells Lloyd "Jump, Lloyd, jump," while fleeing the Temple of Fragile Foundations is similar to Star Wars: A New Hope, where after Obi-Wan Kenobi is killed by Darth Vader he calls out to Luke from the dead saying, "Run, Luke, run."
  • In the film, Lloyd asks if he can have the element of Wind, and Wu says no. After that, he says "Earth, Green and Fire," referencing the band Earth, Wind & Fire.
  • Garmadon's message to Wu, "You're a big, stupid, dumb-dumb with a dumb face and a big butt and your butt stinks and you smell like a butt," is likely a reference to a line said by Moe in The Simpsons, "I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt smells and I like to kiss my own butt."


  • Originally, the ninja were supposed to travel back in time to prevent Garmadon from becoming evil, so he had to face an army of snakes and a giant snake, The Great Devourer.[citation needed]
    • With time travel, they would see Wu and young Garmadon (with the same hair that would appear on Wu in Season 9, which would also appear on Cole in the movie).[citation needed]
  • Several concepts have apparently been kept and used for Season 7. For example, the army of snakes[25] that were to be present in the movie could have evolved to become the Vermillion.
  • Originally, the ninja would have their own dragons as in the pilot episodes.[25]
  • Ninjago High School would have more prominence.[25]
  • Lloyd's Green Ninja Mech Dragon was going to be red and his appearance was similar to the dragons of the Chinese New Year.[25]



Main article: The LEGO Ninjago Movie/Gallery


Specials, promos, and other media

Bloopers and outtakes

2011 blooper reel · 2014 blooper reel · LEGO NINJAGO Movie Outtakes and Bloopers · Season 13 blooper reel

Movie universe

Enter the Ninjago · The Master · The LEGO Ninjago Movie mini-movies · The LEGO Ninjago Movie


The Realm of Shadows · Ninjago: The Ride (The Portal of Peril) · Master of the 4th Dimension

Promotional concepts

Wu-Cru · Journey to Mastery

Other mini-movies

Villain Throwbacks · Meet the Ninja · Samurai X Rising · Happy Birthday to You! · Ninja Vlogs

Other online media

Lloyd Garmadon's Blog · LEGO Life · Dragon Cam · LEGO NINJAGO Explained · Embrace your curiosity like a Ninja!

Board games

Ninjago Spinners · Trading Card Game · Choose the Path