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LEGO Ninjago (Pilot Episodes-Season 6, 8-9, 12-present)

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LEGO Ninjago
Ninjago Pilot.jpg

Rise of the Snakes.jpg
Ninjago The Final Battle.jpg
Ninjago Rebooted.jpg
Ninjago Season 4.jpg
Ninjago Possession.jpg
Ninjago Skybound.jpg
Ninjago Sons of Garmadon.jpeg
5C83D6B7-6BC8-416C-A477-39A53A22046B.jpeg
Prime Empire.jpeg
Master of the Mountain.jpeg
Seabound.jpeg

"Ninja, goooooo!
Genre: Action
Adventure
Comedy
Drama
Science fantasy
Martial arts
Superhero
Running Time: 22 minutes (Pilot (version 1), Seasons 1-10
11 minutes Pilot (version 2), Seasons 11-present)
Country: United States
Canada
Australia
Denmark
Release Date: January 14, 2011 (Pilot)
December 2, 2011-April 11, 2012 (Season 1)
July 18, 2012-November 21, 2012 (Season 2)
January 29, 2014-November 26, 2014 (Season 3)
February 22, 2015-April 2, 2015 (Season 4)
June 29, 2015-July 10, 2015 (Season 5)
March 24, 2016-July 9, 2016 (Season 6)
April 16, 2018-May 2018 (Season 8)
August 11, 2018-August 25, 2018 (Season 9)
March 21, 2020-April 2020 (Season 12)
July 6, 2020-July 12, 2020 (Season 13)
March 7, 2021-March 14, 2021 (The Island)
April 4, 2021-April 30, 2021 (Season 14)
Network(s): Nickelodeon (Denmark)
Teletoon and YTV (Canada)
Cartoon Network (United States)
Created by: Michael Hegner
Tommy Andreasen
Distributed by: The Lego Group
Starring: Vincent Tong
Michael Adamwhite
Kirby Morrow (Season 1-14)
Andrew Francis (Seasons 15-present)
Brent Miller
Kelly Metzger
Jillain Michaels (Seasons 1-7)
Sam Vincent (Seasons 8-present)
Paul Dobson
Mark Oliver
Seasons: 14
Episodes: 2/4 (Pilot)
13 (Season 1 & 2)
8 (Season 3)
10 (Seasons 4-6, 8-9)
16 (Season 12-14)


LEGO Ninjago (formerly known as LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu) is a Canadian-Danish-American CGI animated TV show created by Michael Hegner and Tommy Andreasen and released on January 14, 2011 as well as created to promote the series of Lego toys of the same name. It includes the voice roles of Vincent Tong, Michael Adamwhite, Andrew Francis (formerly Kirby Morrow in Season 1-14), Brent Miller, Kelly Metzger, Sam Vincent (formerly Jillain Michaels in Seasons 1-7), Paul Dobson and Mark Oliver. The show aired on Cartoon Network in the United States, Teletoon in Canada, Nickelodeon in Denmark, Greece and Holland (Season 11-), and Disney XD in Latin America (pilot episodes-Season 7), SIC K in Poland, and Cartoon Network (Season 11-).

Plot

The show follows the story of four (later six) young ninja warriors on their adventures in the world of Ninjago as they defend their land from various threats:

Pilot

Long before time had a name, the NINJAGO world was created by the First Spinjitzu Master by using the Four Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu; weapons so powerful, no one could handle all of their power at once. When he passed away, his two sons swore to protect them, but the oldest, Lord Garmadon, was consumed by darkness and wanted to possess them all. A battle between brothers broke out. Lord Garmadon was defeated and banished to the Underworld.

Season 1: Rise of the Snakes

Since Lord Garmadon’s disappearance from the Underworld, NINJAGO Island has been at peace, but the young ninja have grown lazy. While Garmadon lurks in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike, the ninja meet his young son, Lloyd, who carelessly unleashes a fearsome new enemy upon NINJAGO Island – the ancient tribes of the Serpentine. The leader of the Serpentine, Pythor, hatches an evil plan to bring back the legendary, all-consuming snake, the Great Devourer.

Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja

Lord Garmadon has disappeared with all Four Golden Weapons and now he controls the Serpentine. Meanwhile, the ninja intensify their training of young Lloyd so he will be strong enough to defeat Lord Garmadon in the final battle. To gain evil power, Lord Garmadon goes to the Golden Peaks to convert all Four Golden Weapons into the weapon of creation – the Mega Weapon.

Season 3: Rebooted

Victory in the Final Battle between the Golden Ninja and the Overlord has ushered in a new era of peace and begun a technological renaissance. NINJAGO City has been rebuilt into a futuristic wonder and is now completely interconnected. Welcome to New NINJAGO City. The ninja have found there is very little need for their heroics and have become teachers at Wu’s Academy. But peace is an illusion...

Season 4: The Tournament of Elements

When Zane sacrificed himself to stop the Golden Master, the power of the Golden Weapons unlocked new abilities within him, revealing a new layer of titanium. The immense energy dispatch destroyed parts of him and caused Zane to vanish into the Digiverse. Only P.I.X.A.L. was aware of Zane’s digital presence – or so she thought...

Season 5: Possession

A grieving Lloyd is possessed by the ghost of Morro – the Master of Wind and Wu’s first student. In Lloyd’s body, Morro renders the other ninja powerless before stealing Wu’s staff. It contains three hidden symbols, the path to finding the Tomb of First Spinjitzu Master. Wu knows that if Morro finds the tomb, he will claim the Realm Crystal. This relic has the power to open the fabric between realms, enabling the powerful Preeminent to enter the NINJAGO world.

Season 6: Skybound

With the defeat of Morro’s ghost invasion, the ninja have now become huge media celebrities. But dark forces once more threaten NINJAGO Island as the Teapot of Tyrahn is rediscovered by the ghost of Clouse, Master Chen’s former right-hand man. He allows Nadakhan, an evil Djinn, and captain of the infamous Misfortune’s Keep, to escape the teapot. After reassembling his pirate crew, Nadakhan returns to his home realm of Djinjago, to find it collapsing. This destruction, caused by the ninja defeating the Preeminent, leads Nadakhan to vow revenge. He refits his ship so it can fly and prepares to attack. Now they are Sky Pirates.

Season 7: The Hands of Time, Season 10: March of the Oni and Season 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu

See here.

Season 8: Sons of Garmadon

A year after the loss of Master Wu, the ninja, led by the newly dubbed Master Lloyd, must protect the Royal Family and prevent a group known as the Sons of Garmadon from successfully reviving Lord Garmadon at the Temple of Resurrection using the Oni Masks.

Season 9: Hunted

While Lloyd and Nya resist Emperor Garmadon's oppressive hold on Ninjago City, Young Wu and the rest of the Ninja are stranded in a barbaric realm where fierce dragons are being hunted down by Iron Baron and his gang of Dragon Hunters. Lloyd must endure in NINJAGO City, the others need to find the fabled Dragon Armor if they ever hope to get back home to stop Emperor Garmadon once and for all.

Season 12: Prime Empire

"Would you like to enter Prime Empire?" In the hyped video game, Prime Empire, you can be whoever you want to be. Jay, ever the avid gamer, can’t wait to start playing. But when hundreds of players, and Jay, suddenly start vanishing without a trace, the ninja need to get inside the game and find out who is playing Unagami. Now they must compete in adventures and difficult game worlds, win all three Key-tanas – and only then can they face the evil Unagami. Can they reach the final level and beat the game?

Season 13: 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...

(Special) The Island

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. A piece of land which has never been mapped due to strange never-ending electrical storms. The ninja track down the only survivor and convince him to be their guide. On board the Destiny’s Bounty, they head straight for the island! Prepared to enter a world of storms, monsters, doom, and much much more!

Season 14: Seabound

When Nya’s powers are suddenly disrupted, the ninjas travel to the the bottom of the Endless Sea for answers. They find a dangerous underwater world ruled by Prince Kalmaar, who wants to destroy NINJAGO City by waking the all-powerful sea serpent Wojira. The ninjas must find the prized amulets to stop him and keep their home safe. Will they triumph over the evil they face in the depths of the ocean?

Why These Seasons Make Us Do the Weekend Whip

  1. Great character designs, especially the Ninja being the highlighted examples.
  2. Interesting concept about teenage ninjas having elemental powers, despite being similar to Super Sentai/Power Rangers and Kamen Rider.
  3. Nice-looking CGI animation, especially in later seasons, especially in Seasons 8-10. The current animation by WildBrain Studios (formerly DHX Media) is also good as well, despite being downgraded from Season 8-10's animation.
  4. Interesting and sometimes dark storylines for almost every season.
  5. Likable and relatable characters such as Lloyd, Kai, Jay, Zane, Cole, Nya, and Master Wu with developed relationships.
  6. The soundtrack is nothing short of amazing, especially "The Weekend Whip" (and its countless remixes), "After the Blackout", "Eye of the Storm", "Ninjago", the show's overture, etc.
    • The theme song, "The Weekend Whip" deserves a special mention. Done by The Fold, it's stylistically mid-late 2000s Pop Punk at its best, mixing the sounds of We The Kings' song 'Check Yes Juliet' and All Time Low's 'Dear Maria, Count Me In' and is catchy as all hell. Starting from the third season onward (except for seasons eight through ten), it also gets remixed into various styles ("Weekend Whip Remix" for the Rebooted arc, "Anacondrai Remix" for the Tournament of Elements arc, "Ghost Whip" for the Posession arc, "The Pirate Whip" for the Skybound arc, "The Rift Whip" for Day of the Departed, "The Temporal Whip" for The Hands of Time arc, "The Wicked Whip" for the Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu arc, "The Arcadian Whip" for the Prime Empire arc and "The Shintaro Dungeon Whip" for the Master of the Mountain arc).
    • The Ninjago Overture is a relaxing, calming recurring Leitmotif.
    • "Falcon Chase", the music as the Ninja pursue the falcon in "Tick Tock", makes the falcon's strings-based leitmotif incredibly dramatic.
    • A leitmotif, first heard in "The Fire Temple", which appears to be a theme for Lord and Lloyd Garmadon as it plays in scenes where they are together. Quite fittingly, it's a tragic-sounding melody due to the destined battle between father and son.
    • It receives an especially epic arrangement heard in "Fall of the Green Ninja" when Lloyd pleads to his father to help him fight back against the Overlord.
    • The leitmotif is used once more in Lloyd's battle against a revived and corrupted Lord Garmadon. Parts of this music occurs often throughout Season 9 as its own leitmotif.
    • "The Temple of Light" smoothly fits with the ninja taking a level in badass at the eponymous location.
    • "The Final Battle" is beautifully orchestrated and perfectly captures the intensity of the fight between Lloyd and the Overlord with a cinematic quality in it.
    • "Built to Protect" is a haunting piece that will give you chills and make you cry for Zane sacrificing himself to destroy the Golden Master once and for all.
    • "What Powered Zane is a beautiful score that shows the sorrows and hopefulness that the world has for Zane, and the female chorus near the end will rip your heart.
  7. Almost every problem is explored in later seasons rather than being left out.
  8. It has a balanced mix of funny and serious moments.
    • It also has saddest moments, such as Zane's death in Season 3 and Cole's transformation as a ghost in Season 5.
  9. Every season has a unique adventure, soon leading to a great finale episode series.
  10. Good morals in almost every episode.
  11. Some minor characters have given to major role in each seasons, notably Misako, who were increasing the role in season 5, following the possessed of Lloyd by Morro.
  12. Awesome and sometimes intimidating villains, with the dark Lord Garmadon, the embodiment of evil that is the Overlord, the vengeful ninja Morro, the hot-headed General Cryptor, the tragic Nadakhan, and many others.
  13. All of the episode were great and interesting that were acknowledge the previous episodes.
  14. Most of the dialogue are hilarious and great.
  15. Almost each season focuses on at least one main Ninja with character development, which is similar to Teen Titans.
    • Season 13 FINALLY focused on Cole and his promise to make his mother proud by standing up against his cruel enemies, especially the Skull Sorcerer. It is actually the first time for Cole to become the focus character of the season, not counting the TV special, Day of the Departed.
      • It is well-received for Cole's long-awaited character development and his emotional backstory, two fine major subplots that include the separated Ninja and the two warring tribes that are deeply connected to the main plot, and the addition of a new likable and supportive character, Princess Vania.
    • Season 14 finally gave Nya her own season, Season 14 also showed the return of Ray and Maya, and also provided the saddest moment in the show’s 14 seasons.

Bad Qualities

  1. Seasons 3: Rebooted (depending on who you ask), 7: The Hands of Time, 10: March of the Oni, 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu (Mostly The Fire Chapter) and the TV special, Day of the Departed, are very weak, but not entirely terrible nor worst.
    • As for Day of Departed, the concept of returning villains (Samukai, Pythor, Kozu, Cryptor, Chen, and Morro) coming back to plot revenge on the Ninja is a great idea, but cramming that much material into a one hour special feels a bit rushed. The special could've been a two or three-parter or even turned into seasons instead.
  2. There are few continuity errors and retcons:
    • Since Seasons 4, 9, and 11, the ninja can't use Spinjitzu without their powers, even though they are shown to be using it before getting the Golden Weapons.
    • Season 8 has removed the uses of Elemental Dragons and Airjitzu just for the sake of not making the Ninja look overpowered.
  3. Kai and Dareth have been somewhat flanderized since Season 8 and 9 respectively, although Season 12 doesn't portray Dareth as awfully as Season 9 and Kai has been essentially restored from his Season 8-12 flanderization since Season 13.
  4. The anime-esque scenes and character designs from Season 11 and Season 13 are flawed and unnecessary, which isn't very fitting of LEGO show.
  5. From Season 11-onwards, the episodes are reduced to being 11-minutes long, which is a bit disappointing as it resulted from the finales of Season 11 and 12 being rushed and less impactful.
    • Also, because of that, the TV guides and video streaming websites, including Netflix, consider this show to be two separate series, and it is considered Season one with no subtitle, which doesn't make any sense, since it led up to these events.
  6. The CGI can look bad at times, particularly in the Pilot Episodes, Season 1 and the first half of Season 2, having choppy movements and poor lighting, and in the beginning of Season 11, also having choppy moments, not to mention the art style aged poorly.
    • The Ninjas' new designs from Season 8-onwards could be even uncanny to some.
  7. The show isn’t the best when it comes to the topic of death, as the characters usually turn out to be alive, or are resurrected (although it was done well in Season 8.)
  8. The infamous poltlines where Wu (Garmadon in Season 4) “has had a secret that hasn’t told the ninjas but needs to now because it may be too late to stop the villain. This was done in Seasons 4, 5 (twice), 7, and 11. And seems like an excuse to start the season's story and that the writers came up with it during the middle of this show.
    • This was done worst in Season 5 as Wu did not tell Nya that she had water powers ever even though he knew before. This could’ve helped through many previous situations in the show but it leaves unexplained why Wu didn’t tell her that ever, not even when the ninja became necessary again in Season 3.
  9. His Latin American dubbing done in Mexico (from Season 11) has been worse, because many original voice actors left their roles to go study in other countries, due to economic situations, etc.

Reception

Ninjago has been well received by critics and fans and has become one of the most beloved Lego television shows. Aspects that are often praised include the storytelling, music, characters and their development and the distinctive tone of each separate season:

The Pilot Episodes are well-received by fans and have garnered an immensely positive reception over time. Praise was aimed towards the establishment of both the world of Ninjago itself and the introduction of the series' main characters, with the soundtrack and overall impact of the newly-introduced theme also receiving praise.

Season 1: Rise of the Snakes has also been overall well-received by fans over the years. The Green Ninja storyline, the True Potential stories and deep character development for the Ninja, Nya's role as Samurai X and the overall formation into a full-on LEGO TV series have all been significant points of praise over the years, with minor criticism being drawn to how the season's quality is not completely on par with some of the show's later seasons.

Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja has received more of a mixed reception over time. The first six episodes have been more criticized due to their filler-like nature and overall aimless storytelling, yet the episode "Child's Play" remains a high point of critical praise. The season's final seven episodes however received much more critical praise, and even to this day remains one of - if not - the show's most beloved and critically praised storylines. The storyline of the Final Battle, continued character development of the main Ninja, Garmadon and the several side characters are all majorly loved by fans, with "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master" still referred to as one of the show's best and strongest episodes yet.

Season 3: Rebooted has been extremely well-received overtime. The character development of Zane and Garmadon, introduction of P.I.X.A.L. and technological theme, and the return of the Overlord and Pythor have been critically acclaimed by fans, while the season finale, "The Titanium Ninja", has been marked as one of the series' greatest episodes yet. Criticism was drawn to the love triangle involving Jay, Cole and Nya, as well as the inconsistent release schedule of the season.

Season 4: Tournament of Elements has also been extremely well-received. The introduction of Skylor, Master Chen, Clouse and the other Elemental Masters, the relationship between Kai and Skylor, the resolution of the love triangle from Rebooted and the continued character development of Garmadon all being major highlights of the season. The season continues to be known as one of the series' best and most beloved, nearly 5 years after its initial release.

Season 5: Possession continues the streak of being a very well-received season by fans alike. Nya's character development and transition into the role of the Water Ninja, Cole's character development and transformation into a ghost, the introduction and characterization of Morro and Ronin, the season's darker tone and the larger cinematic scale are all high points of praise throughout the season. The introduction of the Sixteen Realms and the Cloud Kingdom were points of more mixed reception.

Season 6: Skybound has received more divided reception with fans, with some finding it as one of the series' best seasons, and others seeing it as one of the worse. The character growth of Jay and Nya and their relationship was an extremely high point of praise for the season, as well as the introduction of Nadakhan and his crew, the animation and the more dire stakes in the season. The season finale, "The Way Back", is a very divisive for fans alike, receiving a lot of criticism for its ending in reverting the entire season, yet was also praised for presenting a lose-lose scenario to the Ninja regardless of their actions.

Season 8: Sons of Garmadon has been one of the most well-received and beloved seasons of the entire series. While the introduction of new character designs from The LEGO Ninjago Movie was one of the biggest points of controversy and criticism in the entire history of the franchise, majority of aspects from the season itself have all been incredibly well received. The writing, animation, fight choreography, the darker tone, the introduction and characterization of Harumi, the character development of Lloyd and Cole, the re-introduction of Lord Garmadon and the season cliffhanger are all immensely praised and critically acclaimed aspects of the season. The season went on to become a fan-favourite and is seen as one of the show's greatest seasons yet.

Season 9: Hunted is also an incredibly well-received and cherished season. The First Realm storyline received praise for its soundtrack and lore establishment, with the continued character development for Cole and Wu being high points of praise, as well as the introduction of Faith. The Ninjago storyline received immense praise for the characterization of Garmadon, the dire stakes throughout the season, Harumi's sacrifice and ultimate redemption, and the cliffhanger for the season. The season as a whole is beloved for its balancing of the two main storylines, as well as the continued darker tone and overarching storyline from the previous season.

Season 12: Prime Empire received significantly more praise than its predecessor, and is extremely beloved by fans alike. The setting of Prime Empire, characterization of Unagami, Okino and Racer Seven, the fast-paced choreography and action, the larger role for the Mechanic and the more fun, lighthearted, and comedic nature of the season were all immensely well-received by fans. The episode "Stop, Drop and Side Scroll" was particularly highlighted by fans, due to both its exciting and comedic nature, and the return of Harumi as a gamer avatar, followed by a critically acclaimed fight between herself and Lloyd. However, the lack of addition to the lore of itself compared to previous seasons was not particularly well-received by fans.

Season 13: Master of the Mountain also received significant praise and acclaim from fans alike, becoming one the show's most beloved seasons ever produced. The focus and character development for Cole and Wu, the introduction and characterization of Vania and the Upply, the revelation involving the fate of Cole's mother, the fight choreography and action scenes, the roles for the other Ninja and the hints towards future seasons are all incredibly high points of praise among fans, with several fans commending the improved animation implemented since Season 11. Some fans found the Munce and the Geckles to be slightly annoying additions and the plot to be too rushed, yet these are really the only points of slightly mixed reception for the season.

The Island received mixed to positive reception. Fans criticized it for feeling short and rushed, as well has having a weak twist ending. However, it received praise for having improved animation from previous seasons.

Season 14: Seabound received generally positive reception. Fans enjoyed the story and the setting of the Endless Sea, finding the animation of the underwater city of Merlopia to be particularly impressive. In addition, fans appreciated the darker tone of the season compared to previous seasons Particular praise was given to the final four episodes, in which Nya makes a fateful decision to merge with Endless Sea in order defeat Wojira.

Videos

Trivia

  • It's the longest running show to have ever aired on Cartoon Network.
  • The show created lots of internet memes.
  • It was originally gonna end with Rise of the Spinjitzu Master, but due to fan demand, the show was revived and is still running to this day.
  • The seasons have subtitles.
    • Season 1 is Rise of the Snakes, or Rise of the Serpentine.
    • Season 2 is Legacy of the Green Ninja, or Return of the Dark Lord.
    • Season 3 is Rebooted.
    • Season 4 is The Tournament of Elements.
    • Season 5 is Possession.
    • Season 6 is Skybound.
    • Season 7 is The Hands of Time.
    • Season 8 is Sons of Garmadon.
    • Season 9 is Hunted.
    • Season 10 is March of the Oni.
    • Season 11 is Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu.
    • Season 12 is Prime Empire.
    • Season 13 is Master of the Mountain.
    • Season 14 is Seabound.
    • Season 15 is Crystalized.
  • Kirby Morrow, Cole's voice actor died on November 18, 2020 after a long history of substance abuse. Andrew Francis took over the voice role of Cole, starting with Ninjago: Core.

Comments

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