- This article is about the movie. For the theme, see The LEGO Ninjago Movie (Theme).
The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a spin-off of The LEGO Movie released in theaters on September 22, 2017 (USA) in 3D, 2D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX 3D by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics and has currently grossed $97 million worldwide against its $70 million budget. The film is based on the existing LEGO theme known as Ninjago, and was decided to be developed in response to the positive reception during the release of the official trailer for The LEGO Movie. Similar to the previous cinematic LEGO movies, The LEGO Ninjago Movie was created with a stop-motion style CGI.
Ninjas, samurais, and sensei fight side-by-side against dragons, armies of snake men, and a once-banished warlord who is now seeking to return to power.
Ninjago is the story of six young ninja tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skill and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens, struggling against their greatest enemy: high school.
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A young boy ventures into an old relic shop, where he meets its mysterious owner Mr. Liu who begins to tell the boy the legend 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, 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 like General Olivia, General Omar, and General Jollty 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 Lloyd that he 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 Forest of Dangers, the Canyon of Death, 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 ninjas 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.
They eventually crash down onto the Temple of Fragile Foundations. Garmadon reveals that it is his home, as well as Koko formerly being a ninja warrior herself. 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. 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 the Meowthra, and tells Garmadon he forgives him, and that he's sorry. Garmadon cries tears of fire, which causes the Meowthra to spit him out. After reconciling, Garmadon moves in with Lloyd and Koko, Meowthra becomes the mascot of Ninjago, and Lloyd is hailed as a hero.
As the story concludes, the Mr. Liu tells the boy that he will start to train him as a ninja.
- Dave Franco - Lloyd
- Justin Theroux - Garmadon
- Michael Pena - Kai
- Kumail Nanjiani - Jay
- Abbi Jacobson - Nya
- Zach Woods - Zane
- Fred Armisen - Cole
- Jackie Chan - Master Wu, Mr. Liu (live-action sequence)
- Olivia Munn - Misako ("Koko")
- Randall Park - Chen the Cheerleader
- Retta - Maggie the Cheerleader
- Constance Wu - Mayor of Ninjago
- Charlyne Yi - Terri: IT Nerd
- Vanara Taing - Asimov: IT Nerd
- Chris Hardwick - Radio DJ
- Bobby Lee - Pilates Studio Owner
- Robin Roberts - herself
- Michael Strahan - himself
- Kate Garraway - herself (in british)
- Ben Shepherd - himself (in british)
- David Burrows - Fuchsia Ninja
- Alex Kauffman - Ninja Computer
- Ali Wong - General Olivia
- Todd Hansen - General Omar
- Doug Nicholas - General Jollty
- Garrett Elkins - Retirement General
- Laura Kightlinger - Mrs. Laudita
- Kaan Gulder - Young Boy (live-action sequence)
- Pearl and Ruby - Meowthra
Additional voices by Viola Baier, Craig Berry, Noël Brydebell, Fiona Cyprienne, Graham Elkins, Johnathan Elkins, Serena Elkins, Ryan Folsey, Maryann Garger, Mark Gillins, Jesse Goldsmith, Chris McKay, Matt McMillan, Yoriaki Mochizuki, Samantha Nisenboim, Madeleine Purdy, Magali Rigaudias, Carmen Perez-Marsa Roca, Jennifer Stellema, John Venzon, Natalie Wetzig, Tom Wheeler, Lauren White, and Jialing Danni Zhang.
The movie was first announced to be in development June 27, 2013; in response to the positive reception from The LEGO Movie's Official Trailer. The development for a Ninjago movie was announced alongside the development of The LEGO Movie Sequel; and it was eventually decided by LEGO to release the Ninjago movie first, pushing the date for the LEGO Movie Sequel back to 2018 (and eventually pushed back to 2019, being succeeded by The LEGO Batman Movie).
The movie was written by brothers Dan and Kevin Hageman, who have also worked on Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and The LEGO Movie. On May 21, 2014, it was revealed that the release date of the film will be September 23, 2016 and it would be written by Charlie Bean.
The film was later announced to be delayed one year to 2017.
In order to give the film a more believable father-son atmosphere, Dave Franco and Justin Theroux recorded most of their lines where their characters interact with each other together in a single Recording studio. During the process, Franco openly admitted he found himself uncontrollably crying while recording some of his lines. Franco stated "I found myself getting caught up in the moment and basically crying harder than I have in any live-action movie I’ve ever been in"
Similar to The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, the film uses CGI animated bricks made to mimic "brickfilms", or LEGO stop motion videos. However, a stark contrast between The LEGO Ninjago Movie and the previous theatrical LEGO movies is the non-brick environments that are used.
As of October 15, 2017, The Lego Ninjago Movie has grossed $51.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $45.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $97 million.
In North America, the film was released alongside Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Friend Request. Various tracking services had the film projected to gross anywhere from $27–44 million from 4,047 theaters in its opening weekend. However, after making $5.8 million on its first day, weekend projections were lowered to $21 million. It ended up debuting to $21.2 million, finishing third at the box office and ranking as the lowest opening of the Lego franchise by over 50%.
The Lego Ninjago Movie received mixed reviews from critics. On review website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 53% based on 109 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Despite ample charm and a few solid gags, The Lego Ninjago Movie suggests this franchise's formula isn't clicking like it used to." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale. iMDB rated the movie 6.1/10, while IGN gave it a 7.5/10. 86% of Google users liked the film.
- This is not Lloyd's first cinematic appearance. Lloyd had made several cameos in The LEGO Movie as one of the Master Builders.
- 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.
- Kebab Bob, Garbage Man Grant, Panda Guy, Demolition Guy, and Ice Cream Mike from The LEGO Movie as well as the Minifigures line characters Deep Sea Diver, Surfer, Zookeeper, Artist, Sleepyhead, Hot Dog Man, and the Babysitter's baby make brief cameos in the film.
- Meowthra's name is a reference to the Godzilla Kaiju Mothra.
- Mr. Liu's decision to train the boy into a ninja may be a reference to The Karate Kid (2010) since Jackie Chan, the actor of Mr. Liu, also has an iconic portrayal as a mentor and sensei to another young boy and Dre.
- After Lloyd discovers his element is green, he mentions three elements he has wielded in the TV series.
- First he mentions gold, which is his element when he takes up the mantle of the Golden Ninja in the 2nd season.
- Next he mentions wind, which he wields when Morro possesses him in the 5th season.
- Lastly he mentions surprise, which although isn't an element, he uses it against Chen in the 4th season, during episode "The Forgotten Element".
- Running gag: Lord Garmadon keeps mispronouncing Lloyd's first name as "La-Loyd". This is unlike in the TV series in which Garmadon already knows how to pronounce Lloyd's first name correctly.
- This is Dave Franco's second voicing acting role in a LEGO film after The LEGO Movie (in which he previously voiced minor character Wally).
- 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.
- The LEGO Ninjago Movie is the first theatrical film to be based on an original LEGO property.
- The ninja have different hairpieces than in the TV series and LEGO sets.
- Before the movie Storks, there was a short called "The Master".
- "The Master" involves Sensei Wu fighting against Chicken.
- This is the second LEGO theatrical film to be composed by Mark Mothersbaugh after The LEGO Movie.
- Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu
- The LEGO Movie
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
- The LEGO Batman Movie
- BIONICLE: Mask of Light
- BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui
- BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows
- BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn
- The Adventures of Clutch Powers
- Legends of Chima: The Animated Series
- LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite