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Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is a Danish-American show created by the LEGO Group. The series' pilot episodes aired on January 14, 2011, and the series proper began on December 2, 2011. It is the first LEGO cartoon to air on Cartoon Network, and the longest-running.

Synopsis

"Long before time had a name, Ninjago was created by the First Spinjitzu Master 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 all 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."

Six young ninja with elemental powers (Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya) are tasked with defending the fantastical world of Ninjago, a land created by the legendary First Spinjitzu Master. Trained by the wise Master Wu, Lloyd Garmadon and his friends use their skills, weapons, and vehicles to fight against evil masterminds and fearsome otherworldly creatures.

Characters

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The Ninja of Ninjago. From left to right: Master Wu, Cole, Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Zane, and Nya.

Lloyd Garmadon (voiced by Sam Vincent currently; Jillian Michaels from Season 1 to 7) - The destined Green Ninja, the youngest but most powerful of the team. Once a bratty child, he was forced to grow up quickly in order to become the Green Ninja. He is a natural leader and wise beyond his years. He is Garmadon and Misako's son, Wu's nephew, and the First Spinjitzu Master's grandson.

Kai (voiced by Vincent Tong) - The hotheaded and cocky Red Ninja of Fire. He is Nya's older brother and son of Ray and Maya.

Jay (voiced by Michael Adamthwaite) - The inventive and comedic Blue Ninja of Lightning. He is Nya's boyfriend.

Cole (voiced by Kirby Morrow) - The strong and steady Black Ninja of Earth. He is the rock and foundation of the team.

Zane (voiced by Brent Miller) - The stoic and calculating Titanium Ninja of Ice. Once believing himself to be a human orphan, he discovered his identity as a Nindroid (a robot ninja). He struggled with this fact at first, but he has accepted his true nature and uses his robotic intelligence to assist the team.

Nya (voiced by Kelly Metzger) - The confident and intuitive Water Ninja. She is Kai's younger sister, Jay's girlfriend, the original Samurai X and daughter of Ray and Maya.

Master Wu (voiced by Paul Dobson) - A Master of Spinjitzu, and the wise, old sensei of the Ninja. He is the youngest son of the First Spinjitzu Master, Garmadon's little brother, and Lloyd's uncle.

Lord/Master Garmadon (voiced by Mark Oliver) - The Lord of Destruction, and the Ninjas' first enemy. Bitten by a cursed serpent as a child, he transformed from Wu's heroic brother to a diabolical warlord who allied with other dark forces in order to achieve his goals. He was freed from his poison by his son, and he became a peace-loving sensei for a short time. Master Garmadon sacrificed himself in order to atone for his past, but he was eventually resurrected by an evil gang, in his evil form once again. He is the First Spinjitzu Master's oldest son, Wu's older brother, and Lloyd's father.

Misako (voiced by Kathleen Barr) - A historian and archeologist, who is also Lloyd's mother and Garmadon's wife.

P.I.X.A.L. (voiced by Jennifer Hayward) - A Nindroid like Zane, who was once wired into Zane's head. After having a physical body again, P.I.X.A.L. became the current Samurai X. She is also Zane's love interest.

Dareth (voiced by Alan Marriott) - The self-proclaimed "Brown Ninja" and ally of the Ninja.

Episodes

Pilot: Masters of Spinjitzu

The two pilot episodes aired as a one-hour special on January 14, 2011.

Plot: "Wu seeks out four brave boys – Cole, Jay, Kai and Zane – whom he trains in the art of Spinjitzu to become protectors of the Golden Weapons. Kai is the last one to be recruited by Wu. When Kai meets Wu for the first time, Samukai and his evil Skeleton Army show up to kidnap Kai’s sister, Nya, and steal the map showing the location of the Golden Weapons. Behind the kidnapping is Lord Garmadon, who is controlling the Underworld. The fire ignites within Kai. He is determined to save Nya, so he follows Wu to join the rest of the ninja."

Season 1: Rise of The Snakes

The first season premiered on December 2, 2011, with "Rise of the Snakes" and "Home". It ended after 13 episodes with "Day of the Great Devourer" on April 11, 2012.

Plot: "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

The second season premiered on July 18, 2012, with "Darkness Shall Rise". It ended after 13 episodes with "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master".

Plot: "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

The third season premiered on January 29, 2014, with "The Surge". It ended after 8 episodes with "The Titanium Ninja".

Plot: "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

The fourth season premiered on February 23, 2015, with "The Invitation". It ended after 10 episodes with April 3, 2014, with "The Corridor of Elders".

Plot: "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

The fifth season premiered on June 29, 2015, with "Winds of Change". It ended after 10 episodes with "Curseworld, Part II" on July 10, 2015.

Plot: "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

The sixth season premiered on March 24, 2016, with "Infamous". It ended after 10 episodes with "Operation Land Ho!" and "The Way Back" on July 15, 2016.

Plot: "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."

Day of the Departed

"Day of the Departed" is a Halloween special, that aired on October 29, 2016.

Plot: "When Cole returns to Yang's haunted temple to seek revenge on the former Airjitzu Master who turned him into a ghost, he accidentally uses a powerful Dark Magic blade that unleashes the spectral forms of Ninjago's greatest villains and traps himself in the temple! While Cole battles for his freedom, the Ninja must return their ghostly foes to the Departed Realm before they gain the power to remain in Ninjago forever!"

Season 7: The Hands of Time

The seventh season premiered on May 15, 2017, with "The Hands of Time". It ended after 10 episodes with "Lost in Time" on May 26, 2017.

Plot: "Shortly after the Day of the Departed, Master Wu awaits his old enemy Acronix to complete a battle they began 40 years ago. But Wu never should have faced such a powerful foe alone. Acronix hits Wu with the Time Punch, which causes him to start rapidly aging! Acronix escapes and reunites with his twin brother Krux, who has been living the past 40 years in disguise as the lovable Dr. Sander Saunders. During this time, Krux has been breeding a new slithering enemy: the Vermillion Warriors."

Season 8: Sons of Garmadon

The eighth season premiered on April 16, 2018, with "The Mask of Deception". It ended after 10 episodes with "Big Trouble, Little Ninjago" on May 25, 2018.

Plot: "A mysterious motorcycle gang called the Sons of Garmadon has arrived in NINJAGO® City in the action-packed season 8 of the NINJAGO TV series. Their goal: collect all three Oni Masks to resurrect Lord Garmadon! Can the might of Lloyd, the Green Ninja, and the ninja team stop them in time? It will take all their skills and courage, plus brand new vehicles to defeat this dangerous biker gang."

Season 9: Hunted

The ninth season premiered on August 11, 2018, with a two hour special consisting of "Firstbourne", "Iron and Stone", "Radio Free Ninjago", and "How to Build a Dragon". It finished after ten episodes on August 25, 2018, with a one-hour-and-a-half special consisting of "Saving Faith", "Lessons for a Master", and "Green Destiny".

Plot: "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."

2019 Special Event: TV Movie

An 88-minute TV movie that will air in 2019.

Movie

In 2017, a feature-length theatrical film, "The LEGO Ninjago Movie", was released by Warner Bros. Animation as part of the LEGO Movie franchise. It takes place in an alternate continuity to the show.

Plot: "In this big-screen NINJAGO adventure, 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, 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."

Notes

  • It is currently the longest running show on Cartoon Network from the 2010s that is still on the air (albeit not being a Cartoon Network Original).
  • It is the first LEGO Series to have 100 episodes.