The Lego Ninjago Movie
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based onLego Construction Toys
Produced by
CinematographySimon Duggan (live-action sequences)
Edited by
  • Julie Rogers
  • Garret Elkins
  • Ryan Folsey
  • John Venzon
  • David Burrows
Music byMark Mothersbaugh[1]
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[4]
Release dates
  • 16 September 2017 (2017-09-16) (Regency Village Theater)
  • 21 September 2017 (2017-09-21) (Denmark)
  • 22 September 2017 (2017-09-22) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[6]
Budget$70 million[8]
Box office$123.1 million[9]

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a 2017 animated martial arts comedy film[10][7] produced by Warner Animation Group, RatPac Entertainment, Lego System A/S, Lin Pictures, Lord Miller Productions, and Vertigo Entertainment, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Based on the toy/kit line of the same name, and TV show starring the same characters, it was directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan (in their feature directorial debuts) from a screenplay by Logan, Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, and John Whittington. It is the first theatrical film to be based on an original Lego property and the third installment in The Lego Movie franchise as well as its second spin-off. The film stars the voices of Dave Franco, Michael Pena, Kumail Nanjiani, Abbi Jacobson, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen, Justin Theroux and Olivia Munn, as well as a live-action role by Jackie Chan (who also voiced Wu in the film). The film focuses on a teenage ninja Lloyd Garmadon, as he attempts to accept the truth about his sinister father and learn what it truly means to be a ninja warrior as a new threat emerges to endanger his homeland.

An animated feature film based on Ninjago was announced in September 2013 by Warner Bros., with The Hageman Brothers writing the adaptation while Bean was hired to direct the film with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Dan Lin and Roy Lee producing. By May 2014, following the success of The Lego Movie, Warner Bros. announced that the film were originally released in September 2016, which later changed to September 2017 in April 2015. The cast were signed in to voice the characters in 2016, from June to August. As with The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, the animation was provided by Animal Logic. Mark Mothersbaugh, who composed The Lego Movie, composed the film's musical score, with several artists performing new original songs for the film.

A collaboration between production houses from the United States and Denmark, The Lego Ninjago Movie was released in the United States on 22 September 2017, in 2D, 3D, and Dolby Cinema formats.[11] The film received mixed reviews from critics and was the franchise's first box-office disappointment, grossing only $123.1 million worldwide against its $70 million budget.


A young boy meets the mysterious owner of a relic shop, Mr. Liu, who tells him the story of Ninjago, a city within the LEGO universe. It is frequently terrorized by the evil warlord Garmadon and his army of sea life-themed henchmen. Garmadon's constant attacks backfire on his son Lloyd, despised by everyone in Ninjago City for his relation to Garmadon, putting him under emotional stress. Unbeknownst to everyone, Lloyd is the Green Ninja, the leader of a ninja team comprising Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane, Nya, and their master Wu (Garmadon's brother and Lloyd’s uncle), who always stop Garmadon from taking over Ninjago by fighting with mechs. When Garmadon is once again unsuccessful at conquering Ninjago, his tech division shows him a giant new mech.

Following their victory, Wu tells the ninja that only their "unique element" will permanently vanquish Garmadon. Lloyd is frustrated to learn his element is "green" while Kai has fire, Cole has earth, Jay has lightning, Zane has ice, and Nya has water. Wu also mentions the "Ultimate Weapon", giving Lloyd new hope of stopping Garmadon, despite Wu warning them that nobody can ever use the device. The next day, Garmadon attacks Ninjago with his new mech and this time defeats Lloyd. As Garmadon gloats, Lloyd returns with the Ultimate Weapon and fires it, only to discover it is actually a laser pointer that attracts a live-action cat named Meowthra. Garmadon points the laser at the ninja's mechs, which the cat destroys, but Lloyd breaks it. As Garmadon celebrates his victory, Lloyd unmasks himself and denounces his father, leaving Garmadon confused.

Lloyd meets up with his friends and Wu, who tells them they must use the "Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon" to stop Meowthra from destroying Ninjago, which can be found on the other side of the island. Garmadon overhears the conversation, follows close behind, and intercepts the ninja. Wu and Garmadon fight, and although the former manages to trap the latter in a cage, he falls off a bridge into the river below. Before being swept away, Wu tells the ninja they must find "inner peace". The ninja continues with Garmadon leading them, much to Lloyd's annoyance. Despite this, the two bond throughout their journey, while the ninja learn not to rely solely on their mechs to fight. The group survives an encounter with Garmadon's fired generals, and Garmadon teaches Lloyd to throw.

They eventually crash down onto the Temple of Fragile Foundations, Garmadon's childhood home. He tells Lloyd that his mother, Koko, was once a warrior named Lady Iron Dragon and that he wishes he had stayed with them after deciding to conquer Ninjago, but couldn’t change his ways, which is why they had to stay apart. The ninja finds the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, a chest consisting of a set of LEGO pieces that resemble their elemental powers, only to have it stolen by Garmadon, who remains resolute in taking over the city after Lloyd refuses his offer to replace a mutinous general. In an unexpected turnaround, Garmadon locks the ninja inside the temple as it begins to collapse. Lloyd realizes that "inner peace" means they must unleash their elemental power and escape from the collapsing temple. As they fall off a cliff, Wu saves them with the ninja's flying ship, the Destiny's Bounty, and they head back to Ninjago City.

Garmadon tries to defeat Meowthra with the Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon, only to end up eaten. Lloyd and the others 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 and that his element is what connects the ninja and his family. He comforts and tames Meowthra and apologizes to Garmadon profusely, saying that he forgives him. Realizing the error of his ways, Garmadon cries tears of fire, causing Meowthra to regurgitate him back out. After Lloyd and Garmadon reconcile, Meowthra becomes the mascot of Ninjago and Lloyd is hailed as a hero.

As Mr. Liu finishes his story about Ninjago, he informs the boy that he has the potential to be a great ninja warrior and tells him that they will start training at dawn.


Main articles: Ninjago (TV series) § Cast and characters, and List of The Lego Movie characters § Introduced in The Lego Ninjago Movie


On 17 September 2013, Warner Bros. announced that it was developing an animated Ninjago film based on the Lego toy line Lego Ninjago. The Hageman Brothers, who wrote the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu show and co-wrote the story of The Lego Movie, would write the adaptation.[15] Charlie Bean was announced as director, and The Lego Movie team of Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller as producers.[15] On 27 June 2016, the film's voice cast was announced, including Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods, Fred Armisen, Jackie Chan, and Abbi Jacobson.[12] Additional voice cast included Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon and Olivia Munn as Koko.[13]


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".[16][17][18]

Jackie Chan choreographed all of Master Wu's fight scenes in live action before they were recreated in animation for the film. Chan found the experience new to him as well as interesting. "Everything the stunt team does, the ninja do also", Chan commented.[19]


The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Mark Mothersbaugh and various artists
Released15 September 2017
StudioTrackdown Studios in Sydney, Australia
GenreFilm soundtrack, film score
LabelWaterTower Music
ProducerMark Mothersbaugh, Shawn Patterson, Bartholomew
Mark Mothersbaugh chronology
Brad's Status
The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Thor: Ragnarok
Singles from The Lego Ninjago Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Heroes"
    Released: 15 September 2017

Mark Mothersbaugh, who composed the score for The Lego Movie, returned to score The Lego Ninjago Movie.[1] Along with the score, the album includes Master Wu's flute music, played by Greg Pattillo, and five new songs created for the movie ("Heroes", "Operation New Me", "It's Garmadon", "Found My Place", and "Dance of Doom"). The song "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar appeared in the film's trailers but is not included on the score album; other pop songs in the film are likewise not included. One of Wu's flute music is a cover of (It's the) Hard Knock Life from Annie.[20] The song "The Weekend Whip" by The Fold, which serves as the opening theme to the Ninjago TV series, appears in the film as Lloyd's ringtone.


The Lego Ninjago Movie premiered at the Regency Village Theater on 16 September 2017,[21] before it was widely released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on 22 September 2017, in 3D, RealD 3D, and Dolby Cinema.[22] It was originally scheduled for a 23 September 2016 release.[23] This release date was given to Storks instead. The film was released in Denmark on 21 September 2017.[24] It was released in the Philippines on 27 September 2017.[25]

A short film, The Master, that promoted the feature film was shown with screenings of Storks, which took the original 23 September release date.[26] On 8 February 2017, the first trailer was released.[27] This trailer was shown in front of screenings of The Lego Batman Movie.[28] On 22 July 2017, a second trailer for the film was shown as part of San Diego Comic-Con and released on YouTube later in the day.[29] Both trailers feature the song "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift, with the second trailer also featuring "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette, "Ain't Gonna Die Tonight" by Macklemore and "I Wanna Go Out" by American Authors.


Over twenty Lego sets inspired by scenes from the film were released for the film including a set of Collectible Minifigures. A video game by TT Fusion based on the film, The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, was released on 22 September 2017, for Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[30][31] The game is similar to previous Lego games, with some new features such as multiplayer and new techniques.[30]

Home media

The Lego Ninjago Movie was released on Digital HD on 12 December 2017, and DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and 4K Blu-ray on 19 December 2017, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.[32][33][34]

Video game

Main article: The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game

Based on The Lego Ninjago Movie, it was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, alongside the film, in North America on 22 September 2017, and worldwide on 20 October 2017.[35] It serves as the second spin-off video game and the third game in The Lego Movie franchise.


Main articles: The Lego Ninjago Movie (Lego theme) and Lego Minifigures (theme)


Box office

The Lego Ninjago Movie grossed $59.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $63.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $123 million against a $70 million budget.[citation needed]

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.[36][37] 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 below It and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and ranking as the lowest opening of the Lego franchise by over 50%.[8]

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 55% based on 134 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."[38] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[39] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[8]

Andrew Barker of Variety wrote: "Plenty entertaining and occasionally very funny, Ninjago nonetheless displays symptoms of diminishing returns, and Lego might want to shuffle its pieces a bit before building yet another film with this same model."[40]


Award / Film Festival Category Recipient(s) Result
16th Visual Effects Society Awards[41] Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Gregory Jowle, Fiona Childton, Miles Green, Kim Taylor Nominated
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Arthur Terzis, Wei Hei, Jean-Marc Ariu, Gibson Radsavanh for "Garma Mecha Man" Nominated
Matthew Everitt, Christian So, Loic Miermont, Fiona Darwin for "Garmadon" Nominated
Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Kim Taylor, Angela Ensele, Felicity Coonan, Jean Pascal leBlanc for "Ninjago City" Nominated


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