LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu

  • Review Date: April 2, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 44 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fun story, positive messages amid product pitch, action.
  • Review Date: April 2, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 44 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

LEGO Ninjago's main focus is entertainment, not education. But characters do learn lessons of teamwork and patience.

Positive messages

The movie's tone is silly and exciting, but there are still some lessons. The young ninjas learn teamwork. They also learn more balanced behavior: the brash, impatient characters learn patience, and the serious characters learn to lighten up.

Positive role models

Young Kai -- the "fire" ninja -- is the main focus here. He's brash, impatient, and has a quick temper. With help from Sensei Wu, he learns focus and patience. Sensei Wu himself, though somewhat silly from time to time, is also a positive role model.

Violence & scariness

Lots of fast-paced martial-arts fighting with no blood. The bad guys are skeletons, and there's dialogue about how they're dead. Some of the skeletons are somewhat scary in appearance, and they fall apart in battle. A character has a bad dream with scary bad guys in it. There's talk of a fiery, hell-like "underworld" where the bad guys live. Teen characters are sometimes in peril. A character's sister is kidnapped and held hostage, but the situation is played with humor. There are also some monsters and dragons that may be scary to very young viewers. The bad guy is defeated but gets away in the end (the story is to be continued).

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Though the focus is on the characters, action, and story, kids will know that all these characters are LEGO toys and are available for purchase -- so the movie functions as an extended commercial.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu is an animated movie featuring characters from one of LEGO's most popular lines of toys, so in some way it acts as an extended commercial. The story features martial arts action, fighting, and peril, but no blood or wounds. The bad guys are skeletons who are already dead, so their injuries are more comical than traumatic. There's some scary imagery and talk of a hell-like "underworld." Overall, it may be too intense for very young kids, but the ninja characters learn lessons of patience and teamwork from their wise sensei.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Teen Kai (voiced by Vincent Tong) works at a blacksmith shop and receives a mysterious visit from Sensei Wu (Paul Dobson). Not long after, skeleton warriors attack and kidnap Kai's sister, Nya (Kelly Metzger). Sensei Wu offers to help the hot-headed Kai find her, but first Kai must train and learn the ways of ninjago. When Kai is ready, he joins forces with three other ninjas -- Jay (Michael Adamthwaite), Cole (Kirby Morrow), and Zane (Brent Miller) -- to retrieve four hidden, magical weapon. Together, the weapons contain incredible power. At the same time, Sensei Wu's evil brother, Garmadon (Mark Oliver), is also looking for the weapons. Can the ninjas complete their mission before Garmadon's terrible plan comes to fruition?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Certainly the marketing department at LEGO is full of geniuses, but this Ninjago movie -- based on a popular line of LEGO toys -- is lots of fun simply as a story and as an animated movie. The plot moves along at a decent pace; if anything, it's sometimes a bit too fast. And characters learn lessons of teamwork and patience thanks to the wise and respectable Sensei Wu. Better still, it's full of silly, winking humor, thereby making the peril seem less intense. 

At the same time, the animation is smooth and colorful, and the exciting martial arts sequences make the most of the blocky little characters and their "clip" hands. In some ways, the movie stretches the limits of its audience's imagination with a scary dream sequence and some dragons and monsters that suddenly lurch toward the screen. But in other ways, it doesn't pander and seems to have been made for the amusement of parents as well as kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's martial arts violence. Kids: Does the humor make the violence seem less intense? Do you feel more amped up after watching cartoons like this?

  • What lesson does Kai learn over the course of the story? What is he like at the beginning and then at the end? How does teamwork help the ninjas complete their mission?

  • Does the movie make you want to buy LEGO toys? Or were you more interested in the story and characters?

Movie details

DVD release date:March 27, 2012
Cast:Michael Adamthwaite, Paul Dobson, Vincent Tong
Directors:Justin Murphy, Michael Hegner
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Sports and martial arts
Run time:44 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byblfam May 25, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Who should you show it to?

Ninjago works for 3 year old, Better for a 5 year old, and Relly good for 6 and up. Kids who watch it some times want to buy Lego Ninjago. Tell them they can buy Ninjago with there own money.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byJaggy27 August 24, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

What to expect in LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.

First, I need to say that this is twelve AND UNDER. Now, the show (and the pilot movie) is okay. The plot lines are generally structured simply so older viewers might find it a little TOO simple. The show, not the pilot movie, seems to be fast paced, as the characters solve most problems with one season (sometimes withing a few episodes). There's frequent use of slow motion which can become tiresome after a while. While there is "consumerism," it is kept to an extreme minimum. After all, with a show based on LEGOs, it's going to make people want to buy stuff. The scary stuff and "violence" is manly sword slashing (no blood or cutting each other) and dark creatures doing bad. Positive messages are based along the lines of "doing evil is bad" and "teamwork and patience is good." The main villain is shown to care about his son (there are other things too) so, the show isn't very "dark." There are many jokes in this, some that are mediocre, and some that are quite funny. Like I said at the beginning this show is okay.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byGresh854 January 30, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

One of the Greatest Kids Shows Of Our Time!

The critics got it wrong. The reason why the rating is so low is because the show is related to LEGO. The critics don't care how good the show is, they care about why LEGO would do this. Well yes, LEGO made this show so there company can get more money and sales but the show is actually really great. In my opinion I think this show is one of the best kids show ever. Yah I hear all the time you cant beat the original but the originals didn't have potential! This show did! I mean they changed a kids show into something with life learning lessons. The show has the main ingredients to a perfect TV show. Action, Comedy, Heart, and Soul. The action is your average kid show type of stuff but some parts of the show you can actually see the action is over amazing for a kids show. Like when the great devour attacks the city or when Lloyd is about to die in a epic volcano explosion. So yes the action is very good. The comedy is pretty good and have kids laughing plus they add in adult humor too sometimes. The heart, there's some love and touching moments in the show which is great. About every episode has a lesson and this is for the soul. A lesson about life and whats wrong or right and not giving up for things and stuff. Thats why I give this show a 10. Yah sure the shows characters are LEGOs but why the heck does it matter? The animation is unique and 3D like. And overall the show gets better and better every episodes. And darker and darker which may be the reason why the show is Y7. A great show for all ages! Even teens and adults will enjoy! The show is fantastic and I recommend that all kids should watch it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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