Season Two finds the series' element wielding Ninja -- Kai (fire), Jay (Lightning), Zane (Ice) and Cole (Earth) -- preparing Green Ninja Lloyd for a fateful battle with his father, the villainous Lord Garmadon. Along the way, the five Spinjitzu ninja have to face evil clones, stop a time-traveling nemesis, reunite Lloyd with his mother, deal with an alliance between Garmadon and the Overlord, contend with a stone army and more.
I'll tell you what, Cartoon Network's 'Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu' is just about the most perfect show for eight-year-old boys that I can think of. Legos, which are just as popular as ever with today's youngsters, are branching out into television now, and the results are amusing. 'Ninjago' is, at times, as clever and as fun as some of the Lego video game franchises we've seen over the years. The humor isn't as referential as the video games, but it can be just as funny. But, above all, the show serves as a clever marketing ploy for Lego's Ninjago play sets.
'Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu' takes place in a fictional land called Ninjago. We follow around a rag-tag group of Lego ninjas as they battle the dark forces of evil Lord Garmadon (voiced by Mark Oliver). The boys, and their adolescent humor, are reminiscent of the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.' They fight crime and crack jokes all at the same time.
Season one introduced us to the group: Kai (voiced by Vincent Tong), Jay (Michael Adamthwaite), Zane (voiced by Brent Miller), and Cole (voiced by Kirby Morrow). Soon they came into contact with Lloyd Garmadon (voiced by Jillian Michaels), son of their evil nemesis. A great army of snakes called Serpentines have been released and the boys must stop them.
Season two starts with the Serpentines facing defeat until Lord Garmadon shows up with a collection of the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu, which he has plans to melt down to create the Mega Weapon.
See what I'm getting at here? Everything about this show is the kind of stuff kids make up when they're playing with Legos. Rarely does the show make any sort of sense, yet it harkens back to those endless days where you and a couple friends would build elaborate Lego cities, create extravagant backstories for your Lego guys, and play until you couldn't play anymore. I know that wasn't just me.
The Lego brand slapstick is heavy in 'Ninjago.' It's a little lighter in the Lego video games, because most of them are devoid of dialogue. In the video games we're simply reliving the movie references through the lens of Legos. Here there's dialogue, which can be hackneyed at times. Stories feel like they've been conjured out of nowhere without any real thought of where they're going to go. While this may be frustrating for adults, little boys will eat this stuff up.
My nephew, who is the exact demographic for this show, loves it. He can't get enough 'Ninjago.' He buys as many sets as he can, he watches the show religiously, and will be extremely jealous to find out I have season two sitting at my house. I must admit I got a little bored watching episode after episode, my nephew on the other hand, could watch the entire season in one day and then rewatch it.
As the storylines get crazier and the characters get cornier you'll realize that this was simply a purchase for your child. There's little room for enjoyment here if you're older than 12. That's okay though because 'Ninjago' isn't aiming for you anyway. You see those fourth and fifth graders glued to the television while 'Ninjago' is on? Those are the show's audience, and it caters to them perfectly.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu – Season 2' has 13 episodes which are all contained on one 50GB Blu-ray Disc. The disc is packaged in a standard keepcase and is distributed by Warner Bros.
Like most animation that Lego produces, it feels rudimentary compared to other computer-generated animation. It's simple, colorful, and that's about it. The 1080p picture here has some difficulties with compression issues that would annoy more experienced videophiles. However, the kiddies are going to be so completely preoccupied by the bright colors to even care.
Colors are indeed vivid. Blues, greens, and reds are all strong and leap off the screen. Clarity wavers now and then. Even with this being CG, softness does creep in as does compression noise. Worst of all, banding is ever-present throughout the season. Gradients, fades, and light sources are all ringed with noticeable, distracting banding.
This release is saddled with an anemic Dolby Digital 2.0 track that fails to equal the high-flying action of the show. Instead we're left with a lossy presentation that does little to engage the listener. Dialogue is muffled most of the time. It's far too soft at normal volume levels. I had to crank up my sound just to hear what they were saying. Sound effects lack any sort of oomph. LFE is non-existent. Even though there are many instances where surround sound could've added to the overall quality, they are missed. It's a shame that the show has been given such a lackluster lossy track. And it isn't even 5.1! Yikes.
There are no special features included.
If you have young boys then you might want to think about purchasing this. If they can't stop playing with Legos then chances are they won't be able to stop watching this. That's as far as it goes though. Outside of that demographic no one else will find this entertaining. There are some funny things here and there, but largely this is aimed at a specific age and gender group. Video is OK, but audio is a bummer. This is for young fans only.