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LEGO Ninjago New 2D Animation Style

At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed that there will be some interesting twists coming to the LEGO Ninjago TV show. Starting with LEGO Ninjago Season 11, different animation styles will be mixed into the show, including 2D anime segments, and possibly stop-motion. Ninjago Executive Producer Tommy Andreasen has been sharing some images and other details about what’s coming, and below I included some of the highlights from what has been revealed so far.

Tommy Andreasen tweeted on July 21st (quoted with slight corrections of grammar, punctuation, etc.): “I wasn’t at the SDCC panel and don’t know what was said, but to clarify: The Ninjago TV series will still be 3D minifig based, but once in a while, if the story motivates it, we will be doing episodes in different styles. Ninjago is a playground for creativity and fun. There won’t be a dedicated Ninjago anime-series, but there will be some episodes sprinkled in if the narrative dictates it… and other styles too. Sock puppets?! Stop motion?! Anything is fair game, if we can make it relevant and cool. I have been wanting to do this since Season 3, but it only became a possibility now with the 11-minute format. As much as I love what the 22-minute episodes provide, the 11-minute format really keeps us on our toes and gives us more creative freedom. Trying out some anime-style 2D animation was inspired by the wealth of Ninjago fan art we have seen over the years. So, a very sincere thank you for the inspiration and for getting us there.”

The following frames are from an episode from the 2nd half of the Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu season. The episode is called “Worst of all!” It features familiar characters such as Lloyd and Nya but in 2D animated style, closer to normal human proportions. The weird guy is a new character named Fugi-Dove.

Reaction to the new style of animation has been mixed from the LEGO Ninjago fan community. Thus, Tommy tweeted the following at the end of July: “Hi, Ninjago community! I see a lot of negative reactions to particularly Lloyd’s design in the anime-style pictures. I won’t answer these yet as I think there is a lesson to be learned. The ‘why’ will become clear from context. And, maybe this time those who object will learn to trust?”

What do you think? How do you like the changes introduced with LEGO Ninjago Season 11? Do you prefer the shorter or longer episodes? And what do you think about introducing other animation styles? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Legostuff14 August 20, 2019, 11:59 AM

    The only reason why Lego had the the animation Ninjago series was to give a storyline for the sets when they first came out. So, the ninjago tv show matched the mini figures and vehicles. People love the series and the sets . It Drew customers into it more and it became and ” Evergreen series” which meant almost every year there was a new series or a theme from Ninjago. So, if the animators decide to change the appearance of the minifigures then it’s stepping away from Lego itself. I look at friends and the elves animation series and they don’t look like the mini figures ( no claw hands or do they I’m not sure). I just hope Lego doesn’t decide to make Ninjago figures into mini dolls.😐

    • SergeiS August 20, 2019, 12:45 PM

      Ha-ha! I would like to have one special set with Ninjago mini dolls. Just for the heck of it. I don’t think they are planning to change the whole animation. As they said, it’s just some special short clips when it’s logical to fit the story. I assume this could be something like visions or dreams, or alternate universes, or something like that.

  • Sith015 August 20, 2019, 1:52 PM

    I see why this would upset a lot of fans. But as long as they keep these other animation styles short, I don’t see the problem. They already used other animation styles in the TV show, like the one that looks like parchment paper (I don’t know how else to describe it).

  • Peter August 20, 2019, 2:19 PM

    I think using different animations once in a while is cool. It feels a little weird to see Lloyd and Nya like that, but 2D animation can also give more options. So I’m cool with the animation, but I preferred the longer episodes. You could really get into the story. Now they come and go too fast.

  • brickhead August 20, 2019, 3:06 PM

    I don’t mind, as long as they don’t change all the animation. I think the drawings are cool, and as Tommy said, they are based on fan art. Kids have been drawing Ninjago guys with human proportions from the very beginning of the show.

  • Tony August 20, 2019, 4:37 PM

    I’m not clear on why they are doing this. What can they do with the current animation? As others said, I’m okay with doing a little bit of this, but please don’t change the animation!

    • admin August 22, 2019, 11:38 AM

      Tommy said adding other animation styles gives them more options. What he has in mind we don’t know yet, but He said he has been wanting to do this for a long time. I would say give him a chance, and if it doesn’t work at all, they can always go back to normal LEGO animation.

  • gid617 August 20, 2019, 5:34 PM

    Seems kind of weird to me and this style especially is not at all my style of cartoon. As long as it’s just short clips in logical places (although I can’t even imagine a logical reason to mix such radically different styles as LEGO and 2D animation in one show) I’ll watch ’em just because they’re part of the episode but if full episodes come out in this style they’d have to be pretty integral to the story in order for me to feel interested in them.

    I really haven’t noticed the shorter episodes much. They integrate smoothly and I’ve watched them in a row, so in several cases I didn’t even know where one began and another ended.

  • supermario August 20, 2019, 8:54 PM

    Aren’t the ninjas supposed to be young teens? In the 2D animation they look older. Other than that, I’m okay with using this style if it makes sense to the story.

    • Håkan August 20, 2019, 9:15 PM

      Well, it could be hard to tell the age in certain drawing styles…

  • LEGO MOC BUILDER August 21, 2019, 9:05 AM

    So they took the LEGO out of LEGO Ninjago. Pretty soon it is going to be called Anime Ninjago. Way to kill your own franchise LEGO! LEGO is definitely suicidal, they killed their VIP system, they are killing Ninjago, makes me wonder what is next.

    • hushpuppy August 21, 2019, 2:25 PM

      Sadly, have to agree with this.

  • The Brick Lot August 21, 2019, 1:51 PM


    • hushpuppy August 21, 2019, 2:24 PM

      And that’s the real question. WHY??? What is there that can be done with this weird 2D animation that can’t be done with the standard Lego animation that we all love?

  • Legostuff14 August 21, 2019, 5:09 PM

    Thank you, Lego moc builder. That’s exactly my point.

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