For the last two decades at least, animated shows have been the perfect way to build a new audience. The internet has made it easier for people from the West to find and celebrate content coming from the East, and vice versa. Some of these animations come along and obtain a cult following; others become mainstream in their popularity. Here’s looking at you, Cowboy Bebop & Naruto. Also, honorable mention to Invincible of the last year which was a surprise sleeper-hit in the already-crowded superhero genre.
Now, there’s a newcomer on the block that looks to make a splash in the same field, but in the form of an animated feature film, and that’s Ninjai: The Little Ninja.
If that name sounds at all familiar to you, it’s because the character of Ninjai has actually been around since the early 2000’s, and originally made an appearance in a brief Ninjai web series, one of the first, that took the internet world by storm and paved the way for shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender to have mass-market appeal.
The new Ninjai: The Little Ninja feature film looks like it’s going to be one of the best animated feature films in a long time. We rarely see English-made animated films of this quality and style; it’s going to be a real treat! A teaser for the film showed stellar visuals both in artwork and animation, and a great cast of characters and action sequences.
What makes Ninjai so special?
It’s hard to talk about Ninjai without acknowledging the creators behind it, the Ninjai Gang. As previously mentioned, Ninjai: The Little Ninja is absolutely world-class in its production in terms of art direction, animation, music, visuals and editing, what is surprising is that this has nothing to do with a major studio or production company. The Ninjai Gang is a group of creatives, martial artists, and friends who have been independently producing the character and related works on their own without any big-time backing. In today’s massive studio-driven world of Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon, to name a few, that is an increasingly rare and impressive feat.
The film has a stunning and unique look, and some of the sceneries and landscapes are absolutely beautiful. It’s an inspired work, and the passion behind the project really shows. The kung-fu, swordplay in the fight scenes is also top-class and looks better than most live-action films. It seems to be a hint of wushu in there in the moves, which would not be surprising since one of The Ninjai Gang members was the martial artist who performed the amazing martial arts for Uma Therman’s character “The Bride” in the Tarantino cult film Kill Bill.
Overall, Ninjai: The Little Ninja looks like it’s going to be an absolute blast when it hits the big screen, and along with the original fans of the character, we’re excited to join a new legion of fans for this small but mighty project. All signs point to a 2022 release, and we’ll be keeping you posted on any updates that come our way. One can find more unofficial updates on Ninjai on the fan-created Ninjai Tweets.