The 1992 movie 3 Ninjas stormed theatres with punches and kicks. The main characters of the family martial arts comedy are three young boys who utilize their martial arts expertise to thwart a villain’s cunning plans.
The movie office success of 3 Ninjas upon debut ensured a number of 3 Ninjas sequels. But how many 3 Ninjas movies are there, and which order should they be seen in?
The 3 Ninjas movies in order
- 3 Ninjas (1992)
- 3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1993)
- 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)
- 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998)
3 Ninjas (1992)
Samuel, 11, and Michael, 8, visit their grandfather Mori Tanaka at his cottage every summer. Mori’s grandkids learn ninjutsu. More offers them new “ninja” names based on their personalities: Rocky, Colt, and Tum-Tum.
Sam Douglas, the brothers’ father, is an FBI agent who traps Hugo Snyder in a warhead sale. Snyder flees with his ninja henchmen and approaches his former business associate Mori. Mori’s grandkids assist him to defeat Snyder’s goons. Snyder threatens Mori’s family if he doesn’t stop Sam from pursuing him.
When the lads return home, their father is uninterested in what they learned and angered by their new names. Rocky’s friend Emily likes his new name and agrees to ride to school with them. Snyder kidnaps the brothers to blackmail Sam.
Nigel Brown, Snyder’s right-hand man, contacts his nephew Fester, a minor criminal surf punk, and his friends Hammer and Marcus to abduct the boys, but the FBI intervenes. Fester and his buddies follow the brothers to school the next day but are sidetracked by a police cruiser.
Emily becomes away from her brothers and is robbed by bullies. The boys challenge the bullies to a two-on-two basketball game, giving them a 9-point lead. Despite the bullies’ unscrupulous efforts, the brothers win Emily’s bike.
Colt learns Snyder is their father’s target that night. Fester and his friends create a false pizza order to subdue the babysitter. The brothers believe it’s a home invasion and fight back with ninja gear and household goods.
Fester uses Rocky’s improvised phone to call Emily and take her captive, but the lads outsmart and overcome him. After rescuing the babysitter, Snyder’s bodyguard Rushmore overpowers the brothers and takes them aboard his ship.
The brothers escape captivity and defeat Rushmore while Mori rescues them. Snyder fights Mori for the brothers’ freedom. Snyder has the upper hand because of his youth, quickness, and secret pepper bomb until Mori gags him with Tum-jelly Tum’s beans.
Snyder gets a gun from a subordinate and tries to shoot Mori and the boys, but is shot in the shoulder and subdued by Sam, who arrives with assistance to arrest Snyder, Brown, and their thugs. Sam promises his sons he’ll let them visit their grandpa every summer and takes the rest of the night off to grab pizza with the family, including Mori.
3 Ninjas Knuckle Up (1993)
Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum defend “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” again, this time rescuing a Native American hamlet and community from a Toxic Waste Company.
During the summer, the boys are living with Grandpa Mori when they observe Native Americans opposing the trash industry. A fight breaks out, and the authorities order Mori and the boys to leave. The next day, Colt and Tum-Tum encounter J.J. Jo, a protester at the pizza business, who is harassed and beaten after asking about her father. Colt, Tum-Tum, and Rocky defend her while customers cheer.
After repelling the men using martial arts, they’re hailed as heroes, giving them enormous heads. Mori and the pizza business owner make the boys work off their battle damages. Mori tries to teach them humility, but they don’t get the flower analogy. Jo tells the boys in the pizza parlor that they work for Jack Harding, an industrialist illegally dumping toxic waste in a Native American reserve.
No proof, nothing. Charlie, Jo’s father, went to investigate and never returned. Colt, intrigued by Jo, offers to help discover her father. The guys sneak into Jack’s garbage management, overhear his meeting with the mayor, and find Charlie imprisoned.
The youngsters escaped Jack’s men and told Jo. They successfully rescue her father that night. They spend the night with the tribe celebrating their help. During the dance, Jack and his men assault them again until the lads and Native Americans fend them off with Mori’s help.
Charlie and his family prepare court documents to put Jack out of business. Soon, Jack arranges for the Bikers to kidnap Jo and convinces her father to fake evidence for her safety.
Rocky and his brothers find out where Jo is being held captive, rescue her, and return before the court case is dismissed and Charlie’s work is wasted. After fighting armed bikers in an abandoned town, they found Jo and returned her to court.
The boys arrive and fight Jack’s men and the Sheriffs as Jo arrives moments before her father hands Jack the genuine evidence. Charlie slaps Jack, admits his error, and provides genuine evidence to the EPA agent, who closes the trash company.
Jo and her family search for the ‘heroes’ of the day as they exit the court. Rocky, Colt, and Tum-Tum grasp Mori’s earlier lesson: a flower is content to flourish quietly, without demanding attention. Grandpa Mori and the boys’ somersault in victory.
3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994)
“Rocky,” “Colt,” and “Tum-Tum” are brothers experiencing growing pains. Their grandfather Mori Shintaro teaches them ninja techniques (Mori Tanaka in the previous film). Mori planned a trip to Japan to take them to a martial arts event he won 50 years ago.
Tum-Tum only wants to go because of how much food sumo wrestlers devour. Mori hopes to return a dagger he won during a tournament by defeating Koga so it can be given to the new champion. In Japan, Koga takes a sword from a museum and escapes via a hang glider.
At a baseball game, Rocky is too distracted by a pretty girl to throw well, Tum-Tum causes repeated breaks to grab food, and Colt’s temper creates a brawl with the opposing team, causing the umpire to call off the game until next week, derailing the boys’ travel plans.
Glam, Koga’s nephew, leads three goons to Mori’s hut to take the dagger. The boys drive them off and call it a routine heist. Sam delivers Mori Tum-backpack Tum’s when he goes to Japan. Glam and his friends rear-end Mori’s taxi in Japan and grab his stuff.
The guys find the dagger after hearing from Mori at the hospital. They meet Mori in Japan using his credit card. He tells them to hand the dagger to the tournament’s Grand Master. Glam and his companions videotape the talk for Koga, who punishes them for not collecting the dagger.
Colt replaces a fallen opponent at the competition but is trounced by Miyo Shikigawa, wounding his pride. She lets them stay with her and her mother after delivering the dagger to the Grand Master. She loves baseball, and is a good power hitter, but can’t catch. If she teaches them martial arts, they’ll teach her baseball.
Koga pretends to be the Grand Master to trap the lads and steal the dagger, but they and Miyo escape. They encounter multiple opponents before being caught. Ishikawa kidnaps Mori when Glam and the others fled. Koga forces Mori to reveal the location of the Cave of Gold, which the sword and dagger unlock. Mori helps Koga to protect his grandsons.
The children escape Koga’s citadel on hang gliders shortly after the adults do. Koga and Mori discover gold walls and monuments inside, confirming the tradition. While they fight, Miyo, the boys, and Koga arrive with a rifle. Colt uses Mori’s instruction on focus to backfire on the gun and cause a cave-in.
The gang escapes the cave, and Koga apologizes and leaves them unharmed. Rocky understands they’re a day ahead of America and can make the title game.
The game helps the guys improve. In the 9th inning, a hitter hits Rocky’s pitch, but Miyo catches it. Colt blasts a home run in the bottom of the inning to win the game. After the game, the opposition team’s leader chooses Miyo to fight for destroying his home run. Darren yells as Miyo prepares to assault him. The combat begins in black.
3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998)
Rocky, 13, Colt, and Tum-Tum, 9, perform an obstacle course exam in the dark with their grandfather Mori. They complete the training but don’t learn how to use their other senses. Later that night, Mori overhears Rocky and Colt arranging to not return next year, leaving Tum-Tum for himself. Mori feels down.
Tum-Tum becomes depressed when he learns that his favorite TV show, Dave Dragon & the Star Force 5, is being canceled. His mother, Jessica, doesn’t even make him his favorite sandwich to cheer him up. The next day, they meet Amanda, whose remote-controlled helicopter smashes through their window.
Jessica invites her to breakfast and Tum-birthday Tum’s party at Six Flags-style Mega Mountain. Rocky spends time with Jennifer and her pals Veronica, Eric, and Doyle at Mega Mountain, while Tum-Tum persuades Colt to watch the show.
Mary Ann “Medusa” Rogers and her henchmen commandeer the park while the youngsters are having fun, sabotaging various attractions and holding the visitor’s prisoner. Medusa and her men penetrate the park’s command center as their hidden base, and she demands $10 million from the park’s owner in exchange for the guests’ safety.
Tum-Tum and Colt want Dave’s autograph until they save him from Medusa’s goons. Rocky rejoins his brothers and Amanda after noticing the men on surveillance cameras. Boys and Amanda discover the park is vulnerable and tell Dave, who acts. The boys and Amanda detect an emergency radio, so police and firefighters investigate the park.
The FBI arrives to help after Medusa and her goons ambush them. Medusa instructs C.J. to speed up the Avalanche ride in retribution. The guys and Amanda rescue the riders by fighting with Amanda’s special arsenals as she controls the ride with her laptop.
Medusa sends her nephews Carl, Buelow, and Zed to capture them, but the boys use carnival game pieces and a ride to defeat them. Medusa and her minions catch Dave when he sneaks inside the command center. SWAT tries to access the park but is blocked by electrical barricades.
Amanda uses her laptop to lock down ride access with C.J. Medusa rapidly uses the Zinger roller coaster’s emergency brake to stop the inversion. Dave tries to attack Medusa, but she stops him and her soldiers confine him to the roller coaster bottom.
Medusa’s nephews capture and tie her to the bottom of the Zinger roller coaster loop tracks after seeing Rocky and Jennifer on the ride monitors. Rocky rescues Jennifer alone. Lothar Zogg is sent by Medusa to abduct the lads. After gaining confidence, Dave beats off the guards and frees the hostages.
Lothar attacks Rocky when he arrives to rescue Jennifer. After a battle that sends Rocky and Lothar to the top of the roller coaster loop, Rocky uses a yo-yo to knock Lothar off and into the hands of the authorities outside the park.
Rocky manages to liberate Jennifer before Medusa releases the roller coaster. Amanda destroys the last bag of money with her remote-controlled aircraft, allowing it to fall down on the park and be stolen by guests.
Medusa captures Amanda and escapes with the money. Dave falls unconscious after fending off Medusa’s ninjas. The boys defeat Medusa’s ninjas until she shoots out the lights. Medusa’s ninjas fight with night vision goggles when she darkens the halls. Mori’s guidance helps the guys overcome their weaknesses in the dark.
The boys defeat Medusa’s ninjas to save Amanda, who’s tied next to a bomb that would destroy the park. They liberate her, but the short power supply prevents them from disarming the device.
With Dave’s help, they attach the bomb to a few oxygen tanks, knock off the valves, and send it like a torpedo down to Medusa’s escape ship, where she and her remaining troops dive before the ship explodes. Police arrive at the beach after the explosion to arrest Medusa, who surrenders.
Now lauded as heroes, the boy’s credit Dave Dragon, calling him the genuine hero. Rocky and Colt promise Mori they won’t quit training after seeing their parents and grandfather. Amanda accepts their invitation to train with them the following year. Film and series end with Tum-birthday Tum’s party.