Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja is an American animated television series, created and executive produced by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas. It is produced by Titmouse, Inc., Boulder Media Limited, and Disney Television Animation. The series premiered on September 17, 2012 on Disney XD.
A town called Norrisville has been protected by a ninja for 800 years. But what the citizens of Norrisville don't know is that a new ninja is selected every four years. Randy Cunningham, ninth grade teenager, is the next ninja. Now, with the help of his best friend Howard, Randy must protect Norrisville from the evil plans of the Sorcerer, his ally Hannibal McFist, and McFist's assistant Viceroy.
The idea for the show first came in 2008, when Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas were throwing around ideas and created the title. When they were presenting pitches to Disney XD in December of 2008, they revealed the title to the managers, who agreed to pick up a pilot for the show.
According to Titmouse producer Ben Kalina, the original pilot had a different art design, something that looked similar to Kim Possible, when it was pitched. However, the show was retooled, and Jhonen Vasquez was brought in to design the main cast, which would help set the current style of the show.
Cast and Characters
- Ben Schwartz as Randy Cunningham/The Ninja, a 9th grade kid and the series' main protagonist, who is chosen to be the next Ninja. He and his friend Howard love video games as seen in the series preview. Randy tries to find out new things about the Ninja Suit by reading a book that came with it called "The NinjaNomicon" and learns that being a hero is not about popularity.
- Andrew Caldwell as Howard Weinerman, Randy's best friend and the series' deuteragonist. He is a big fan of the Ninja in the first episode until he finds out that Randy is the Ninja and begins to have friendship issues with Randy.
- Cassie Scerbo as Heidi Weinerman, Howard’s older sister and the host of Norrisville High’s #1 Me-Cast: Heidi@School! She’s tall, beautiful, popular and on the cutting edge of pretty much everything.
- Tim Curry as The Sorcerer, the series main antagonist, who is the evil one that wants to destroy the ninja. This onetime master of the dark arts ain’t lookin’ so good after being in a hole for 800 years. In order to escape, the Sorcerer needs to create chaos to build his power. He does this by turning the most vulnerable and weak willed people in school into rampaging monsters. If he creates enough chaos, he could break free from his prison… and rip the universe to shreds.
- John Di Maggio as Hannibal McFist, the series' secondary antagonist and the owner of McFist Industries, which makes or owns just about everything. But the world is not enough for McFist. The one thing he wants more than anything is a super power. So he made a deal: if Mcfist helps the Sorcerer break out of his hole of a prison, the Sorcerer will reward Mcfist with the super human ability of his choosing.
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Willem Viceroy III. He is the evil scientist but rather refined madman responsible for all of the bizarre robots attacking Randy. As McFist’s chief mad scientist, Viceroy doesn't really care about money or power; he just wants everyone to appreciate his genius.
- Dave Wittenberg as Bash Johnson, a school bully and McFist’s stepson, Norrisville High Crushin’ Carp quarterback and a grade-A jerk who thinks he’s the king of the school. What Bash lacks in intelligence he makes up for in fists.
- Jim Rash as Principal Slimovitz, the principal of Norrisville High.
- Megan Mullally as Mrs. Driscoll, Randy and Howard's science teacher.
- John Oliver as Coach Green, Randy and Howard's insane P.E. teacher.
- Scott Menville as Bucky, a student who always get bullied by Bash.
- Neil Flynn as Mr. Bannister, Randy and Howard's English teacher.
The show's first season is 26 episodes made up of 52 11-minute episodes. Many episodes have been aired out of chronological order. The series started with the pilot "Last Stall on the Left", and finished with the two-part finale "Randy Cunningham: 13th Century Ninja".
The second season was confirmed by people who work on the show. It has 48 11-minute episodes, and it officially began on September 29, 2014 with "Welcome Back Catfish", although the episodes "Flume-Igation" and "On the Poolfront" premiered ahead of the season's official run on July 19 as part of the "Show Me the Shark!" event by Disney XD.