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3 Ninjas (1992)

0:31 | Trailer
Each year, three brothers visit their grandfather for the summer. He is highly skilled in ninjutsu, and for years he has trained the boys in his techniques.


Jon Turteltaub


Kenny Kim (story), Edward Emanuel (screenplay)
4,757 ( 101)
1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor Wong ... Grandpa
Michael Treanor Michael Treanor ... Rocky
Max Elliott Slade ... Colt
Chad Power Chad Power ... Tum Tum
Rand Kingsley ... Snyder
Alan McRae ... Sam Douglas
Margarita Franco ... Jessica Douglas
Kate Sargeant Kate Sargeant ... Emily
Joel Swetow ... Brown
Professor Toru Tanaka ... Rushmore (as Toru Tanaka)
Patrick Labyorteaux ... Fester
Race Nelson Race Nelson ... Marcus
D.J. Harder D.J. Harder ... Hammer
Baha Jackson ... Bully
Scott Caudill Scott Caudill ... Bully
Learn more

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Each year, three brothers, Samuel, Jeffrey and Michael Douglas visit their grandfather, Mori Tanaka, for the summer. Mori is highly skilled in ninjutsu, and for years he has trained the boys in his techniques. After an organized crime ring proves to be too much for the F.B.I., it's time for the three ninja brothers! Using their martial artistry, they team up to battle the crime ring and outwit some very persistent kidnappers! Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action at it's Best! See more »


Action | Comedy | Family | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for martial arts action, mild language, and theme | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The tv version of the film was followed by the Walt Disney classic cartoon "Good Scouts" (1938), featuring Donald Duck and his nephews, to fill the required 2 hour air time. See more »


When the kids are locked in the room on the ship; when Colt asks the door to be his friend, you can see the twist lock on the door handle. All the kids had to do was twist it to unlock the door. See more »


Fester: I say we kill those little boogers!
Hammer: But like, I thought we wanted them alive.
Fester: I want *us* alive, dude!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The American version features several scenes/parts of scenes cut (most likely to get a PG rating), and runs several minutes shorter than the international version. In the American version, the boys win the basketball challenge, and the original ending with them fighting the bullies is replaced with an extended version of them driving away with their parents and Grandpa to get pizza, which includes additional narrating/arguing from the boys. See more »


References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »


Kid Power
Written by Richard Marvin (as Rick Marvin) & Will Roc (as William Griffin)
Performed by Will Roc
See more »

User Reviews

Despite one or two funny lines it is mostly a tiresome and quite cheap cross between Karate Kid and Home Alone
3 March 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Douglas boys spend their summers and weekends with their grandfather Tanaka, a martial arts expert who, despite his age is still very able and is teaching the boys ninja skills. Their father is an FBI agent, currently trying to capture the criminal giant that is Hugo Snyder. However Snyder is also a former partner of Tanaka and uses this relationship to get close to the his foil's three sons. With Snyder planning a large missile sale to the Middle East, he gets associate Brown to use three lackeys to kidnap the children just in case. However, he doesn't reckon on the skills of the kids and the stupidity of his men.

Call me a sucker for punishment but after watching two of the later 3 Ninjas films I figured that I should at least get myself some explanation as to why more than one film had been made. I assumed that the first film must have been good enough to be successful and by extension have made enough money to have justified sequels to a fan-base loyal enough to cover the costs regardless of the product. However watching the first film left me all the more mystified because it turns out that this film series was cheap and poor quality from the very start. The plot is the usual stuff where the boy use their skills to help foil some criminal adults, in this case a criminal that their fed father is chasing. It is predictable fare and all it does is produce some Home Alone style fights.

If these were funny and exciting then the film would have its salvation but sadly this is far from the case. The fights are poorly put together with simple moves and nothing in the way of imagination about them. The comedy is basic as well, which is a shame because good physical comedy tends to cover a large age range of viewers but here it is nothing more than simple pratfalls. Turteltaud's direction is a matter of stringing together static shots while the use of music to convey danger or, more often, "wackiness" is just painful. I would lay into the acting of the children but suffice to say that they delver just as much as you would expect. The adults are no better with Wong taking it too serious and McRae and Franco offering nothing. If nothing else at least Kingsley and Swetow have the good taste to be hammy fun.

Overall then, few people will be surprised by the quality of this film. It is cheaply done with unimaginative writing and action. The only surprise is that despite this the film managed to churn out some sort of puerile franchise out of these distinctly inauspicious beginning.

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Release Date:

7 August 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3 Ninjas See more »


Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,888,920, 9 August 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (web)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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