Starting with the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers, the Power Ranger
franchise has been on television, in one incarnation, for over ten years.
That's a pretty impressive run for a show, especially when you consider
how many programs have come and gone in that time. This DVD presents
the first three episodes of the newest incarnation of the Power Rangers,
Dino Thunder. It is an exciting show with some old friends
and new surprises.
Reefside High has a new science teacher, Dr. Tommy Oliver (Jason David
Frank) better known to Ranger fans as just Tommy. Since retiring
from the Rangers, Tommy has gotten his Ph.D. in paleontology and has decided
that he wants to live a quiet life teaching school. On his first
day on the job he has to watch over three students who were given detention:
Kira the pretty musician, Ethan the computer geek, and Conner the star
soccer player. Having previously made plans to visit a museum, Dr.
Oliver takes the trio along with him. When they arrive, the museum
is closed, and while Tommy looks for someone open it up, the three students
wander out into the forest. Quicker than you can say "origin scene"
they fall into a trio of sinkholes and find themselves in a secret underground
lab. Contained in this chamber is an odd rock with three colored
crystal protruding from it. The trio each take one, and decide to
leave. No sooner have they climbed out (something they couldn't do
moments earlier) than strange reptilian creatures, the Tyranodrones, attack
them. Fighting for their lives, they find out that they each have
a superpower. Kira has sonic shouts (like Black Canary from DC Comics,)
Conner can move at super-speed (like The Flash from DC Comics) and Ethan
can make his forearms very strong (like....well, no one I guess.
That is an original power, but it's also really wimpy.) The three
fight off their assailants, and decide not to tell anyone about what happened.
They stick to the plan until the evil Mesogog's henchmen kidnap Kira
to get her gemstone. Conner and Ethan hightail it to Dr. Oliver's
where they find out that the secret lab they stumbled on was his.
The three go in search of Kira, but luckily she manages to escape.
The three students go back with Dr. Oliver's to his lab where he tells
them about the crystals they found, and informs them that they are now
Power Rangers. He gives them morphers that he has fashioned himself,
and instructs them in their use. But Mesogog isn't just sitting around.
He wants the power of the crystals for himself, so he sends monsters to
attack the town, and Ethan, Kira, and Conner find out if they have what
it takes to be Power Rangers.
This was a great DVD. Dino Thunder is one of the better
Ranger series, and the reappearance of Tommy is a treat for people who
have been following the Rangers for a while. This set of three episodes
presents the new Rangers and shows their origins (always a favorite episode
in each series,) how they obtained their zords, and they even get their
Dinoraptors. While the episodes are predictable they manage to make
them fun. There are some good fight scenes and quite a bit of humor.
(And no irritating hamster Sensei which is a big plus in my book.)
This DVD contains three episodes, but the beginning and closing credits
are shown once, at the beginning and ending of the disc. They are
not shown between the episodes. The title of each show is left on,
and, in any case, it's very easy to tell where one episode ends and the
One word of warning: The back
cover states that Tommy returns as the Black Ranger, but that episode is
not included on this DVD!
The show is presented in surround sound. It sounds fairly average
for a TV show. The levels of the rear speakers are pretty low, and
are not used much. The explosions are not loud or booming, but the
dialog is clear. There are English subtitles available.
Presented in full frame, as it was intended, the show looks all right.
The entire disc had a slight grain to it, but it is not a major defect.
The colors are not bright and vivid, nor are they muted. An average
This disc includes a series of "Virtual Trading
Cards." I have no idea how you are supposed to "trade"
them. When you select this option on the extras menu, you are brought
to a menu with a series of cards, six of which are highlighted and can
be selected. Selecting a card enlarges it and shows you a looped
scene of that Ranger or monster fighting. There are button below
the scene that allows you to see their abilities, weapons and statistics.
The text portion is very sparse often only a couple of words. I got
the feeling that they wanted to include a low cost extra, and this is what
they came up with.
There is also a masked person performing a pair of katas in the Ninja
Moves extra. The Sensei from Ninja Storm talks
over it, (I have no idea why they didn't get Jason Frank to provide the
narration) and you can select watching it in real time, or one move at
a time. It didn't do much for me, and I can't really see anyone trying
to ape the moves, which are pretty basic.
There are also two episodes of Ninja Storm included on the DVD,
The Storm Before the Calm parts 1 and 2. While it is nice
that they included an extra two-part show, I would have much preferred
a pair of Dino Thunder episodes.
This was a fun set of shows. A lot happens with new Rangers introduced,
new zords and new transportation. There is a lot of action, but the
highlight of the series is the return of Tommy. While I would have
preferred that Power Rangers be released in season sets, I don't think
that is going to happen any time soon. This is the next best thing.
I can see young children watching this DVD over and over. It's sure
to be a favorite among Ranger fans. Recommended.