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Power Rangers Dino Thunder - Day of the Dino

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // Unrated // June 1, 2004
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted June 4, 2004 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

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.)

The DVD:

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 next begins.

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 presentation.

The Extras:

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.

Final Thoughts:

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.

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