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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series (Seasons 1, 2, and 3)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is one of the most successful children's series of all time and it continues to be a series that holds a special place in the hearts of fans today. The long-running series has finally arrived on DVD in a lavishly produced collection containing the entire original series (seasons 1, 2, and 3). This is the series saga that started it all and began a pop-culture phenomenon that has continued to be a huge part of children's entertainment.
The story begins by telling us how Zordon banished the wicked Rita and her evil minions to a dumpster located in space. The evil Rita was determined to destroy the universe and have her own rule over earthlings, so to speak, and Zordon was the protector who wanted peace in the universe. Zordon had decided to let her live but he had banished her. However, a group of travelers in space found her, unknowingly helped her to escape her space dwelling, and it essentially turned this around on the universe: it wasn't long before havoc ensued again.
The solution to the problem? Zordon decides to enlist the help of five teens, "Teenagers With Attitude", who would be able to help protect the universe and Earth against the forces of Rita, her evil companions, and other intergalactic foes working with their enemy. The team formed, and a powerful companionship of friendship was established between these butt-kickin' teens.
The team consisted of Jason (Austin St. John), the Red Ranger, Billy (David Yost), the Blue Ranger, Trini (Thuy Trang), the yellow Ranger, Zack (Walter Emmanuel Jones), the Black Ranger, and Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson), the Pink Ranger. This was the original line-up in characters.
The series would eventually add The Green Ranger into the mix of characters. Tommy (Jason David Frank) was the outcast of the bunch as the Green Ranger, who received special powers while under a spell that was done by Rita, but he was eventually able to join the the Rangers team and would also later become the White Ranger and leader of the team. He was always special to me as my favorite Ranger. Of course, I thought all of these characters and Power Rangers were wonderful.
This was one of those series that I really connected to and grew up watching as a kid. It was something that always brought me some feeling of joy. I would try to never miss an episode, always looking forward to what would happen next, and I loved all of the characters. Tommy (The Green Ranger) was always my favorite. I practically wanted to be the green ranger and actually help save the world.
Regarding my Power Rangers fandom: I had a Power Rangers blanket, Power Rangers toys, and all sorts of other Power Rangers related merchandise as a child. It wasn't a mammoth collection like some of the collectors of Power Rangers memorabilia can attest to owning, but these items were all special to me, and the series was something that I have reflected upon as something of some dramatic importance to me: this series was one of the first things to inspire some interest that I had in creativity since being a child - especially in regards to my taking an interest with storytelling and writing. I was also fascinating by the Japanese-produced character designs on those baddie-characters, the giant robot the Power Rangers would morph into, and the way in which these unique designs suggested a creative world. I was always so impressed by how it seemed so different, so unique, and so exciting compared to everything else out there in kid friendly entertainment.
Of course, I always considered Power Rangers to be serious business as a kid. I thought of it being something "grand" or "amazing" in storytelling depth. I also thought all of the actors performances were remarkably brilliant, or something akin to that. Looking back on it, the entirety of this series seems even more silly and over-the-top than I remembered thinking everything was when I was a child. Isn't that part of the point, though? It's cheesy, it's an incredibly silly adventure, and it's bizarre. So what? This is one of the most perfect kids' productions that I have ever seen on television. I think it's amazing and unsurprising that something about this show even clicked so well with many adults: the martial arts, super energetic flow, and overall vibe of the series is nerdy-awesomeness even today. It's like, incredibly rad, dude... and that made it a standout success.
I found that revisiting the show was still a bunch of nostalgic fun. The series isn't complicated, it's repetitious, and the plotlines don't evolve dramatically but it never forgot to include some focus on the characters and watching the storylines evolve for them made it continue as that entirely rare show that didn't really feel as though it "dragged" much at all. I am thrilled to actually own this series on DVD (finally!) and I think anyone who considers themselves a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan will want to own a collection as nicely made as this remarkable set. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series is a wonderfully produced DVD collection full of nostalgic fun for longtime fans.
The video quality isn't entirely impressive, but it does a decent job of presenting the series. It's an older series at this point and it looks about the same as it did as when I originally watched it broadcast on TV. Colors occasionally shine but are somewhat less dynamic and more muted in presentation.
The series doesn't have any issues with damaged footage and actually looks clean and clear for the most part. The picture quality should be able to satisfy fans looking for a good presentation of this most beloved series. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been presented on DVD in its original television broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it looks as good today as it did when the series premiered.
The quality of the audio is decent as far as the presentation goes but it is also undeniably average at best. The series never did have a rockin' sound design. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo tracks are serviceable but don't offer much beyond a simple audio presentation. The series still sounds fine. This was a low budget children's series and as such the audio didn't receive as much attention as it would have received using the technological tools of tomorrow.
This set is jam-packed with bonus features. Some of these supplements are guaranteed to delight Power Rangers fans. Unfortunately, not every inclusion strikes gold and some of the extras are a bit dull. Read on to find out which supplements sound like extras that would be worth your time.
Morphin Time! A Look Back at the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (33 min.) is a generally well made featurette that looks back on the series success. It features interviews with a number of the cast members, Haim Saban (series creator), various writers, and directors who were worked on this series. There are some entertaining stories told about the uphill battle to get the series onto television in the first place and about the adaptation process of bringing the original Japanese footage into the series. It's a fun extra and it provides fans with a better glimpse of the series creative team.
A Morphenomenal Cast: A Look at becoming a Power Ranger (35 min.) is a piece about the cast of the television series. This featurette in fascinating for anyone who wants to learn about how the various cast members joined the team. The featurette explores how the various actors and actresses became involved in the show. It also contains many more interviews with the Power Rangers performers; it's absolutely worthwhile for anyone wanting to hear some more stories from the wonderful cast.
Lord Zedd's Monster Heads (25 min.) is a direct-to-video special that focuses on showcasing a variety of monster characters that worked for Lord Zedd. It's basically just a clip-show which highlights some of the more interesting bad-guy character designs.
Alpha's Magical Christmas (23 min.) has the "magical" robot sidekick to the Power Rangers in a decidedly holiday-infused spirit as he sings out carols to celebrate the season. It's, um, a rather interesting piece. I had seen this one before when I was much younger. It's just the robot in a sing-song spirit. Yes, this is nothing more than the Alpha robot singing Christmas songs. Um, okay? Weird.
The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid! [The Misadventures of Bulk and Skull] (52 min.) is just another clip-show special. This one showcases "favorite moments" of Bulk and Skull. It is a compilation of moments featuring these two fan-favorite characters.
The Fans Power Up! A Peek Inside The Power Rangers Fandom (13 min.) is a short look inside fandom for Power Rangers. I actually thought this was one of the weakest additions to the set as it wasn't anywhere near in-depth enough. The featurette focused on random Power Rangers fans with no introduction or explanation as to the how or why they were featured, from varying video quality recordings, and without anything unifying besides the declaration of being fans. This was an odd piece. I thought it could have used some extra clarity and expansion to be a notable piece for fans to discover as some sort of genuine tribute. Instead, it left me feeling cold. Not enough is done in this featurette to properly explore this series massive, multi-generational fandom. Not by any means.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Fan Club Video (30 min.) is a fan-club video which used to be exclusively available to members of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan club, and which is now available here as a nice inclusion on the set. The weird thing about the featurette was how the piece presented interviews with the cast "in-character" so questions were answered as if it specifically pertained to the character portrayed. I might have enjoyed seeing this when I was younger, but it just seemed strange to me today.
The White Ranger Kata (51 min.) showcases Jason David Frank (the White Ranger) training a group of kids about martial arts. He has a lot of knowledge in the real world when it comes to martial arts and this is a training video that presents that to fans (and so that younger kids can learn some things about doing martial arts themselves).
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Live: The World Tour (1 hr. 12 min.) presents one of the live world tour shows, which doesn't actually feature any of the actors from the show, but rather a different group of actors wearing the costumes with dubbing that is done by the series cast. It seems odd in some ways; especially with the altered (even more "kid-friendly" costumes for those baddie characters on display. This will be an awesome addition for anyone who saw a world tour show during the original run or for anyone who wanted to but wasn't able to.
There is also a 39 page booklet inside of the set which features an episode guide, character bios, a special features list, and select series photos. The series itself is housed in a beautifully shiny artbox featuring a perfectly chosen picture of all of the Power Rangers.
I never expected a Power Rangers DVD set to be released. I'm not sure why I didn't expect one to become available (besides the fact that I wasn't sure if there would be any DVD producers in the industry that would consider the fact that there would be an interest in a complete series set). Obviously, that wasn't the case. That's good. I imagine a lot of people will want to own this on DVD.
In any case, in addition to never expecting a complete series set to be released, I also never had thought that something would come along in home media that would even remotely resemble a beautiful collection as comprehensive and well-produced as this. If you grew up watching the series and want to go on a fun nostalgia kick or if you are a serious fan who has followed this series faithfully or if you have ever attended fan conventions, then purchasing this set is truly worthwhile. This beautiful set deserves a spot in every Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan's collection. It would also make a perfect gift for the Power Rangers fan in your life.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.