Pull Out Those Morphers, The Rangers Return Again!

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers are back again, courtesy of Shout! Factory.  Everyone’s favorite super powered teens are back with the second thirty episodes from the iconic show’s first season.  Season 1 Volume 2 sees the Rangers’ friend Tommy take center stage in another pair of episodes.  And in what is one of the very first ever turning points for the Rangers without the Green Ranger, the team has to face Goldar in his own zord, Cyclopsis.  The rangers are almost defeated by Goldar and Cyclopsis in the two part episode, “Doomsday.”  These and the set’s other classic episodes will take any kid at heart back in time, creating that sense of nostalgia that so many of Shout! Factory’s releases generate.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season One Volume Two is a nice addition to the home library of any old school Power Rangers fan.  This second half of Season One sees the original sixth ranger, Tommy return after having his powers taken away by the evil Rita Repulsa in the two part episode, “The Green Candle.”  This episode sees Tommy lose the powers imbued on him by Rita when she creates a green candle.  The candle in question burns brighter and faster every time that Tommy morphs and fights Rita’s evil minions.  Eventually Tommy loses his powers.  But it isn’t the last that fans see of him as his powers are returned albeit for a short time, just in time to save the Rangers in the third of the set’s two-part episodes, “Return Of An Old Friend.”  The Rangers aren’t the only ones in danger in this episode, as they have to figure out how to get their mentor, Zordon, back.  It all leads up to the season finale, “An Oyster Stew.”  This episode would be the last featuring the original Megazord.  As the show shifted into its second season, the Rangers would gain new Zords when their original Zords are defeated courtesy of new baddie, Lord Zedd.  His appearance would mark the beginning of a whole new chapter for the original Rangers.

The episodes contained in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season One Volume Two will take any Power Rangers fan back to their childhood.  It’s even another chance for those same grown up audiences to experience this groundbreaking kids’ show with kids of their own.  They do their own part in the overall enjoyment of this new set.  They aren’t all that make it successful, though.  As with Season One Volume One, the main menu of both discs will add even more nostalgia for the show’s fans.  Rather than just being any ordinary episode selection menu, the menu is set up against the backdrop of the original show’s power chamber.  Sure it’s something minor.  But sometimes, it’s the little things that matter most.  There’s even a sound effect that is supposed to be coming from the tube in which Zordon appears.  Again it’s a minute detail.  But that the people behind this would take the time to add in such detail makes this another impressive addition to the set.

The main menu and the episodes themselves come together to make Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season One Volume Two an overall enjoyable viewing experience.  There is at least one more factor that audiences will appreciate from this set.  It’s a factor that has in its own way made Shout! Factory a leader in the DVD and Blu-ray market.  That factor is the double disc set’s packaging.  While there is a generally increasing move towards slimmer cases for box sets, Shout! Factory was one of the few leaders in that pack from early on.  Many of its box sets would be released in single DVD/Blu-ray sized cases.  But in opening the cases, audiences would find multiple discs thanks to an insert that would place discs on either side, along with discs placed in standard spots inside the case.  This more ergonomically sound packaging is used yet again in this new set.  It’s an ergonomically sound set.  It’s easy to carry and it takes it little space on DVD and Blu-ray racks.  As the old adage goes, less is more.  And that less space taken up not only makes for more space for other DVD’s and sets but it also makes for that much more overall enjoyment of and appreciation for yet another impressive release from Shout! Factory and Saban.  Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season One Volume Two is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online direct via the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com.

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New Collection Holiday Fun For Any Power Rangers Fan

Courtesy: Lionsgate

The Power Rangers are back with three more holiday themed episodes courtesy of Lionsgate.  Lionsgate recently released another compilation featuring a trio of Halloween themed episodes.  This time, fans new and old get three Christmas themed episodes.  Two of those episodes are culled from the Power Rangers’ early years.  The third is a retrospective by a member of the newest team of rangers, as the Rangers count down to Christmas.The feature episode of Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever sees the Samurai Rangers in the holiday spirit.  The team is decorating for Christmas.  As they do, Emily (the Yellow Ranger) decides to send an e-mail to her sister, telling her all about the Rangers’ past year.  She tells her sister about each member of the squad, going all the way back to the day that the team members met.  She starts off telling about Mike (the Green Ranger).  She explains how things started off for Mike, but that he eventually came around and became the Ranger that he was at that Christmas.  From there, she tells her sister about Kevin and Mia before eventually making her way to Jayden and Antonio.  The most moving moment of this episode comes not in Emily reminiscing, but in Mike’s reaction after he receives his gift on Christmas.  He keeps thinking that he’s not going to get anything.  But after the rest of the team members have their gifts, he gets quite a surprise.  Viewers can find out what that surprise is for themselves.  What makes the moment even better is that his surprise becomes an even better surprise for a certain other pair of characters.   Again, viewers will have to find out for themselves who that pair is.

From the current team of Rangers, audiences are treated to a pair of adventures from previous Ranger teams.  In the first of the teams, the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers have to face off against one of Lord Zedd’s minions as he sends Rito Revolto and Goldar to the North Pole to take over and force Santa’s elves to make toys that will take over children’s minds.  The Rangers teleport to the North Pole, and with the help of Santa’s elves manage to trick Rito and Goldar and tie them up, thus saving the day.  While the Rangers may have saved the day, there’s still one problem they have to deal with back in Angel Grove.  And unwittingly, even Bulk helps to solve the problem, too.  It will end up leaving any viewer with that warm holiday spirit filling them.

In the last of this new set’s episodes, Tommy and the Zeo Rangers have to face off against King Mondo once again.  Mondo pulls a plan to make the Rangers fight about each other’s different religious traditions.  This episode is simply put, an episode that teaches about religious differences and tolerance.  It’s a valuable episode for any young viewer, even today.  And combined with this new set’s other pair of episodes makes for another enjoyable set for any Power Rangers fan.  It’s available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

It’s Morphin’ Time Once Again Thanks to Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

Shout! Factory has done it again.  This company that specializes in nostalgia television has brought the children of the late 80’s and 90’s another childhood favorite in the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  That’s right, everyone.  The team that started it all back in 1993 is finally seeing its adventures released both in a triple disc set containing the show’s first thirty episodes, and in a box set containing the entire original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series.  For the sake of this review, the main focus is going to be on the very first release that is Season 1 Volume 1.

In Season 1 Volume 1, fans see the very first team of rangers assembled by the interdimensional leader Zordon, and his robot assistant, Alpha.  Fans will also get to see the complete five-part “Green With Evil” story arc in which long time ranger Tommy is introduced to the show.  And in one of the better stand alone episodes, fans see Billy, the Blue Ranger, face Bulk and Skull with a little help from Trini’s uncle, Howard.

The massive franchise that is the Power Rangers all started with the episode, “Day of the Dumpster.  Audiences discover that Rita escapes when her “space dumpster” is opened by a pair of curious astronauts.  When Zordon and alpha learn of Rita’s escape, the first team is chosen.  Jason, Billy, Zack, Trini, and Kimberly are transported to Zordon’sCommandCenter.  What fans will really get a kick out of is Alpha’s response.  He pleads with Zordon, saying, “Not teenagers!”  Zordon’s comment that sets up Alpha’s response adds to the moment of laughs.  He tells Alpha, get me five overbearing, overemotional humans!”  Who wouldn’t laugh at that joke?  At first the Rangers don’t’ believe Zordon.  But when they have to face Rita’s Putty Patrollers, they morph for the very first time, and are sent back to Angel Grove to face Rita’s henchman, Goldar.  Goldar almost has the Rangers beat until they get the Megazord’s Power Sword.  Seeing that, Goldar retreats back to Rita’s moon base.  In the end, the Rangers all agree that they’re in it for the long haul, and vow to protect the world from Rita and her attacks, thus marking the beginning of the now long running Power Rangers franchise.

The very first season of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers could be summarized as a season of firsts.  It’s the season when the original team of Rangers is formed.  And it’s the season when the very first “extra’ Ranger is introduced.  The five-part story arc, “Green With Envy” sees the introduction of new team member—and long time Power Ranger—Tommy.  Tommy starts out in this story arc as a new “kid” in Angel Grove.  Rita sees this and takes advantage of it, putting a spell on him, forcing him to serve her and fight the Rangers.  He serves her as the evil Green Ranger.  But when the rest of the Rangers realize it’s just because Tommy’s under a spell, they learn that they have to destroy his Sword of Darkness to break the spell, which Jason does in a final showdown.  Rita’s spell is broken, releasing Tommy.  When he agrees to join the team, Zordon reveals to the Rangers, the very first brand new Megazord alternate combination when Tommy’s Dragonzord combines with three of the Rangers’ zords to make the Dragon Megazord.  Of course, as any true Power Rangers fan knows, Tommy’s first incarnation as the Green Ranger is short lived, thanks to Rita.  But he would later return to the Power Rangers as the White Ranger.  And years later, he would return as the head of the Power Rangers Dino, too, making mention of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers team.

The firsts experienced in Season 1 are great moments for this show.  But they aren’t all that made the show great.  There were also life lessons in the show, such as in the episode, “The Dark Warrior.”  Blue Ranger Billy learns about facing bullies in this episode, when Bulk and Skull start harassing him.  Thanks to teaching from Trini’s uncle Howard, he learns how to handle them without fighting.  And of course, Howard’s (Trini’s uncle)  invisibility formula helps, too.  That formula is also the basis for the Rangers’ adventure in this episode.  Rita sends down the Dark Warrior to steal the formula and use it to make the Rangers disappear.  That, of course, doesn’t happen, as the Rangers defeat the Dark Warrior, and Howard retrieves his formula that he had accidentally misplaced.

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Season 1 Volume 1 is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s store at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com.  To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/ 381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.