Shout! Factory has spent just over a decade bringing some of the most well-known and beloved movies and television shows in modern entertainment history. That dedication to bringing so many great titles back to life has put Shout! Factory at the forefront of the home entertainment business. This critic’s own opinion is that that dedication has even pushed Shout! Factory past even bigger companies such as Warner Home Video and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment just to name a couple. Two years ago, Shout! Factory announced a partnership with Saban Brands that has since then cemented even more Shout! Factory’s reputation as a leader in the home entertainment industry. That’s because the partnership gave distribution rights to Shout! Factory for many of Saban’s Power Rangers series including Saban’s most famous series, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Shout! Factory started releasing Saban’s Power Rangers series two years ago, starting with the complete seven-season box set. Last month, it took one more step closer to the end of its deal with Saban with the release of Power Rangers Turbo Volume One. Power Rangers Turbo is one of the more pivotal installments of the original Power Rangers franchise. That is the case first and foremost because of the show’s writing. Another reason that this latest installment works so well is its look. And having finally been released on DVD, the series’ packaging actually plays just as much of a role as the aforementioned factors in its success and enjoyment. All three factors together make this first volume of episodes from Power Rangers Turbo another must have for any fan of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise.
Power Rangers Turbo is one of the most important installments of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise. That is the case first and foremost because of the series’ writing. There is much to be said of the writing in this “season.” The most noticeable aspect of the season’s writing is that unlike the previous Power Rangers movie, Saban has actually this season in to the movie Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. At the same time, this season is also a continuation of the previous Power Rangers installment. The writers are to be commended for having been able to connect both elements together without allowing the franchise to become bogged down. Even more important to consider from this season is that the writers made this season a major turning point in the original Power Rangers franchise. It could be said that they made this “season” the beginning of the end for the “Zordon era.” Zordon is replaced by a new mentor of sorts named Dimitria. Alpha 5 is replaced by the next Alpha model, Alpha 6. And the last of the original rangers, Tommy, leaves the series. He’s not the only ranger to leave, either. As a matter of fact, audiences see what is an entirely new team this season during the two-part story arc “Passing The Torch.” As if that’s not enough, Ernie’s juice bar owner Ernie (played since the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers by Richard Genelle) also leaves. He is written out early in this half of the season thanks to an explanation by Lt. Stone (Gregg Bullock), who ends up taking over Ernie’s juice bar. So there are lots of changes going on in this half of Season 5 (a.k.a. Power Rangers Turbo). Most impressive of all is that even with all of the changes that take place in Season 5, the writers still manage to keep everything balanced. And that is a testament in itself. Just as much a testament to Power Rangers Turbo is the production values displayed in this season.
The look of the franchise employed by those behind the Power Rangers franchise was something special throughout all seven seasons of the franchise’s original series. This season is included in that run. The reason that the series production values were so special is that even in Season five, the series’ heads were still incorporating elements of the Japanese series on which the Power Rangers franchise had been based from Season One. Even in Season Five, it had more of that familiar “gritty” look established from the franchise’s inception. These same values would continue on into Season Seven (a.k.a. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy). After that, the franchise’s look noticeably changed. So it is nice to see that those behind Power Rangers Turbo maintained the not so perfected, spit-shined look established early on in the franchise’s life. It’s one more piece of the whole that audiences will appreciate in viewing Power Rangers Turbo: Volume One.
The look of Power Rangers Turbo and its writing are both pivotal to this season’s enjoyment and success. The packaging of Power Rangers Turbo: Volume One is the last aspect of this set to examine in the set’s enjoyment and success. There are those that have lambasted Shout! Factory for splitting the show into separate volumes going all the way back to its release of the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers installment of the franchise. This season is no different. Those that have come down on Shout! Factory for this course of action have not seen the bigger picture. Fans of the Power Rangers franchise are very particular individuals. Not every fan likes one entire season or another. In the same vein, not every fan likes the same episode or episodes. By splitting up the seasons, Shout! Factory is allowing that worldwide legion of fans to choose the episodes and seasons that they want to see rather than forcing them to buy entire seasons that they might not like. Looking at the packaging from this angle, Shout! Factory is to be commended once again. And those charged with packaging this set are to be just as commended for the fact that they have packaged the discs in exactly the same fashion as previous Power Rangers sets. Each of the set’s three discs is placed on its own spot inside the case. The first two discs are placed on either side of a standard “insert” that protects them from each other. The third disc is placed on its own spindle on the back side of the case. For those that perhaps like this season better than others, or even just this half of the season, this actually does save space on their racks. So those naysayers that would prefer to lambast Shout! Factory for this should keep this in mind. They should also keep in mind everything else mentioned about this set as a reason for picking up Power Rangers Turbo: Volume One.
Power Rangers Turbo: Volume One is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-turbo-vol-1. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial and http://www.shoutfactory.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.