06 April 2014

DVD Season Set Review: "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers": Season Two, Volume One

Rated: TV-Y7 for fantasy violence
Starring: Austin St. John, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, Walter Jones, Thuy Trang, and David Yost
Released: July 21 - November 7, 1994 (original Fox Kids premieres) / July 12, 2012 (DVD)
Villainess Rita Repulsa is in for a big surprise: her boss Lord Zedd is tired of her incompetence, and sends her away while he attempts to take over Earth! With his new monsters, the Power Rangers' Zords aren't enough...so Zordon gives them new Thunderzords! Those aren't the only changes afoot, though; Angel Grove's resident clowns, Bulk and Skull, get saved by the Rangers, and become determined to find out their true identities.  Even worse is that Tommy loses his Green Ranger powers; will they be able to make it without him? Many "morphinomenal" surprises await them in this first half of the second season!

Artistic Merit

Plots: 3/5
Have you ever watched a sequel film and felt like it was pretty much the same thing as the original? That's how this made me feel; sure, there were new weapons, new cast members, new enemies, and a new animation sequence here and there, but it was essentially the same as the first season.

Special Effects: 2/5
Many people would expect me to give a one or even a zero in this department, but, I actually thought the visuals were a step up from the previous season.  It's still quite cheesy and obviously low-budget, but, less so than before.

Acting: 4/5
Good acting...in a show like this? You might laugh, but, honestly, when Tommy was upset in the series, I actually felt bad for him.  The other actors also did quite well.  Where it lost a point is towards the end; some of the cast members apparently left, so, they hired "soundalikes" to voice them in morphed form...but they sounded terrible.

Soundtrack: 3.5/5
Nothing special, but the background battle music was good enough, and not tiresome, even though the same songs are played in almost every episode.

Video Quality: 2.5/5
At best, the quality was that of a SP VHS tape; at worst, it was rather grainy.  It could have used some remastering, but, honestly, fans of the original show likely won't care that much.

Moral Content

Sex: 4.5/5
Mild flirting is as bad as it gets.

Nudity: 3.5/5
Trini is seen quite often in a midriff-baring top; Kimberly just as much in short shorts.

Language: 3.5/5
Though there's no actual profanity, name-calling is present at every turn; heroes, villains, and other characters call others one-word insults left and right.

Violence: 2/5
This show pretty much inspired the "TV-Y7-FV" rating, and fantasy violence is quite present here.  The Rangers, the villains, and various others hit, kick, punch, and throw others in pretty much every episode.  It's all bloodless, though one battle does leave a scratch on a villain's face.  Of lesser note, the comedic pratfalls from Bulk and Skull are still present, but not as much.

Drugs: 5/5

Frightening/Intense Scenes: 2/5
Back when the Power Rangers were insanely popular, the character of Lord Zedd was considered by many parents to be "too scary" for a kid's show; two decades later, some parents--and some kids--may feel the same way.  Though most of the monsters just look odd and/or dumb, a couple of them--particularly the Doomstone, a skeletal body whose head is a gravestone with an eye poking through it--could also be too frightening for some viewers.  A extended sequence features a baby stroller that nearly falls into a river.

Other: 4/5
Zedd uses spells; a bit of crude humor is present here.

Final Score: 3.75/5
I've already discussed my history with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, so, there's no point in rehashing it.  What I will say is that this season is around the time I got into it as a kid; there are a few moments here that I remember watching all those years ago.  Despite its numerous flaws--and there are right many--the show has an entertaining quality that kept me glued to the screen.  To me, gripping entertainment is good entertainment, regardless of the production values.  For that reason alone, I give it a relatively high overall score.

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