STUDIO: Buena Vista
MSRP: $19.99 each
RUNNING TIME: 106 min. each
• The Power Rangers Want You
• Flight Simulator

The Pitch

“Remember when it was the Japanese making cheap imitations of our stuff? Payback time!“

The Humans

Jack Landors (Rasta Ranger), Chris Violette (Prick Ranger), Matt Austin (Nerd Ranger), Alycia Purrott (Hot Ranger), Monica May (Great Personality Ranger).

The Nutshell

Extraterrestrials live among us, and it’s up to an interspecies police force with vaguely-defined mutant abilities to keep the peace. Think Alien Nation—for kids. Don’t ask why a group called Space Patrol Delta never leaves their own city, let alone the planet. Watch men in complicated rubber costumes demolish cardboard buildings. Learn the value of Teamwork. You’re done!

Onion Editorial: Why Do All These Humans Keep Sniffing My Butt?

The Package

1.33 full-frame video, Dolby Surround. Serviceable.

You know how I’m always bitching about the forced trailer blocks on Disney-related DVDs? This series goes one better, with a bunch of kids on a talk-show set introducing the trailers. Argh.

Each volume compiles five episodes— thankfully, unlike other Disney TV discs, they’re actually in order with no omissions. The eps are edited together back-to-back, with show titles and credits appearing only at the start and end of the program.

“The Power Rangers Want You” segments are basically a new spin on Disney’s disc-registration scam. The set-top game is confusing.

A scene from Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Have Electric Balls?

The Lowdown

I miss the old days when English-language Power Ranger episodes were obviously re-edited from Japanese originals and you could tell because the new scenes were shot on smeary, bleary videotape while the fights were on scratchy, grainy film. This series appears to be 100% original footage, although there are still plenty of recycled shots when folks are changing into their costumes or transforming their robots. New Zealand proves to be a surprisingly effective production base, and fans of Xena and Hercules may spot some familiar faces (and voices) here and there.

King Kong Kiwis!

Volume 2, Stakeout, features the usual plotlines for shows like this: outcast kid learns he’s special, arrogant hero learns to trust his teammates, that sort of thing, all presented in a frenetic, flashy style that may trigger spontaneous combustion in some viewers. Volume 3, Wired, develops a more serialized storyline and fleshes out some of the secondary characters. It also features more imaginative robot action and cuts down on the ADD editing tricks.

Thinkin’ ’bout Pinkin’…

Vol. 2: 5 out of 10
Vol. 3: 6 out of 10