Recapture the spirit of the ’90s with Shout! Factory’s 4-disk DVD set of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season Three.” In this popular children’s TV show, six squeaky-clean teenagers try to stop the evil Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd from conquering Earth. But when Rita and Zedd get the upper-hand, the Power Rangers are forced to seek out help from the fabled master ninja, Ninjor. In order to save the city of Angel Grove from giant monsters, Ninjor gives each Ranger new powers and Zords to help them in their fight. It’s morphin time!
The third season started after the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” – the franchise’s heyday – so When the season kicked off, the four-parter “Ninja Quest” brought in aspects of the movie. The birdlike foot soldiers, the Tenga Warriors. Rita’s brother, Rito Revolto, all were included in the villains’ roster, while the ensemble cast dealt with their own additions and departures.
As a kid, I really didn’t understand about rumored contract disputes and cast changes. It was heart-breaking for me to see Amy Jo Johnson leave the show. Kimberly Ann Hart, the Pink Ranger, was my favorite character amongst the bunch. Johnson delivered a somber performance during her exit in the three-parter, “A Different Shade of Pink.” Back then, this felt like the show was killing off its own characters.
Afterwards, Kat (Catherine Sutherland) was brought in to fill in Kimberly’s shoes as the new Pink Ranger. Kat was meant to be different, teasing viewers that she could be a good/bad girl at any moment. In her episodes, Kat is helping the Rangers save the day, while trying to breakup Tommy (Jason David Frank) and Kimberly. As an adult, I’m surprised at how soap opera-ish this kid’s show was becoming.
Aimed for children, the show had a lot of quirky characters, silly catch-phrases, and cheesy humor. Ninjor would burst out into a high operatic voice during fight scenes. With the comedy in good-natured fun, writers found a way to sneak in some serious issues. While pretending to be a teacher for a day in “Fourth Down And Long,” Rocky (Steve Cardenas) discovers that one of his students has dyslexia. Without using his Red Ranger powers, Rocky learns about dyslexia and figures out how he can help out his student.
The rubbery monster costumes, even for Lord Zedd, still hold up after all these years. It’s when the Zords fight that the special effects wane just a bit. The Zords really fought in the movie, but they had the benefit of a bigger budget. Still, if you show this to any kid today, I’m sure they are going to want to join a martial arts class. When they weren’t in costume, it was really the cast members showing off their martial arts skills. I wish the DVD set came with special features because I would’ve liked some behind-the-scenes trivia.
Children of the ’90s will rejoice when they get their hands on “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 3.” Though this set doesn’t come with any special features, if you had the toys, the comic books, and previous DVDs in your collection, why would you let this stop you? The Power Rangers franchise still dominates as family fun entertainment.
“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 3” hits stores on July 2, 2013.