Blu-ray Review: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

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The act of a TV show going to the big screen isn’t a recent trend. During the ’60s Bonanza and the Man From U.N.C.L.E. did double length episodes that also ran in theaters to give the folks with tiny black and white TVs a chance to see what they’ve been missing in color and mega-size. The Batman movie with Adam West came after the first season and allowed producers to incorporate more Bat Vehicles that would be spliced into the TV show the next season. Munsters, Go Home! came out after the series to get one last chance to use the props. The ultimate allure of transforming a TV show into a movie is to see if your devoted fans are willing to leave to family room sofa and pay for a movie ticket. The summer of 1993, afternoon kids TV exploded with the arrival of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Fox Kids Network. Two summer later, kids flocked to theater to see Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.

The Power Ranger kids take to the air with Bulk and Skull for a sky diving adventure. It’s part of a fundraiser for the Angel Grove Observatory that’s getting ready for the upcoming passing of Ryan’s Comet. While the Ranger hit the mark on the bullseye at the charity fair, Bulk and Skull drop into a construction site. A giant egg has been found in the dig. The duo have to hide when Lord Zedd, Rita Repulsa, Goldar, and Mordant arrive to hatch what seemed fossilized. Out from the shell emerges Ivan Ooze (Hot Fuzz‘s Paul Freeman). He had been stuck inside the egg by Zordon and his pesky kid Power Rangers. He’s eager for revenge on a massive scale. First he shows up at the Command Center and has his way with Zordon. He also cuts off the power to the Ranger kids. Then he heads up the Moon and puts Zedd and Rita into a position so they can’t screw up his plans. The Power Rangers have to go to the planet Phaedos to uncover the Great Power known as Ninjetti. They must convince Dulcea, a Master Warrior that they are worthy of pursuing the Great Power.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie right from the gate lets kids know that they’re not watching a 95 minute long episode of the TV series. There’s no way the TV budget could cover sky diving stunts. Likewise all the action is fresh and not recycled from the Japanese version of the show. And there’s a lot of athletic kung fu fighting on the screen with new monsters. The effects and make up of Ivan Ooze is a step up from previous rubber suit characters. They even use a touch of CGI for the new mega-monsters. Sure it opens pretty bleak especially with Zordon’s fate. But the movie did learn from Transformers to not be too dramatic with characters when adapting the show to the movie. The film did well with the intended audience of school kids and generations after its release embraced it on home video. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie proved the series could work at home and cinemas.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer lets you appreciate all the new stuff that’s on the screen from monsters to wardrobe. Even the ooze looks better in Blu-ray. The audio is 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. There’s also a 2.0 DTS-HD MA mix. The levels are fine so you can hear all the great action effect sounds. The movie is subtitled.

A Look Back At Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (44:04) includes new interviews With Director Bryan Spicer and Stars Johnny Yong Bosch and Paul Freeman and others. Really goes in depth on how the project came together. The film was made in Australia and didn’t get to rely on Japanese footage. The film ran over it’s production time so they ended up simultaneously shot five TV episodes in Sydney.

Original Featurette (4:30) shows off all the cool new stuff in the film that wasn’t in the TV show. The actors talk about the plot and the fun in making a movie.

Theatrical Trailer (2:13) amps up the action.

Shout! Factory presents Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Directed by Bryan Spicer. Screenplay by: Arne Olsen. Starring: Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Jason Narvy, Paul Schrier & Paul Freeman. Rated: PG. Running Time: 95 minutes. Released: June 4, 2019.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.