The next entry in my Fantastic Adventures in Family entertainment series is a two-parter. The classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and the current Power Rangers Samurai. I present both of them because they are essentially the same show, one being updated for today’s youth and the other a more classic approach for kids of the 1990s.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted in the U.S. on Fox Kids Network in 1992 and quickly became the most popular children’s television show in history. It focused on five “teenagers with attitude” who were chosen by Zordon to fight against the evil Rita Repulsa. These teenagers were given special power morphers that allowed them to transform into multicolored rangers and battle Rita’s evil monsters using enhanced strength, magical weapons and giant vehicles, known as zords.
Fast forward to the present day, and Power Rangers Samurai is the current iteration of this television franchise. The storyline of Samurai is essentially the same. Five teenagers who are pure of spirit are chosen to fight the evil that threatens to take over the world. They use special powers, magical weapons and giant zords to save the day, just in a modern tone that reflects how kids think, talk and behave today. Which version you show your kids depends on a few factors that I will highlight below.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: Super powered heroes. Monsters. Martial Arts. Good vs. Evil. All of these are perfect fodder for engaging the minds of children.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Power Rangers Samurai deal with several concepts. One is the power and importance of teamwork. Both of these shows go out of their way to showcase what teamwork is all about. MMPR does it in a corny, yet educational way that at times seems a little preachy. Samurai achieves this through more subtler messages. Their morphing call is “Friends together. Samurai forever!”, and most of the storylines revolve around obstacles that can only be overcome with teamwork.
Both shows deal with a lot of martial arts action. The original was even banned in some countries due to the “violent” content. As a result, the martial arts action was toned down and became almost cartoon-like in later seasons of the show. Samurai starts off with less martial arts and treats it in a very serious manner with clear lessons that it should only be used in self defense against the bad guys.
Power Rangers as a concept is very imaginative in and of itself. Your kids will instantly pick a favorite Ranger based solely on what color his or her suit is when morphed.
The various monsters throughout the series are all so obscure that they are sure to get the imagination of your kids soaring. With a little encouragement, your kids will be designing their own monsters for the Rangers to take down.
Not only will the martial arts action get your kids interested in learning all about it, they won’t be able to wait until the end of the episode to get out into the front yard and try out all of the cool moves they saw on the show.
With a combination of positive team building, action, adventure, fantasy and even humor, the Power Rangers television series are sure to have something that pleases everyone in the family.