Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this live-action adventure series -- which is marketed to the 5+ set but better suited for kids a year or two older -- is full of fantasy violence and martial arts fighting. The team of five Power Rangers must constantly battle to save the world from their evil nemesis -- and, apparently, the only way to stop evil is to kick and punch your way to peace. ... There's no real educational content, and very few lessons to be learned.
What's the story?
Based on the Japanese children's television show Kyoryuu Sentai Zyu, MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS tells the story of five ordinary teens who are hand-picked by alien leader Zordon to become superheroes. Zordon provides the Rangers with the ability to morph into ninja warriors so they can save the universe from the evil Rita Repulsa and her hench-monsters. While there's plenty of hand-to-hand combat, the end of each episode leads to an ultimate showdown in which the Power Rangers head to their dinosaur mecha robot vehicles, combine to form as massive super mecha, and destroy the menace.
Is it any good?
Power Rangers is based on that flourishing formula of robots, martial arts, and sci-fi action that children -- especially boys -- find so intoxicating. While it has enjoyed years of success (including a massively profitable line of merchandise and numerous series incarnations), the series is still iffy due to its violent nature. Each episode does reinforce certain positive aspects such as the importance of teamwork and friendship, but these moments are brief, as the show's focus tends to be on action and fighting. Furthermore, the meager positive messages are overshadowed by the fact that this show serves as an outlet for a major marketing effort to sell toys and other Power Rangers merchandise.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers isn't altogether bad for kids. But before they watch, young viewers should be old enough to understand the difference between real and fantasy violence. In the end, there are plenty of better TV choices for kids out there -- and even better ways for them to spend their free time.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the difference between fantasy violence and the consequences of violence in real life (using the Power Rangers as an example of how not to resolve real conflicts). How can people express anger with words instead of fists?
What are the differences between fantasy violence and real violence? Who should you go to for help if someone threatens to fight you?