A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that brute force is name of the game in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, with Rangers who use martial arts skills to kick and punch their way out of skirmishes with their enemies. Though the show is clearly rooted in fantasy and there’s never any bloodshed, the sheer volume of the violence is sure to make an impression on kids. The Power Rangers franchise -- which is marketed at the 5+ set but is better suited for kids a little older -- inevitably acts as its own advertiser for an extensive line of merchandise. This mindless show has little to offer in the way of constructive content, and concepts like compromise and peaceful conflict resolution are nonexistent.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In POWER RANGERS DINO THUNDER, Rangers veteran/paleontology professor Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank) enlists the help of three teens to battle a mutant villain named Mesogog (Latham Gaines) who’s trying to destroy the human race and resurrect dinosaurs’ reign on the planet. When Conner (James Napier), Ethan (Kevin Duhaney), and Kira (Emma Lahana) unearth Dino Gems, they gain superpowers and the abilities of Dinozords, which help them tackle Mesogog’s powerful minions. In time, the team is joined by Trent (Jeffrey Parazzo), who’s also the adopted son of Mesogog’s alter ego, Anton Mercer.
Is it any good?
This show’s glaring absence of substantial content means that there’s little for kids to take away from it besides the extensive martial arts violence. Power Rangers Dino Thunder's violence might be rooted in fantasy, but it still packs an impressionable punch. Most kids are already at least somewhat familiar with the Power Rangers (there are close to 20 different installments of the show, after all), but if they're newcomers, don’t be surprised if Dino Thunder has them kung-fu fighting all over the house in a short time.
Dino Thunder really isn’t suited for the young kids to whom it’s marketed, since the villains -- including head honcho Mesogog -- often pose as trustworthy adult figures in the teens’ lives, blurring the line between fantasy and reality in a way that might frighten little viewers. The content is more age-appropriate for grade-schoolers, but tweens will be turned off by the cheesy acting and predictable plot.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence on TV in shows like Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Kids: What messages do shows like this one send to kids about violence? Do you think people’s actions are influenced by what they see on TV? How does the violence in this show compare to others you’ve seen?
Kids: How do advertisers influence the products you want? Are you more inclined to want certain things because they’re tied to shows you like? What are your favorite shows? Do you have any toys or games related to the characters in those shows?
Do you like the Power Rangers shows? Why or why not? Why do you think they’ve been successful for so long? Have you seen any of the other Power Rangers series? How does Dino Thunder stack up?
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