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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Power Rangers Megaforce is the 20th offering from the longest-running American TV program, and its cartoon-style violence is on par with that of its many predecessors. Modern touches give the weapons a bit more realism, fighting sequences are even more briskly paced, and some of the bad guys still die (no blood, though) while the heroes usually emerge unscathed. Violence aside, though, this installment is a very pleasing addition to the Power Rangers lineage, thanks to multi-dimensional characters who challenge stereotypes, value teamwork, and think quickly on their feet. Longtime fans of the franchise will also notice that modern special effects greatly enhance the characters' costumes, the sets, and the action sequences, giving the show a very polished look and feel.
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What's the story?
In POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE, Earth is threatened by a new round of alien invaders, prompting the long-dormant guardian spirit Gosei (voiced by Geoffrey Dolan) to call on five teens to protect the planet as Power Rangers. Together Troy (Andrew Gray), Gia (Ciara Hanna), Noah (John Mark Loudermilk), Emma (Christina Masterson), and Jake (Azim Rizk) form Power Rangers Megaforce, sworn defenders of Earth against Admiral Malkor (Campbell Cooley); his underlings, Creepox (Mark Mitchinson) and Vrak (Jason Hood); their legion of minions, the Loogies; and the revolving cast of alien allies who join them in their quest to overtake the humans' planet.
Is it any good?
Say what you will about the spandex-clad Power Rangers, but the show's staying power is no laughing matter. This longstanding franchise has reinvented itself 20 times over, and this installment proves to be the culmination of the best qualities from each of its many predecessors. It's fast-paced but not frantic, action-packed but offset by humor and poignancy, and, best of all, it finally manages the perfect balance in the life-size costume department with insect-inspired villains that come across as more insidious than idiotic, thanks to elaborate modern effects.
But that's not all that Power Rangers Megaforce brings to the table thanks to the lessons of those that came before it. Sharp writing complements thoughtful stories that teach kids about friendship, teamwork, and self-identity, and each theme is driven home by the fact that the characters are rewarded when they express that they've gotten each message. All in all, an upstanding show to round out two decades of Power Rangers action.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Power Rangers Megaforce compares to earlier Power Rangers shows. Are the villains any more or less scary than those in the past? What, if anything, is different among the Rangers team members?
Why do you think this show has been so successful for so long? Can you relate to the characters' struggles as teammates? Why is there so little relation between the story or the characters from one series to the next?
What is this show's ultimate message? Does a movie or TV series have to have a purpose other than pure entertainment? What do you learn from some of your other favorites?
- Premiere date: February 2, 2013
- Cast: Andrew Gray, Christina Masterson, Ciara Hanna
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Action
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Superheroes, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Space and Aliens
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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