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 Power Rangers Ninja Storm is a fast-paced and pretty violent live action series about cartoonish superheroes battling the forces of evil. During stagy battles with no gore, combatants kick, choke, and shoot each other with bolts of lightning and sparks, crush each other with objects, throw each other high into the sky. The Power Rangers can shoot electricity from their hands and use stylized guns to shoot enemies. There are several battle scenes in each episode, often with anonymous ninjas dressed in identical costumes. That said, the show boasts great ethnic diversity and one female Power Ranger, though other females are often quite stereotyped as bratty "mean girls," with sexed-up costumes to match.
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What's the story?
POWER RANGERS NINJA STORM is a live-action children's television series, based on a set of costumed superheroes originally introduced as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which ran three seasons from 1993 to 1995. After the end of that show, the decision was made to take the franchise in a new direction each year, with a shifting main cast and storylines. In Power Rangers Ninja Storm, the Rangers consist of Tori (Sally Martin), a surfer who commands the power of water; Shane (Pua Magasiva), a skateboarder who holds power over air; and Dustin (Glenn McMillan), a motocross biker who commands earth. The three are students at the Wind Ninja Academy when all the ninja students on earth except them are captured by evil villain Lothor (Grant McFarland). To stop Lothor, Sensei Kanoi Watanabe gives Tori, Shane, and Dustin the key to becoming Power Rangers, superheroes with color-coded costumes and special powers. Now the three must band together to defeat the evil Lothor and his minions.
Is it any good?
This installment in the Power Rangers universe is loud and violent, but oddly clever at the same time. The costumes are eye-popping, though some of the giant lizards or other bugaboos may unnerve younger or sensitive children. And the actors inside the costumes are personable and fun to watch, even relatable. Plus, some of the storylines are positively sci-fi brilliant, such as when Sensei Watanabe's son, Cam, makes a virtual replica of himself to keep an eye on the homefront while he is out on Ranger missions. It winds up that Cam made a virtual replica with a personality opposite of his own (laid back, great at sports) because he feels insecure about his real personality. Pretty heady stuff for a kid's show.
Kids will be enchanted by the battles, the glorious eye-candy costumes, and the heavy mythology and jargon in Power Rangers Ninja Storm: guns are not guns, they're battlizers, weapons aren't weapons, they're zords. Parents may not be so sure about all the violence. Talk to your kids, and monitor their behavior after watching. If he comes straight out after a go-round and tries to shoot his little brother with a battlizer, it might be time for a Ninja Storm break.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes the Power Rangers different from their enemies in Power Rangers Ninja Storm. What makes ninja master Lothor evil? How do the tactics of Lothor and other villains differ from those of the Power Rangers?
Have you ever seen realistic depictions of battles in real life? What is war really like? Does it look like the Power Rangers battles? How are real life battles different?
The costumes for males and females differ on Power Rangers Ninja Storm. Can you see some of the ways they are different? Why can you see more of the female character's bodies in their costumes?
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