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 The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers is an action-adventure cartoon from the late '80s that blends a futuristic space story with Wild West themes. It's a somewhat bizarre mix, but it does make the otherwise mundane show slightly more memorable for its uniqueness. There are positive messages about bridging cultural gaps in the friendships that develop among the peaceful alien races, and it's always easy to identify the good guys from those with evil designs. Kids might find some of the monstrous aliens a bit frightening, and there's the requisite violence you'd expect from a show about intergalactic battles for dominance, but little of it smacks of reality.
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What's the story?
THE ADVENTURES OF THE GALAXY RANGERS is set late in the 21st century after alien ambassadors came to Earth to ask for help against the power-hungry Crown Empire intent on taking over their planets by force. In return for the humans' assistance, the aliens shared their plans for hyperdrive technology, which enabled people to travel throughout the galaxy for the first time. But, with the Empire's evil designs as a constant threat and the burgeoning crime throughout the solar system, Earth has its hands full keeping peace. They create the Bureau of Extra-Terrestrial Affairs to oversee the efforts of a new team of four Galaxy Rangers, who are endowed with unique abilities that should give them the upper hand in defending the peaceful planets from those who would do them harm.
Is it any good?
Intergalactic adventures meet the Wild West in this action-packed '80s series that, save for its unusual premise, likely would fade into obscurity. With space cowboys (and cowgirls) not really a dominating genre in cartoon action, you won't soon forget that Galaxy Rangers exists, but that's not enough to make it a winner by modern kids' standards. What's more, kids who know and love the Star Wars stories -- particularly those played out in the original three movies -- will notice a lot of similarities between them and this cartoon, from the presence of an evil empire to the light saber-style weapons and even the show's sound effects, all of which contribute to this series' seeming identity crisis. And, if the show's antiquated animation style doesn't remind viewers that it hails from a far-away time, the unexpected '80s rock music soundtrack certainly will.
But that's not to say the show is all bad. In fact, its messages about teamwork, prioritizing communal needs over individual ones, and taking a stand against evil are nicely packaged in the stories. Not all of the Rangers' efforts are spent on the Empire's colossal threat; oftentimes they're just as busy fighting petty injustices such as stealing, which is easier for kids to understand and relate to their own experiences. If yours can see past the show's age and unusual setup, there's some merit to the messages they'll get from the story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about courage. How do these characters demonstrate courage? What challenges do they face? What inspires you when you're in difficult situations?
The characters in these stories are able to look past what makes them different to connect on their similarities. Why is it important to treat everyone fairly? What are the dangers of making assumptions based on a person's appearance?
Families can discuss how entertainment has changed over the past few decades. How does the violence in this cartoon compare to that of more modern ones? How do we look at the future now compared to the people at the time this futuristic cartoon was made?
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