Lionsgate awesomely simultaneously goes old and new school regarding the August 14, 2018 3-disc S1 DVD release of the very recent "Power Rangers Ninja Steel" series. This release is part of a 25th Anniversary of the '90s phenom "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," which actually dates to August 28 1994.
Personal relevance of the OS includes still joking about sending naughty people off to a peace conference in reference to that plot point relating to firing an original cast member for a long-forgotten sin. Surviving cast members are known for joking about experiencing that fate is they misbehave.
The brilliance of the "Ranger" franchise extends beyond providing a showcase for mountains of merchandise. The OS using the cost-saving method of incorporating footage from the Japanese live-action series "Super Sentai" into a show that features clean-cut American teens with mad ninja skills and related secret identities is pure genius as the "Ninja Steel" and the other numerous spin-offs reflect.
The awesome box art shared above also contributes a strong retro vibe. The bonus booklet of "Rangers" art is just as collectibly special.
The "Infinity War" central concept of "Ninja Steel" is one of many ways that this series is new school while retaining a very old school element. Our story begins with boy with something extra Dane Romero peacefully living with roughly 10 year-old son Aiden and roughly 7 year-old son Brody. The Ninja Nexus Prism falling from the sky and landing on their rural property is a game changer.
One spoiler is that "Ninjs Steel" spares us a sickening "I don't feel so good, Mr. Stark" moment.
The prism contains six ninja stars that collectively grant the possessor unparalleled power. The rub is a limitation that is similar to the Excalibur lore of Arhurian legend; only those who are worthy can penetrate the force field that surrounds the stars in the prism. "Ninja Steel" further pays homage to the classic anime series "Speed Racer" in a manner that is too special to spoil.
Galvanax beaming down from the spaceship from which he broadcasts the intergalactic game show "Galaxy Warriors" fully sets the stage for "Ninja Steel." A battle with Dane ends with Galvanax taking both Brody and the prism back to his ship.
The action soon shifts 10 years ahead to our present. Appealing and cute Brody (William Shewfelt), his robot friend/comic relief Redbot, and quirky Mick literally jump ship with the prism and end up in the Summer Cove home turf of Brody. Brody soon becomes the red power ranger/leader and subsequently meets up with all but one ranger; the fate of the gold ranger remains up in the air. The story arc that addresses is that is a series highlight.
Mick uses the titular substance to create the tools of trade of our heroes. A cool nod to the eco-centric animated series "Captain Planet" allows the rangers to use the power of natural elements such as wind and water to combat the foe of the week that Galvanax transports down to battle the kids in an effort to collect their Ninja Power Stars,
The lesson of the week that is integral to "Ninja Steel" provides viewers of every age great fun. Veterans of "Saved by the Bell" and similar fare obtain particular amusement from these episodes; younger fans who experience this phenomenon for the first time get entertaining morals.
A textbook episode hilariously evokes thoughts of the classic "Bell" episode in which neurotic overachiever Jessie Spano becomes addicted to caffeine pills. All-American boy/yellow ranger Calvin Maxwell nervously confesses to his team that he is afraid to drive. The angst and fear associated with this reveal creates an expectation that Calvin is coming out or is admitting an addiction to alcohol or narcotics. The textbook aspect continues with the fate of the other rangers resting on the ability of Calvin to conquer his fear.
The nervous Unreal TV confession is that time constraints are behind only watching the first half of the season. The season finale being titled "Past, Presents, and Future" provides good incentive to keep going. The IMDb episode description stating "Sarah [pink ranger] teams up with Santa Claus to save Christmas and the Power Rangers from a time-manipulating monster" makes this one must-see.
The bigger picture this time is that "Ninja Steel" itself and this release celebrating the 25th "Rangers" anniversary shows that a viable market remains for good clean family fun that is in the middle of the bell curve between overly saccharine fare and stuff that seems too edgy to be ready for Saturday morning. One can only hope that "Rangers" continues for at least another 25 years.