Power Rangers Dino Super Charge: The Complete Season hits stores on June 27.
Before we get to the review, here is Lionsgate’s press release with details on what the DVD set contains.
Catch all of the dino-charged adventures when Nickelodeon’s iconic, 23-years-running “Power Rangers” TV series returns with Power Rangers Dino Super Charge: The Complete Season, arriving on DVD and Digital HD on June 27 from Lionsgate. The Power Rangers must battle an evil intergalactic villain in this action-packed franchise that remains one of the top-rated and longest-running children’s live-action series in TV history. Including four discs with over four hours of action, the Power Rangers Dino Super Charge: The Complete Season DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98.
The Power Rangers continue their search for the Energems after Sledge’s defeat, but soon learn that his most dangerous prisoner, the evil Heckyl, survived! In light of this new threat, Kendall creates a powerful new Dino Charger that unlocks the Red Ranger’s T-Rex Super Charge mode! It will take every Zord, Megazord, and Dino Charger in the Power Rangers’ arsenal to finally unite all ten Energems and save the universe!
Year of Production: 2015
Title Copyright: ™ and © 2016 SCG Power Rangers LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Genre:Action/Adventure, Children’s/Series, Fantasy
Closed Captioned: English
Feature Run Time: 264 minutes
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 1.78:1 Presentation
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, Spanish and French 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
On to the review…
Dino Super Charge gets a bad rap in the grand scope of Power Rangers fandom, and likely because it had a lot to live up to — the first season of Dino Charge was easily the best in years, greatly improving on the aimlessness and lack of depth or characterization of the disappointing Megaforce seasons. It definitely falters a bit at points, but as overall and especially as a DVD binge, this is an immensely solid season. Its strengths lie in its character arcs, and a clear vision for what kind of Power Rangers season it wants to be — and in this case, as exemplified by Red Ranger Tyler’s childlike exuberance and excitement, the focus is on unadulterated fun.
In terms of cool powers and potential toys, there actually isn’t much in Dino Super Charge that earns the “Super” title. Tyler is the only Ranger who gets a true Super Mode, and the mostly-useless Super Drive modes featured on the cover are only featured in American footage in the Zord cockpit (a feature first done in Super Samurai, and it makes about as much sense here as it did there.) Instead, the focus is on completing its team of ten — ten! — Rangers.
Where Dino Super Charge somewhat stumbles is, curiously, its pace. While the first season excelled as a slow burn plot, Super Charge burns off major developments and revelations in the first six episodes. The series-long mystery of Tyler’s father is solved in a two-parter that, while not entirely unsatisfying, still leaves a lot to be desired in the logic department. Heckyl starts out as a very unique undercover villain, potentially infiltrating the team, but that story turns out to be a non-starter (though his character goes to satisfying places in the final arc of the series.) The entire “search for Energems” storyline is essentially completed midway through the season, with the introduction of a Dark Energem plot device that doesn’t feel nearly as dire until the final three episodes.
That said, this is definitely a “better on DVD” season, as binging absolves any filler burn-out viewers watching week-to-week may have experienced. There are lots of gimmicky plots this season, but nearly every episode contains a major plot development, and even silly monster gimmicks always reflect characterization (“Home Run Koda” and “Worgworld” as good examples.)
This season’s fantastic set of diverse characters holds the season together, actually — even when the plot is moving at a snail’s pace, we get all kinds of character explorations and interesting morality questions. Tyler and Shelby’s sweet relationship develops naturally, Heckyl’s backstory is entirely unexpected, and episodes explore Sir Ivan’s and Koda’s time displacement nicely. The entire core cast gets ample development, and no one seems to get the shaft in the characterization department (perhaps excepting recurring Rangers Prince Phillip, James, and Zenowing, though they all have their moments.) This might be one of the best seasons for character development the show’s ever had.
The finale is one of the wildest in Power Rangers history, going in tons of unexpected directions, bringing back loads of recurring characters, and clearly going for broke budget-wise and story-wise. It also has one of the most bizarre final scenes in Power Rangers history, too — and understandably controversial in how balls-to-the-wall it is — but it’s a testament to how gung-ho everyone was in making this a unique season.
Dino Super Charge captures the magic of Power Rangers in a way Samurai and Megaforce seasons didn’t, thanks to charming and heavily developed characters, coupled with an “everything but the kitchen sink” mentality in its final arc. This is also a season that’s sure to inspire kids, as it displays great lessons of friendship and community service for its young viewers, while even asking more complex questions — like an appreciated discussion on graffiti vandalism versus graffiti as an art form. It’s a very well-rounded season of Power Rangers, certainly worth a marathon.
Like previous sets, the Halloween and Christmas specials aren’t included on this set, so it isn’t actually a true “complete” season, and you’ll have to get those specials’ solo releases.
The Packaging: The cover art for this set is easily Lionsgate’s best work for Power Rangers sets. While the most recent Megaforce collections and smaller Dino Charge releases featured cluttered designs, the Dino Super Charge art is refreshingly minimalist. The many Dino Zords compiled over the logo is a clever design, and it’s just generally pleasing to look at. The casing smartly splits this season’s gigantic team — the front spotlighting the core five, with the back featuring the remaining five added Rangers alongside Red. Considering how cluttered the front cover could have looked if it crammed all ten Rangers into a design, this was a smart choice.
Like the previous Megaforce releases, this is a lightweight slimpack. (Word of warning: it’s very lightweight — the disc holder was actually broken in my review copy and the discs had fallen loose, but that could have been a shipping problem as much as anything.) The discs themselves are the exact same “Roar” and “Extinction” volumes. Since they were already two-disc releases, the disc style flows much better than the Megaforce sets, but it’s still a little odd to have two sets of “disc one” and “disc two.”
The Extras: As with the first Dino Charge season set, there are frustratingly no extras. Given that this season saw the return of fan favorite showrunner Chip Lynn, and had one of the most interactive and charismatic casts in the show, it would have been nice to have some featurettes with their thoughts, or at the very least the gag reel that already exists.
The third disc does include the first “Coming Soon” trailer for the Power Rangers movie, though that’s an artifact of the solo volume’s initial release rather than a true “extra.”
Is It Worth It? With the shift to HD and increased budget that’s existed since Samurai, the quality and effects of Power Rangers has never been better — but given that this is only a DVD set instead of Blu-Ray, the crispness of the viewing experience just isn’t there. That said, narratively, Dino Super Charge is a very good season, and necessary if you already have Dino Charge. It isn’t as strong as its first season plot-wise, but it’s still great to binge thanks to an incredibly likeable cast, fleshed-out characters, and an absolutely bonkers ending. Likewise, the mixture of fun fantasy with some very well-written lessons make it a must for kids who want heroes to look up to.
Final Thoughts: If this isn’t “mature” enough for you, the very-very-very good Power Rangers reboot movie is also out on DVD/Blu-Ray the same day, and could use your support if it ever hopes to get a sequel!