Power Rangers had a Christmas Special: It was Cheap

Chris Piers   December 23, 2015   Comments Off on Power Rangers had a Christmas Special: It was Cheap

Alpha decorates the Command Center

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted in the late summer/early fall of 1993 and was an instant hit. Fans were eager for as much of the show and merchandise as they could get. So in 1994, the producers decided to make a Christmas Special as a direct-to-VHS present to fan club members. It was later released to the mass market on VHS in 2000 and later as a bonus feature on several DVD sets. But it’s bad. Really bad. Why? Primarily because the producers went super, super, super cheap on what was already a very inexpensive TV show. Cheaper than the terrible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Christmas Special! They focused on Alpha, the robot that helps the Power Rangers, instead of any of the Power Rangers. You know, the people we actually like to see. There’s no villains. No fight scenes. No real special effects. And it all takes place on one small set. This was Alpha’s Magical Christmas and even Power Rangers fans don’t like it.

Zordon talks to Alpha

The story begins with Alpha telling Zordon that he can’t get into the Christmas spirit because the Power Rangers aren’t there. Zordon does not remind Alpha that he’s a robot and shouldn’t care. Instead, he explains that it’s Christmas Eve so the Power Rangers had to help Santa load up his sleigh. Wow, Santa and Zordon are friends. Well, okay.

Alpha panics

But Alpha still feels sad and he waves his arms and cries in his shrill voice about it. The very idea of centering a story around such an annoying character was… not a strong one. Alpha waves his arm and decorations appear all around the consoles. I guess he has magic powers? I did not know about that.

Alpha pushes a red console button

Zordon says he has a plan to cheer Alpha up and to press THE red button. Even though there are clearly two red buttons, Alpha confidently presses one of them.

Zordon conjures a Christmas tree

And it makes a Christmas tree float down into the Command Center. So we know that Zordon can magically summon Christmas trees but he can’t push console buttons. I would really like to know how this works.

Stock footage of London Bridge

Alpha wastes some time decorating the console area and we also see stock footage of cities around the world. Like I said, this special is really, really cheap. Alpha sings “Oh Christmas Tree” and we cut to the stock footage and then to really little kids in their homes, decorating their trees. It’s a montage. A really bland, cheap montage.

Alpha pushes a green button

Then Zordon tells Alpha to press the green button. Which he does. And this is when things go from boring to very, very creepy. But don’t worry, they go back to boring very quickly.

A kid is teleported out of his house

A default Adobe Premier sparkly effect appears in the windows of various houses and the lights fly across the sky. What’s happening? Zordon is teleporting children out of their homes to visit Alpha!

Kids hug Alpha

So these tykes all teleport into the Command Center and hug Alpha. None of them have dialog. None of them are terrified of being abducted from their homes. They just take to Alpha right away. It’s complete nonsense. No explanation at all about how this was arranged or why these kids are okay with this.

Alpha looks at the Power Rangers on the viewing globe

Everything I said above takes maybe 5 minutes of the 22 minute special. Then we get about 15 minutes or so of Alpha and the kids singing Christmas songs. They just go from one right to the next without any dialog. They sing, in order:

  • Here We Come A-Caroling
  • Deck the Halls
  • Jingle Bells
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Up on the Housetop
  • Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  • I’ll be Home for Christmas
  • Silent Night

And while they sing, they all put ornaments on the tree and sometimes we see footage in the Command Center’s viewing globe thing of people celebrating Christmas or shots of the Power Rangers at the Command Center. And please note that this shot of the whole team prominently features the White Power Ranger. We’ll get back to that in a sec.

Alpha escorts kids into a glowing door

Finally, they’re done decorating and Zordon says it’s time for the kids to go home. But they don’t teleport home the same way they arrived. No, this is much scarier. Instead they all walk into a glowing, foggy doorway and disappear. I have no idea what’s supposed to be happening to these kids. They just go away. Forever.

Tommy, Billy and Kimberly visit Alpha

And then the Power Rangers teleport in because they’re done helping Santa. Well, technically only half of the Power Rangers show up. And Alpha is really happy because even though his lesson was that you can have fun with abducted kids on Christmas instead of superheroes, he now gets both. So… why is Tommy wearing the Green Power Ranger outfit? Because we just saw footage of him as the White Ranger. If you’re not a fan of the Power Rangers, I suppose you wouldn’t know but Tommy loses the Green Ranger Powers and becomes the White Ranger. But the White Ranger happens AFTER the Green Ranger is gone. It’s just lazy. But who was this made for? The people in the fan club. They’d definitely notice this continuity error.

A few Power Rangers phone Alpha for Christmas

Zordon says the rest of the Power Rangers went home to see their families. Only three of them bothered? They recorded a message for Alpha. It’s just the other three actors saying Merry Christmas. That’s it. They almost look confused. Like, no one told them exactly what this is for.

A few Power Rangers sing with Alpha

Then the three Power Rangers and Alpha sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and wave directly at the camera. It’s over. Thank Zordon.