Produced by: Haim Saban, Brian Casentini, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey
Screenplay by: John Gatins
Story by: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Edited by: Martin Bernfeld, Dody Dorn
Cinematography by: Matthew J. Lloyd
Music by: Brian Tyler
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, David Denman
Based on the Power Rangers and Super Sentai TV series
The film I’d always been asking for is finally here! … Sort of.
… Okay, let me clarify. A few years ago, I’d gotten all nostalgic about my childhood along with some friends, as people are wont to do, and the idea of creating a serious adaptation of the Power Rangers series we’d grown up with became a topic of fascination – at least for myself. I’d always imagined it as being something between serious and openly campy, acknowledging the series’ ridiculous qualities (“teenagers with attitude,” frenetic gesticulating and dramatic declarations prefacing every action, Rita Repulsa and her frequently giant-sized cronies, etc.) and embracing them alongside the aspects that could be made obviously and genuinely awesome (the action, the Zords, the monster battles).
Years later, we got what I always wanted. It’s called Pacific Rim. And it is incredible.
Now, years after that, we now have an actual Power Rangers movie – one that is somehow a more serious film than Pacific Rim, which is actually based on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series – Zordon, Alpha 5, Rita, and everything. Read more…
Produced by: Dan Rounds
Written by: Jymn Magon, Brian Pimental, Chris Matheson (screenplay), Jymn Magon (story)
Edited by: Gregory Perler
Art Direction by: Larry Leker, Wendell Luebbe
Production Design by: Fred Warter
Music by: Carter Burwell, Don Davis
Starring: Bill Farmer, Jason Marsden, Rob Paulsen, Jim Cummings, Kellie Martin, Pauly Shore, Pat Buttram, Wallace Shawn, Ray Liotta, Jenna von Oÿ, Tevin Campbell, Jo Anne Worley, Joey Lawrence, Frank Welker
Based on the TV series Goof Troop
Goofy was always one of the most enjoyable characters in Mickey’s group of friends. Anyone who’s seen pretty much any of the “How To” series shorts featuring the clumsy anthropomorphic dog-like creature knows that unquestionable fact. Arguably, he’s second only to Donald – who really stood more on the manic end of the comedy spectrum from Goofy. It’s only fitting that they each got their own domestic family sitcoms – Donald in Quack Pack and Goofy in the earlier Goof Troop, which introduced us to Goofy’s son, Max – while straightman and, honestly, comparatively bland Mickey was stuck playing emcee to all of his own shows. Quack Pack never seemed to resonate with kids from that era, and it didn’t seem to be half as fondly or frequently remembered compared to Goof Troop. (For me, personally, it came a little too late, as its entire one season came out when I lived overseas.) However, Disney seemed to recognize the fondness kids had for Goofy and Max’s domestic lives, so it was only logical that the corporation that would become well known for releasing unnecessary sequels to its classic films over the next decade would capitalize on its success with a theatrical film. Read more…
Produced by: Martha Chang, Shunji Hirano, James King, Jason Ing, Yuriko Matsubara
Written by: Edward Emanuel (screenplay), Kenny Kim (story)
Edited by: David Rennie
Cinematography by: Richard Michalak
Music by: Richard Marvin
Starring: Victor Wong, Michael Treanor, Max Elliott Slade, Chad Power, Rand Kingsley, Alan McRae, Margarita Franco, Patrick Labyorteaux, D.J. Harder, Race Nelson, Kate Sargeant, Joel Swetow, Professor Toru Tanaka, Clifton Powell
“Hey, you know how The Karate Kid was a huge hit back in the 80s?” said one film exec.
“Yes. That was only a few years ago. Of course I remember,” the other said, caustically.
“What if we did that movie again?” pondered the first.
“We already did three of those, and critics hated the last one. We’re not going to repeat that success again. Let’s move on.”
“Fine, sure, but what if we didn’t call it The Karate Kid? What if we, like, did ninjas? Kids like those turtles that are ninjas. Let’s do that!”
“You know, that’s not a bad idea, but I was thinking we do something along the lines of Home Alone.”
“Say, now! Why not both? We’ll have the kids use their ninja skills to take down burglars!”
“Yes! Exactly! My God, you are brilliant!”
“And you doubted me.” Read more…
Produced by: Haim Saban, Shuki Levy, Suzanne Todd
Written by: Arne Olsen (screenplay), John Kamps, Arne Olsen (story)
Edited by: Wayne Wahrman
Cinematography by: Paul Murphy
Music by: Graeme Revell
Starring: Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, Steve Cardenas, Johnny Yong Bosch, David Yost, Karan Ashley, Paul Freeman, Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, Nicholas Bell, Robert L. Manahan, Peta-Maree Rixon, Richard Wood, Jamie Croft, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Julia Cortez, Barbara Goodson, Mark Ginther, Robert Axelrod, Kerry Casey, Kerrigan Mahan, Jean Paul Bell
Ah, the Power Rangers! Probably one of the first TV series to expose me to the fact that a lot of adults could get paranoid over quite a little bit. Remember that story about how Power Rangers inspired kids to stab one another? Or that one about how it encouraged kids to jump off balconies? I sure do. It was also one of the first series many of us likely experienced backlash over, as Power Rangers was a series that kids who felt that they had passed some agreed upon threshold where it was no longer acceptable (or even never was acceptable) to watch the series would tease kids like me who (usually) openly admitted to watching it. Naturally, the Power Rangers’ first theatrical film was a big event for some of my friends and me. It was also the reason for the only time I recall ever being able to make myself cry in desperation. Long story short, my friend did something to piss off our babysitter, and she threatened to not take us to see it. He called her bluff, and she actually called it off. Frustrated because I hadn’t done anything, I worked up a lot of tears, and, yeah… I earned some sympathy points, and we went to see it anyway. Read more…
Produced by: Lauren Shuler Donner, Jennie Lew Tugend, Richard Donner, Arnon Milchan
Written by: Keith A. Walker, Corey Blechman
Edited by: O. Nicholas Brown
Cinematography by: Robbie Greenberg
Music by: Basil Poledouris; Michael Jackson (theme)
Starring: Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Jayne Atkinson, August Schellenberg, Michael Madsen, Michael Ironside, Mykelti Williamson, Michael Bacall, Keiko
Man, I remember a time when I could watch this movie and not think of all the horrors that went on at SeaWorld, don’t you? Thank you, Blackfish, for making the message behind Free Willy so devastatingly real now that I’m a grown man. I hate you.
All kidding aside, however, this was probably one of the first pieces of media with an activist message kids from my era ever watched outside of a “very special episode” of one of their favorite TV shows. (And that was probably the episode of Fresh Prince where Carlton bought the gun after Will was mugged.) Free Willy was the movie that dared us to care about the remarkable relationship between a troubled young boy named Jesse who just desperately needs someone to love him and set a good example for him and his unexpected friendship with a tenacious whale who was taken away from his own family and put on display for a world that doesn’t fully understand him. Read more…
Alright, this was originally going to happen in March, but that didn’t end up panning out, so I decided to move it to April! First theme month of the year!
What does ’90s Nostalgia Month mean, exactly? It means that, for the month of April, I’ll be reviewing nothing but some of the most quintessential kids movies I watched from 1990 – 1999 — the time period in which I also started school until I was a 7th grader.
Now, not all of these movies will be universally loved by my fellow 90s kids. Heck, I might not even love them that much any more, myself, maybe not even then, but the movies I choose to review for this time period, I assure you, will be ones that I specifically remember being a pretty big part of my childhood. Examples? You want examples? Okay, well, I’ll give you a few hints of what I’ve got planned:
So… yeah, this should be pretty fun! In case you can’t wait, though, here’s a starter list for movies that I’ve already reviewed from the 90s — not all of them kids movies, but movies we watched as kids — that we all loved/hated but watched anyway as kids to whet your appetite!