Power Rangers Dino Thunder
Power Rangers Dino Thunder is an American children's television series, the twelfth season of the Power Rangers franchise. As with all Power Rangers series, it was adapted from a series from the long running Japanese Super Sentai franchise, in this case the 27th entry, Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger. Dino Thunder was also the subtitle of the Korean dub of Abaranger in South Korea and had a similar/identical logo to the American version as well. The series is notable as it features the return of Jason David Frank to a starring role. It was the first Power Rangers series to be aired on the new block, Jetix, and Toon Disney.
A soccer player, a computer expert, a singer, an artist, and a teacher with a long history of such situations join forces to become Power Rangers and help save the Earth from the scheming of Mesogog, a dinosauric villain who wishes to eradicate all human life and return Earth to the age of dinosaurs.
In this season, Tommy Oliver, from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Power Rangers Turbo fame, returns as a paleontology professor in Reefside, California. When he is assigned three detention students, Conner McKnight, Ethan James, and Kira Ford, they end up finding the Dino Gems, paving the way for them to become the Dino Rangers. Conner gains the power of the Tyrannozord (based on the Tyrannosaurus), as well as super-speed; Ethan gains the power of the Tricerazord (based on the Triceratops), as well as the ability to make his skin invulnerable; and Kira gains the power of the Pterazord (based on the Pteranodon), as well as a sonic scream. Tommy (known often as Dr. O) himself once again becomes a Power Ranger by joining the team as the Black Dino Ranger with the power of invisibility, and they are also later joined by Trent Mercer as the White Dino Ranger, with the power of camouflage. Trent must deal with the inner struggle of good and evil, as Tommy himself once had to do as the evil Green Ranger, because he gained his powers from a raw Dino Gem in Mesogog's lab, with the powers originally intended to be Mesogog's. Mesogog is in fact, Trent's adopted father Anton Mercer, who, in a faulty lab experiment, began to mutate into Mesogog. Trent later sides with good and saves his father from the mutation.
During the course of the series, the team adds the following to its arsenal of Zords: Cephalozord (based on the Pachycephalosaurus), Dimetrozord (based on the Dimetrodon), Stegozord (based on the Stegosaurus), Parasaurzord (based on the Parasaurolophus), and Ankylozord (based on the Ankylosaurus). The Stegozord later combines with Trent's zord, the Dragozord (based on the Tupuxuara), to form the Dino Stegozord. Tommy pilots the Brachiozord (based on the Brachiosaurus), the carrier for all the other Zords. Conner is also given the power to become the Triassic Ranger, and pilots the Mezodon Rover/Megazord (based on the Styracosaurus), which can combine with the Cephalo, Dimetro, Parasaur and Ankylozords to form the Triceramax Megazord.
At the end of the series, the Rangers destroy Mesogog with their raw Dino Gem power, but the gems are burned out in the process. Just before this, they are also forced to sacrifice all the Zords in their last battle with Zeltrax, one of Mesogog's strongest minions. Finally they return to their normal lives.
- James Napier as Conner McKnight, the Red Dino Ranger and Triassic Ranger.
- Kevin Duhaney as Ethan James, the Blue Dino Ranger.
- Emma Lahana as Kira Ford, the Yellow Dino Ranger.
- Jason David Frank as Dr. Tommy Oliver, the Black Dino Ranger, and previously the Green Ranger, the White Ranger, Zeo Ranger V Red, and the first Red Turbo Ranger.
- Jeffrey Parazzo as Trent Fernandez, the White Dino Ranger.
- Ismay Johnston as Hayley Ziktor
- Katrina Devine as Cassidy Cornell
- Tom Hern as Devin Del Valle
- Latham Gaines as Dr. Anton Mercer
- Latham Gaines as Mesogog
- Miriama Smith as Elsa/Principal Randall
- James Gaylyn as the voice of Zeltrax
- Adam Gardiner as the voice of the White Dino Ranger Clone
- Pua Magasiva as Shane Clarke, the Red Wind Ranger.
- Sally Martin as Tori Hanson, the Blue Wind Ranger.
- Glenn McMillan as Waldo "Dustin" Brooks, the Yellow Wind Ranger.
- Adam Tuominen as Hunter Bradley, the Crimson Thunder Ranger.
- Jorgito Vargas, Jr., as Blake Bradley, the Navy Thunder Ranger.
- Jason Chan as Cameron "Cam" Watanabe, the Green Samurai Ranger.
- Grant McFarland as Sensei Kanoi Watanabe/Lothor
- Peter Rowley as the voice of Zurgane
- Katrina Devine as Marah
- Katrina Browne as Kapri
Due to the mention that Power Rangers solely existed as a comic book in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, many fans believed that series existed in a different universe than that of the original Power Rangers series. (However, Power Rangers in Space had previously mentioned a Ranger-based comic book in its crossover with Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation). Fans also believed this due to the lack of a Ninja Storm/Wild Force team-up episode, partly due to the actors refusing to come since much of the production crew had been laid off as well as the change in hands of the Power Rangers franchise from Saban to Disney and filming locations from United States to New Zealand. Executive producer Douglas Sloan also received heavy criticism for not tying Ninja Storm in with the original universe.
To tie up all of the loose Ninja Storm ends, and to try to bring in a larger audience, Sloan brought back Jason David Frank and his original character, the once evil turned hero, green, white, red, and now black ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers through Power Rangers Turbo, Tommy Oliver, a legendary Power Ranger, as a mentor for the new team as well as a fellow Power Ranger. Jason Frank has said that he did the show as a favor for Sloan. Through the episodes "Legacy of Power" (the 500th episode overall), a look back on all of the previous Power Rangers series; "Back in Black", giving Tommy new Power Ranger powers; "Fighting Spirit", seeing Tommy encounter his previous Ranger forms and airing on the eleventh anniversary of Power Rangers no less; and "Thunder Storm", a team-up arc between Dino Thunder and Ninja Storm, all previous series were included in the original Power Rangers universe.
Also in the season premiere "Day of the Dino", Mesogog knew of Lothor as he mentioned Reefside would believe he had returned to town, although Blue Bay Harbor was Lothor's target in Ninja Storm. However considering Conner's twin brother attended the Wind Ninja Academy it is possible the two towns are relatively nearby one another, explaining Mesogog's statement.
Dino Thunder also was the first Power Rangers series to overtly acknowledge its Super Sentai roots with an episode entitled "Lost and Found in Translation," which featured a Japanese show based on the Power Rangers dubbed in English. In actuality, the footage used in that episode was from episode 10 ("Abare League Bind") of Dino Thunder's source series, Bakuryū Sentai Abaranger, dubbed in a manner similar to the comedic parody dub of Kagaku Sentai Dynaman in the late 1980s.
There were two games produced for Dino Thunder. On the Game Boy Advance, there was a sidescrolling game, which was a platformer involving fighting several villains from the series. The other game was produced for the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube. This was the first Power Rangers game produced on a sixth generation console. All the action takes place inside the zords. This game also had some inconsistencies with the television series to allow the action to take place in the zords while battling the regular enemies who were human size.
Currently, 23 of the 38 episodes are available in various volumes on DVD in Region 1, whereas a complete box set was released in Region 2 on July 14, 2008. Shout! Factory has released the entire series as part of their "Seasons 8 – 12" DVD box set. The complete Region 1 season is now available individually as of October 2016.
- Sisario, Ben (2004-02-29). "FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; Those Mighty Power Rangers Just Keep On Morphing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "Power Rangers Dino Thunder - Legacy of Power". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Power Rangers Dino Thunder - Day of the Dino". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-08-22.