When I was but a wee lad, I can perfectly recall owning a “Galaxy Rangers” lunch box that I took with me to Kindergarten. It was red, and, after accidentally spilling a whole thermos into it, I can still remember the strong odor of Fruit Punch that lingered for months. That’s really all I remember about this series well into my twenties. I recall watching this as a child, but all I have to go on is the picture on the lunch box.
KOCH Vision has outdone themselves, however, bringing fans of the series, collectors and children of the ’80s volume one of “The Galaxy Rangers.” Relatively obscure now, this is a compilation of episodes 1-32 with more than seven hours of episodes, fully restored and in full frame format (but I won’t hold that against them).
Aside from the crisp packaging and inherent care that went into the incredible DVD menu, there are also some excellent features fans of the show will enjoy. There’s the never-before-seen pilot, as well as an interview with series creator Robert Mandell who discusses the origins of the series, the strategy to turn the series into a toy line, how they planned to connect this to the Texas Rangers team, and how the companies inevitably green lit his idea. There’s also some fun episode commentary with Mandell, a music video to the theme song “No Guts, No Glory,” a slideshow for the talking story book, and even a 32 page guide to the characters!
“The Adventures of The Galaxy Rangers” hearkens back to a time where Saturday mornings were all about cartoons, where you would get up and toggle between three channels to decide what series you wanted to watch, and I couldn’t help but watch lovingly as the formulaic plot devices amounted to a very entertaining series that hasn’t aged much, even in cynical times such as these. I mean, let’s face it, most if not all of these series were invented for the purposes of creating toys, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t fun to bask in for hours.
Mandell’s “Galaxy Rangers” is the classic mold from “Seven Samurai” in which two aliens from a doomed planet hope to bring peace and order to their world. They inevitably bring together four human warriors who are assigned to protect Earth and their world from these criminals. As an animation buff, it’s good to see that the series hasn’t lost any of its gloss and appeal, because even in 2008, the character models are still very eye-catching. “Galaxy Rangers” hosts some genuinely creepy villains who act as interesting menaces to our heroes looking to restore justice in the galaxy.
Now while Queen of the Crown doesn’t have the same horrific presence as Mumm-Ra and Skeletor, the collective menaces of the cruel political Empire are a valid threat, with her underlings providing awfully interesting obstacles for the group. Their travails on various planets make for some of the most interesting adventures, featuring dozens of alien breeds and layered back stories. And the series even has the foresight to include an on-board super computer comprised of computer effects that Mandell knew would become a dominant force in animation. The Super Troopers themselves are pretty much like every team in the ’80s, possessing individual gifts, powers, and personalities, and every time they’re called upon, it’s still very exciting.
KOCH Vision has created an entertaining experience for all interested parties looking for cutting edge animation and old fashioned storytelling; it’s a sheer thrill to sit and re-visit the roots of my love for animated fare. I’m currently crossing my fingers for someone to release “Silverhawks,” “Bionic Six,” and/or “Mighty Max” on DVD. Just give us what we want, and no one gets hurt.