|This article is about a/an Christmas special in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.|
Alpha's Magical Christmas was a non-canon direct-to-video Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Christmas special released on October 19th, 1994 as a Power Rangers Fan Club exclusive. The special features Alpha 5 singing Christmas carols with numerous children from around the world, because the Rangers are busy helping Santa Claus and he feels sad (again apparently) as a result.
This special was made in an attempt to increase Alpha 5's popularity with the fans and give him a starring role in a Power Rangers project, as he typically held a supporting role in the series. Richard Horvitz, who voiced Alpha, claims that despite overwhelming criticism, the special was a smart marketing idea.
Alpha's Magical Christmas is notable for being the first and only Christmas special to center around a supporting character in the early stages of the franchise. It is also notable for being the only special in the franchise to mention God and Jesus Christ, in the form of Christmas song lyrics.
On Christmas Eve in Angel Grove, Alpha 5 is sad because he is all alone in the Command Center. The Rangers are busy helping Santa Claus in preparation for his big trip around the world. To cheer Alpha up over being left alone, Zordon presents Alpha with a Christmas tree and then teleports in various children to spend time with him. After spending time with Alpha the kids head home, while Tommy, Kimberly and Billy teleport in to wish their robot friend a Merry Christmas. As a special surprise for his best friends, Alpha uses his powers to make it magically snow inside the Command Center.
The special begins in the Command Center, which is decorated for Christmas. Alpha 5 breaks the fourth wall and tells the audience that he's just putting the final touches on his Christmas tree before the big day arrives. He then goes on to tell the audience that he feels quite happy about Christmas that year, even though he didn't feel that way at the beginning of the day. Zordon tells Alpha 5 to cheer up, although it does seem too quiet without the Rangers. When Alpha asks where the Rangers are, Zordon responds that they are at the North Pole helping Santa Claus get ready for his annual trip. To bring Alpha some Christmas cheer, Zordon presents a Christmas tree and then teleports in several children from around the world to do activities and sing carols with Alpha. Soon the Rangers teleport in, but they can't stay long.
At the end of the special we cut back to the same area we see at the beginning, where Alpha says goodbye and that he, Zordon, and the Rangers hope we have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
- Romy J. Sharf/Richard Steven Horvitz as Alpha 5
- David Fielding as Zordon
- Louise E. Marino Sr. as Santa Claus
- Jason David Frank as Tommy Oliver
- Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly Ann Hart
- David Yost as Billy Cranston
- Karan Ashley as Aisha Campbell
- Johnny Yong Bosch as Adam Park
- Steve Cardenas as Rocky DeSantos
- Austin St. John as Jason Lee Scott (Archive Footage Only)
- Walter Jones as Zack Taylor (Archive Footage Only)
- Thuy Trang as Trini Kwan (Archive Footage Only)
- Paul Schrier as Farkas Bulkmeier (archive footage only)
- Jason Narvy as Eugene Skullovitch (archive footage only)
- Unknown performer as Santa Claus (in the Viewing Globe)
- Various children (Michael, Stephen, Suzy, Amy and Cindy are named only)
During the special, Alpha and the children sing various Christmas carols, including:
- Oh Christmas Tree
- Here We Come A-Caroling
- Deck the Halls
- Jingle Bells (sung as a reprise during the credits and serves as the special's leitmotif)
- Good King Wenceslas
- Up on the Housetop
- Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
- I'll be Home for Christmas
- Silent Night
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Four of the songs were released on the book-and-cassette/book-and-CD Lord Zedd's Holiday Humbug.
- Despite flashbacks of Tommy as the White Ranger, as well as Rocky, Adam, and Aisha being part of the team (not Jason, Zack, and Trini), Tommy is seen using the Green Ranger powers, which had been depleted in Green No More, Part 2.
- Additionally, flashbacks show Tommy as the White Ranger and Jason, Zack, Trini are shown in the Viewing Globe at the end of a song and mentioned by Zordon as still being at the World Peace Conference.
- Alpha's 'magical powers' were not stated as such in the actual television show, but are instead stated by Alpha as "tapping into the Morphin Grid".
- As the special is not considered to be part of official Power Rangers canon, these errors bear little significance.
Criticism and Praise
Despite the special's gentle and tender nature, Alpha's Magical Christmas is widely panned by most of the Power Rangers fan community for several reasons: its excessively saccharine, cutesy tone; the lack of action/adventure and creativity; the constant singing; poor production quality; the weak premise and framing story; completely ignoring the series continuity, much less its own continuity (a shot of Suzy clapping and saying "Yay!" is used three times, for example; Kimberly and the others also say they have to load the sleigh when they are clearly seen doing so on the Viewing Globe in an earlier scene), and breaking the show's own rules. When the Rangers appear, Tommy is clad in his Green Ranger uniform, despite this special being set after the point when the Green Ranger powers were depleted. The presence of Rocky, Adam and Aisha at the end of the special further confuses the issue, as they weren't on the team nor in Angel Grove at all during the Green Ranger era. Already Power Rangers, they speak to Alpha through the Viewing Globe, wishing him a Merry Christmas, wearing the same outfits they originally wore in The Ninja Encounter.
Despite the criticisms, fans of Richard Steven Horvitz have praised his performance in the special. Some fans enjoy the fact that the special has no fighting or villains wreaking havoc. Others praised the special for bringing to light Alpha's fears of the Rangers ignoring and neglecting him; in fact, it's his Christmas wish before the song I'll Be Home for Christmas starts.
A release of the episode was distributed on the VHS Power Rangers: Holiday Specials.
Six years after the special's original VHS release, it was featured on the Power Rangers Holiday Special VHS tape (which also included "A Season to Remember" and "I'm Dreaming of a White Ranger") in 2000. It made its DVD debut on a bonus disc packaged with Shout! Factory's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series DVD box set in 2012, with restored picture and sound. It was also included on the Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish DVD, along with "Stuck On Christmas".
- This is notably the first production where Richard Steven Horvitz, the voice actor for Alpha 5, is credited by his name (rather than "Richard Wood" as in the series). The second time would be the end credits of Forever Red eight years later, where he voiced Alpha 7.
- The Zeo episode A Season to Remember and the MMPR episode I'm Dreaming of a White Ranger are the only episodes where Alpha celebrates Christmas again.
- While Romy J. Sharf performs Alpha in the special, Donene Kistler (who would go on to play Alpha in MMPR Season 3, Zeo, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie and Shift Into Turbo), served as production secretary for this special.
- This special reveals to us that Alpha has a singing skill, which is never shown in the series.
- The commercial for the special's original home video casette release, narrated by Alpha himself, was recently unearthed and posted to YouTube. Several pieces of footage are different from the final product; for instance, instead of dancing with the girl wearing the tacky sweater and gold shoes, Alpha instead dances with Suzy. In the commercial, Alpha states that his video is a "timeless collection the whole family can enjoy year after year" and that it will "make your holidays a lot brighter".
- This was Cheryl Saban's pet project, meant to give Mighty Morphin Power Rangers something out of the ordinary, which she felt was necessary.
- Despite claims by Alpha's voice actor that the special was "smart marketing", it did not lead to the production of Alpha 5 merchandise. The character would not receive a standalone figure until 2010.
- During one bit of the song "Good King Wenceslas", a golden ring can be seen on Suzy's left ring finger.
- One of the children, an African-American kid named Michael resembles a child version of Zack Taylor.
- Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, and the other villains don't appear in this special, yet the Command Center alarms go off several times; however, the sound it makes is noticeably different than the sound used in the series, making an ascending sound rather than its iconic descending tone.
- The songs "Here We Come A-Caroling" and "Silent Night" are the only mentions of Christianity in Power Rangers to date, and both of them are sung by Alpha. Elements of Christianity have never been mentioned in the series proper.
- Despite being a Christmas special, several of the clips are from Zedd's Monster Mash and Life's A Masquerade, both Halloween-centric episodes; additionally, the special was released on October 19th, 1994.
- In the third song in this special, Deck the Halls, Alpha has the capability to shoot magical beams of starlight out of his hands, a power apparently caused by tapping into the Morphin Grid. The Wedding showed, in canon, that Alpha can tap into the Morphin Grid to create both flowers and clothing, so we can also surmise that he is also tapping into the Grid to produce Christmas decorations in the same fashion. He covers it up by saying that he will use "magic" to create his decorations and, later on, Christmas gifts for the children. The Morphin Grid even forms an extra present, one that Alpha gives to Cindy, with red and green energy ribbons.
- This special was adapted into the book-and-cassette/book-and-CD titled Lord Zedd's Holiday Humbug. Several key differences exist in the two versions:
- Lord Zedd launching an attack, resurrecting Primator to frame the Rangers in a heist of Christmas presents. In Magical Christmas, there is no monster attack and Zedd is not mentioned.
- Several songs take place at different moments, with "Up on the Housetop" being sung while Alpha and the children prepare cookies instead of "Good King Wenceslas". "Deck the Halls" is described as Alpha's favorite carol, and the kids and Alpha sing it after the kids teleported into the Command Center rather than while they're making decorations.
- Instead of the "magical portal" being shown directly, it is only implied, and the kids are teleported out of the Command Center back to their families the same way they arrived.
- Tommy is in his White Ranger suit instead of his Green Ranger suit.
- Alpha contacts Aisha and Adam on the Viewing Globe about the attack.
- The Thunder Megazord battles Primator, the same monster that attacked Alpha in The Wanna-Be Ranger.
- At InvaderCON III: Final Doom, when asked about the special, Richard Horvitz replied that it was Cheryl Saban's "pet project". He thought it was a great idea and enjoyed being a part of it, believing it was "a smart marketing idea".
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Live
- Lord Zedd's Monster Heads
- Lord Zedd's Holiday Humbug (book adaptation)
- The Good, the Bad, and the Stupid
- Zeo Serial
- Power Rangers Funniest Moments
- The Lost Episode