My kid’s day care was supposed to have a Father’s Day party today, but I’m kind of pissed at my kid’s day care right now– more on that later, maybe– and so instead I picked him up early and we’ve been having a Daddy/Kenny day at home. Which means lots of toys (there are Transformers everywhere) and lots of binging terrible Korean animated shows on Netflix. This is probably the fastest any show has gone from “I’ve never heard of this” to “I must do a CCPR post on this immediately,” by the way.
Meet the Mini Force:
They’re little talking animals. The pink one is a girl, which I’m sure you’ll all find tremendously surprising. The red one is a bird, although he doesn’t seem to fly. Other than the red one, I have no idea what kind of animals they are. Maybe they’re all cats, other than the bird? The blue one might be a skunk? I have no damn clue. Anyway, they talk. And they live with a girl named Susie, who in animated kids’ show fashion appears to have no parents or adult influences. Susie knows they talk and can talk back to them. They look just like Octonauts.
Here’s how every show goes: each episode starts with a bunch of woodland animals being inconvenienced in some way, most of the time by a purple Shredder-looking dude named Pascal or some robot he’s created. Sometimes Shredder’s boss is around; he’s dressed like some sort of Spandex-wearing supervillain and I don’t know his name.
The degree of the inconvenience varies. Sometimes it’s special pop that makes the animals fall asleep. Sometimes it’s a snake monster that turns them to stone. The stakes tend to vary.
At any rate, after the animals are inconvenienced, we cut to the four Mini Force dudes at home with Susie. They have some sort of interpersonal problem that will not be resolved and are then summoned via some sort of blinky device that one of them carries. Where to? Not clear at all; they run away and then are suddenly inside some sort of giant complex. I’m not sure if Susie knows about this part of their lives; she probably wonders where they go all the time. They meet with a hologram of a cat. I don’t know what the cat’s name is– they just call him Commander– but he has a mustache and wears sunglasses and a Kangol. I don’t get it.
If Pascal isn’t the villain, then the robot causing all the trouble will have -mon at the end of its name. Every time.
Then they become Power Rangers. I’m not kidding:
Like, the theme music even refers to them as the “Super Rangers Mini Force,” although there’s no credits for Saban anywhere and I’m pretty sure this is just a knockoff and not an official thing. But anyway. The very next scene after the transformation, they’ve teleported to wherever the bad guy is– no time for exposition here!– and then there’s a fight. The fights are those Power Rangers-style fights where there’s always time for lots of talking in between people shooting at one another and your weapons have to be summoned by saying very long phrases out loud.
They lose the fight, and one of them is generally incapacitated somehow. There is a lot of grunting. Seriously, the dialogue in this show is maybe 60% grunts. It’s amazing.
After they lose, they summon their “Force Cars.” Why they didn’t just drive to the fucking fight in the Force Cars isn’t clear. I assume everyone just sits around while the Force Cars drive out to wherever they are. The Force Cars are, no shit, Transformers:
Somewhere in here, the villain gets super large, also Power Rangers style. And not all the time, but sometimes, the Force Cars have to– wait for it– join together to make a single, much larger Force Car. At which point the show becomes Voltron. And then they win, and the show ends abruptly, most of the time with no indication of whether the inconvenienced animals at the beginning of the show were ever made better or not. Maybe they’re still asleep or made from stone or whatever; who knows?
It is impressive to have ripped off that many well-known properties so blatantly and still not have been sued into nonexistence.