By Edwin L. Carpenter – Associate Editor, The Dove Foundation
Educational Adventures’ CEO Michael D. Moore has made learning fun. His background in law enforcement training and his desire for high quality has been a dynamic combination which have helped him produce “Danger Rangers,” a group of interesting characters which kids find irresistible. The animated characters educate their kid viewers with safety protection lessons which Moore enthusiastically says have been embraced. The genesis of the “Danger Rangers” began, oddly enough, at a rape crisis center.
“Some friends and I were helping in a rape crisis center—we were volunteering– and this led us to ask, ‘What is being done with children’s safety?’ We discovered that there was good news and not-so-good news. There was a lot of misinformation.”
Moore elaborated on this: “Kids are told ‘Don’t speak to strangers.’ That is very bad advice. Children are less often abducted than the several thousand who are lost or separated. Parents should tell their children not to listen to strangers who speak to them, but to ask a mom in a store if they get lost or to go to a man behind the counter at a store to ask for help.”
“Children who go to events should have a group of adults to look for. There are 86,000 successfully prosecuted child molestation cases every year. And in most of these cases these situations happened with trusted adults.” His point is that a friendly stranger behind a counter might be of help. It is obvious that he is a man who remembers statistics. Moore has done his homework on many child safety factors.
His goal of making the “Danger Rangers” a quality product has been achieved, due in part to the talents involved in the project. Mark Hamill, who you may remember as the original Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars” lends his voice talent to several episodes of the series, as did the late Jonathan Harris, known to adult viewers as Dr. Smith from the TV classic “Lost in Space.” Charlie Adler took over the Harris role when Harris passed away, and Moore says he has done a commendable job.
“My job is to facilitate the entertainment and also the business side,” he said. He mentioned that on the production side, producer and director Howard Kazanjian has gotten behind the efforts. Kazanjian produced the “Star Wars” film “Return of the Jedi,” as well as another George Lucas project, “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
“Howard’s son was hit by a car while riding a bicycle,” said Moore. “He is fine now, but that left an impression on Howard and he wanted to help with what we are doing.”
Moore cites Steven C. Rockefeller Jr. as being a big help business-wise with the “Danger Rangers” project, and Rockefeller recently funded a foundation for underprivileged kids.
He and his associates have tackled such safety issues as fire protection on “Danger Rangers, Mission 547,” and recently on a pharmaceutical piece which gives tips on not mixing up candy with medication. Moore has some statistics on this which he sent our way. “There are 1.2 million times a year when kids mix up candy and medication.”
Another important safety topic will be included in the next “Danger Rangers” project which is titled “Safe And Sound,” and it will deal with audio safety. The various DVD’s reveal just how many child safety issues need to be faced and taught to children.
On the creative side, Moore said it has been challenging to come up with an effective antagonist. “We have one character, a French guy, who throws croissants at the characters,” Moore said. Moore then breaks into the character’s voice and says, “I have exploding ones on order!”
It is apparent that he enjoys the characters and they have become a part of him, or perhaps they were already there. Moore co-created this series with Douglas Smith and one senses this is an extended family of sorts. He concluded the interview with a story. “I am most proud of the impact we have on one child at a time. We have consistently impacted the kids. Parents have called us; parents whose children have seen the programs on Public Access television. They have told us that they have seen transformed behavior in their children. One child who got a bike as a Christmas gift would not ride the bike because it didn’t have all the safety equipment.”
Michael D. Moore is one man who has helped kids by educating them while entertaining them at the same time.