Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
|Mighty Morphin Power Rangers|
Logo for the original Power Rangers series
|Also known as||MMPR|
Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
|Created by||Haim Saban|
|Based on||Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger,|
Gosei Sentai Dairanger,
and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger.
by Toei Company
|Developed by||Saban Entertainment|
|Starring||Austin St. John|
Walter Emanuel Jones
Amy Jo Johnson
Jason David Frank
Johnny Yong Bosch
|Voices of||David Fielding|
Richard Steven Horvitz
Robert L. Manahan
|Narrated by||Dave Mallow (series announcer, "Today/previously on Power Rangers" segments)|
|Opening theme||Ron Wasserman|
Haim Saban (as Kussa Mahchi)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||155|
32 (Re-version) (list of episodes)
|Executive producers||Haim Saban|
James Simone (Re-version)
Dan Evans III (Re-version)
|Production locations||Santa Clarita,|
Los Angeles, California,
Kyoto, Japan, & Tokyo, Japan
|Running time||20–21 minutes|
|Production companies||Saban Entertainment|
Renaissance Atlantic Entertainment
Toei Company, Ltd.
MMPR Productions, Inc.
|Original network||FOX (Fox Kids)|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original release||August 28, 1993 –|
February 17, 1996 (Original)
January 2, 2010 - August 28, 2010 (Re-version)
|Followed by||Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers|
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is an American superhero children's television series that premiered on August 28, 1993, on the Fox Kids programming block. It is the first entry of the Power Rangers franchise, and became a 1990s pop culture phenomenon alongside a large line of action figures and other merchandise. The show adapted stock footage from the Japanese TV series Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (1992-1993), which was the 16th installment of Toei's Super Sentai franchise. The second and third seasons of the show drew elements and stock footage from Gosei Sentai Dairanger and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, respectively, though the Zyuranger costumes were still used for the lead cast in these two seasons. Only the mecha and the Kiba Ranger (White Ranger) costume from Dairanger were featured in the second season while only the mecha from Kakuranger was featured in the third season, though the Kakuranger costumes were later used for the mini-series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers. The series was produced by MMPR Productions and distributed by Saban Entertainment, while the show's merchandise was produced and distributed by Bandai Entertainment. The series was well known for its campy tone.
In 2010, a re-version of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, with a revised new look of the original 1993 logo, comic book-referenced graphics, and extra alternative visual effects, was broadcast on ABC Kids, and Bandai produced brand new toys to coincide with the series. Only the first 32 of season one's 60 episodes were remade. It was the final Power Rangers season to air on ABC Kids as Haim Saban re-acquired the series from Disney, who took over the rights of the franchise in 2002. With the beginning of Power Rangers Samurai in 2011, the series had moved to Nickelodeon.
The original series also spawned the feature film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, released by 20th Century Fox on June 30, 1995. Despite mixed reviews, it was a modest financial success. In 2017, a reboot film based on the original series was distributed by Lionsgate, simply titled Power Rangers. Due to both the film's financial failure and Hasbro's acquisition of the franchise in 2018, another reboot is in development.
Season 1 (1993–1994)
The series takes place in the fictional town of Angel Grove, California. On an exploratory mission, two astronauts discover an extraterrestrial container (referred to as a dumpster as a result of its smell) and breach the unit, inadvertently releasing the evil alien sorceress Rita Repulsa from 10,000 years of confinement. Upon her release, she and her army of evil space aliens set their sights on conquering the nearest planet—Earth. The wise sage Zordon, who was responsible for capturing Rita (and also being enemies on Zordon's home world, Eltar), later becomes aware of her release and orders his robotic assistant Alpha 5 to select five "teenagers with attitude" to defend the Earth from Rita's attacks. The five teens chosen are Jason Lee Scott, Kimberly Hart, Zack Taylor, Trini Kwan and Billy Cranston. Zordon gives them the ability to transform into a fighting force known as the Power Rangers. This provides them with superhuman abilities and an arsenal of weapons, as well as colossal assault machines called Zords which can combine into a giant humanoid machine known as the Megazord.
The series begins with five teenagers combating Rita and her seemingly endless array of monsters, while also dealing with typical teenage problems and clashing with local bullies Bulk and Skull. However, consecutive failures lead Rita to adopt a new method for conquering Earth and destroying the Power Rangers—by attacking them with one of their own. Using her magic, Rita kidnaps and brainwashes a local teen whose fighting skills prove to equal that of Jason's in a martial-arts tournament held in Angel Grove. The new teen, Tommy Oliver, passes Rita's tests, becoming the Green Ranger. Entrusted with Rita's Sword of Darkness, the source for the continuance of the evil spell he has fallen victim to, Tommy comes dangerously close to defeating the Power Rangers, especially during a battle where the Megazord receives heavy damage after being drained of its power by a solar eclipse and then falls into a molten lava pit. However, the Green Ranger is ultimately defeated, and the Sword of Darkness is destroyed by Jason. Now free from Rita's spell, Tommy chooses to use his Green Ranger powers to assist the Rangers in defeating the evil that gave them to him in the first place. His Zord, the Dragonzord, is reconfigured to enable it to help form more powerful Zord combinations alongside the other Dinozords.
As time goes on, Rita focuses on eliminating Tommy to regain the powers that she believes belong to her. Using a special wax that was touched by Tommy when he was evil, Rita uses a magic Green Candle to slowly remove his powers, returning them to her. In the end, Tommy loses his powers, but he prevents Rita from reclaiming them by transferring them to Jason who, feeling guilt for failing to protect Tommy's powers, accepts them. However, Tommy later returns to the team when the other Rangers' Power Coins are handed over to Rita in exchange for their kidnapped parents. With Zordon's help, Tommy regains his powers and successfully retrieves the other Rangers' Power Coins. However, Tommy's regained powers are only temporary and must be frequently re-charged by Zordon, who warns him that the Green Ranger's powers will ultimately fail. Despite this, Tommy remains determined to continue assisting the other Rangers as long as possible.
Season 2 (1994–1995)
Lord Zedd, Rita's superior, arrives at Rita's Moon Palace, where he takes her place and throws her into a space dumpster again. He then begins his own campaign to conquer Earth. In order for the Power Rangers to compete with Zedd's monsters, which are superior to the ones Finster made for Rita, Zordon and Alpha upgrade the Dinozords into the more powerful Thunderzords (which combine into the Thunder Megazord). However, Tommy is forced to retain use of the Dragonzord, due to his Green Ranger powers being too weak to support a new Zord.
After several defeats, Zedd's attacks on the Rangers progressively become more violent. He focuses his attention on eliminating Tommy, whom he sees as Rita's biggest mistake in giving him the Dragon Coin. The Green Ranger's powers were rapidly deteriorating, but Zedd's efforts had enhanced the process. He eventually does so with a special Green Crystal, using it to take away the Green Ranger's powers. The crystal also powers up Zedd's Dark Rangers, but when Tommy smashes it, the Dark Rangers powers are transferred back to the regular Rangers. Nevertheless, Zedd finally succeeds in taking the Green Ranger's powers (which Rita later uses to power Tommy's clone to battle against the Rangers before reclaiming it once more). Following the loss of the Green Ranger's powers, Zordon and Alpha create, in secret, a new White Ranger to aid the other Rangers in battle. The White Ranger is revealed to be Tommy, who in addition receives a new Zord, the Tigerzord, and also becomes the new leader of the Power Rangers (replacing Jason).
During the Team Ninja Trials in Angel Grove, the Rangers become friends with three teenagers from Stone Canyon: Rocky DeSantos, Adam Park and Aisha Campbell. During an ensuing battle with Zedd and a magical serpent, Rocky, Adam and Aisha discover the Rangers' identities and, having been entrusted with their secret by Zordon, the three newcomers become allies of the Rangers.
Later on, Jason, Zack and Trini are selected to represent Angel Grove at the World Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Rangers are faced with the task of finding replacements. To transfer the powers of the Red, Black and Yellow Rangers, they must find the Sword of Light, which is located on the Deserted Planet. Zedd pursues them across the galaxy in Serpentera, his massive personal Zord, and destroys most of the Deserted Planet. Serpentera runs out of power before being able to finish the Rangers, and they return to Earth safely with the Sword of Light. Zordon then chooses Rocky, Adam and Aisha to replace Jason, Zack and Trini as the Red, Black and Yellow Rangers, respectively.
Sometime before the power transfer, Rita had returned to Earth when Tommy made his debut as the White Ranger, and fell into the hands of Bulk and Skull, but the Rangers sent her back into space. She later returns to the Moon while the Rangers are in Australia, and with the help of Finster, she gets a special "makeover" to gain a younger and "prettier" face. She then uses a love potion on Zedd, who is in a deep sleep during his centennial re-evilizer, and he falls in love with her when he wakes up. They get married and join forces to make an even more terrible threat for the Rangers, but not even this can prepare them for what is to come.
Season 3 (1995–1996)
Rito Revolto, Rita's skeletal brother, comes to Earth and, with the help of a group of monsters, destroys the Rangers' Thunderzords and the Tigerzord. As a result, the Dinozords are also destroyed and the Power Coins are damaged beyond repair. Undaunted, the Power Rangers seek the aid of Ninjor, alleged creator of the Power Coins, who gives them new Ninja Coins, providing them with the even more powerful Ninjazords (which combine into the Ninja Megazord) and the Falconzord.
An Australian girl named Katherine Hillard moves to Angel Grove. She befriends Kimberly, and displays an intense affection for Tommy. Later it is found out that Rita had captured Katherine and put her under a powerful spell, giving her the ability to transform into a cat as well as a cat-like monster. Under this spell, she steals Kimberly's Ninja Coin, vastly weakening and nearly killing the Pink Ranger, whose life force, like that of the other Rangers, is connected to her Ninja Coin. It is during this time that the Rangers acquire their most powerful Zords: the Shogunzords (which combine into the Shogun Megazord). Eventually, Katherine overcomes Rita's evil spell and returns the Pink Ninja Coin to Kimberly. A short time after, Kimberly gets a chance to pursue her personal athletic dreams. With Zordon's blessing, she leaves to train for the Pan Global Games, choosing Katherine to replace her as the Pink Ranger. Though her initial fear and hesitation keeps her from contributing fully to the fight against evil, Katherine eventually becomes both comfortable and capable of fulfilling her duty as a Ranger.
After several more battles, Zedd and Rita are joined by Rita's father, Master Vile. Following his failed attempts to defeat the Rangers, he reverses time, turning the Rangers into powerless children. These events culminate in the mini-series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers and lead to the next incarnation of the franchise, entitled Power Rangers Zeo.
- Jason Lee Scott
The first Red Power Ranger and the team's first leader, later briefly the team's second-in-command. He wields the Power Sword, and pilots the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord and the Red Dragon Thunderzord. Jason is portrayed by Austin St. John.
- Trini Kwan
The first Yellow Power Ranger. She wields the Power Daggers, and pilots the Saber-Toothed Tiger Dinozord and the Griffin Thunderzord. Trini is portrayed by Thuy Trang.
- Zack Taylor
The first Black Power Ranger and the first team's second-in-command. He wields the Power Axe, and pilots the Mastodon Dinozord and the Lion Thunderzord. Zack is portrayed by Walter Emanuel Jones.
- Kimberly Hart
The first Pink Power Ranger and the first Pink Ninja Ranger. She wields the Power Bow, and pilots the Pterodactyl Dinozord, the Firebird Thunderzord, and the Crane Ninjazord. Kimberly is portrayed by Amy Jo Johnson.
- Billy Cranston
The Blue Power Ranger and the Blue Ninja Ranger (also becomes the longest-lasting member of the original team). He wields the Power Lance, and pilots the Triceratops Dinozord, the Unicorn Thunderzord, the Wolf Ninjazord, and the Blue Shogunzord. Billy is portrayed by David Yost.
- Tommy Oliver
The Green Power Ranger, the White Power Ranger, the White Ninja Ranger, and the team's second leader. He wields the Dragon Dagger (as the Green Ranger) and the Saba Sword (as the White Ranger), and pilots the Dragonzord, the White Tigerzord, the Falcon Ninjazord, and the White Shogunzord (with Katherine). Tommy is portrayed by Jason David Frank.
- Rocky DeSantos
The second Red Power Ranger, the Red Ninja Ranger, and the second team's second-in-command. He pilots the Red Dragon Thunderzord (after Jason), the Ape Ninjazord, and the Red Shogunzord. Rocky is portrayed by Steve Cardenas.
- Aisha Campbell
The second Yellow Power Ranger and the Yellow Ninja Ranger. She pilots the Griffin Thunderzord (after Trini), the Bear Ninjazord, and the Yellow Shogunzord. Aisha is portrayed by Karan Ashley.
- Adam Park
The second Black Power Ranger and the Black Ninja Ranger. He pilots the Lion Thunderzord (after Zack), the Frog Ninjazord, and the Black Shogunzord. Adam is portrayed by Johnny Yong Bosch.
- Katherine "Kat" Hillard
The second Pink Power Ranger and the second Pink Ninja Ranger. She pilots the Crane Ninjazord (after Kimberly) and the White Shogunzord (with Tommy). Kat is portrayed by Catherine Sutherland.
An inter-dimensional being trapped in a time warp, he is the wise mentor of the Rangers, who also bestowed their powers. 10,000 years ago, Zordon led the fight against the forces of evil, specifically Rita. Finally, he was able to imprison the evil witch and her minions in a dumpster on the moon. He once had a corporeal human form, but now appears as a floating head in an energy tube. He is initially voiced and portrayed by David Fielding, and later voiced by Robert L. Manahan.
- Alpha 5
A multi-functional semi-sentient automaton from Edenoi, Alpha was Zordon's trusted robotic assistant, responsible for the daily operations and upkeep of the Command Center. He is portrayed by Sandi Sellner and is voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz.
- Farkas "Bulk" Bulkmeier and Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch
Two bullies at Angel Grove High School. Bulk, the leader, was prone to dragging Skull into wacky schemes, which usually failed miserably and ended in humiliation or injury. In the second season, the two decide to discover the identities of the Power Rangers after they were saved by the Rangers in "The Mutiny". In the third season, they enroll in the Junior Police Force. Thanks to the efforts of their superior officer, Lt. Stone, the duo become good-natured goofs. They are portrayed by Paul Schrier (Bulk) and Jason Narvy (Skull).
The owner and proprietor of the Youth Center, he could often be seen behind the counter of the Juice Bar, and would sometimes dispense advice to the teens. He is portrayed by Richard Genelle.
- Mr. Caplan
The stern principal of Angel Grove High School, who often encouraged his students in their extracurricular activities. He wore a toupée, which serves as a running gag during seasons 1 and 2. He is portrayed by Henry Cannon (uncredited).
- Ms. Appleby
A teacher at Angel Grove High School. She is portrayed by Royce Herron (uncredited).
The girl of Zack's affections, he was constantly attempting to impress and go on a date with her, much to her annoyance. She would often demean Zack for his attempts. She only appears in season 1. She is portrayed by Renee Griggs (uncredited).
Zack's cousin who appears very early on in season 2, and was phased out of the show shortly after Zack's departure. He is portrayed by Joel Rodgers (uncredited).
Another teen introduced early in season 2 to aid Ernie with running the juice bar and who was planned to be Trini's love interest. Like Curtis, he too was phased out of the show following Trini's departure. He is portrayed by Maurice Mendoza (uncredited).
- Jerome Stone
A Police Lieutenant with the Angel Grove Police Department. He is portrayed by Gregg Bullock.
- Prince Dex/Masked Rider
A warrior from Alpha's home planet of Edenoi who leads a resistance movement against its ruthless dictator Count Dregon, an acquaintance and rival of Lord Zedd. He is portrayed by Ted Jan Roberts.
The creator of the original 5 Power Coins and Dinozords that were used by the original 5 Power Rangers, even though it was Zordon who distributed them. He is portrayed by Hideaki Kusaka and voiced by Kim Strauss.
- Wild West Rangers
The Old West ancestors of Rocky, Adam, Aisha and Billy, who temporarily obtain Ranger Powers when Kimberly is transported to their time. As Rangers, the Wild West Rangers have outfits identical to those of their descendants, except for the addition of cowboy attire.
- Rita Repulsa
The main antagonist for the series. She is portrayed by Machiko Soga in Season 1, and Carla Perez onward. She is voiced by Barbara Goodson.
- Lord Zedd
The main antagonist starting in season 2, along with Rita. He is portrayed by Ed Neil (uncredited) and voiced by Robert Axelrod.
Rita's main henchman. He is portrayed by Takashi Sakamoto, Kazutoshi Yokoyama, and Danny Wayne Stallcup (former two uncredited). He is voiced by Kerrigan Mahan.
- Rito Revolto
Rita's brother and a secondary antagonist/henchman for season 3. He is portrayed by Kenichi Endō and Danny Wayne Stallcup. He is voiced by Bob Papenbrook.
She is portrayed by Ami Kawai in Season 1, and Sabrina Lu in Season 2 (1 episode only). She is voiced by Wendee Lee.
Rita's chief monster maker in season 1. He is portrayed by Takako Iiboshi (uncredited) and voiced by Robert Axelrod.
One of Rita's henchmen. A short, fat, blue creature. He is usually blamed for Rita or Zedd's failures. He is portrayed by Minoru Watanabe (uncredited) and voiced by Michael Sorich.
One of Rita's henchmen. A tall, bat-like creature who wears a monocle. He usually chastises Squatt when Rita's plans fail and is often blamed. He is portrayed by Hideaki Kusaka (uncredited) and voiced by Dave Mallow.
- Master Vile
Rita and Rito's father and a secondary antagonist in season 3. He is portrayed by Hidekatu Shibata and voiced by Simon Prescott (both uncredited).
A floating, demonic, ethereal, he is an old friend of Rita's and she called on him for a favor to defeat the Rangers. He is portrayed by Masahiko Urano (uncredited) and voiced by Robert Axelrod.
- Putty Patrollers
The warriors made of clay who act as Rita Repulsa's foot soldiers, the Putties are often sent to wear the Rangers down before a monster battle, as well as for sabotage and other special missions. In Season 2, Lord Zedd upgrades the Putty design, completely replacing Rita's original design. Zedd's Putties are superior to the original Putties and are more expendable. However, Zedd's Putties also have a big weakness—striking the Z-logo on their chests causes these Putties to explode into pieces.
- Tenga Warriors
The crow-like soldiers that are able to speak. They are introduced in Season 3 when Rito takes them with him to the Moon as a wedding gift, and replace Zedd's Putties. The Rangers normally use their Ninja Ranger powers to fight them. Unlike the Putties, the Tenga Warriors are not expendable and they return to the Moon when defeated. The Tengas originated in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (going by the name "Tengu Warriors") under the command of Ivan Ooze. The name changed between the movie and show was because of copyright complications with the movie's producer 20th Century Fox.
While on a business trip to Japan, Haim Saban came across a broadcast of Choudenshi Bioman, later learning of a popular French-language dub aired on Canal+. Based on the franchise's popularity both in and outside of its native country, Saban realized there was potential for an American adaption. He and his business partner Shuki Levy quickly produced a pilot entitled Bio-Man in August 1986, which featured an early appearance by actor and martial artist Mark Dacascos in a leading role. According to Levy, they "shopped it around for at least five years, but nobody wanted it." Saban only found success in 1992, when he found a network executive familiar with Super Sentai, Fox Kids' Margaret Loesch, that during her time with Marvel Productions saw partner Stan Lee trying to sell the Sun Vulcan series to various television stations. Loesch's boss at Fox did not have much faith in the project, only financing a pilot that if unsuccessful, could even lead to Loesch's dismissal. Levy and Saban then started working on the pilot using footage from the latest Sentai season, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, entitling the pitch Galaxy Rangers. A test screening with an audience of children was successful, and eventually, the pilot was picked up by Fox Kids for a 40 episode order, after which point it would be determined by the network whether or not to renew the series for additional episodes.
Due to the action-oriented nature of the show, many of the lead actors cast had background in martial arts, dance, or other physically-intensive activities. Amy Jo Johnson (Kimberly) and David Yost (Billy) were former competitive gymnasts, Austin St. John (Jason) held a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and a first-degree black belt in Judo. Walter Emanuel Jones (Zack) was a dancer, and Thuy Trang (Trini) was a kung fu practitioner. Actor Jason Narvy (Skull) originally auditioned for the role of Billy.
The series was shot on location in Santa Clarita and Los Angeles, California. Recurring locations included Grant High School, Placerita Canyon State Park, Puddingstone Reservoir, and Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park. The House of the Book at Brandeis-Bardin Institute was used as the exterior location for the Command Center. Due to its unusual, futuristic architecture; the building had previously been used in the films Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and The Lawnmower Man.
As part of the initial licensing agreement between Saban and Toei Company, the producers of the Super Sentai, additional footage and insert shots of the villain characters (particularly those played by Machiko Soga, Ami Kawai, and Hideaki Kusaka) were filmed in order to allow more in-depth, extensive scenes of the villains who would be unable to interact with the main cast due to the nature of the show. The additional footage included close-ups of the actor speaking English-language lines phonetically in order to make the necessary dialogue looping more seamless.
Episodes 39 & 40 (The two part episode Doomsday) were originally intended as the season (and potentially series) finale, with the producers' intending to bring in actress Machiko Soga to reprise her role as Rita in new footage where she would interact directly with the main cast. Due to the unprecedented success of the show and its merchandising, Fox Kids ordered an additional 25 episodes. Since most of the available stock footage from Zyuranger had been depleted for use in the first 40 episodes of Season 1, Saban commissioned Toei to produce 25 new monster costumes and new battle footage using the existing Zyuranger suits. Saban was able to produce 25 additional episodes using new monster suits. This new footage has been referred to as "Zyu2" by Power Rangers fans. Saban used the first 15 for the rest of Season 1 (episodes 41-60), then the remaining suits and footage for the first 13 episodes of Season 2. This became problematic, however, when the Thunderzords were introduced, as they were from Gosei Sentai Dairanger, which resulted in Saban splicing together footage from both "Zyu2" and Dairanger for the Megazord battles in these early Season 2 episodes.
Following production of the first 20 episodes of Season 2, Austin St. John, Thuy Trang and Walter Emanuel Jones left the show over contract disputes. To disguise this incident, a combination of body doubles, voice doubles and stock footage were used to continue featuring the characters Jason, Trini and Zack for eight episodes. The voice doubles were also used for the Ranger action scenes in the last several episodes that the three actors filmed. The subplot of Jason, Trini and Zack leaving Angel Grove for the World Peace Conference was made to bridge the transition to their replacements.
During the later portion of Season 2 (following Rocky, Adam and Aisha's introduction to the series), the production moved to Sydney, Australia for roughly four months to shoot Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which was released the following summer before the start of Season 3.
Reception and controversy
Depictions of violence
Despite the success of the series, it was also subject to much controversy from parents who felt the show was too violent for young children. The show had aired before television stations issued content warnings such as parental guidance or fit for viewing persons twelve years or over, the V-chip, and television ratings. In the US, numerous complaints were sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 1993, the Canadian broadcast rights to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were jointly purchased by the YTV cable channel, and the series played to a receptive audience every weekday afternoons on YTV, the latter trailing the American broadcast by several months. However, due to complaints sent to the recently formed Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and a negative assessment from that body over the show's violent content, YTV removed the series from their line-up. Despite not actually being a member of the CBSC, YTV complied and pulled the series before the end of its first season; Global (which was a CBSC member) ultimately did the same. While a phone-in poll was conducted to see if viewers wanted MMPR back on YTV, no further installments of the Power Rangers franchise aired on the network until 2011's Power Rangers Samurai, although commercials for toys and videos were still advertised on it. Later Disney-era versions of the series were broadcast on ABC Family.
In 1994, the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) upheld several complaints from members of the public about the level of violence in the show. The main concern of those complainants was that the show portrayed violence as the primary means of resolving conflict, and that this was influencing children to behave more violently more frequently. Immediately following the BSA decision, the second season of the show was all but cancelled by Television New Zealand. New Zealand is the only country in the world where this show has been prematurely withdrawn from public broadcast to date. DVD and video releases of the more-recent Power Rangers series that were filmed in New Zealand can be found at The Warehouse, although general sales through video stores and other retailers are scarce. Later series in the Power Rangers franchise, such as Power Rangers: Mystic Force and Power Rangers: Jungle Fury, were filmed in New Zealand, but the programs were still not shown in the country, until 2011, when Samurai premiered.
In mid-October 1994, the murder of a young Norwegian girl by two of her young friends prompted Swedish-owned TV3 to pull MMPR from its broadcast schedule in all of its market countries. However, MMPR was not related to the event. Instead, the young children responsible were fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.
Early on in the series, some fans and critics noted that some racial overtones could be construed in the colors of several of the Rangers in the first two seasons being based on the actors' skin color or ethnicity. Austin St. John, who is of partial Native American ancestry, was cast as the Red Ranger, and Walter Emanuel Jones (an African American) and Thuy Trang (a Vietnamese) were the Black and Yellow Rangers respectively. Years later, when brought up on VH1's I Love the '90s, Jones and Amy Jo Johnson (as well as other celebrity commentators) made fun of how the original line-up had Jones' role as the Black Ranger and Trang's role as the Yellow Ranger because the actors and characters were of African and Asian descent, respectively. It was later clarified that, while this racial coding was not deliberate, the producers realized what they had done very quickly - some time around episode 8.
This racial coding was parodied in the College Humor video "Zordon is a Racist".
Poor work conditions
As a non-union production, members of the original cast were reportedly subject to low pay, long hours, unfair contracts, and a hostile work environment and, as many of the cast were young, aspiring actors, they had no agents or lawyers to protect their interests and they themselves limited experience in the entertainment industry. Austin St. John, Thuy Trang and Walter Emmanuel Jones were the first to leave the series, citing low pay, in the middle of the second season, and St. John struggled with homelessness for a time after leaving. While the reasons for their departure was debated for many years, St. John would confirm in 2014 that the departure was due to the low salaries the stars were being paid; he stated "I could have worked the window at McDonald's and probably made the same money the first season. It was disappointing, it was frustrating, it made a lot of us angry." Amy Jo Johnson left the series in the middle of the third season for the same reason, along with concerns over her safety, having almost been set on fire during the filming of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. Additionally, despite the show's financial success, members of the original cast did not receive royalty payments for re-runs of episodes in which they starred. According to Johnson, St. John, Jones and Trang had wanted the show to become unionized, leading to them being replaced by Steve Cardenas, Johnny Yong Bosch, and Karan Ashley, respectively.
Allegations of homophobia
David Yost was the last of the original Ranger actors to leave the series (during Power Rangers Zeo), citing homophobic attitudes from production staff, prompting him to unsuccessfully undergo conversion therapy in an effort to change his sexuality. In a 2010 interview with fan blog "No Pink Spandex", Yost stated that he walked off set one day because "[he] was called 'faggot' one too many times." He also stated that the producers would often ask other cast members what they thought about his homosexuality, and this made him uncomfortable as well. Shortly after this interview, producer Scott Page-Pagter stated that Yost left over a pay dispute and that the allegations of homophobia are false; he added that Yost did not get along with any of the crew.
Awards and nominations
|Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Single Camera Photography||Ilan Rosenberg||Nominated|
Between 1994 and 1996, Saban Home Entertainment and WarnerVision Entertainment released VHS tapes of the series in the U.S. In 2000, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released seven compilation VHS tapes. In 2012, Shout! Factory released 19 discs to Comic-Con International and a 20 disc set exclusively to Time Life of all three seasons and Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers. In that same year, Shout! reissued the 19 discs to wider retail. They also released two volumes for both season one and season two of the series, as well as the complete third season. In January 2014, the entire series, as well as the remaining 17 seasons in the entire Power Rangers franchise, was released in 98 disc set. The series has also been released on VHS in the UK and Australia, and Region 2 DVD. The first 30 episodes of season one have been released to Region 4 DVD.
The following video games are either based on the television series or feature characters from the series.
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy) (1994)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Sega Genesis, Game Gear) (1994)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Sega CD) (1994)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear) (1995)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition (SNES) (1995)
- Power Rangers: Super Legends (PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS) (2007)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) (2017)
- Power Rangers: Legacy Wars (iOS, Android) (2017)
- Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch) (2019)
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Several comic book series were based on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. From 1994 to 1995, Hamilton Comics produced three separate series totaling 13 issues altogether. Marvel Comics produced two series, the first with seven issues based on the second season and the second with five issues called Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Ninja Rangers/VR Troopers which was a flip book with adventures based on the third season on one side and of VR Troopers on the other. The Power Rangers also appeared in the Masked Rider comic book from Marvel. In March 2016, BOOM! comics released a new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic series based on the original series but serves as a reboot taking place in the modern world. In July 2017, a second series titled Go Go Power Rangers was released and takes place before Tommy joins the team.
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