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Power Rangers
Power rangers logo.png
The current logo for the Power Rangers franchise
Creator Haim Saban
Shuki Levy
Original work Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Print publications
Comics Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Films and television
Films Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
Saban's Power Rangers
Television series See below
Theatrical presentations
Plays Mighty Morphin Power Rangers World Tour Live on Stage
Games
Traditional Power Rangers Collectible Card Game
Video games See list
Audio
Soundtracks Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Album: A Rock Adventure
Original music "Go Go Power Rangers"
"Power Rangers: The Official Single"

Power Rangers is an American entertainment and merchandising franchise built around a live action superhero television series. Produced first by Saban Entertainment, later by BVS Entertainment, and as of 2015 by SCG Power Rangers, the television series takes much of its footage from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai, produced by Toei Company. The first Power Rangers entry, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, debuted on August 28, 1993, and helped launch the Fox Kids programming block of the 1990s, during which it catapulted into popular culture along with a line of action figures and other toys by Bandai. As of 2001, the media franchise has generated over $6 billion in retail sales worldwide.

Despite initial criticism for its action violence targeted to child audiences, the franchise has continued, and as of 2017 the show consists of 24 television seasons of 20 different themed series and two theatrical films, with a third film released in 2017. In 2010, Haim Saban, creator of the series, regained ownership of the franchise after seven years under The Walt Disney Company.

Premise

Since Power Rangers derives most of its footage from the Super Sentai series, it features many hallmarks that distinguish it from other superhero series. Each series revolves around a team of youths recruited and trained by a mentor to morph into the eponymous Power Rangers, able to utilize special powers and pilot immense assault machines, called Zords, to overcome the periodic antagonists. In the original series Mighty Morphin, the wizard Zordon recruits "teenagers with attitude" against Rita Repulsa.

When "morphed," the rangers become powerful superheroes wearing color-coded skin-tight spandex suits and helmets with opaque visors; identical except in individual rangers' color and helmet design. Morphed Rangers generally possess enhanced strength, durability, agility and combat prowess. Some possess superhuman or psychic abilities such as super-speed, element manipulation, extra-sensory perception or invisibility. In addition, each individual ranger has a unique weapon, as well as common weaponry used for ground fighting. When enemies grow to incredible size (as nearly all do), Rangers utilize individual Zords that combine into a larger Megazord.

Rangers teams operate in teams of five or three, with more Rangers joining the team later. Each team of Rangers, with a few exceptions, obeys a general set of conventions, outlined at the beginning of Mighty Morphin and implied by mentors throughout many of the other series: Power Rangers may not use their Ranger powers for personal gain or for escalating a fight (unless the enemy does so), nor may the Power Rangers disclose their identities to the general public. The penalty for disobeying these rules, in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, is the loss of their power.

As in Super Sentai, the color palette of each Power Rangers team changes every series. Only Red and Blue appear in every Ranger team, while a Yellow Ranger has been present in every season except Power Rangers Dino Charge. Other colors and designations also appear throughout the series. A Rangers' color designation also influences their wardrobe throughout the series: civilian clothing often matches Ranger color.

History

Adapting the Super Sentai series

Production of Power Rangers episodes involves extensive localization of and revision of original Super Sentai source material in order to incorporate American culture and conform to American television standards. Rather than making an English dub or translation of the Japanese footage, Power Rangers programs consist of scenes featuring English-speaking actors (either from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom) spliced with scenes featuring either Japanese actors dubbed into English or the action scenes from the Super Sentai Series featuring the Rangers fighting monsters or the giant robot (Zord and Megazord) battles with English dubbing. In some series, original fight scenes are filmed to incorporate characters or items unique to the Power Rangers production. Like many of Saban Entertainment previous ventures in localizing Japanese television for a Western audience, the plot, character names, and other names usually differ greatly from the source footage, though a few seasons have stayed close to the story of the original Super Sentai season.

Along with adapting the villains from the Super Sentai counterparts, most Power Rangers series also feature villains with no Sentai counterpart. Generally, the primary antagonist of a Power Rangers series (for example, Lord Zedd, Divatox, etc) are not adapted from the Sentai. Exceptions to this includes Mighty Morphin, Zeo, Lightspeed Rescue and a few others which only use villains adapted from the Japanese shows.

The series that began the franchise, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (an American adaptation of the 1992 Japanese Super Sentai Series, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger), began broadcasting as part of the Fox Kids block of programing that aired on the FOX network. It lasted for three seasons (from 1993 to 1996).

Broadcast history

Power rangers
The Saban Entertainment run of the franchise—beginning with Power Rangers in Space—used this version of the Power Rangers logo (1998-2001)

Saban Entertainment distributed the Power Rangers series from 1993 until the end of 2001, and Fox broadcast it until the fall of 2002. The Walt Disney Company purchased the franchise as part of a buyout that took place in 2001. This resulted in Fox Family Worldwide becoming ABC Family Worldwide Inc. This buyout also saw Saban Entertainment becoming BVS Entertainment in 2002, from News Corporation, Fox's parent company, and Haim Saban. The show continued to air on Fox until the company replaced its Fox Kids package with "FoxBox" in the United States. Since September 2002, all Power Rangers shows had aired on various Disney-owned networks (ABC Kids, Toon Disney and Jetix channels worldwide). When Wild Force ended, Disney moved production of the franchise from Los Angeles to New Zealand. This resulted in the closure of MMPR Productions and the dismissal of many members of the production. From Ninja Storm to date, Power Rangers is produced in New Zealand. ABC Family, another Disney-owned network, also used to air Power Rangers until it did away with its Jetix timeslot after August 31, 2006. On February 12, 2009, Toon Disney ended in the wake of Disney XD, ending cable airings of Power Rangers in certain areas of the United States. Several ABC affiliate broadcasting groups declined to air most of the Power Rangers series since 2006 due to the lack of FCC-compliant educational and informational content in the programs.

The Saban era seasons, starting with In Space have went under the "Saban's Power Rangers" moniker, up until Time Force. Since the re-acquisition of Power Rangers by Saban in 2010, this practice has continued once again starting with Samurai.

Starting in 2005, up until 2007, during its run on Jetix, Power Rangers reruns were aired under the moniker Power Rangers Generations, showcasing select episodes from Mighty Morphin through Dino Thunder.

An article in The New Zealand Herald published on March 7, 2009 identified Power Rangers RPM as the last season of the Power Rangers run. Production manager Sally Campbell stated in an interview, "...at this stage we will not be shooting another season." A September 1, 2009, revision to Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia by Disney's head archivist Dave Smith states that "production of new episodes [of Power Rangers] ceased in 2009". Production of Power Rangers ceased and the last series by BVS Entertainment, RPM, ended on December 26, 2009.

On October 1, 2009, Bandai released a press release that Disney would re-broadcast Mighty Morphin Power Rangers starting in January 2010 on ABC Kids in lieu of a new series utilizing footage from the 2009 Super Sentai television series. A new toy line accompanied the series and appeared in stores in the later part of 2009. ABC's over-the air telecasts ended on August 28, 2010, and turned the hour back to affiliates.

On May 12, 2010, Haim Saban bought back the Power Rangers franchise from Disney for $43 million and announced plans to produce a new season of the television series. The eighteenth season, Samurai, began airing on Nickelodeon on February 7, 2011, with the previous episodes beginning rebroadcast on Nicktoons later that year. It was also announced that Saban plans to make a new Power Rangers movie.

On July 2, 2012, it was announced that Saban Brands would launch a Saturday morning cartoon block on The CW, called Vortexx, on August 25, 2012 that would air Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. To commemorate the series' 20th anniversary, Nickelodeon began airing Power Rangers Megaforce on February 2, 2013, featuring all of the past rangers from the series' 20-year history. On October 1, 2013, Saban Brands announced that it has extended agreements with Nickelodeon and Bandai America Incorporated through 2016 for its globally recognized Power Rangers franchise. In January 2016, Saban and Nickelodeon extended their broadcast partnership through 2018.

The 90s Are All That aired Mighty Morphin Power Rangers part of Mighty Morphin Weekend in 2013.

Feature films

The Power Rangers franchise has also generated three theatrical motion pictures. The first two are distributed by 20th Century Fox, and the third film released in 2017 by Lionsgate.

Film Release date Box office revenue Director
United States Foreign Total
TV series franchise
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie June 30, 1995 $38,187,431 $28,245,763 $66,433,194 Bryan Spicer
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie March 28, 1997 $8,363,899 $1,251,941 $9,615,840 David Winning and Shuki Levy
Reboot
Saban's Power Rangers March 24, 2017 N/A N/A N/A Dean Israelite

Distribution

Power Rangers has long had success in international markets and continues to air in many countries, with the exception of New Zealand, where the series filming takes place as of 2009. As of 2006, Power Rangers aired at least 65 times a week in more than 40 worldwide markets. Many markets carry or have carried the series on their respective Fox or later Jetix/Disney XD channels or have syndicated the program on regional children's channels or blocks, either dubbed into the local language or broadcast in the original English. Since the 2010 acquisition by Saban Brands, international television distribution rights for Power Rangers have been managed by MarVista Entertainment.

Broadcast in East Asian territories has been treated differently from in other international markets due to the prevalence and familiarity of 'the Super Sentai brand originating in Japan. In Japan, many Power Rangers television seasons and movies were dubbed into Japanese for television and video with the voice actors often pulled from past Super Sentai casts, leading to the English-dubbed action sequences being "re-dubbed" or "restored" back to Japanese as well. Power Rangers Mystic Force is the latest season to be broadcast in Japan on Toei Channel in January 2014, with the Magiranger cast voicing their counterparts. After broadcast of Power Rangers ended in South Korea with Wild Force, Bandai of Korea started airing dubbed Super Sentai series under the 파워레인저 (Power Ranger) brand on JEI TV. Some seasons of Super Sentai broadcast in South Korea have similarly named titles as their American counterparts, such as Power Ranger Dino Thunder for Abaranger in 2007 and Power Ranger S.P.D. in place of Dekaranger.

Home media

As of October 2009, 33 Power Rangers DVD collections have been released in the United States:

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, 1995; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, 1997; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie/Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, 1995, 1997; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (DVD compilation set of both movies.)
  • The Best of the Power Rangers: The Ultimate Rangers, 2003; BVHE (DVD compilation of episodes from five different seasons of Power Rangers. The episodes include "Forever Red" and "White Light" [Tommy's reintroduction as the White Power Ranger])
  • Power Rangers Ninja Storm Volumes 1–5, 2003; BVHE
  • Power Rangers Dino Thunder Volumes 1–5, 2004; BVHE
  • Power Rangers S.P.D. Volumes 1–5, 2005; BVHE
  • Power Rangers Mystic Force Volumes 1–3 and 'Dark Wish', 2006; BVHE
  • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive Volumes 1–5, 2007; BVHE (The release of an entire season for the first time in the US.)
  • Power Rangers Jungle Fury Volumes 1 & 2, 2008; BVHE (Volumes 3,4 & 5 are only available in the UK.)
  • Power Rangers RPM Volumes 1 & 2, 2009; BVHE
  • Power Rangers RPM 'Bandai Demo DVD', 2009; BVHE (A promo DVD given away at Disney Stores. Contains the episode In or Out).
  • Power Rangers Samurai Volumes 1–5, 2012; Lionsgate
  • Power Rangers Samurai "Monster Bash" and 2 MMPR Halloween episodes; Lionsgate
  • Power Rangers Samurai "Christmas Together, Samurai Forever" and 2 MMPR Christmas episodes; Lionsgate
  • Power Rangers Super Samurai Volumes 1–4 plus The Complete Series; Lionsgate

Internationally, additional DVD releases have occurred (such as Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force and Wild Force in Germany) and as free DVDs attached to the Jetix magazine, published in the UK. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3, Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, and Power Rangers In Space have been released in Germany as well in both English and German, with Power Rangers Lost Galaxy only in German. Additionally, Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, S.P.D., Mystic Force, and Operation Overdrive saw complete boxset releases in the UK. In France, Mighty Morphin Season 1 and Season 2 have been released in their entirety in 5 episode DVD volumes, and the first 25 episodes of Season 3 were released in May 2008. In Italy, Mighty Morphin, Zeo, Dino Thunder and S.P.D. have appeared in their entirety. Zeo and S.P.D. were made available as commercial DVDs, while Mighty Morphin and Dino Thunder were issued as bi-weekly volumes at newsstands.

The iTunes Store previously made Power Rangers episodes available: part of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, all of Power Rangers S.P.D., and the first 26 episodes of Power Rangers Mystic Force. Subsequent seasons and episodes of the program also made their appearances in the iTunes Store, but as of July 2009, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is the only Power Rangers film available. In 2012, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1 volumes 1-2 were released on iTunes to coincide with the DVD releases. As of February 2013, all 3 seasons of MMPR were released on iTunes.

On June 15, 2011, all episodes of Power Rangers from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1 to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers re-version were made available for instant streaming on Netflix. As of 2015, all seasons through Dino Charge have been made available on Netflix

On March 12, 2012, Shout! Factory announced a home video distribution deal with Saban, which includes the first 17 series of Power Rangers. Shout! Factory released the first seven seasons on DVD in August 2012, seasons 8-12 on November 2013, a 20-year collection on December 2013, and seasons 13-17 on April 2014.

On March 22, 2012 Lionsgate Home Entertainment reached a home media distribution deal with Saban to release Power Rangers Samurai to DVD and Blu-ray.

As of April 2015, all series through Super Megaforce are available on the iTunes Store.

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