The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers kicked off a huge franchise that still runs to this day, and while it is still incredibly popular, there might be a few things you might've messed along the way.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers launched in 1993, and is adapted from the Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. The show actually took awhile for creator Haim Saban to sell to US studios, but after seven long years, he managed to get it off the ground, launching a worldwide phenomenon in the process.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers follows the adventures of Jason (Red Ranger), Trini (Yellow Ranger), Billy (Blue Ranger), Zack (Black Ranger), and Kimberly (Pink Ranger) as they try and defend Angel Grove from Rita Repulsa under the guidance of Zordon and Alpha 5. The show would eventually get a new Ranger in Tommy, who played the Green Ranger throughout the first season and became the White Ranger later in the second season.
The franchise has since launched 24 seasons of the show, with the newest incarnation being Power Rangers Ninja Steel. Throughout that time, the franchise has invited past Rangers back to the series, resulting in fan-favorite reunion episodes like "Forever Red" and "Once A Ranger". The show is getting ready to celebrate its 25th Anniversary next year, with a big reunion episode coming during the season of Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel.
So, the future looks bright, but for a moment let's take a look at the franchise's past and discuss the seven facts you might not know about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!
Hit the next slide to meet the Power Rangers that never hit television!
"Day of the Dumpster" is easily one of the most-known episodes in Power Rangers lore, but that wasn't actually the first episode to be filmed.
The series actually started with an unaired pilot, and it contained more than a few differences from what eventually hit the small screen. The biggest difference regards the Rangers, specifically Trini the Yellow Ranger. Most fans associate Thuy Trang with Trini, but in the pilot, she was played by Audri DuBois. Trini differed in personality as well, being more gung-ho about fighting and less concerned with fashion, things that were changed when Trang took on the role.
Other hallmarks were also different, namely the inclusion of Bulk and Skull. The two would become staples of the show, but in the pilot, both were nonexistent, as Bob F. Vavla played a gang leader that the Rangers would regularly encounter at a bowling alley. Paul Schrier, who would eventually play Bulk, was included in the episode, though he was just an unnamed bully. Saban would use Vavla in the next pilot, but a focus on comedy would pave the way for Jason Narvy, and the rest is history.
Oh, and that weird moment when Zordon turned the Rangers into dinosaurs. Yeah, that was weird.
For as much as he appears on the show, you might be surprised to learn that Zordon wasn't actually on the set much. As it turns out, that is an understatement.
Zordon actor David Fielding revealed that he only appeared on film once, and that is the footage they used for the rest of the show.
"For budgetary reasons they never filmed the character again," Fielding told Huffington Post. "They just reused the footage over and over. And from a production standpoint, that is great. From an actor’s standpoint ... They shaved all my hair off and glued my ears back. And used makeup to make my eyebrows stand out, and then painted the top half of my chest and shoulders green. I sat in front of a green screen while they filmed me because they were just going to use my head and that was it."
While he was only on film once, the session itself took a while.
"My recollection is that I was in the chair for three or four hours," Fielding said. "Just going over the lines, doing it a number of times and also doing a number of pickups where they would just film my reactions: turning of the head, looking this way, or looking down. And if you watch the character in the show, his movements and his actions seem to be really sort of out of synch with everything. I guess that was sort of their idea — because the character was trapped in a time warp, in a time bubble, he was trying to communicate with everybody as best as he could."
The Power Rangers theme is rather iconic, but it took some inspiration from another successful theme.
Composer Ron Wasserman revealed that he didn't get many directions from Saban, aside from one specific phrase.
“They said, 'If you can, use the word go,' and the reason being that they had such success 15 years prior with Inspector Gadget with ‘Go Gadget Go,’” Wasserman told Complex. “I think they considered it a lucky word. The next day, Fox heard it and loved it, and then the show took off. I ended up working on that show day and night, and became the go-to-guy.”
It is humorous that a studio would be so focused on one phrase, but then it's hard to argue with the decision since both songs are so iconic to this day. Looks like "go go" is the way to...well, go.
(h/t Mental Floss)
While the Green Ranger lost his powers on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, he would face an even worse fate in the original Super Sentai series.
Power Rangers is adapted from the Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, where the Green Ranger is known as Yamato Tribe Knight Burai. In that series, Burai is crushed to death early on, but is resurrected by Daizyujin and Clotho. His life force is tied to the Green Candle, and every time he leaves the cave and springs into action a bit of his life force is expended.
As his life force drained, the Rangers would attempt to replenish it via the Water of Life after it was learned he only had four hours left. They would succeed in finding the water, but not in time for Burai. Burai would give his Dragon Armor, Zyusouken, and Dragon Caesar to Geki before he passed on, and he would finally return to the afterlife.
Talk about going in a different direction.
You can't have Power Rangers without Bulk and Skull, but at one point they were set to star in their own spinoff series.
Skull actor Jason Narvy revealed as much to Andre Meadows, explaining it as a sort of Power Rangers meets Fawlty Towers.
“Bulk and Skull kind of ran, I think, their grandmother’s hotel," Narvy said. "And we had gotten a Mexican Elvis impersonator named Elves and wacky things were going to happen.”
Actually, it sounds more like The Golden Palace, and not sure how the Power Rangers would have been worked in, so it's probably better to let this be in the never-was pile.
The original Power Rangers movie was the first project to be completely self-reliant, meaning it wasn't being interjected with footage from the Super Sentai series.
That led to some -- we'll call them "issues" -- with production, and as Ivan Ooze actor Paul Freeman revealed, that included the script.
“The film started off as a fairly modest project, around $18 million, and seemed to get bigger and bigger as we went along,” Freeman told the LA Times. “The script developed as we were making it, and at one point the producer Suzanne Todd would be sitting in the corner on set, writing the script on her laptop. In the middle of speaking lines, I'd get handed rewrites, and a producer would say: ‘Here, say this instead.’ Well, what was I going to say? There I was playing a character called Ooze, and anything was possible.”
Not the best way to get things done, but it seems the odd approach eventually paid off.
Speaking of the Power Rangers movie, changes didn't just happen to the script. They happened to the cast as well, including a last-minute swap.
The part of warrior Dulcea was originally given to Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, but she had to be replaced at the last minute due to needing an operation on an ovarian cyst. The part was then given to Law and Order SVU actress Mariska Hargitay, and she was filmed in the role for the next four weeks.
She looked amazing in the costume, as you can see above, but the studio didn't feel she was pulling the part off, so they let her go. At that point, Fitzpatrick was up and running again, and so she returned to duty as Dulcea. Unfortunately, they had to reshoot all of the previous footage, costing them a significant amount of money in the process.