Superhero Saturday: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”

"Mighty Morphing Power Rangers" cast photo (Courtesy: FOX TV)


On the day of the dumpster, Jason (Austin St. John), Zack (Walter Davis), Trini (Thuy Trang), Billy (David Yost), and Kimberly (Amy Jo Johnson): five teenagers with attitude became the newest superheroes of Angel Grove known as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Premiered on FOX on August 28, 1993, the half-hour children’s series followed the five friends and their battle against the evil Rita Repulsa and her endless monsters.  Under the wisdom and guidance of Zordon, they called upon the power of their Zords to defend Angel Grove from Rita, who awoke from her 10,000-year slumber with the sole purpose to conquer Earth.  But the Rangers continues to give her a headache.  Later on, five became six with the arrival of Tommy (Jason David Frank), who became the Green Ranger.  Once under Rita’s spell, Tommy was free from her control thanks to the Rangers and fought alongside them: proving his worth not only to his friends, but also to Zordon to become the White Ranger and succeeding Jason as the leader of the Power Rangers.

Later in the series, the Rangers took on the more powerful Lord Zedd, Rita’s brother Rito Revolto, and her father Master Vile.  When Jason, Zack, and Trini left for a peace conference, they passed on their power to Rocky, Adam and Aisha.  The power transfer continued during season three when Kimberly gives her power coin to Katherine when the former decides to pursue her dream to compete for the Pan Global Games.

Despite the criticism and controversy for its violence as well as the cheese factor, MMPR became a huge hit worldwide: spawning a successful franchise, merchandise, and two big-screen films: 1995’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie MMPR also led the way for similar shows like VR Troopers (1994-96, syndication), Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad (1994-95, syndicated), USA Network’s Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters (1994-95), and FOX’s Big Bad Beetleborgs (1996-98).

In 2017, Power Rangers morphed back onto the big screen with a reboot that featured Bryan Cranston as Zordon and Elizabeth Banks as Rita; original Rangers Johnson and Frank made cameo appearances in it.  The reboot finds Jason, Zack, Trini, Billy and Kimberly as The Breakfast Club of superheroes, but the movie flopped at the box office.

Nevertheless, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers still had the power to protect them.  All three seasons are available on Netflix.


Video by Lionsgate

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