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Power Rangers is an ongoing superhero franchise currently owned by Disney. Given a new title and theme annually, the franchise is headlined by similarly self-replicating television series, and is directly tied to the vast merchandising empire owned largely by Japanese toy company Bandai.
The show is adapted from the Sentai series of yearly serials, but is not an English dub of the original. Rather, it is a ‘new’ production with English-speaking actors spliced in with the original Japanese footage to varying ratios. Due to the very Japanese nature of many of Sentai’s stories and design, the American shows are always at least slightly changed to fit a Western audience. Much of the toy line (specifically the zords) are similarly adapted from pre-existing Japanese counterparts.
The franchise was known as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers during the first three seasons of the television show, after which the title began changing every year, starting with Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers. The official umbrella name is now Power Rangers, though the uninitiated will still refer to it with Mighty Morphin.
Power Rangers was distributed by Saban Entertainment from 1993 until the end of 2001 and was broadcast on the Fox network. Power Rangers was purchased by Disney as a part of a Saban buyout which took place at the end of 2001. The show continued to air on the Fox Network until Fox Kids was dismantled in the U.S. in summer 2002, and has since aired on various Disney-owned stations (including Toon Disney, despite not being animated).
Each Power Rangers season centers around a group of people (age of actors actually varies from 18 to 23 years old), who gain super powers to fight various villains, ranging from demons to witches to aliens. To activate these powers, the Power Rangers, “morph” by performing a standard action and reciting a “morphing call.” Throughout the series, the Power Rangers learn the importance of teamwork and perseverance as they battle progressively more difficult monsters.
Often before a monster is defeated, it will grow into gigantic proportions, forcing the Power Rangers to use gigantic (bio)mechanical machines known as “Zords.” In many cases, these can be combined to form a more advanced humanoid machines, known as a “Megazord.” Because of the way Zords are combined, the Power Rangers may also use interchangeable parts to enhance their fighting power, or combine Megazords together to form larger Megazords. Some seasons feature extremely large combinations of Zords known as “Ultrazords.”
A Power Ranger is a person who “morphs” from a natural, unpowered form into form-fitting spandex, as well as a plastic helmet with an opaque visor, which in many cases serves to protect his or her identity. A morphed Ranger generally possesses superhuman strength, durability, and hand-to-hand combat ability; unmorphed Rangers may possess other innate abilities (such as telepathy, superspeed, invisibility, etc.) which are usually not directly related to his or her Ranger powers. Rangers appear to retain their original physiology beneath their suits when in morphed form, as Rangers’ helmets have been seen removed or broken on numerous occasions, revealing his or her natural form underneath. Helmets aside, the suits are donned and removed nearly instantaneously with a glow of light or some other effect. Rangers are known to “demorph” involuntarily due to powerful physical attacks.
Rangers regularly operate in teams of five, with a special sixth Ranger frequently rounding out the bunch; sometimes a core team of three will later be joined by additional Rangers. Each Ranger’s suit and energy spectrum will match a specific color, with red, yellow, and blue being joined by some combination of pink, green, black, or white. Rangers may be named after their respective colors, such as Red Ranger, Blue Ranger, etc., but numbers or other names may also be used. There is usually no more than one Ranger of a given color on a team, but exceptions of this rule are generally given alternate names. The team’s costumes are nearly identical aside from color and perhaps a number designation; any additional Rangers will regularly have additional costume modifications.
Season Year Based on|Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 1993 – 1995 Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger
(Season 1)|Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger
(Season 2)|Gosei Sentai Dairanger
(Season 3)|Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers 1996 Ninja Sentai Kakuranger
Power Rangers: Zeo 1996 Chouriki Sentai Ohranger|Power Rangers: Turbo 1997 Gekisou Sentai Carranger|Power Rangers in Space 1998 Denji Sentai Megaranger|Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy 1999 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman|Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue 2000 Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo-V|Power Rangers: Time Force 2001 Mirai Sentai Timeranger|Power Rangers: Wild Force 2002 Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger|Power Rangers: Ninja Storm 2003 Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger|Power Rangers: Dino Thunder 2004 Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger|Power Rangers: S.P.D. 2005 Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger|Power Rangers: Mystic Force 2006 Mahou Sentai Magiranger|Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive 2007 GoGo Sentai Boukenger|Power Rangers: Jungle Fury 2008 Juken Sentai Gekiranger|Power Rangers: RPM 2009 Engine Sentai Go-onger
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