One franchise that particularly crosses my mind when the word “nostalgia” is mentioned is the Power Rangers franchise. This sense of missing our beloved favorite characters and the good memories that we associate the movies with is what makes the audience run to the theater to see their childhood heroes preform on the big screen once again. The movie companies seem to be making a lot of nostalgia based films lately, such as Tarzan, Finding Dory, The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant), Ghostbusters, and The Jungle Book. Okay, now back to my “teenagers with attitude.”
Way back in the stone age of 1992, the Japanese Super Sentai series (which is basically a show filled with a bunch of superhero teams) decided to release the Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger series. One year later, FOX adapted the Zyuranger series into the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) and the show aired new episodes from 1993 to 1996.
In 1995, the beloved Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:The Movie premiered. In 1996, Mighy Morphin Alien Rangers and Power Rangers Zeo aired.Although FOX stopped making new episodes in 1996, they still broadcasted the show until 2001, which allowed kids who grew up with show re-watch their favorite episodes and it allowed kids of the new generation to experience the Power Rangers in action for the very first time. In 1997 Power Rangers Turbo aired aand in 1997 Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie was released, but we never talk about it. Ever.
In 1998, Power Rangers In Space was a thing. Personally, my favorite episode that spawned out of that series was the “Shell Shocked” episode which was a crossover episode with the “heroes in a half shell” from the Ninja Turtle: The Next Mutation series. Combining the world’s favorite human teenage heroes and the world’s favorite turtle teenage heroes in one episode was pure genius.
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue came out in 2000 and Power Rangers Time Force came out in 2001. The Walt Disney Company also purchased the franchise from Saban Entertainment in 2001 and continued the series with Power Rangers Wild Force in 2002, Ninja Storm in 2003, Dino Thunder in 2004, S.P.D. in 2005, Mystic Force in 2006, Operation Overdrive in 2007, Jungle Fury in 2008, and RPM in 2009. Disney went through a few studio and channel changes but continued to air the show until 2009, but did not air every single episode due to the lack of education in select episodes. Power Rangers RPM was declared as the last Power Rangers series, but that didn’t last long because the fans wanted their heroes back, so Disney decided to re-air the (MMPR) series in January 2010.
In May 2010, Haim Saban bought the franchise back from Disney and Saban’s Power Rangers Samurai began airing on Nickelodeon in 2011 and Super Samurai in 2012. In addition to the 2012 streak, The CW aired Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. In 2013 for the franchise’s 20th anniversary, Nickelodeon aired Power Rangers Megaforce, which featured Rangers from the past series’. Also in 2013, the MMPR series aired during The 90’s Are All That’s Mighty Morphin Weekend. What good would a Mighty Morphin Weekend be without the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? Then the Super Megaforce came out in 2014. Nickelodeon also aired Power Rangers Dino Charge in 2015 and then in 2016 Dino Super Charge was released. Just like Pokémon, every generation of kids got a new Power Rangers series. So what’s in store for 2017? Well I suppose they’re a bit overdue for a new movie…
BAM. 20 years after their flop with the unmentioned second movie, a third movie rises up out of the ashes. Our “mighty morphin” heroes are finally back in theaters. The new movie is obviously poking at our childhood, and hopefully if they do a decent job the “inner nostalgia bear”-critic in me won’t have to complain about it. The new film is directed by Dean Israelite who also directed Project Almanac. The film is basically a reboot and will share a lot of the same features and elements that the fans have grown to love. Basically Zordon, who is a wise galactic sage, chose five high school kids who live in Angel Grove must join together as the Power Rangers. Zack, Kimberly, Billy, Trini, and Jason must defeat the alien threat led by Rita Repulsa, who is an evil humanoid alien witch that seeks out for galactic domination. Wow those names sure do look familiar, don’t they? Well, the names are literally straight from the MMPR series.
In the original series, David Fielding played Zordon of Eltar, Soga Machiko played Rita Repulsa, Austin St. John played Jason Lee Scott, Amy Jo Johnson played Kimberly Ann Hart, David Yost played Billy Cranston, Thuy Trang played Trini Kwan, and Walter Jones played Zack Taylor.
In the new movie, the actors and actresses of the respective roles will be played by Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, and Ludi Lin. So far, so good Israelite. OH! Also a new Power Rangers series called Ninja Steel is coming soon, so be on the lookout for that as well.