The second and third seasons drew on footage and elements from the Super Sentai series Gosei Sentai Dairanger and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger respectively, though the Zyuranger costumes were still used extensively; the main five Dairanger suits were never used at all, as only the Kiba Ranger suit was used for the White Power Ranger, while the five Kakuranger suits were used in the mini series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers. The series was produced by MMPR Productions and distributed by Saban Entertainment, and aired on Fox Kids.
In 1996, the Mighty Morphin label was retired as the series would follow in the footsteps of Super Sentai, changing its name, cast and plot every year; thus the Power Rangers franchise was born. Power Rangers still runs in this format to this day, though currently the majority of post-MMPR series are not spin-offs in the traditional sense.
The series takes place in the fictional town of Angel Grove, California. Two unwitting astronauts discover an extraterrestrial container (referred to as a dumpster as a result of its stench), and breach the unit inadvertently releasing the evil witch, Rita Repulsa, from 10,000 years of confinement. Upon her release, she and her army of evil Space Aliens set their sights on conquering the nearest planet: Earth. When the wise sage Zordon becomes aware of the release of the evil witch he was responsible for capturing so long ago, he orders his robotic assistant, Alpha 5, to find five "teenagers with attitude," to defend the Earth from Rita's attacks. The five socially diverse teens chosen are Jason Lee Scott, Kimberly Hart, Zack Taylor, Trini Kwan and Billy Cranston. Zordon gives the five teens the ability to morph into Power Rangers, including an arsenal of weapons at their disposal as well as large robotic machines called Zords, which can combine into the Megazord.
The series begins with five teenagers combating Rita Repulsa and her seemingly endless array of monsters, however, consecutive failures lead Rita to adopt a new method for conquering Earth and destroying the Power Rangers: by attacking them with one of their own. In possession of a special Green Ranger power, Rita kidnaps and brainwashes a local teen whose fighting skills prove to equal that of Jason's in a martial arts contest held in Angel Grove. The new teen, Tommy Oliver, passes Rita's tests, becoming the Green Ranger during the five-part story arc "Green with Evil." Eventually, the Green Ranger is overcome, and the Sword of Darkness, the new source for the continuance of the evil spell he has fallen victim to, is destroyed by Jason. As a result, Tommy will use the Powers he's left with to defeat the evil that gave them to him in the first place. His Zord, the Dragonzord, retains the power to join with the other Ranger's Dinozords to form more powerful Zord combinations, including the Mega Dragonzord.
Along the way, Billy works on improving his self-confidence while Tommy begins to court Kimberly, both sharing a great amount of screen time. Trini works to raise environmental awareness, Zack continues to pursue love interest Angela, while Jason continues to improve his skills. The entire team regularly makes efforts to contribute to their community outside of being Power Rangers, spending much of their personal time dedicated to volunteering and helping the community.
As time goes on, discontent with regularly being defeated with the aide of the Green Ranger powers she believes are hers, Rita focuses her plans on eliminating Tommy and regaining the powers. Utilizing a special wax touched by Tommy when he was evil, Rita uses a green candle (in a story arc under the same title) to sever Tommy's link to the Morphing Grid and slowly remove his powers, returning them to her. Because Tommy's proximity to the candle accelerates its melting process, Jason enters the Dark Dimension where the candle is guarded by Goldar to retrieve it. Unfortunately, Rita unleashes a monster attack in Angel Grove that keeps Jason and his friends from retrieving the candle. In the end, Tommy loses his powers, however, he is able to prevent Rita from reclaiming it by transferring the remains to another Ranger who can operate them based on their own link to the Morphing Grid. Tommy chooses Jason who, feeling guilt for failing to protect Tommy's powers, accepts them.
The five Rangers continue to protect Earth from the ongoing threat of Rita Repulsa, with Jason wielding the Green Ranger powers in conjunction with his own Red Ranger powers. In a story arc seeing the kidnap of the parents of all the students at Angel Grove High School, including that of the five Ranger teens, the Rangers are forced to give up their five Power Coins in trade for their parents' safety. In an act of subterfuge, Goldar accepts the coins and keeps the captive parents. To make matters worse, Rita brainwashes Billy into stealing the Dragon Dagger and giving it to Goldar who unleashes the Dragonzord upon a town that no longer has the protection of the Power Rangers. With no powers of their own to use, Jason reveals that he is still in possession of the Dragon Coin. Tommy returns, agreeing to take part in a dangerous process in which Zordon transfers energy from himself into the Dragon Coin, allowing it to temporarily enable Tommy to morph into the Green Ranger once more. He steals back the coins and dagger, seemingly at the cost of his own life, having been electrocuted by a force-field protecting both sets of items. The Rangers regain their powers and fight for the safety of their parents, to no avail. In a turn of events, Tommy is resurrected; it is revealed that he'd been energized by the power of the force-field that electrocuted him. He once again uses his powers to save the day, but they are only temporary and can be re-generated only for a short time by Zordon who continues to use his own energy to supplement Tommy's failing ones, making no attempts to hide the fact that the Green Ranger's powers will ultimately fail. With every battle that occurs from here on, Tommy is left to decide whether or not he will get involved and waste away the last of his powers.
Following multiple defeats, Rita's fortress is invaded by her superior, Lord Zedd. Disgusted with her failure, he takes over, discarding Rita back into space within another Space Dumpster, then launches his own campaign against the Power Rangers, this time focusing on turning living things into monsters in order to waver the Ranger's ability to destroy them. As Zedd focuses his attacks on the Green Ranger powers that continue to waste away with every battle he engages in, the other Rangers see an upgrade to their Zords; they are transformed into mythical beasts known as the Thunderzords, also able to form a brand new, more powerful Zord combination; the Thunder Megazord. Eventually, Tommy loses his Green Ranger powers for good, and leaves the group for a time.
Soon after however, Zordon and Alpha choose Tommy to become the new White Ranger. Later, Jason, Zack and Trini are selected to attend a World Peace Conference in Switzerland and they are forced to leave the team. Their powers are then transferred onto three replacements chosen by Zordon; Rocky DeSantos, Adam Park and Aisha Campbell. Rita later returns and ingratiates herself by slipping Zedd a love potion. Unhappy with the return of the evil witch who had mistreated him and forced him into servitude, Goldar makes several attempts to turn Zedd against Rita to get rid of her once and for all. However, after Goldar discovers that Rita gave Zedd a love potion, he is dismayed to find that even after he bullies Finster into administering an antidote, Zedd truly loves her anyway.
Rito Revolto, Rita's skeletal brother, later comes to Earth and, with the help from a group of monsters, manages to destroy the Rangers' Thunderzords. Consequently, the original Dinozords are destroyed too and the Power Coins are damaged beyond repair. Undaunted, they seek the aid of Ninjor, alleged creator of the Power Coins, who gives them new Ninja Coins and the Ninjazords.
Later, an Australian girl named Katherine Hillard moves to Angel Grove. She befriends Kimberly, and displays an intense affection for Tommy. Later it is found that Rita had captured Katherine and put her under a powerful spell. As a result, she steals Kimberly's Crane Coin, vastly weakening the Pink Ranger whose life force, like that of the other Ninja Rangers, is connected to their Ninja Coins. Katherine eventually overcomes the spell, and gives the coin back to Kimberly. Having already been disconnected from the Crane Coin and Zordon's declaration that her time as a Ranger has ended, Kimberly now has a chance to pursue her personal athletic dreams. She leaves to train for the Pan Globals, deciding to entrust the Crane Coin to Katherine, making her the new Pink Ranger. Though her initial fear and hesitation keeps her from contributing fully to the fight against evil, Katherine eventually becomes both more comfortable and capable of fulfilling her duty as a Ranger. After several more battles, Zedd and Rita are joined by Rita's father, Master Vile. Following his failed attempts to defeat the Rangers, he reverses time, destroying the Ninja Coins and eliminating the threat of Ninjor. These events culminate in the mini-series Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, which leads to the next incarnation of the Power Rangers, titled Power Rangers: Zeo.
|David Fielding||Zordon (Voice, 1993, Appearance 1993-1995)|
|Robert L. Manahan (Credited as Bob Manahan)||Zordon (Voice, onwards)|
|Richard Steven Horvitz (Credited as Richard Wood)||Alpha 5 (Voice)|
|Kim Strauss (Credited as Kurt Strauss)||Ninjor (Voice)|
|Paul Schrier||Farkus "Bulk" Bulkmeier|
|Jason Narvy||Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch|
|Henry Cannon (Uncredited)||Mr. Kaplan|
|Royce Herron (Uncredited)||Ms. Appleby|
|Gregg Bullock||Lt. Stone|
|Ted Jan Roberts (Credited as T.J. Roberts)||Prince Dex/Masked Rider|
|Machiko Soga||Rita Repulsa (1993-1994)|
|Carla Perez||Rita Repulsa (onwards)|
|Barbara Goodson||Rita Repulsa (Voice)|
|Ed Neil||Lord Zedd|
|Robert Axelrod||Lord Zedd, Finster, and Lokar (Voices)|
|Kerrigan Mahan (Credited as Ryan O'Flannigan)||Goldar (Voice)|
|Tom Wyner (Uncredited)||Master Vile (Voice)|
|Wendee Lee (Credited as Wendee Swan)||Scorpina (Voice)|
|Bob Papenbrook||Rito Revolto (Voice)|
|Michael Sorich (Credited as Michael J. Sorich)||Squatt (Voice)|
|Dave Mallow (Credited as Colin Phillips)||Baboo (Voice)|
|Brad Orchard (Uncredited)||Hydro Hog (Voice)|
After the Rangers' powers were destroyed when Rito demolished the Thunderzords, the team journeyed to the Temple of Power in the Desert of Despair and met Ninjor, the creator of the Power Coins who gave them each the power and skills of the Ninja. Upon receiving their new Ninja Coins, the Rangers shouted the following phrases to morph:
When the Dinozords were frozen and taken over by Zedd, Alpha made a refraction of energy that transformed the old Zords into the Thunderzords. These Zords were based on mythological creatures.
When the Thunderzords were destroyed by Rito (and subsequent irreparable damage to the Power Coins which rendered them useless), the Power Rangers sought out Ninjor, who gave them new Ninjazords, and upgraded their powers.
When Zedd kidnapped Ninjor and stole the Falconzord (with help from a then-evil Katherine), he used Ninjor as a power source for the Shogunzords and copied the Ninjazords' battle technology using the Falconzord. With Kimberly in captivity, he forced the Rangers into using the Shogunzords for evil, but this failed to pan out when Billy found a way to use the Ninja Coins to obtain control of them.
In Malaysia, as part of its campaign against drugs, the word "Morphin" is censored, by substituting or muting footage where the word is spoken (the phrase "It's morphin' time") or displayed onscreen, for fear that it could encourage children to become addicted with the uses of morphine. When it was broadcast on RTM (along with its toy commercials), it was called Mighty Power Rangers, or simply Power Rangers or Power Ranger. Litt Tak, Malaysia-based distributor of the Power Rangers toys since the first broadcast of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has advertised the same second season toyline for the third season. In 2005, Litt Tak has turned its attention from the distribution of the toys under the Power Rangers brand, in favor of the toys under the Super Sentai series starting from Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, whose footage was used on Power Rangers: Ninja Storm.
In 1994, the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) upheld several complaints from members of the public about the level of violence in the show. The main concern of those complainants was that the show portrayed violence as the primary means of resolving conflict, and that this was influencing children to behave more violently more frequently. Immediately following the BSA decision, the second season of the show was all but canceled by Television New Zealand. New Zealand is the only country in the world where this show has been prematurely withdrawn from public broadcast to date. DVD and video releases of the more recent Power Rangers series that were filmed in New Zealand can be found at The Warehouse, although general sales through video stores and other retailers are scarce.
When brought up on VH1's I Love the 90s, the original cast members interviewed (Amy Jo Johnson, Walter Emanuel Jones) as well as other celebrity commentators, mentioned that the original line-up had Jones' role as the Black Ranger and Thuy Trang's role as the Yellow Ranger as the actors and characters were of African and Asian descent, respectively.
Demand for 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' toys has parents scrambling. (Originated from Orange County Register)
Dec 01, 1993; OK. You got your Megazord and your Battle Bikes. You got your Mighty Megazord and your Dragonzord. You got your Titanus and your...