Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday Morning's Not-Yet-Forgotten Heroes: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993)

To most people, Haim Saban was originally known as 1/2 of the composing team, with Shuki Levy, behind the theme songs to most of DIC's hit series of the 80's (i.e. Inspector Gadget). However, Saban had formed his own production company around that same time, and began importing series from Japan and other countries to the US, mostly for Nickelodeon. In 1993, Saban made his most significant acquisition to date, obtaining the rights to a popular Japanese franchise for use in America. Right before Labor Day that year, Fox launched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which, at the peak of its popularity, aired 6 days a week.

Josseph Benevides uploaded the theme song to YouTube:

After three seasons over two years (yeah, I know it's weird), Saban began the practice of reformatting the series every year, with new titles and casts, mostly for merchandising purposes. The Rangers remained on Fox until 2002, when the franchise moved to ABC and cable half-sister, ABC Family. ABC Family dropped the Rangers in 2008, and ABC followed suit in 2010, after Saban had reacquired the franchise from Disney, which prompted the change in networks in '02. 2011 brings a new Rangers series, which will air on Nickelodeon. A review will appear in my other blog, The Land of Whatever, soon.

Meanwhile, the success of the Power Ranger franchise can be chalked up to a number of factors, including the mixture of Japanese and American footage, as well as the use of school bullies Bulk & Skull as more comedy relief than anything else. The Japanese footage, with the over-the-top dubbed dialogue, might remind some of the campy early efforts of the Kroffts back in the 70's, which might also have been an influence.

Rating: B.

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