A Few Facts About Power Rangers You Didn’t Know
If you’re a ’90s kid, this one’s for you. ’80s kids can come, too.
Back in the day, the airwaves on Saturday mornings were filled with two things: explosions and rad guitar solos. Power Rangers, conveniently, had both. That means it was awesome. Whether the phrase, “Go, go Power Rangers!” invokes childhood memories for you or not, you’ve still heard it before.
We’d actually wager that everybody knows something about the series, and Power Rangers costumes are always a popular choice for Halloween just because of their iconic look. So, today we’re sharing some facts about the Rangers that might just make you a fan!
At the time of this post, the 788th Power Rangers episode will have aired.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Even though it’s been through 22 different seasons and spinoff series, most of which have had completely unique titles, there has been a near-continuous stream of new Power Rangers episodes and storylines for over two decades. Starting with Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, which aired for 40 episodes in the year 2000, the heroes, villains, and story arcs change completely season to season, but the Rangers are still going strong today.
The current season, Dino Charge, is slated to have 22 episodes total, so that will bring the number up to 802 by the time it ends – 800 episodes! That’s not including Supercharge, the upcoming 23rd season, either. Assuming a rough ballpark average of 23 minutes per show, 802 episodes equal 18,446 minutes of Power Rangers content. If you wanted to marathon the entire thing from start to finish without stopping to eat or sleep, it’d take about two weeks.
Also, there really are 788 Power Rangers in that picture. Count them if you don’t believe us.
Buckethead was involved with the Power Rangers soundtrack, but not in the way most people think.
If you were in high school or college in the mid-2000s, you’ve probably played your fair share of Guitar Hero. You’re also probably more than familiar with Jordan, the hardest song in Guitar Hero II and one of the hardest songs in the series, period. Performed by the guitarist known as Buckethead, Jordan was notorious for its seemingly endless solo section of tapping and shredding that was surely responsible for more than a few broken plastic instruments and televisions. As such, it was around the time that this game was at its peak of popularity that the rumors of Buckethead having recorded the lead guitar on the Power Rangers TV show theme song started spreading through the Internet.
Unfortunately, they’re just rumors. Buckethead has a discography of more than 157 records (we say “more than,” because two of those literally came out last week, so you know that’s going to be an obsolete figure in a few days), but the Power Rangers soundtrack isn’t one of them. Even though the sweet solo in the Power Rangers theme song isn’t Buckethead, though, he did record the solo on Firebird, which is a song that appeared on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie soundtrack. Click here to listen – it’s definitely the Bucket, alright.
There would be no Power Rangers without Spider-Man. Also, Spider-Man used to ride through the skies on a giant battle mech.
In the 1970s, Toei got the licensing rights from Marvel to make a live-action Spider-Man show. The show was wildly different from any Spider-Man you’ve ever seen though, i.e. it was pretty much completely insane. There were flying cars, aliens, and all kinds of crazy stuff going on. Here’s a clip we found of the theme song and opening sequence – you know something’s going to go down when Spider-Man’s giant robot, Leopardon, appears out of the sky to fight crime.
It turns out that Leopardon proved so popular with audiences (Why wouldn’t it? He’s even made his return in the comic books.) that Toei created an entirely new spinoff series just for it. The new show was called Super Sentai, and provided the basis for the Western Power Rangers. See, the advantage of having all of your action and fight scenes involve masked and costumed heroes, is that you can dub the voices into another language without worrying about lip syncing, and then film scenes with those voice actors to fill in the spaces. Fifty percent as much work, one hundred percent as much show – and that’s exactly how Power Rangers is made. Even today, scenes in Dino Force are adapted from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, the 37th (!) season of Super Sentai.
Power Rangers was banned in its shooting location.
Probably the best-known incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise was the original live action TV show, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, which originally aired in the United States in the early nineties. It aired all over the world, too, but not in New Zealand – the government declared that the show was too violent for kids. In other words, it was a more extreme version of the United Kingdom renaming the TMNT cartoon to “Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles,” because ninjas are just obviously all bloodthirsty serial mega killers, right?
Anyways, the interesting twist to the story is that Power Rangers started using New Zealand, specifically the Auckland area, as its shooting and production location starting with the Ninja Storm season in 2003. So, even though all the on-screen violence was literally happening in New Zealand, New Zealand audiences weren’t allowed to watch it on TV. Power Rangers was finally unbanned in New Zealand eight years later, when Samurai came out in 2011. Dino Force marks the tenth season that the show has filmed in New Zealand.
Power Rangers was so popular, Saban Entertainment literally ran out of ideas for episodes.
As we alluded to when we mentioned the connection of Spider-Man to Power Rangers, Power Rangers is sort of a Westernized pseudo-adaptation of the Japanese Super Sentai series. The 16th season of Super Sentai, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, was the source material for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: the action scenes were all the same, but the stories were completely new and original writing. In a way, this can be thought of as the precursor to “abridged series” fan-made dubs on the Internet.
Well, the new show did so well in the States, that Saban actually exhausted its supply of Sentai footage while producing Rangers episodes. The solution? Saban paid Toei to film extra action scenes of new battles, just so new Rangers episodes could be made. Yay, money! Most of these new scenes weren’t ever used in Sentai, making some episodes of Rangers completely original content.
Power Rangers was censored in Malaysia because of its title.
This might be the oddest Rangers fact of them all. You might be asking, “What’s so bad about ‘Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’?” Apparently, Malaysian officials thought that “Morphin’” was awfully similar-sounding to the drug “morphine,” and didn’t want kids to have any exposure to drugs on TV whatsoever. The word was dropped from the title of the show, as well as logos and merchandise, and whenever the Rangers would yell “It’s morphin’ time!” as they transform, it would be edited out.
Honestly, we think this complaint is totally out of line and makes no sense at all. Morphine isn’t even a stimulant.