20 Crazy Facts You Never Knew About The Power Rangers

Once upon a time in a galaxy not even remotely distant to ours, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers ruled the afterschool and Saturday morning airwaves. As did its successors, one season after another; kids couldn’t get enough of the suited men and women fighting off monsters with fancy weapons, giant robots, and the most beloved of all conflict resolution tools, the fist. With another movie on the way, it looks like Hollywood is trying to bring back the magic from days of old — but until then, there’s no better way to honor the costumed crime-fighters than a list of facts that will make anyone question the sanctity of life itself.

It’s Based On A Japanese Franchise

Eagle-eyed viewers of the older seasons may have noticed that there was a notable difference in image quality between the Rangers’ civilian scenes and action scenes. It’s not the result of an evil cameraman’s sabotage; it’s because the show is the fusion of footage from two separate sources. Power Rangers as we know it is the westernized version of the Japanese Super Sentai franchise — though the show that aired in the states featured a new fleet of actors, redubbed scenes, and a soundtrack keen on electric guitars. It’s almost like the ultimate con job.

It’s Really Been Around For More Than Forty Years

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers first aired on August 28, 1993, but its footage was based on Japan’s Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger — which started in February of ’92 and ended a year later. That’s a sizable gap, but it goes much further than that. Zyuranger is actually the sixteenth installment in the Japanese franchise, with the actual first series being Himitsu Sentai Gorenger. That came out in April of 1975, which not only gives Japan a head start — and tons of unused footage — but also means that Power Rangers is arguably twice as nostalgic as anyone would have guessed. Fancy that.

Its Creator Wrote The Book On Japanese Superheroes

Not a lot of people are going to go running Google searches for Shotaro Ishinomori, but those that have even a passing interest in “five teenagers with attitude” might want to consider building a shrine in his honor. The late, great artist — a protégé of comic legend Osamu Tezuka — was the mastermind behind Gorenger. As such, he’s essentially the father of both versions of Power Rangers, a series that continues to this day. Not content with his control over so many hearts and minds, Ishinomori was the creator of Cyborg 009, Kikaider, and Kamen Rider, the latter of which would also go on to become a forty-year-old action series alongside Super Sentai. He had the courage and brains to do what no one else ever could: corner the market on flamboyant-suited fighters.

Disney Owned The Rights For A While

It’s hard to believe the house that Mickey Mouse built could have a hand in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars these days, but it’s true; Disney branched out, and at one point it held ownership of the Power Rangers franchise thanks to a package deal in 2001. While no one superglued mouse ears to the Rangers’ helmets, for eight years Disney played overseer to episode production — even if they moved production to New Zealand to skimp on costs. Even that proved too much to bear, but thankfully Saban — the company that held the rights originally — stepped in to save it. They knew instinctively that the world will always need kung-fu fighting.