Thursday, April 1, 2010

History of Power Rangers: Mighty Morphin' Season One



Well, I had planned on waiting a few days for this, but apparently when I say "put on private," it thinks I mean "loudly announce on twitter that it's out."

So enjoy how the show got started - with a big giant head and his robot buddy. ‎

67 comments:

MFlorian said...

I'm not sure what's funnier - Teddy Bear-holding Alpha 5 freaking out over an earthquake or Zordon reassuring him that "No, it's not the big one. The Space Witch we've been squatting on Earth these past few millennia to watch for has escaped. That's far less scary."

All-in-all, this was really good. I'm looking forward to part 2.

Jessica Cain said...

Don't worry about it, we all make mistakes.

Anyway, great idea. This show needs some sort of serious, in-depth analysis. Mostly people like to make fun of the show in general or try to compare it to the original sentai series when, really, they're two completely different shows. I know it's a bit of a bastardization on Saban's part, but it really grew into its own giant monster, so to speak.

Most of us growing up in the 90s went through a Power Rangers phase and remember Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with fondness..even though the episodes were formulaic and the plots were cheesy. (mmmm...cheez wiz! :9)

Mountain King said...

A good review. I look forward to how you approach the others series, especially after they finally gave up the ghost with continuity and just pulled new teams out of thin air.

Let's see where this goes...

Thomas

SynjoDeonecros said...

Ah, yes, Green with Evil. That's when it all changed, methinks; you seriously cannot get darker than that in a Power Rangers series...at least, not until Power Rangers RPM, but I digress. I remember watching that five-parter, and being floored; here are the Rangers, faced with a nigh-unbeatable enemy, who knows their names and identities and can worm his way into their lives to destroy them from within, slip through the Power Chamber's security systems to trash it, and mess with them both physically and mentally. And the fact that it was a normal human instead of an ugly monster meant the Rangers just couldn't blow him up like the rest, leaving them at a dilemma as to how to beat him. Very gripping stuff.

On an unrelated note...THAT is the "remastered" Power Rangers? Just the original with photoshop effects? Jeez, I wasn't impressed with the new toys they came out with for it, but this...this is an insult to Ranger fans, everywhere. Wonder why it's getting such praise on RangerBoard...

Anonymous said...

Ahh Power Rangers. Sadly I never got to watch it much because the school I moved to at the height of its popularity had a HUGE campaign against it sighting it as too violent for children's television. Ahh those were the days.

-kayla

Ethan said...

Everyone always asks why the Rangers didn't just start out in the Megazord and stomp the monster flat. But nobody asks the really hard questions.

Why didn't the Rangers take their Zords to the moon and flatten Rita's palace?

If Rita's wand could resurrect a defeated monster as a giant, could it be used a second time to resurrect a defeated giant monster as a gargantuan monster?

Would insurance companies continue to provide service in a town where property damage and personal injury rates must have been astronomical?

When people wear helmets, do they really feel the need to nod in time with their words every time they speak?

These questions haunt me at night...

jdude907 said...

Did I detect an homage to sfdebris?

I kinda outgrew the Power Rangers somewhere around the Rangers in Time, but its really interesting to actually see how much depth the show actually had, intentionally or otherwise.

James said...

Now that I know Richard Horvitz did the voice of Alpha, I can never look at that little robot again without picturing Zim inside it.

Nice job, Lewis. This looks to be the start of a great series.

dipper.f said...

great review...(I guess.) oh and first.

Rawle said...

Seems to be a pretty good analysis. I used to watch this show when I was young.

I'm looking forward to the rest!

Emi said...

-You know, I've always wondered why all the grand benevolent cosmic forces or whatever always wind up choosing teenagers to do important world-saving work. You'd think they'd pick, like, a cop, or a soldier, or something along those lines.

-Billy was always my favorite Power Ranger. I always like the brainy characters. X3

-But my mom always insisted on buying the Pink Ranger stuff for me, because I'm a girl. *huff* >:(

-I always loved the Bulk and Skull music. X3

-I'd like to see Alpha and Marvin the Paranoid Android hanging out together.

-WTF@ that group fighting move.

-I liked the Green Ranger a lot. He was my big brother's favorite, actually. The dude was just cool. :D

-I liked this kind of analysis. I hadn't ever thought about the Power Rangers' technology vs. magic thing, but it's quite interesting now that it's been brought up. And you're right about the action being a really big draw. My brother and I always tuned in just so we could go "ZOMG COOOOOOL!" at all the crazy fights happening onscreen. I still did that as a teenager sometimes, too, when it aired on Jetix; sometimes, you want, I dunno, EVA. Sometimes you need a big plot and psychology and symbolism and stuff. But sometimes you want just want to skip most of that and just have people in suits fighting rubber-suited monsters and kicking other dudes in the head.

Some of the plots were pretty damn cool, though, which just sweetened the deal. And some of them fueled my childhood nightmares (what was that episode about the monster who freaking ATE the Power Rangers and their powers, or whatver? It looked like a big toad, I think--whatever the hell it was, it had me whimpering in fear all that afternoon.)

Megaman0 said...

Oh my god Power Rangers! This is so Awesome I was expecting another april fools joke good to see that it isn't keep up the good work Linkara :)

日本文化のマニアック said...

WOW! This brought back a lot of memories. I'd completely forgotten about the Green Ranger story, but that definitely had my 8-year old self addicted to the show.

Does anyone else remember the one monster that was made out of nothing but eyeballs? That scared the crap out of me.

The Vigilante said...

Excellent analysis, Lewis! I'm glad you brought up the formulaic nature of the show and how Green With Evil was one of the best elements of the entire series. I'm really looking forward to Part 2!

Speaking of which, can you give us an idea of how long it will take you to get to the next episode? I know you have lots of other work on your plate, of course, but I'm hoping the wait isn't too long.

May the power protect you!

Anonymous said...

Great review. I am really interested in the growth of this show. It was on of my favorites as a kid and I stayed with it until the beginning of In space. But I have to say I was hoping you would mention that in the stock footage the Yellow ranger is a dude. No one noticed it at the time but it is so obvious now. Anyway I'm looking forward to more episodes good work and Thanks Linkara.

Great escaper said...

I hope this will be a regular thing, its pretty cool.

Erik said...

It kind of irked me early on when I could recognize the format from sfdebris to your review, especially the "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to..." line used in Chuck's Voyager reviews but after a minute or two I was genuinely impressed by your own thoughts and opinions in the analysis and much to my own surprise I'm actually looking forward to your thoughts on season two, especially since I don't think I ever got past the show's first season.

However, I did feel like I was jerked out of the depth of you had presented during your "Damn, Just Damn" line on account that I recognized the phrase from Chuck's review of "Basics" (Which may be a sign I've watched his videos too often.)

Maybe its a bit too nitpicky or judgmental of me, especially for a first installment like this when you're still finding your footing on this new subject matter. But then, I'm not an internet celebrity, I'm just a viewer with an opinion. ;)

Cheers Mate.

Heath said...

Very nice. I quite enjoyed it, although it's weird without as many jokes. When I hear your voice, I expect a certain dry humour, and not having the jokes is a bit odd. Not a complaint, just an observation. I'll have to re-watch the Green with Evil episodes, I remember them fondly, but am always afraid that watching them again will shatter the nostalgic value if they're bad.

tldr: Great job, awesome as always, you're great.

MFlorian said...

@Ethan

There was a throwaway line in the first episode by Zordon implying they aren't supposed to use their Zords unless Rita made the monster big. It actually has unspoken consequences at the beginning of season 2 when they do that against the fish monster.

@Emi

They probably figure teenagers would be more likely to listen to, and accept, everything they're saying. Even the weirder stuff.

Zordon: There's a (insert the name of the monster here) attacking Angel Grove. Here's its weak spot.

Adult: How the hell did you know all that? Isn't Rita just making these monsters from scratch? What; have you got a secret camera in her lair or something?

Zordon: ...

Derek said...

Anybody know who does the voice for Alpha 5? I've heard that guy's voice all over the place. He was Daggett on the Angry Beavers for one, and I think also the hero of Psychonauts.

Great start, Lewis, it brought back some after-school memories.

JdRavnos said...

Awesome review. I haven't watched Power Rangers since it originally aired and I stopped watching sometime around Space when most of the original cast had moved on.

I agree that the introduction of the Green Ranger was a turning point. I watched the show from the beginning, but even at the discerning age of 13 I could tell it was pretty laughable in terms of plot and the obvious change in style between American and Japanese footage. It wasn't even a guilty pleasure, just something to watch (and, ahem, that included the rather lovely Amy Jo Johnson. Hey I was 13!) But by the time they introduced the Green Ranger I started to get hooked, while it still was a bit silly at the best of times there was definately a shift in tone and overall quality. It would keep me coming back for years longer then I would have thought based on the initial episodes.

Chris said...

You know, I had a pretty terrible day today, but coming home and seeing this video really made me smile. Thanks, Louis.

I never actually noticed the thing about the Green Ranger's armor before, but in retrospect you're right. And it IS confusing as to why they couldn't just get the original from Toei. It's not like the prop decayed into uselessness in the one year between Zyuranger and MMPR. (Though if you ask some fans, it's totally plausable - just mention Blade in Kamen Rider Decade).

Like you said, the original "Zyu2" footage was pretty impressive, and had extra brownie points because Toei incorporated elements of Power Rangers, like the romance between Tommy and Kimberly, into the fight footage. But what really impressed me was the story that the original series finale would have involved Rita attacking the Rangers' prom, with Saban actually flying Machiko Soga (the actress who played Bandora/Rita) out to LA in order to appear in the episode. Of course I'm glad the franchise continued, but you have to admit, that would have been pretty epic.

Paul S. said...

Regarding your confusion as why Rita's castle sometimes appeared to be on another planet rather than the moon I think this was a side-effect of adapting the source material.

In Zyuranger, Rita's counterpart Bandora came from a stray planet named Nemesis that had floated into our solar system. After some astronauts freed her in the first two episodes, she built a palace and relocated to the moon.

cjhitchcock said...

Love me some classic Power Rangers. This is honestly the show that defined the 90's generations of children. Fast, corny, and cheesy morals. Power Rangers is the show that shaped me and I love the first few seasons. Glad to see someone give a well written overview of this series. This shall be a series I'll keep track of.

Awesome work as always Linkera.

Dodger Of Zion said...

Wow, Lewis. Thank you for bringing my childhood back to me in a biblical flood. I'm gonna go dig my Triceratops Zord cup out of the kitchen cabinet and have a glass of Pepsi for your next installment.

I still remember my babysitter (now family friend) taping the White Ranger's reveal for me since I had to stay after school late...safe to say, I was not surprised by it.

Thanks for this incredible blast from the past, and I can't wait to see this through.

Rhomega said...

Despite being there from Day One, would say Season 1 is my least favorite season. The Rangers are stereotypes, the villains aren't that interesting, and I just don't like the feel of the season.

Bulk and Skull certainly become more interesting as they go along, starting to mature in Season 3 and Zeo, becoming chimps and invisible in Turbo, then at my favorite point, hanging out with Prof. Phenomenous in In Space. Then they sadly seperate and Bulk seems to fully mature in Lost Galaxy.

I loved this new series. Looking forward to looking back at the old series. I did stick around til the end, even if I skipped most of Overdrive and all of Jungle Fury.

Razorgeist said...

I look forward to future installments your commentary is informative and entertaining.

ダン セミナラ said...

I enjoyed the retrospective, but...

1) The candle was introduced from the beginning in the Sentai equivalent. The purpose was to count down how much life the green ranger had left outside of the room he usually stayed in where time stopped.

2) Saban didn't hold back Tommy for any reason other than the fact that he wasn't in that much of the Sentai footage.

3) It's pronounced juu-ranger. It's spelled a bit differently, but "zyu" is an archaic romanization of juu, which in this case means beast.

4) The green ranger thing was 5 parts because the Zyuranger version of it was, too. Sentai only airs once a week.

5) No comment on the yellow ranger's sex change?

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Actually, the later series are in continuity. There's a team-up of all the Red Rangers up to Wild Force, Tommy shows up in post-Saban series Dino Thunder, and Operation Overdrive had a bunch of cameos as well in a two-parter from numerous seasons.

The only one I can't see working is the final series, RPM, because it seems to contradict Time Force and SPD. Still, it was a radical concept, creating a Terminator-esque scenario, and they pulled off the story rather well.

CheesecakeSeptember said...

Wow, Power Rangers. What a nostalgic trip. Thank you for doing these videos. I've never seen anybody actually taking the time to make videos about this series and not just laughing at it for the sake of being mean. It's really a treat. ♥

I can't wait to see more videos! And especially hear your opinions on Time Force. Although I grew up with the original Power Rangers, Time Force will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Oh and also... *smacks ダン/Dan for not paying attention to the first video AT ALL*

Luminairis said...

Good memories, when the green ranger left, I stopped watching the show. It just didn't feel the same.

Mags said...

Ah, memories of my childhood are flashing before my eyes. Those were the days... *sigh*

I still have my white ranger action figure and the zord that goes with it. Even though I was going trough the pink loving stage (like most little girls did) I didn't like the pink ranger. I liked Tommy the best.

*Blushes*

...Ok, I also had a crush on Tommy, but come on! Every girl I knew at the time felt the same way. Don't judge me! *crosses arms and looks the other way*

Dg said...

Mm I gotta say, Bulk and Skull and Tommy (back when he had those curls and looked all unsure, not when he had that crazy slicked up lookin hair) have always felt the most real out of the characters. The rangers all felt like bland boring models meant to play around in their fakey looking school/town and they were more interesting in ranger form (okay Billy and Zack occasionally felt more real but the others just weren't that believable).

Bulk and Skull I always felt really attached to because they were interesting to look at, total dorks but tried to be badass, and they felt like people I could actually know and maybe even hang out with (which is sad cause they were supposed to be bullies by you can't be a very good bully if your targets are the school's five or six martial arts masters who also happen to be super heroes. You're supposed to pick on someone WEAKER than you, not someone who can mop the floor with you, silly boys).

Anyway I'm rambling. Awesome vid, can't wait for more :D

Chup@Cabra said...

Even though I was a bit older than you when Power Rangers first came out (I remember reading the Dark Phoenix Saga in its first printing 0_0 ). I have a fond place in my heart for Power Rangers as well.

I was just suprised at how popular it became; I hadn't seen such hoopla over a show/set of toys since the days of He-Man/G.I. Joe/Transformers.

Looking forward to the other reviews (although I kind of lost track after Zeo myself).

JeanJacket said...

Ooh. Shiny new-old fandom to distract me. :D I can already tell Bulk and Skull are going to be my favorites. Great analysis; very informative.

I'm sort of confused about the Sentai footage. When they needed new stuff, they paid the other studio to shoot it for them...? It wouldn't have been cheaper to do it themselves?

divineall said...

Am I the only one who remembers Scorpina from the Rita days? In fact, whatever happened to her? I forget. Still, good review and observations, Lewis.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

"Divineall", Scorpina did show up at one point with a US actor. I think they finally destroyed her, but I'm not certain. It was her last appearance in the show, unless I missed a cameo during the "In Space" finale.

Kevin McGill said...

I love Bulk and Skull's theme.

Emi said...

@Derek: Alpha was voiced by Richard Horovitz--the dude who did Invader Zim's voice.

Reepicheep-chan said...

Have not finished watching, but giving you a srs HELL YEAH at 5:05.

Turkish Proverb said...

Good review. I ran screaming from the series during turbo but came back later. Much as I hated the show, I hope you'll brake the turbo review into two parts, as the movie and first half are different from the second half in a lot of ways.

David said...

Ahh what a trip down Nostalgia I used to watch this show all the time when I was a kid and I got laughed at for watching it by the other kids in school but I didn't care.

The thing about the Green ranger wasn't so much marketing but more to do with the actual Sentai footage and how Saban adapted it, see in the original sentai Burai(the green ranger) actually had a limited life span so he spent most of his time in a room where time has no meaning and only came out when he felt the rangers needed help but he also suffered the occasion bout of cabin fever as well, in fact a plot point of the sentai was Bandora finding the room destroying it and KILLING the green ranger which she did succeed in the end and thus there was no more Green Ranger footage so Saban wrote the green candle episode the way it is.

But over very good analysis of the first season.

Lotus Prince said...

I'm ecstatic that you're doing a retrospective like this! It's a major nostalgia factor for me, despite my having only really watched the first two seasons, and it's very entertaining to see a fresh perspective of the show, which analyzes the series and the rangers far more deeply than we would have as children. Thank you so much for doing this, and keep up the excellent work!

Carlosaurus said...

The fact that Billy could beat a group of figures of putty when at first he only could with one, is just the evolution of the character, the truth is that is really nothing strange, if something is done very often with time one will improve, while the Puttys were always use the same fighting style is becouse there always were new puttys in each chapter.

I'm anxious to see more of this, after the first season of PR history I became increasingly confused and tangled, still remember some of the major inconsistencies that would, in time, I would love to see you talk to some of these in the future.

Amuia said...

As a kid, I LOVED this show. For that reason I watched and liked some of the newer stuff. As a fan, I'd say this review was fair and entertaining. Keep up the great work Linkara. Can't wait for season 2.

42% B said...

Yay! I love this! Can't wait for more ^^

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for your thoughts on In Space, despite the finale falling flat on its ass and missing so many good potential story elements since it ended with the death of Zordon, where it would have made sense for many of the former rangers to make an appearance, it still is in my opinion the most in depth season. You know, kidnapping, brainwashing, bad guys that were good deep down, etc.

Jer Alford said...

Ever find it weird that the Yellow Ranger's outfit didn't have a skirt like the Pink one's? Because in the Japanese version, the Yellow Ranger was a DUDE!

Jer Alford said...

Ever find it weird that the Yellow Ranger's outfit didn't have a skirt like the Pink ones? Because in the Japanese version, the Yellow Ranger was a DUDE!!!

Mela said...

Very nice new series! I always liked PR, but it's a series I kind of drifted to & from as the new set-up interested me (for instance, I missed RPM thanks to ABC's crazy scheduling even though I wanted to see it, and the last series I really wholly enjoyed was SPD, since I like the whole super-cops theme). I have a nostalgic connection to it like I do with X-Men nowadays. I think the time I really drifted away from MMPR was when, in later seasons, it pretty much turned into "Tommy & His Amazing Friends". More Billy, dammit!

I always liked Zordon's dismissive description of teenagers from the first episode. It's pretty spot-on if you think about it.

Bulk & Skull are awesome, so it's good to see someone else thinks so, too. They're like Laurel & Hardy's punkish grandsons.

Plethora said...

I will always remember rushing home from school to catch this show and I will always remember the commercial for the Green Ranger miniseries, where its basically him saying tune in and watch as I destroy the Power Rangers this week. Awesome show

Truce Weston said...

Great episode! (I saw them back to back and am commenting on the 2 episodes released to date, seperately)

I'm glad someone else noticed the difference in Tommy's shield between Senati and Power Rangers footage. Even Jason David Frank poked fun at it at a convention appearance I saw a vid for on youtube.


"Green With Evil" was epic, and I think if it wasn't the arc that brought in the most new fans, it was the arc that turned a lot of viewers into fans, like me!

I like how you give Bulk and Skull their due!

I look foward to more installments!

So until the store on thatguywiththeglasses.com starts selling Linkara's "I am a man!" minty fresh scented green candles, MAKE MINE LINKARA!

Anonymous said...

Some of those villain designs have aged surprisingly well. I can see them being used in a modern video game.

Anonymous said...

You've given me a whole new apperication for the show. I remember something really sweet where the guy who played Billy mentioned that his character represented the outcast kids who don't always fit in and how he even got a hug from this fat kid in thanks for his role.

Anonymous said...

This is why I really enjoy Atop the Fourth Wall. You get to see highlight reels of the most popular superheroes ever. Power Rangers goes on the platinum platter for one of the most biggest TV shows of all time. I remember when the kids were having nervous breakdowns over the GREEN RANGER. The vehicles reminded me of THUNDERBIRDS and GODZILLA. Power Rangers were jam-packed!

Tyciol said...

This brings back classic memories

Anonymous said...

Nerd nitpicking in 5..4..3..2..1

They always said that the zords were powered by dinosaurs. Only two of the original "creature" zords were dinosaurs. Saber tooth tigers "smiladons" and mastadons were prehistoric mammals. And pteradactyls belonged to a diffrerent sub group of reptiles. Only the T-Rex and triceratops fit the dinosaur classification.

I know it's nitpicking-but it's one of those things I noticed and no one else seems to talk about.

Anonymous said...

One thing I always wondered about the green ranger was how he was able to play the flute/dagger to summon the Dragonzord through his helmet.

Also, my memory of the first season is real fuzzy, but didn't the Dragonzord have an alt form too?

Anonymous said...

"in fact a plot point of the sentai was Bandora finding the room destroying it and KILLING the green ranger"

Interestingly, I just read on the power rangers wiki that they planned to kill Tommy when he transferred the green ranger powers over to Jason but didn't go through with it because of how popular he was.

Anonymous said...

It wasnt a racist mistake, it was a stereotypical one. At least thats how I see it.

Inanna said...

The breakdancing/fighting style of the Black ranger sounds a lot like an actually fighting style called Capoeira. It's really more show than substance and isn't a good style for a real fight, but it's hella fun to watch.

Just... y'know, in case anyone finds that little tidbit useful.

Lord Seth said...

I've started watching the first season (and WOW is it repetitive), but I noticed a mistake in your review. You say it doesn't make sense that in "Life's a Masquerade" the Super-Putties are introduced but that the Rangers react with surprise when they appear in the next episode. The thing is, I don't think the Rangers ever SAW the Super-Putties in Life's a Masquerade. I believe they heard Rita was planning to make one, but never actually saw them, so their surprise in the next episode makes some sense. In fact, this was actually a case of actual continuity in the series.

Anonymous said...

You commit an error. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

V said...

First off, @4:20, Thuy is pronounced "twee." Second, if the producers HAD learned from the Asian yellow Ranger and Black black Ranger casting f-up from Mighty Morphin (though claiming ignorance STILL doesn't make it right), and GRANTED this season hasn't been reviewed yet, WHY did Operation Overdrive have ANOTHER Black black Ranger who ALSO was a thief?

Obsidian said...

A point you also may not be aware of, RE the whole Power Ranger/race thing: From what I read, Walter Jones was originally going to be the Blue Ranger, but he himself asked to be the Black Ranger instead, as he liked the design of the helmet better. He also didn't realize the implications until later, but that does lend credence to the claim that such casting was not intentional.

SnowWolf said...

Brilliant job Lewis!
My only question for now is:

What puddle?!

Seriously Rita tells Squat he made her step in a puddle. I know there's evidence that water was once on the moon, but it looks pretty barren here. Not to mention this was shot in a desert or at least a giant sandbox. Could be residue from the dumpster that spilled when it opened????...ewww.

I found it very surreal to learn Power Rangers is dubbed and shown in Japan. The original Japanese actress for Bandora/Rita actually did the dub voice over the English dub voice of her original performance?! Rumour has it that Lost Galaxy and S.P.D were more popular then their Sentai equilvelants.

Paul Traynor said...

Just sat down to rewatch Power Rangers as a whole in the past few days. I got upto the episode "Gung Ho" and noticed something I had never seen before in the episode. Clearly printed on the side of the new weapons they get from the chest is the word "Zyuranger" for a few seconds right after the chest is opened the camera zooms in just enough to show this. I just thought it was kinda cool, and wanted to share it with you.