After countless teasers and trailers, Saban’s Power Rangers is finally set to release this coming weekend. Adapted from the hit ’90s TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the film follows a group of misfit teenagers who have been recruited by the entity known as Zordon to form a team that must stop an alien threat, led by the witch Rita Repulsa who’s set on intergalactic domination. Based on the original TV series that was adapted from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, which was the 16th instalment of Toei’s Super Sentai series, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers helped define a generation. Its distinct prehistoric mystical technology and teenage drama inserts that broke up epic battle scenes, surely left a lasting impact on pop culture and continues to do so with new episode and the soon-to-be-released film remake.
Since its announcement, the feature film has been polarizing to say the least as many die-hard fans of the series have criticized the movie for its modern styling, which strays from the aesthetic of the original source material. However, some fans have embraced the film in hopes that it will redefine the series for a whole new generation. So with the arrival of Power Rangers looming, we decided to compare the aesthetics of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series and upcoming Power Rangers film by looking at released images and their respective toy lines uncovering if the qualms fans have with the film are founded.
From the beginning of production, fans were highly critical of the design of the suits worn by the rangers. The film does away with the lycra cloth suits found in the series, instead opting for CGI suits that look and function more like alien-like ectoplasm manifestations of the groups power. Although the suits differ heavily from the original TV series, they do look somewhat similar in terms of form to the PVC suits seen in 1997’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.
Like the suits, the unusual spiral form of the morphers that transform the teens also look rather alien-like. The prehistoric mystical technology found in Mighty Morphin Power Rangersis missing in the movie’s morphers, even though it was the main theme of the series. But the prehistoric concept found in the original series has been adapted for the film, although slightly different.
The weapons in the film have not been fully revealed just yet but looking at the toy line, it seems all the rangers will share the same sword weapon; with the only variance being the color on the hilt that corresponds to their assigned colors. This is unlike the original series where each ranger had a specific weapon, which was inspired by their prehistoric animal power. Additionally, the weapons in the film cannot be combined to form a larger weapon like the Power Blaster seen in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Finally, we come to the Zords, the colossal assault machines that the rangers mainly use to combat the evil threatening the world. Along with the suits, the Zords are arguably the most important part of the Power Rangers and although the Zords that appear in the film do mostly align with the concepts behind the originals, some fans can’t get over the modern retooling. Modernizing of Zords come in the form of additional legs and armaments, which distort the prehistoric animal inspiration. Additionally, once the individual Zords are combined to form the film’s Megazord, the prehistoric animal inspirations are completely indistinguishable.
- Saban Entertainment, LIONSGATE, Bandai America
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