Power Rangers is a long-running American Entertainment and merchandising franchise built around a live-action television series featuring teams of costumed heroes. The television series takes much of its footage from the long-running Japanese tokusatsu series Super Sentai, produced by Toei Co. Ltd.
Originally created by Saban Entertainment, the franchise was under the ownership of the Walt Disney Company in the 2000s, and a total of seven Power Rangers seasons (named by the series itself as generations) were produced by BVS Entertainment and distributed internationally by Buena Vista Distribution. The fans of the series named this phase of the saga as the "Disney Era". A videogame produced by Disney Interactive; named Power Rangers: Super Legends was made for celebrate the franchise's 15th anniversary in 2007. A "remastered" version of the first series was produced in 2010. Later that year, however, Disney sold the franchise and all his seasons to Haim Saban and is currently produced by Saban Brands (a Saban Capital Group company) and distributed worldwide by Marvista Entertainment.
The concept is based on the Super Sentai series of shows, however, is not an English dub of the original, but rather a new production with English-speaking actors spliced in with the original Japanese footage to varying ratios. Due to the very Japanese nature of many of Super Sentai's stories and cultural differences of moral standards, the American adaptations are generally changed to fit its Western audience.
The series that began the franchise, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (an American adaptation of the 1992 Japanese Super Sentai series, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger), began broadcasting as part of the Fox Kids block of programming that aired on the Fox network. It lasted for three seasons (from 1993 to 1996).
Power Rangers was produced by Saban Entertainment and Renaissance-Atlantic Films from 1993 until the end of 2002 and was broadcast on the Fox Kids Network.
The Disney Era
The Walt Disney Company purchased the franchise as part of a buyout that took place in 2001. This buyout also saw Saban Entertainment becoming BVS Entertainment, from News Corporation, Fox's parent company, and Haim Saban. The show continued to air on Fox until the company replaced its Fox Kids package with "FoxBox" in the United States. Since September 2002, all Power Rangers shows have aired on various Disney-owned networks (ABC Kids, Toon Disney and Jetix channels worldwide). ABC Family, air Power Rangers until it did away with its Jetix time slot after August 31, 2006. On February 12, 2009, Toon Disney ended in the wake of Disney XD, ending cable airings of Power Rangers in certain areas of the United States. Several ABC affiliate broadcasting groups declined to air most of the Power Rangers series since 2006 due to the lack of FCC-compliant.
Disney grew tired of the franchise (according to RPM producer Eddie Guzelian, Disney were embarrassed to even be airing the show let alone producing it) and attempted to cancel it after Jungle Fury but were persuaded by Bandai and Jetix UK to make another when they agreed to help fund it.
An article in The New Zealand Herald published on March 7, 2009 identified Power Rangers RPM as the last season of the Power Rangers run. Production manager Sally Campbell stated in an interview, "...at this stage we will not be shooting another season." A September 1, 2009, revision to Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia by Disney's head archivist Dave Smith states that "production of new episodes [of Power Rangers] ceased in 2009". Production of Power Rangers ceased and the 2009 series by BVS Entertainment, RPM, ended on December 26, 2009.
On October 1, 2009, Bandai released a press release that Disney would re-broadcast Mighty Morphin Power Rangers starting in January 2010 on ABC Kids in lieu of a new series utilizing footage from the Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. A new toy line accompanied the series and appeared in stores in the later part of 2009. ABC's over-the air telecasts ended on August 28, 2010, and turned the hour back to affiliates.
Generations made by Disney
- Power Rangers Ninja Storm (adaptation of Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger)
- Power Rangers Dino Thunder (adaptation of Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger)
- Power Rangers S.P.D. (adaptation of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger)
- Power Rangers Mystic Force (adaptation of Mahou Sentai Magiranger)
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (adaptation of GoGo Sentai Boukenger)
- Power Rangers Jungle Fury (adaptation of Juken Sentai Gekiranger)
- Power Rangers RPM (adaptation of Engine Sentai Go-Onger)
Animated Series Plans
Disney originally had plans to create an animated version of the Power Rangers. These plans were later cancelled for unknown reasons.
Before the Disney Era, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers made appearances in the Disney Hollywood Studios park during the first seasons of the television series, but then vanished. During the Disney Era, since 2002 to 2010, five Rangers (every from one season) were presented in the same park in different time slots (see image). They came in a special themed car in a different hour and later they leave the place until the next time slot. The shows ended in 2010.
After RPM, Disney successfully cancelled the show in 2009, Saban later reacquired the rights to the franchise and revived it with Power Rangers Samurai which aired on Nickelodeon in 2011. The franchise has continued on with brand new seasons every two years.
Jonathan Tzachor (producer of the Samurai season) stated that any season that was produced under Disney was to be declared non-canon. However, while this may be his personal view, Samurai (a Saban season) crossed over with RPM (a Disney season) in The Clash of the Red Rangers.