Power Rangers

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Power Rangers is an ongoing, American franchise of superhero children's television programs. The franchise is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company, but was previously produced by Saban. Given a new title and theme annually (after the third season of the first series), the franchise is headlined by similarly self-replicating television series and is directly tied to the vast merchandising empire owned largely by Japanese toy company Bandai.

The show is adapted from the Japanese tokusatsu Super Sentai franchise, but is not simply an English dub of the original. Rather, it is a 'new' production with English-speaking actors spliced in with the original Japanese footage in varying ratios. Due to the very Japanese nature of many of Sentai's stories and design, the American shows are always at least slightly changed to fit a Western audience. However, the action sequences featuring the characters in costume, and the scenes featuring daikaiju and mecha (referred to as "Zords" in the English series) are typically dubbed. The vast majority of the toy line is similarly adapted, though there are toys exclusive to English-speaking countries.

The series that began the franchise was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which began broadcasting as part of the Fox Kids group of programs that aired on the Fox Network. It lasted for three seasons. The franchise has continued, and as of 2006 has consisted of thirteen television series and two theatrical films. The fifteenth anniversary series, Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive is set to air in 2007.

The Power Rangers series was distributed by Saban Entertainment from 1993 until the end of 2001 and was broadcast on FOX. The franchise was purchased by Disney as a part of a Saban buyout between 2001 and 2002, and the show continued to air on Fox until its Fox Kids package was dismantled in the United States. Since Fall 2002, all Power Rangers shows have aired on various Disney-owned networks (ABC Kids, ABC Family, Toon Disney and Jetix channels worldwide).

A Power Ranger is a person who morphs from a natural, unpowered form into a powerful superhero wearing a battle suit, which also has a helmet with an opaque visor, which in many cases serves to protect his or her secret identity. A morphed Ranger generally possesses superhuman strength, durability, and hand-to-hand combat ability; unmorphed Rangers may possess other innate abilities (such as telepathy, super speed, invisibility, great hand-to-hand combat ability, etc.) which are usually not directly related to his or her Ranger powers. Rangers appear to retain their original physiology beneath their suits when in morphed form, as Rangers' helmets have been seen removed or broken on numerous occasions, revealing his or her natural form underneath (There are exceptions to this rule: Justin, the Blue Turbo Ranger, was in his early teens and was much shorter than his Ranger form when unmorphed; Anubis "Doggie" Cruger, the S.P.D. Shadow Ranger, has a muzzle [he is a humanoid dog-like alien] that seems to disappear beneath the helmet; and Daggeron, the Solaris Knight, transforms into his Ancient Mystic Mode while in the process of morphing). Helmets aside, the suits are donned and removed nearly instantaneously with a glow of light or some other effect. Sometimes, Rangers "de-morph" involuntarily due to powerful physical attacks.

Rangers regularly operate in teams of five, with a special sixth Ranger frequently joining the team part way into the series; sometimes a core team of three will later be joined by additional Rangers. Each Ranger's suit and energy spectrum will match a specific color, with red, yellow, and blue being joined by some combination of pink, green, black, or white. Rangers may be named after their respective colors, such as Red Ranger, Blue Ranger, etc., but numbers or other names may also be used. There is usually no more than one Ranger of a given color on a team, but exceptions of this rule are generally given alternate names (In Time Force, there were two Rangers with red-colored costumes; the first was the Red Time Force Ranger, the second was the Quantum Ranger). The team's costumes are nearly identical aside from color, helmet design (most notably the shape of the opaque visor) and perhaps a numerical designation; any additional Rangers will regularly have additional costume modifications, usually some form of additional armor.

The Rangers' color designation also influences their wardrobe throughout the series, as their civilian clothing is often the same color as their Ranger color. This correlation was joked about in Dino Thunder when Tommy Oliver (a former Green Ranger, White Ranger, and Red Ranger, twice) became the new Black Dino Ranger; he said that he had to go shopping because he did not own enough black-colored clothing.


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