Super Sentai was created by Toei Studios back in 1975. This show lasted for two years and spawned multiple different Power Rangers spin-offs including: Five Rangers, Turbo Rangers, Goggle Five Rangers, Battle Fever J Rangers, Ninja Rangers and King Rangers. America’s Power Rangers were based on the Beast Rangers of the Dinosaur Corps, the 16th version of Toei’s Rangers. A lot of the footage for the fight scenes in the Power Rangers was actually original footage from the Japanese version of the show.
It took seven years for the producers to sell the show. The original executive producer of Power Rangers, Haim Saban, discovered Super Sentai while in Japan meeting with animation studios. He thought bringing it to the U.S. would be an amazing idea. When Saban starting shopping the show around, no one was interested:
“For seven years I've schlepped this thing, and everyone said, 'Go take a pill or something,' because this is too weird—guys in spandex suits and dinosaurs,'' Saban said in 1993. Eventually he met with Fox Children’s Network president Margaret Loesch who said yes and the rest is history.
In an interview with No Pink Spandex, Amy Jo Johnson who played Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart said that when they first started filming the show it “was Dino Rangers at the time, when the show just started, before they changed the name to Power Rangers.”
Dino Rangers doesn’t sound as tough as Power Rangers, does it?. But I would love to see a show called Dino Rangers. Wouldn’t you?
4. Amy Jo Johnson Almost Gave Up Her Acting Career
She had moved to LA with her boyfriend and when they broke up, she sold everything she owned and decided to move back home. Then everything changed overnight.
“The night before I was moving, I met this man named Walter Rainey, who ended up being my acting coach for about 10 years after that.”
Amy did go home for a few weeks, when Rainey called her parents and convinced them that Amy should come back and she did. She had previously taken an acting class with a woman named Katy Wallin who was also a casting director.
“That summer ... she was casting Power Rangers in her office,” Johnson said. “She called me and said, ‘Why don’t you come in?’ So I went in and I got the job.”
Johnson aside, most of the cast of Power Rangers went into a big open cattle call with thousands of other people. The casting directors narrowed the thousands of people down to six groups of five teenagers. Johnson was paired with St. John, David Yost (who played Blue Ranger Billy), and Walter Jones (who played Black Ranger Zack).
“We got really close, hanging out, and just sort of preparing for the auditions. And our group ended up getting it, which was really cool.”
6. There Was A Different Yellow Ranger In The Pilot
Amy’s audition group also included Audri DuBois who was cast as the Yellow Ranger. She was a great martial artist and very strong. She asked for more money and after the pilot, they fired her. That is when they hired Thuy Trang who took over as the Yellow Ranger.
David Fielding auditioned against only one other actor for the role of Zordon. While we see Zordon often, he was only filmed once for a couple of hours.
“For budgetary reasons they never filmed the character again,” Fielding told The Huffington Post. “They shaved all my hair off and glued my ears back. And used makeup to make my eyebrows stand out, and then painted the top half of my chest and shoulders green. I sat in front of a green screen while they filmed me because they were just going to use my head and that was it. ... If you watch the character in the show, his movements and his actions seem to be really sort of out of sync with everything.”
The rest of his time playing Zordon, he was in a recording studio.
When Barbara Goodson was cast as Rita, they told her that they needed “a Wicked Witch of the West-like voice, so I did exactly what they asked,” she told Complex. But after taking a poll, the producers decided that she wasn’t scary enough so they fired her.
“I asked them if I could try something else, but they said they would open it up to other people. And at the point, I had already done the pilot. So I said, ‘Come on guys, let me audition at least.’ I was pissed off. … I came up with that [hoarse Rita] voice out of being annoyed, and it lasted for five years.”
The five original Rangers had already been cast when Jason David Frank came in to audition for Tommy, the Green Ranger. The Green Ranger was only supposed to be in a few episodes but the fans loved him! They sent letters to production begging to have him back, and they listened! Frank then went on to play the White Ranger and was in 217 episodes of the show.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers started filming in 1992 and shot for six months. The show then debuted almost a year later. When it aired, the show was the top-ranked weekday show for kids aged 2 to 11. It then took the top spot for 6- to 17-year-olds on Saturday mornings.
“It's beyond anyone's expectations,” executive producer Haim Saban said at the time. “We've had so many parents write us, saying this show has created a bond between them and their kids. The parents look at it on one level, the kids on another.”
The exterior shot of Zordon’s command center is the American Jewish University’s Brandeis-Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, California. Opened in 1973, the building was named the “House of the Book.” The building was designed by Sidney Eisenshtat.
If you see the cast in full costume, chances are that they were using old footage from the Japanese show. Besides that, the actors did a lot of their own stunts.
“It was fun, but it was a non-union show, so I had to do a lot of the stunts, and the helmet had three holes in it, so it was hard to breathe,” Johnson told Sharon Osbourne. “They would hang me over fire pits and things; it was very dangerous ... We did a lot of very scary things.”
Trang and Johnson were super close. So close that they would often have sleepovers together before shoot days. They were together when a devastating earthquake hit Los Angeles in 1994. “We went through that earthquake together, me and her,” Johnson told No Pink Spandex. “The morning of the earthquake, they called us into work!”
They couldn’t film that day, however, because most of the crew didn’t show up.
14. The Inspiration For 'The Inspector Gadget' Theme Song
Composer Ron Wasserman wrote the Power Rangers theme in just two hours.
“They said, 'If you can, use the word go,' and the reason being that they had such success 15 years prior with Inspector Gadget with ‘Go Gadget Go,’” Wasserman told Complex. “I think they considered it a lucky word. The next day, Fox heard it and loved it, and then the show took off. I ended up working on that show day and night, and became the go-to-guy.”
If you listen closely to the villains in the episodes “Foul Play in the Sky” and “A Bad Reflection on You” you will hear a younger Bryan Cranston. “I did voice work for the Power Rangers years and years ago,” Cranston said in a Reddit AMA. “Someone once told me they named the Blue Power Ranger after me, his last name was Cranston. I found out years later that was true.”