In 1993, a new live action show for kids, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (MMPR), debuted and its popularity has endured since with its 16th incarnation to air in 2008. The Power Rangers series was based on the long running Super Sentai series of shows that had begun in 1975 and is still in production today. MMPR, the first of the Power Rangers series, was adapted from the 1992 series Kyouryuu Sentai Zyuranger. John Stossel of ABC’s 20/20 reported that “from an adult perspective, it’s an astonishingly stupid show” and that the popularity of Power Rangers was inexplicable. Given this kind of general consensus among adults, what could have prompted Haim Saban to think that an adaptation was viable? Despite the odds, Saban, found a distributor for an adaptation and its ensuing popularity began a fad for other similar imports such as V.R. Troopers and Big Bad Beetleborgs which were also licensed by Saban. While adults may not understand it, Power Rangers have an appeal towards children that is still applicable today.
Like the adaptation of Gojira into Godzilla, importing Super Sentai was a matter of economics. Saban bought the rights from Toei for a cheap price and reused footage from the Japanese show with new segments shot in America, resulting in production costs three times less than big studio productions. By reducing costs in children’s programming, he had hoped to build a company greater than Disney’s empire. The idea wasn’t new and animated titles such as Astro Boy, Speed Racer and Voltron have been imported in the past. They were true bargains whose production costs had only involved editing and dubbing. However, like Gojira, another production under the tokusatsu (literally special effects) genre, the aesthetic quality of Super Sentai was deemed by American executives to be silly, low tech and cheesy and the concept of a team that morphs into superheroes to fight aliens using martial arts and robots was too...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document