In 2017, Power Rangers fans were treated to a franchise first with a PG-13 film that upped the ante in spectacle and production value, but any ’90s kid familiar with the series knows that the only true Power Rangers flick was the first one, the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.
A troubled production from the start, MMPR was a rushed project meant to capitalize on the overwhelming popularity of the show. A divisive film which broke the continuity of the TV series and took place in an alternate timeline, it remains dear to many nostalgic fans of the children’s series.
Greenlit in 1994, MMPR entered a chaotic production period with an underdeveloped story and almost no pre-production period to speak of. At a moment’s notice, the entire cast were relocated to Sydney, Australia, where filming commenced with a tight window to complete the shoot. Along the way, the movie set became the the thing of Hollywood nightmares.
More than two decades since hitting theaters, MMPR: The Movie remains a turning point for the long-standing franchise. While the movie and show have managed to transcend generations, there are still many behind-the-scenes secrets which continue to shed light on the characters that came to define many of our childhoods.
Take a trip down memory lane as we expose the 16 Shocking Things You Never Knew About Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.
16. Rat Monsters?
By November 1994, the production crew behind MMPR: The Movie had hit a major snag in their schedule. Due to multiple setbacks, including some questionable casting decisions and issues with the Rangers’ costumes, over 70% of the movie’s scenes were deemed unusable. Making matters worse, further issues arose when villains originally written to appear in the film were scrapped after the costumes appeared too cheap next to the Rangers.
The so-called “Rat Creatures” which were intended to be created by Ivan Ooze in the original script were replaced by the Oozemen, only to be used later in the show’s second season story arc “Return of the Green Ranger.”
According to one crew member who worked on the set, the wardrobe and prosthetics departments were able to create the new foes in only four days, showing just how uninformed and unprepared the staff was going into the project.
15. Why Major Roles Were Recast
The MMPR series was infamous for mistreating its cast even during its meteoric height as one of the most popular shows on television. From the hazardous working conditions to the strenuous schedule, you would expect the Rangers to at least be fairly compensated. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Because the show was a non-union production, there was little stopping Saban from doing as they pleased contractually which meant the cast did their jobs for little more than minimum wage.
When the opportunity for a movie came, the cast saw their chance to renegotiate their contracts, only the producers weren’t having it. Thanks to their unwillingness to work for $600 per week (the reported salary at the time),Walter Jones, Thuy Trang and Austin St. John (the original Black, Yellow and Red Rangers) were recast for the film. Austin would later reprise his role in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.