One of the most anticipated movies of 2017 - at least for those raised in the 1990s - is surely Power Rangers, the reboot of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers television series that itself was adapted from the Japanese Super Sentai franchise. The original kids' show had a distinctly B-movie-esque flavor and continuously had tongue firmly planted in cheek when serving up a stream of outlandish and ridiculous monsters such as the unforgettable Pudgy Pig, but the reboot promises to offer a much darker and more serious tone.
This new approach has been reflected in what has been revealed of the visual style so far, with characters across the board seemingly given a sleeker, modern, metallic makeover. Whilst some of what fans know about the new character designs has come from official promotional images - such as in the case of the Rangers themselves and arch villain Rita Repulsa - other designs have been unveiled due to the release of images from the movie's toy line - for example Goldar.
Now new images of Power Rangers' selection of Zord merchandise have made their way online (via CBR) and they offer fans a closer, more detailed look at the mech beasts that our new Rangers will be piloting in the movie reboot. All the original Zords are present and correct: Jason's Tyrannosaurus Rex, Billy's Triceratops, Zack's Mastodon, Trini's Sabretooth Tiger and Kimberly's Pterodactyl.
Predictably - given what is known about the movie so far - the new Zords are far less cartoonish than their previous incarnations. The designs are noticeably sleeker and have a contemporary sheen that makes them far more menacing and intimidating than those in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series. Some of the robots - mainly the T-Rex, Triceratops and Tiger - also have giant rocket-like weapons attached to them and although these features may have been exaggerated for the benefit of the toy line, the additions would emphasize the Zords' role as the weapons of destruction they really are.
The character designs for Power Rangers released previously have not been met with much acclaim. Rita Repulsa's costume is almost unrecognizable from the original series and the armor of the Rangers themselves has been criticized by fans for a variety of reasons, including the addition of breast-shaped armor for the female rangers. Furthermore, the recent reveal of the Goldar action figure showed that the character - once a loyal, beast-like servant of Rita Repulsa - is now a pure-gold creature with very little in the way of distinctive features.
Despite the negative reaction to many of the reboot's designs however, the Zords may attract a more positive reception. Whilst the five new mechs do differ greatly from their television series counterparts, they retain their general dinosaur-themed appearances and thankfully, have a splash of color that prevents them from looking too serious. It's possible that some fans may have preferred the movie take a generally more faithful approach to adapting Power Rangers for the big screen but given the often corny nature of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers that was typical of nineties kids' TV, significant changes were perhaps always on the cards.
- Power Rangers (2017) release date: Mar 24, 2017