Power Rangers is the catch-all name for a seasonal franchise, originally "created" by Saban Entertainment, and now owned by Disney. The show has been running on television since 1993 and has received two feature-length movies.
While on a trip to Japan, television production musician Haim Saban saw part of a Sentai show. He immediately recognized the marketing potential of splicing clips of the masked Japanese heroes in with clips of American actors, in order to appeal to children and sell toys. The recipe was an overnight success, so much so that many stores saw fights between parents during the Christmas 1993 season.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted in 1993 to much acclaim. Beginning in 1996 with Power Rangers Zeo, Power Rangers received annual re-imaginings, to stay in line with each Japanese Sentai update. In 2000, Disney bought out Saban Entertainment, and completely dumps the entire cast, rather than trying to thinly veil each new incarnation of the Rangers as the Rangers becoming more powerful.
The show is low-budget and technically problematic as all hell, but the Saban seasons retain a charm and magic that is missing from most children's programming. Since being taken over by Disney, the show remains low-budget, but is technically better. However, much of the charm from the original seasons is missing.
In the summer of 1995, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was released in theatres. It was a financial success, though the movie turned out to be completely unrelated to the events of the television show. In the summer of 1997, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie was released, to far less success. This movie was completely in-continuity, and was essential viewing for Season 5, Power Rangers Turbo.
List of Power Rangers series:
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996)
- Power Rangers Zeo (1996)
- Power Rangers Turbo (1997)
- Power Rangers In Space (1998)
- Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999)
- Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
- Power Rangers Time Force (2001)
- Power Rangers Wild Force (2002)
- Power Rangers Ninja Storm (2003)
- Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004)
- Power Rangers SPD (2005)
- Power Rangers Mystic Force (2006)
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (2007)
- Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008)
- Power Rangers RPM (2009)