The sci-fi series Power Rangers has been going strong for nearly 30 years, with no signs of slowing down. Rose McIver, a former Yellow Ranger, says that the long-running franchise remains distinctive for its effects in the face of the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“When people shoot these big Marvel movies and things, it’s people covered in dots and in green suits or in black suits or whatever,” McIver tells Collider. “This was literally somebody chucks on giant rubber head and fights in the New Zealand sun and humidity on a beach down the street from where I grew up. It was just such a uniquely practical show.”
Indeed, while Power Rangers may have gone through many iterations over the years, there’s been a steadfast reliance on using prosthetics and suits for the special effects. A tad hammy looking? Yes, but nonetheless a practice that’s become rare in English-speaking productions. “It’s not as much in post-production as you would imagine,” McIver adds. “It’s really putting on giant costumes. It kind of feels very theatrical.”
McIver played Summer Landsdown in 2009’s Power Rangers RPM, the 17th consecutive show in the franchise. Currently, we’re on a second season of Power Rangers: Dino Fury, the 28th iteration, and as you can tell by the video below, monsters being people in suits against multi-coloured rangers is still the modus operandi.
Everything has its place, though, and the scale and spectacle of the MCU is something to be admired. Hard to imagine any Power Rangers hosting the city-folding powers of Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and or the multiverse in Doctor Strange 2, for instance.
Alas, almost 30 instalments in, and some three times the length of the MCU, maybe Power Rangers has something to teach other properties about going the distance. And with Netflix working on a Power Rangers universe, its best days might still be ahead.