Film: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie aka: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
It's Morphin' Time!
The Movie adaptation of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, released between the show's second and third seasons and given a big budget treatment. It doesn't fit into the continuity of the series; the events of the film are replaced in the third season. The Rangers, villains, and Command Center are all radically different, accounting for where the movie's budget went to. In particular, the Rangers have a Powered Armor appearance and the special effects were a far cry from the series.The plot: Rita and Zedd release another Sealed Evil in a Can, a Shapeshifting glob known as Ivan Ooze, with the hope he will become a new minion. Unfortunately, he proves that there is a very good reason he was sealed away. Trapping Zedd and Rita in a snowglobe, crippling the Rangers' Command Center, and destroying their powers, he sets out to rebuild monstrous creatures that he began years ago. The Rangers depart for the planet Phaedos to find "The Great Power" to re-energize themselves and return to stop Ooze.In August 2014, there was an announcement about a 2016 reboot. No definite details were given.
This film provides examples of:
Action Girl: Dulcea, the tall, fit master warrior of Phaedos who defeated a flock of mooks and pinned Tommy with her staff effortlessly. Aisha and Kimberly also count, kicking nearly as much ass as the other rangers.
The Artifact: Much like the series, the suits remain the same even after switching to a completely different set of powers. Although at least in the movie, the chest pieces displaying their animal switch from dinosaurs/mythological creatures to the ninja animals.
Big Good: Almost nowhere else in the franchise has Zordon been as revered as the epitome of all that is good. Ooze visibly rages after hearing his name and Dulcea only helps the Rangers when she learns that Zordon is in trouble. The only season that came as close was Power Rangers in Space.
Billy: You ooze, you lose! Billy: Talk about a splitting headache! Tommy: Eight ball, corner pocket! Aisha: Kiss and make up! Kimberly: Have a nice trip... See you next Fall. Kimberly: Let's rock his world.
Pretty explicitly used, with such dramatic a departure in visual style from the series it's almost like seeing a completely different product altogether but the core actors were the same, and the Ranger costumes and non-human characters are instantly identifiable (although Zedd and Rita lack most of their series minions and have a brand new one). It can be assumed that the general story of the series effectively forms the backstory to this film.
The opening text scroll does mention that Zordon recruited 6 teens, which would imply that unlike the show Tommy was always part of team but that might been done for simplicity sake.
Brought Down to Normal: The Rangers lose their powers when Ivan attacks the Command Center and leaves Zordon near-death, and a significant portion of the plot involves them finding a way to get them back so they can stop him.
California Doubling: The series was filmed and set in California, while the movie was filmed in Australia. The movie actually looks rather good for its budget, and some industry analysts have suggested it helped promote the use of Australia as a cheap filming location.
Call Back: When Kimberly finally boards her new Zord.
Mordant. According to an early draft, he is Goldar's second cousin, three times removed on his mother's side, visiting for the summer, but this was written out for the final draft.
Also Fred, who was plainly added for Kid Appeal. Ivan Ooze and Dulcea weren't in the show either, but at least had explanations for why they were making their first (and only) appearances here. Fred was treated as someone who had always been part of the cast.
This movie marked the first mention of Zordon being from the planet Eltar, which was later stated in the TV series. Word of God states this bit of information was always in the TV series bible. The movie just happened to be the first time it was ever stated on-screen.
In an odd case, the Metallic Armor used in the show's third season was loosely based on the movie's merchandise, which gave all the Ranger figures a chrome-like shiny coating.
Continuity Nod: Alpha mentions that nobody can get into the Command Center without a Power Coin, a plot point first mentioned in the "Green With Evil" five-parter. Ivan Ooze, of course, disagrees. note *** In keeping with the different continuity in the show no one gets in undetected without a power coin. In the movie no one gets in without a power coin. Period. Except Ivan Ooze. He didn't need to worry about that, and just slid through cracks in the door.
We couldn't get a cab, 'cause we ain't got no money! We missed the last train but we thought... We'd get the night bus but the night bus never came! We'd almost gone home and it started to... * thunderclap*
Damsel in Distress: Kimberly twice. The first time was when a zombie mastodon cornered her and Tommy came in. This one is justified due to being Brought Down to Normal (Kim is a natural gymnast, not a martial artist) and even Tommy had trouble with it. The second time was when her new Zord was trapped in Ooze's "electro magnetic zekze lock" but she used her thrusters to get out of that one. Aisha also seemed to suffer from this, screaming for help while being chased by the mastodon skeleton and again when being attacked by the guardians of the great power.
Darker and Edgier: This movie is significantly more serious then its parent series. They mention several times the possibility that people could die, including Zordon and the group of brainwashed parents. Kids are also seen at a Rave of some sort (including Bulk and Skull), smearing themselves with Ivan's Ooze and implying it to be some sort of delinquent party. There is even a news broadcast reporting on the destruction being caused by Ooze's monsters.
Reporter: The mayor has declared a state of emergency...
The Day The Music Lied: As The Team morphs for the first time in the film, we are treated to a pumped-up version of the theme song and obligatory posing, after which it is revealed that the bad guys have fled the scene during all the buildup. Even the post-reveal guitar riff sounds disappointed.
Despair Event Horizon: Zordon crosses it, after Ivan Ooze destroys the Command Center. He flat out tells the Rangers Ivan Ooze is victorious and there's nothing they can do; it's Alpha-5 that sets them out on their quest to find a new source of power.
Disney Death: Zordon. Near the end of the film, while Ivan Ooze causes damage on the Earth and the Power Rangers are returning with their new-found powers, Zordon tells Alpha, "Keep trying..." before breathing his last on the news anchorwoman's words, "Where are the Power Rangers?" When they return to the ruined Command Center after destroying Ooze, they hear from Alpha that they are too late, and they see Zordon's pale body lying on the broken pillar. Fortunately, with all their powers combined by concentration, the Command Center is restored by their World-Healing Wave, and he is brought Back from the Dead, restored as an entity once more.
The Dreaded: As Ivan's introduction includes "globally feared" and he refers to himself as "the boogeyman".
Dug Too Deep: The unveil of Ooze's egg is during a deep construction sight.
Evil Laugh: Ivan Ooze performs one after declaring "WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE!"
Evil Is Not a Toy / Eviler than Thou: A complex example. Ooze is genuinely grateful for being freed and asks Zedd "How can I ever repay you?" Zedd tells him to destroy Zordon, which he does. However, this was a one-time favor. When Zedd continues to treat Ooze as a minion, it doesn't go so well.
"The Boogeyman is taking over."
A Father to Us All: Kimberly said this to Zordon-"Ever since you came into our lives you've been like a father to us all".
Evil Plan: Zed plans to use Ooze to end his war with Zordon. Ooze hijacks that plan into his own for conquest.
"Hey, You!" Haymaker: Averted. Fred found his dad at the construction site and tries to get his attention, when Goldar appears shouting "Hey you!". He thought he's been spotted, until... "Get back to work!" to another hypnotized parent.
I Want My Mommy: Skull screams this when he and Bulk skydive out of a plane in the beginning of the movie.
Kid-Appeal Character: It's obvious Fred was put in the movie and given his own subplot for exactly this purpose.
Large Ham: Ivan Ooze is loud and passionate presence. Expect him to steal every scene he's in.
Laughably Evil: Ivan Ooze is one of the most entertaining Power Rangers villains; he is clearly evil but just enjoys himself so much. He even has some of the most memorable lines of the entire franchise.
Inverted with Aisha, who was wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants. Poor Karan Ashley mentioned in an interview that she came very close to developing heatstroke more than once in the Australian summer heat.
The Ranger morphed forms have wildly different weapons and modes they can switch into, the Red Rangers' scanning visor, the Yellow Rangers' headlights, Pink Rangers' "thunderwhip" and the Blue Rangers' zip line.
No Immortal Inertia: Zordon begins aging "at an accelerated rate" when Ivan breaks open the time-warp capsule. Later on, Dulcea tells the Rangers that she too will age rapidly if she leaves her domain on the planet Phaedos.
Non-Serial Movie: Despite being based off the popular Power Rangers franchise, and sharing the same cast, the movie isn't part of the show's continuity - Season 3 started off with a similar story arc to the plot of the movie.
Nubile Savage: Dulcea. There was a little bit of outrage over the outfit, while it shows a lot of skin it wasn't too provocative (a skirt made of wide strips of fabric and a top that didn't show much cleavage), but a publicity photo showing her pinning Tommy to the ground had a Male Gaze-ish angle and made it look worse than it was.
Goldar and Mordant at the end of the movie, when Rita and Zedd return, and he's just declared himself "King Goldar".
One-Winged Angel: What Ooze does at the end, he merges with his own monster and mutates it into a giant robotic version of himself.
Opening Monologue: The film opens with a block of scrolling text with Dulcea reading it in voiceover. This explains Zordon's backstory and the formation of the Power Rangers briefly. The fact that it is read so straight is hilarious.
Our Dragons Are Different: Upon arriving on Phaedos, the teens quickly discover the remains of an alien which failed to retrieve the great power. Although mostly humanoid, it had a very draconic skull, and its headset communicator was still intact even though the rest of the body was a skeleton.
Parents in Distress: The subplot involving Fred, Bulk, and Skull has a large number of mind controlled parents commanded to "leap to your doom".
Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Ivan Ooze takes control of the minds of Angel Grove's adults, who are then commanded to "leap to their doom" into a massive hole on a construction site. Bulk and Skull rally the kids to save the adults as the Rangers battle Ooze, with one of the kids holding them back with a water cannon, but it's not until Ooze's demise that his spell is broken and the adults are returned to normal.
Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: When Ivan first meets the Rangers, he remarks that Zordon is "still using a bunch of kids to do his dirty work"; apparently, Zordon has been recruiting teenagers to his cause for the past 6000 years.
Remember the New Guy: Mordant is a new minion that no one remarks on. The Manual has more information.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here! / Shoo Out the Clowns: Mordant is terrified of the Ecto-Morphicons once they're activated and doesn't join Ivan and Goldar in watching them attack the city. Once Ivan combines with Hornitor, Goldar flies back to the moon. Neither of them are seen again until the post-credits sequence.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The shapeshifting Ivan Ooze had been trapped underground for 6,000 years until his containment chamber was accidentally unearthed by a construction crew and later opened by Lord Zedd.
Slime Snails And Mutant Tails: Ivan Ooze has some of this appeal, and his plan to sell kids tubs of purple gunk doesn't make any sense unless you remember the decade's love for this sort of thing. (Remember, Nickelodeon in the 90's based their whole business around slime.)
The Starscream: Played for laughs near the end of the film: with Ooze gone, Goldar thinks it's time to take over as the Big Bad, but that's just when Rita and Zedd come back...
Take That: A trope rarely used in Power Rangers. When Ivan Ooze laments the terrible things he missed while he was blowing up the command center and Zordon with it, the three things he mentions are "The Black Plague," "The Spanish Inquisition," and "TheBrady BunchReunion!""
Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted twice. The first time the Rangers morph, they get to do the whole routine because the Oozemen take the opportunity to run away. When they suit up as Ninjetti, one of the rock-monsters hurls a spear at Aisha right at the end of the role call. "The Bear - WHOA!"
Too Dumb to Live: Bulk and Skull during the skydiving scene. Kimberly has to remind them that it's a good idea to skydive with parachutes.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Saba, Tommy's sword in the series, makes a brief appearance to finish off the last of the Ooze-men. After Ivan trashed the Command Center, though, he vanished along with the rest of the Rangers' powers. Whether or not Saba made the transition with the acquisition of the ninja powers (as did the suits and as happened in the series) was not revealed. Zordon's words seem to imply that when the Rangers lost their powers, Saba disintegrated along with all the other weapons.
You Have Failed Me: Ooze disintegrates his bird Mooks after they fail to stop the Power Rangers from going towards the Great Power and report back to him about this.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After brain-controlling all of the children's parents in the city finish building his weapons of mass destruction Ivan then sends the parents to leap off a cliff to their doom.
Your Size May Vary: Interestingly, the Zords in the movie are scaled down considerably from the series. Whereas in the show the monster and Megazords are taller than most of the buildings, the Ninja Megazord here couldn't be more than about 10-12 stories tall (individual zords were only about 3 stories tall). This is due to the fact that much of the filming for the CGI was in real locations and not just a model set on a sound stage, the Falconzord especially wouldn't be able to fly between the buildings if it was any bigger. Though the tower Ooze uses as a weapon would have to shrink considerably for it to work the way it does.