Friday, June 5, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie

Even though the website What REALLY Happened - the first MMPR Movie is still online, I thought I'd also cover the behind the scenes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie. Still there are not a lot of fans that know about these things. For those who know all about Mariska Hargitay as Dulcea, the rat monsters and the script, then this is not for you. I'll start by saying that the movie contained 100% American footage and no Japanese footage was used. For a new 'movie' look, they made new suits, heavy armor-looking ones and all the sets were re-designed. Each of the Power Rangers' new movie costumes weighed 40 pounds and the actors had to film sometimes as long as ten hours a day in their Power Ranger uniforms.

First off, the original plan was to have no black visors and silver mouth plates in order to see the actor's faces and eyes to emote emotion. Lots of footage was shot this way, this was later ditched. As you can see, the belts were different too, they were Ranger-colored. "The Power Rangers in Morphed Mode are not supposed to show emotion- they are supposed to be a powerful unforgiving fighting force. The dailies looked horrible- something was terribly wrong." ~ZordMaker.

Here is a picture of the original footage. Originally the Rangers fought Rat monsters that were later used in the show, Season 2 episodes "Return of the Green Ranger" three-parter. Rumor is that Saban loved them and thought they would be great. They were ditched when Director Bryan Spicer wisely informed him to get rid of them. Then the Oozemen were created and the footage had to be re-shot. Even when the rat monsters came out on the show, I remember thinking they were real lame.

There are deleted scenes that have not be released on DVD. Here is a picture from stuntwoman Sophia Crawford's website of a deleted scene. The teens were to train with Dulcea, this was in the original script. In the original script, they were to be visited by their animal spirits at night (they slept in ranger-color sleeping bags).

Also, Dulcea was suppose to have a little green anteater-like friend called Snoggle. He looked more like an elephant to me. He wasn't much, it is understandable why he was removed.

From the above link, this a rare picture of Dulcea's compound, which I would have love to seen but all of this footage was not used because it was shot with Mariska Hargitay...

Mariska Hargitay, who had substituted Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, who was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. When Fitzpatrick came back, they had no time to re-film this. When the crew thought that Hargitay didn't seem right for the role after filming her scenes, she was fired and Fitzpatrick had recovered from her operation.
Update 10/7/09: Better pictures

I remember all the hype when the movie was coming out, I read everything I could on it. I received promotional things from the fan club and magazine on it but I lost it through the passage of time unfortunately. I was excited to see episodes shot in Australia, as I knew they shot the movie in Australia. It was obvious when the Rangers couldn't shoot stuff for the show like the infamous mansion in "The Wedding" two-parter and how the Rangers walked around in areas that did not look like the usual stomping grounds in "Return of the Green Ranger."

To the left is Steven Cardenas at one of the movie premieres and it seems the movie gloves and boots were not available and he had to use the regular boots from the show. On ZordMaker's page, you can also see picture of the White Ranger's crotch area ripped as well. According to Henshin Vault: Stick and stones rented the movie suit molds to a company that was to mass-produced the suits for appearances and advertising of the film, worldwide. The makers of the tour suits cut a lot of corners and got away with replacing a lot of the armored parts with flexible foam sheets that came apart, off the base suit, easily. These were worn by the cast at the premiere.

Ah, Mordant. I like him for some reason. Not many fans thought much about it. But in the original script, he was to be a little creature and the Tengas were to carry him. Evidence for this is in the coloring book, with the Tengas carrying the large Mordant we know from the movie. In the script, promotional stuff and aforementioned coloring book (I lost), it was stated that he was Goldar's cousin and I was always took it as such. The voice actors for Baboo and Squatt recently mentioned in a fan interview that they were not approached to be in the movie and were disappointed that the characters were not in the movie. I think Mordant was created to in order to save money and merge three characters (including Finster) into one.

I personally believe the final result was pretty great considering all the mayhem behind the scenes but it wouldn't be Power Rangers without drama.

Related Topic: What REALLY Happened - the first MMPR Movie


Paul Matthews said...

Hey.. isnt it cool that people care about this stuff, gawd that was soo long ago. That old MMPR:TM site still lives here on the TS101 box, tailing off the standby DSL at the office. I occasionally notice the little light blinking.

Good to see some photos of the visorless rangers, I was on set for so much of that stuff but never had the time to stop and take some photos of that.

the (original) zordmaker..

Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember wath the Power Rangers the movie & Turbo Power Rangers 2 (unknowing the episode 0)on VHS and DVD. And the Blu-ray on future?
Off course, dont for got the two classic movie of Power Rangers in Blu-ray disc, meybee in the menu extra; the delected scene.