Like any true ’90s kid, I was a big-time fan of the Power Rangers TV show (I had a Pink Ranger/Kimberly Hart costume and all). And while her role was fun and empowering, I didn’t realize how much deeper my connection to the show was: Power Rangers was a fairly Jewy series.
To begin with, the franchise’s production company, Saban Entertainment, was helmed by Israeli-Americans (Haim Saban and Shuki Levy). With the new Power Rangers film coming out next month (directed by South African Dean Israelite), I did some research to uncover additional connections between the chosen teen superheroes and the chosen people.
The springboard for my investigation begins with the below clip from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the original TV series―well, not so original, given that Saban reused some existing footage from the Japanese show Super Sentai―that’s being rebooted with the upcoming movie. In a scene from the episode “The Wedding: Part III,” the Rangers’ nemeses Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa dance to “Hava Nagila” at their extraterrestrial wedding reception.
There’s also the fact that Bryan Cranston—who voiced Mighty Morphin’ villains Twinman and Snizard, and plays Zordon, the Rangers’ body-less mentor, in the new film—is half Jewish. Plus, scenes set at Zordon’s lair, aka the Rangers’ Command Center, were filmed on-location at the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of the American Jewish University in Simi Valley, California.
While we won’t know if and how Judaism plays a role in the reboot until it hits theaters on March 24, in the meantime, you could dust off your old Ranger costumes for Purim, which falls two weeks earlier. (Perhaps the most dedicated fans could even write a Power Rangers-themed Purim spiel.)
Zoe Miller is Tablet’s editorial intern. Follow her on Twitter here.