What ever happened to Shuki Levy?
The 'Power Rangers' co-creator worked behind the scenes on popular TV shows in the 1980s and '90s. So what's he up to now?
You've heard Shuki Levy's work even if you've never heard of Shuki Levy.
The music producer, a native of Israel, has written more than 100 TV theme songs – including those from some of our favorite cartoons growing up. "He-Man," "She-Ra," "Dragon Quest" – those were all Levy's handiwork. Levy wrote the ridiculously hummable theme song to "Inspector Gadget" in the car while driving to the studio.
He's also the co-creator of the inimitable "Power Rangers" franchise. The show has been on TV, in some form or another, for 23 seasons. Later this month, Lionsgate will be releasing a highly-anticipated "Power Rangers" reboot starring Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. "I think it's exciting, because they're reviving the whole original story from the very, very beginning," he told From The Grapevine. "I think that it's a fantastic idea to go back to reintroducing the story and go for a new generation of fans."
He compared the endurance of the "Power Rangers" to that of "The Simpsons" because there's always new viewers coming into the fold. "The same elements that made it a success to start with will always bring in new viewers because it's a different kind of show," he explained. "It's very powerful, it's full of action and I think it's a good formula."
So what's the 69-year-old Israeli-American up to now?
"I'm working on a couple of projects, a couple of animated shows that I'm developing and an animated movie that I'm in the rough stages of writing actually." Animation, it seems, has always been Levy's bailiwick. "I find it easier because you can let your imagination go. There's less limitations to what you can do."
He also runs the Levy Foundation together with his wife Tori, a popular food blogger and cookbook author. The non-profit is committed to supporting educational endeavors and building bridges of understanding between people from all backgrounds. "We mainly focus on children and families," he told us. In addition, the foundation is involved with building a museum and visitors' center in Jerusalem to house the archives of Albert Einstein.
His foundation is also playing a role in a new film he's cooking up. "Even this animated movie that I'm writing right now, it's going to be with the involvement of the foundation and it has to do with saving the elephants of the world."
Whether it's through his work in cartoons or with the foundation, it seems Levy is always motivated by the next generation. "What I like about doing projects with children is you really get the real, true reaction," he explained. "There's no politics involved when you produce something for children. If it's good and they feel it, they react to it. There's something very pure and very organic about it that excites me."
When asked to predict where he sees himself in five years, he said he hopes to be doing similar work. "Always writing, composing for children, and doing whatever we can through the foundation to spread positive energy out there and educate children to do the right thing."
One thing's for certain: whatever he tackles next we're sure it'll stick with us for a long time. Whether it's the theme song for "Inspector Gadget" or the "Power Rangers" franchise, Levy's work has stood the test of time. While researching this article, we came across some work from the earlier part of his career, when he was one half of a 1970s folk duo called Shuki and Aviva. Their songs – popular throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia – were translated into multiple languages. They received international acclaim and sold millions of albums.
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