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Sailor Moon, was originally intended to debut in North America as a live action and cartoon show with a completely different story line to that of the Japanese anime franchise. It is also mistakenly known as Saban Moon.

North American animation company Toon Makers, in the early 1990s, teamed up with Power Rangers producers Renaissance Atlantic, and pitched a series to the FOX network, to make a completely different "Americanized" version of the successful Japanese franchise Sailor Moon.

The project would show both the animation work of Toon Makers, and live-action productions of Renaissance Atlantic. The project was ultimately canned, and not much is spoken or known about it, except very few storyboard arts, and a very obscure two minute promotional video from a private anime expo in the late 1990s that goes more in depth and shows generally what the project would have entailed. The promotional video is infamous online, and brought exposure to the project. Many fans incorrectly call the project "Saban Moon", as the live action scenes which were shot by Renaissance Atlantic, also do some work on Power Rangers. However Saban had nothing to do with this project.

Instead, Sailor Moon debuted in North America, dubbed in the English language.

History

In 1993, when Bandai was trying to get an English speaking company to dub Sailor Moon, Renaissance Atlantic and Toon Makers showed an interest to which Bandai originally agreed to work with. Rather than dubbing the series, they proposed a live-action project in which the story would have live-action actors on Earth, and character(s) would be in animation form in space, and on other respective planets. They had plans of having their version air on FOX in the fall of 1994. Airing alongside Mighty Morphin Power Rangers possibly. A pilot was filmed and edited, and supposedly three more episodes were in development. However for reasons unknown, this project was later scrapped and not approved by the network. Bandai ultimately decided to allow animation company DiC Entertainment, to dub the series in English. The Toon Makers and Renaissance Atlantic series was never completed or aired, although many fans wonder what could have came from it.[1] An unaired promotional music video which featured scenes from the series, was shown at a private anime expo in Los Angeles. Someone in the audience who was present at the panel, shot the footage with a camcorder, and it was later infamously shown online being named by fans as "Saban Moon", mistakenly believed to have been produced by Saban.

Plot

Despite its origins, the Toon Makers adaptation of Sailor Moon was almost completely different. Rather than the Senshi fighting on Earth, battles would be held in space on their home planets. Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity's relationship was no longer a forbidden romance, and they were instead betrothed, with Queen Beryl coming to destroy them at the wedding party and steal their jewels. The Senshi tried to escape with the prince by means of a vortex that led them down to Earth, only for him to be killed by Queen Beryl, leaving only Sailor Moon and the rest of the team able to escape. The main plot of the story was centered on the girls returning to space to prevent Queen Beryl and her minions from attacking the planet Jupiter.[2]

Characters

The original characters were depicted differently as well, one reason being that Toon Makers wanted to include a wider range of characters. Several of the girls were from different races with rewritten personalities; Sailor Mercury was a wheelchair-bound redhead who liked parties and showed airheaded tendencies. Sailor Venus was a Latina valley girl who would get angry if one of her nails broke, or, in one occasion, because they had to fight during a gathering that she wanted to attend. Sailor Jupiter was African American and frequently did comedic impressions, while Sailor Mars was the only member who retained her original Asian race. Sailor Moon was depicted as a smart, strong leader. When in space, the Senshi would travel on sailboards called "Sky Flyers", bar Mercury, who traveled on a rocket-powered wheel chair. The promotional video seems to confirm this.

Music Video

Toonmakers "Saban" Sailor Moon HQ03:45

Toonmakers "Saban" Sailor Moon HQ

The music video that was shown at Anime Expo 1995.

Toon Makers made a two minute music video for the promotion of their live action American remake, perhaps to be shown as a television bumper, commercial, or film preview. In the music video it shows the different Sailor Senshi, now called "Princess Warriors", and other characters such as Luna. The music video was a product of mixed media; When the Sailor Senshi were in their civilian forms, they were shown in live action, but were animated after transforming.

Alongside the pilot, the music video was never publicly shown in the media. However, Allen Hastings of Toon Makers, showed the video at a private computer animation panel at an Anime Expo in Los Angeles.[3]

The video which presumably was not meant to be shown to others outside of the panel, was shot with a camcorder by someone sitting in the audience. The video was later infamously brought online, and mistakenly titled as "Saban Moon", due to many similarities to Power Rangers, due to Renaissance Atlantic producing live-action scenes of the show.

The song that is in the video, is presumably the theme song to the series.

Who's that, look,
Flying higher than a bird
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!
She's got a life in the sky
And another here on Earth
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!

She's got her cat Luna
To give her advice
She's so fine
So stand by her side!

SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!

Sometimes she's a fun-loving
sixteen year old girl
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!
Sometimes she's a superhero
For the world
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!

She can get dressed up
And look so sweet
She morphs into a form
That can't be beat!

SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!

She's ready to fight
For all that she believes
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!
She's gonna stop evil forces
And save the galaxy
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!

She and her four friends
Stand by her dreams
They gonna fight crime
Again and again!
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!
SAILOR! SAILOR MOON!

Trivia

  • If the project went into fruition, this would have been the first live-action version of Sailor Moon, likewise being Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.
  • The promotional video shown at a private anime expo, which was shot offhand by a third party on a home video camera, brought exposure and controversy to this project, which was possibly to be forever known and seen only to television and animation producers. Due to unforeseen technology advances through the years such as social media, the video was later popularly seen.
  • The identity/source of the person who filmed the video is currently unknown. The clip was said to have started to gain popularity on newgrounds.com . Toon Makers never officially released or aired the raw video. Realistically, anything related to this project has been discovered under unofficial circumstances.
  • Storyboard arts and a partial script of the pilot were discovered in the early 2000s, after a Toon Makers employee's unpaid storage locker, was auctioned off.
  • Why the project featured both animation and live-action elements is still puzzling. One assumption is they could have possibly wanted to combine a teen drama show, with an action cartoon show, both of which genres were popular during this time in television.
  • The logo used in the official music video was later bought by DiC Entertainment, which was used for their dub of the original anime series.
  • In the Toon Makers version, Sailor Moon keeps the same name in both her Senshi and princess form.
  • Just like the DiC English dub, Mamoru was renamed Prince Darien.
  • Adrienne Barbeau was casted to play both Queen Beryl and Queen Serenity. She is so far currently the only confirmed and/or known cast member apart of this project.
    • However there are strong supporting rumors that Tami-Adrian George, was casted to play Sailor Jupiter.
  • Queen Beryl had a minon/ally called Ursus.
  • Several Sailor Moon fans refer to the music video as "Saban Moon" despite Saban Entertainment never having anything to do with it. However, this mistake is honest. Toon Makers teamed up with Power Rangers producers Renaissance Atlantic, to film this project.
  • In an interview with Animefringe, Rocky Sotoloff, the president and founder of Toon Makers, said that they tried to make the characters and animation more Americanized and they went for a Filmation art style because of the very low budget they had at the time. To this day, the people of Toon Makers are not pleased with how the animation turned out.
  • Staff members of Toon Makers claim a pilot was indeed filmed, in addition at least three more episodes of the project have been produced, in which scenes during the promotional video can support this.
  • There is currently a petition, albeit probably redundant, to get the pilot released online.[1]

External Links

References

  1. Sailor Moon à la Saban: Debunked - An Interview with Rocky Solotoff - Animefringe
  2. Complete Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon voice-over script - Sailor Moon News
  3. Sailor Moon à la Saban - Animefringe

Gallery

Toon makers sailor moon darian giving sailor moon her star pendant-1024x734
Darian giving Sailor Moon a star pendant
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A cel of Sailor Moon
Toon makers sailor moon sailor mercury
A cel of Sailor Mercury
Toon makers Queen Beryl
A cel of Queen Beryl
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Flyer-14
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Toon makers sailor moon darian tuxedo mask
A cel of Prince Endymion
Bakene-1
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