The story of the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show, known to some as “Saban Sailor Moon” or “Saban Moon”, is a long and fascinating tale in what could have been. Basically in 1994 there was a plan to make an American Sailor Moon show featuring a mix of live action and animated bits that was something like Power Rangers meets She-Ra. The whole history is long and complex, most of which can be inferred from this article which shows it to have been a project by Toon Makers’, Bandai and Renaissance Atlantic. I’d love to go on explaining this at length but I will leave that for another time. All that has been available of this to date has been this short clip which played at a convention years ago… until now!
Cels used in the original pilot episode of this show have surfaced on ebay, which constitute by far the best quality images of this show that have been found online to date. You can easily find the remaining cels by searching for “toon makers sailor moon” on ebay. I’ve purchased a number of these cels and once I receive them I’ll be sure to share better pictures with all of you. Interestingly enough a lot of these cels are from scenes not seen in the short clip which has been made available online.
Most notable in these auctions are an auction (sold) for a cel of Sailor Moon which also includes a cel of her weird vehicle now known to be the “Sky Flyer” and a script for a segment of animation which seems to be from the first episode. I’ll transcribe that at a later time.
There’s also this auction for a cel of Sailor Moon’s transformation which also comes with a number of sketches of that sequence. This auction is currently still available for $499.99.
Here is an auction (sold) for cels of face shots of all of the Sailor Soldiers, now called Princess Warriors, as well as pencil sketches to go along with them.
There are also many, many, many auctions for cels of Luna, who is now a white cat, as well as one of Sailor Moon on her Sky Flyer. These single cels are all $99.99.
A lot of new things can be learned just from the postings of these items, mostly from the script itself. We learn of the name of the Sky Flyer, the name “Princess Warriors”, we see that Darian (Tuxedo Mask) was to be in it as well as Queen Beryl and that the girls will transform with “Jewels of Power”. It should also be noted that some of the sheets including information about the animation have the name “Rugrats” crossed off.
These cels aren’t cheap, and it remains to be seen if any of these might be reposted at lower prices if they don’t sell well. For now the seller has been adding more of these cels occasionally so it would be best to keep an eye out for them, I know I will. Though not part of a show that ever made it to air these products are a weird and truly rare part of Sailor Moon history that reminds us of a step to the path which ultimately gave us the Sailor Moon dub we all know and (some of us) love.
Thanks to Cutiebunny from the Sailor Moon forums for finding these.
If you haven’t watched it yet, here’s the video of the show:
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To be honest, I am glad they didn’t do teh go ahead on this. Reason being it felt like a bad a mean really bad left ver of Kid Video and Saved by the bell thrown togther and mixed on high with a bit of rittalin thrown in for ctrl. It just really seemed like a bad idea. Even now looking at that video it’s just I’m sorry bad. Somethings should just stay japanese Sailor Moon being one them.
Wow, this is actually worse than when I put the original video in HD: http://youtu.be/H3scSHk4h2g I really hate to say this, but the make-up they chose for Sailor Jupiter makes her look like a racial stereotype. I’m sure that’s not what they meant to do at all, but it looks really bad.
“Wow, this is actually worse than when I put the original video in HD”
In the end you really can’t say the video is “original” since nobody has gone behind the same shaky hand-cam footage we have today. It’s just one of those things that may never be found in it’s original form unless someone who was involved in the projection bothers to come out with it somehow. The footage embedded here came from a different camera at the convention and I enjoyed this more despite the darker lighting simply for having been shot on a tripod and the audience chatter is a bit more muted, but obviously not out entirely. Trust me, if you were shown something only once in your live, you’d be lucky just having a camera at all (these days it would be a crappy iPhone type video I’m sure in place of whatever format was used back in the 90’s like 8mm.
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You want to know something weird? Even though I think this concept was horrible, I still saw some potential in it sorta…
The Anime Sailor Moon is basically set in the present right?
So what if The American version was like an alternate universe where the whole bit with everyone losing their lives and then having to be reborn, never happened? They’re just still fighting for good in the silver millennium as opposite to in the present day. It would basically be like the best animated Fanfic cartoon ever.
The ways it could had been good:
1)Lose the live action aspect. have it be fully animated only.
2)Having diversity is okay, but I would had rather that they stuck closer to the oringal designs… for diversity have the outer be brought in earlier than they did in the anime. Then
We could have this–Pluto would be obviously be black, Neptune a French-European type, Saturn a Chinese girl, Uranus… (???). Rei is very obviously Japanese too.. .so there’s that.
But how to have that and still stick to the oringal look? Well, we could do it like they did for the Japanese live action… have everyone look their normal ethnicity in untransformed forms but then transform into the oringal designs.
3)Lose the sailboats. We already have the space navy analogy with the ships in space…. so I don’t think anybody is going to be confused over why they’re called Sailor Warriors when they have a Sailor uniform and belong to a space navy of sorts. Although I also like the idea of “Princess Warriors” too.
4)Instead of Queen Beryl being a Sailor Galaxia wannabe, why not have the story kind of remain true to the source material? Instead of Beryl swooping down on the moon kingdom and killing them outright at first and forcing the Moon Queen to do a reset…. we instead focus on what life’s like in the silver millennium. with Beryl wanting to conquer all the planets. Or just killing off all the Colony planets outright if she doesn’t get her way. the story would be a epic war story, with every episode focusing heavily on what life on those planets were like for our planetary princesses (and prince). Heck, if it was done right it could end up being like a canon per-sequel version to the anime itself. The end of the series could end with people celebrating on the moon, thinking that they won against Beryl in a long brutal war that finally ended…. only for Beryl to make a surprise appearance, killing everyone off. Just when the viewers thought this was the most downer ending ever, The Queen Serenity uses her silver crystal to do a reset, causing everyone to be born into the present day.
Which of course would then lead into the oringal Japanese anime, Sailor Moon.
Come on, that could had been so interesting! But of course those people didn’t do it right, and turned this into an total farce.
1. I agree. Having live-action interspersed with animation would just make it silly. I mean, some cartoons had live intros (e.g. the Back to the Future cartoon and Jackie Chan Adventures, though they dropped these from the latter fairly quickly), but they didn’t distract from the bulk of the show.
2. How about Uranus being Russian? Seeing as your ideas don’t stray too much from the original characters, Haruka does have the look, I think.
3. I think, more than the whole “Sailor” thing, they just wanted a larger toyline to go with those flying windsurfboards. xD
4. I guess there’s a bit of what you said on the script, but I’m not sure if it could be used to tie into the original. I mean, they’re so dissimilar, it’s like one was the “Ultimate” to the other, if you know what I mean. One thing I ended up thinking, though, is if both universes crossed over, kinda as if the Queen Beryl of this ‘verse tried to transcend with her domination plans, so she’d figure that asserting her rule over all other realities would make her the undisputed queen of the universe or something. She’d think she could also take down the Princess Warriors like this, but the Sailor Senshi would stand in her way and, ultimately, both teams would band together to fight her off. But I don’t know, that’s the same mentality I usually have when I think of Super Sentai and Power Rangers crossovers, so I may be getting unoriginal at least with myself.