Kotaku attempted to track down the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon pilot and stumbled upon another show which isn’t Sailor Moon at all

Team Angel - Group shot

Every once in a while some Sailor Moon related article gets enough mainstream attention that even people who aren’t into the show send it to me! This has been the case for the past few days with Kotaku’s article on the “Long-Lost American Sailor Moon”. What the article contains is a fairly in depth explanation of the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series, also known as “Saban Moon” to some fans, which culminates not in finding the actual Toon Makers’ pilot but instead something called “Team Angel” which is absolutely not Sailor Moon and at best loosely inspired by it.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon voice-over session script title

Most of the information contained in the article is information which was already known to some of the fan community. This is all about the clip which was shown at Anime Expo in 1995 which was a mix of live action and animated segments and would have been a Power Rangers style Americanized Sailor Moon. The author, Cecilia D’Anastasio, admits not to be being a Sailor Moon fan. The reader follows along with her attempt to find more about the clip. She does a good amount of investigative work which doesn’t lead to much but she presents it in a fairly compelling way. The article includes a mention of the voice over script which I bought back in 2012, back when this site was relatively new.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Sailor Mars

Also featured are some of the cels which ended up on eBay. I ended up buying a lot of these when they were sold and I’m glad I did as there aren’t many more sold after that original batch if my eBay saved searches are any indication! Images used in the article and video are mostly from the Moon Sisters web site which has a lot of information about the show. Some of those, including the up close head shots of the Sailor Guardians, are also in my personal collection. The Moon Sisters photos which made it in the video were from the original auction before I painstakingly removed the cels from the lined paper they were stuck to and got better photos of them.

Toon Makers Sailor Moon - Live action Luna

This cat was apparently heavily drugged and peed everywhere

One interesting new tidbit of information which I hadn’t seen before what that the white cat, who was actually Luna in this version, was so drugged that it kept peeing everywhere. Having a cat in a show isn’t as easy as having a dog! As many cat owners probably know bringing a cat to a new environment or to encounter new people usually results in a frightened hiding cat. TV cats usually have a calm temperament or are heavily drugged!

The author tracks down Rocky Solotoff who mostly gives us information we knew before and puts her in touch with Frank Ward who, after many dramatic interactions, may not ever have actually been involved with the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon pilot. Either Rocky Solotoff misremembers Frank Ward’s involvement in the project or Frank Ward simply doesn’t remember working on it. Some 24 years later neither would be all that surprising. The 17 minute Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon pilot, it would seem, is still lost and may never be recovered. What is it that was finally found? What is the big reveal of this article? You can see the clip embedded below.

Team Angel - Stars

I don’t feel that the video’s title “Lost American Sailor Moon – Team Angel” is terribly accurate. This is a couple minutes long clip pitching a show called Team Angel. There is certainly something which could be said to be Sailor Moon inspired about this show but it is not well demonstrated that this is “American Sailor Moon”. There’s a group of girls who transform to be superheroes but that’s about it. It was made in 1998, years after Sailor Moon had already aired in English here in North America and in the same year that Sailor Moon started to air on Cartoon Network. I see Sailor Moon as an influence but also Power Rangers, Spice Girls, Xena and probably a bunch of other things.

Team Angel - Around a fountain

The fact that this is a girl team doesn’t need to be Sailor Moon inspired. This was 1998 when the term “Girl Power” permeated popular culture. The Spice Girls were at the height of their popularity and I think this shows in the show as well. Xena Warrior Princess was a hit show which could easily explain the greek style costumes from the beginning of this clip. The Charlie’s Angels movie was only a couple of years away. I’d say a girl power show like this is more reflective of what was going on 20 years ago than it would today.

Team Angel - Transformation - Nails

Certainly some of the transformation sequence look Sailor Moonish. The greek goddesses style somewhat matches what the Sailor Guardians looked like in Silver Millennium though I don’t think this resemblance is likely to be intended. Knowing that this was done by people who were involved with the Toon Makers Sailor Moon version suggests those similarities are more than a coincidence but if they weren’t I wouldn’t assume a connection. To me claiming that this is a Sailor Moon show is a bit of a stretch. An exaggeration to make this discovery fit with the narrative of the article when ultimately it seems to simply be an unrelated show pitch which loosely fit the description which Frank Ward was given. It seems like the idea of the article was to reveal the actual footage of the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show and when they got something else rather than just scrap it, they tried to make it fit. Kotaku tried to put a square peg in a round hole and judging by the article’s popularity, they did a decent job of making it fit.

Team Angel - Not Chris Pratt

This is not Chris Pratt

Another fun thing I noticed in this trailer was this guy who looks a lot like Chris Pratt. The similarity was so striking that I had to see what he looked like in 1998! Sadly it doesn’t appear to be him as the actor in this scene has detached earlobes while Chris Pratt’s are attached.

Team Angel - Transformation - Headband

What do you think? Does Team Angel look like Sailor Moon to you?

Keep reading for more images of this clip. Do you recognize any of the actresses?

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“Saban Moon” Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon panel planned for Anime Expo on July 6th

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Sailor Moon

There’s a lot going on next weekend at Anime Expo in Los Angeles and I’ve just learned of a “Saban Moon” panel, all about the planned North American Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series. The series, both live action and animated, is seen as a mix of Power Rangers and She-Ra. The pilot was never picked up. As you can see from the photos it looked very little like the original Japanese show. As of now we only have this brief description of the panel:

Saban Moon: The ‘other’ Sailor Moon

DATE & TIME Jul 6th at 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM

In honor of the upcoming Sailor Moon remake, Antibishonen will discuss about the ‘other’ Sailor Moon that was almost created!

The panel will be held Sunday July 6th 10am by Antibishonen.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Tuxedo Mask

It seems fitting that this panel take place at Anime Expo, as it was at this same convention in 1998 where the clip of the series was shared with fans. A couple of years ago a lot of cels from the series were sold on eBay. I managed to pick up a number of them, photos of which can be found in this gallery, as well as the voice over script of the pilot.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Luna

There’s a lot going on at Anime Expo next weekend, July 3rd to the 6th, which will coincide with the airing of the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. We’ve posted about these events before. As a quick recap there will be the unveiling of the new cast and airing of the first episode of the new Sailor Moon dub by Viz, appearances by a ton of voice actors from the original dub of the Sailor Moon anime, panels by Viz and an appearance by Jennifer Cihi, singer for many songs from the original dub. This convention is sure to have a ton to offer for Sailor Moon fans!

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Sailor Mercury

Thanks to Samantha for letting me know about this panel. Keep reading for more photos of cels from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show.

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Sailor Moon’s Moon Cycle toy now available in FarmVille

Sailor Moon Moon Cycle toy - FarmVille Mooncycle

A new toy has appeared in FarmVille. It’s called the “Mooncycle” and it has a rabbit riding it. It looks identical to a North American Sailor Moon toy called the “Moon Cycle”. What a strange reference…

Mooncycle FarmVille Sailor Moon reference

The rabbit riding the Mooncycle is likely a reference to Sailor Moon’s character Usagi who’s name literally means rabbit. The Moon Cycle never made an appearance in the Sailor Moon anime or manga. It’s existance as a toy always confused fans. Looking at the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon pilot we can see some similarities between the design of the Moon Cycle and some of the vehicles used in that show such as Sailor Moon’s Sky Flyer.

Sailor Moon and Luna on her Sky Flyer

This appears to be a decoration and as I understand it this toy will only be available for a limited time. Looks like you can only buy it with FarmVille money meaning you need to spend real money to get it, it’s not something you buy with in game currency. Although I don’t play FarmVille someone did make a farm on my account so here’s my farm showing the item for sale for 7 FVs:

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First look at Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon’s space ship and other cels with backgrounds

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Sailor Moon's Galleon

Every day we’re seeing more and more cels from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon pilot being sold on ebay. Today we get our first look at cels that come with hand painted backgrounds which give us a great look at what this show would have looked like. The Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show, sometimes called Saban Moon or Fox Kids Sailor Moon, was a pilot for a Sailor Moon show that mixed live action footage and western animation. Luckily for fans in the west we got the Dic dub instead but these cels are a great close up look at what this show may have looked like if Sailor Moon history had been much different.

The main new thing we see in this set of cels is Sailor Moon’s space ship referred to in the script which we had an exclusive first look at, as the Galleon. This ship appears to be destroyed by Queen Beryl’s own ship the Dark Galleon in the clip of the show we’ve seen. Galleon is a term generally used to describe very large multi decked ocean faring ship from the 16th to 18th century. This auction of a cel of the Galleon comes with a background of space and stars. It, like the other auctions from this seller, are not “Buy it now” so we’ll have to wait a week to see who ends up buying this one. You of course should not bid so that I can win them all real cheap…

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Sailor Mars on her Sky Flyer

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Tuxedo Mask’s face and Mercury’s wheel chair from Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Darian, Tuxedo Mask (Saban Moon)

More and more auctions for cels from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series have been popping up on eBay. I just wanted to share a few that stood out. The Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series, known as Saban Moon or Fox Kids Sailor Moon, was a concept for a show, only ever developed as a pilot, which combined live action footage and North American animation.

Most notable in the new cels is that we can finally see the face of Darian, also known as Tuxedo Mask. This version of Darian is not decked out in a Tuxedo and Mask, something he may or may not eventually do. Many have remarked his similarity to a Disney Prince. His way of dressing is pretty ridiculous, but based on the voice-over script which we posted a transcript of, this is likely Darian from the past, before the “Princess Warriors” went to Earth to live as normal girls. I believe in his later appearances he would be dressed in a Tuxedo and Mask, but no images of that have been seen to date.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon - Sailor Mercury's wheel chair (Saban Moon)

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Complete Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon voice-over script

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon voice-over session script title

Here’s a Sailor Moon News exclusive first look at the full script for the animated segments of the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon series pilot. This concept of a show, which never made it past the pilot stage, was a mix of live action and North American animation. It’s often referred to as Saban Moon, Saban Sailor Moon or Fox Kids Sailor Moon. This script is for a voice-over session scheduled for May 11th 1994. The project was referred to as ‘Project “Y”‘ possibly to hide the specifics of this being about Sailor Moon, which seems futile as the name is all over the script.

This script was included in an eBay auction which I won along with a couple of cels from the series. Photographs of 8 of the pages of the script were included in the auction listing though 14 were included in the full document.

As this is a voice-over script it mostly covers animated segments but also voice overs for the live action footage. There is a big hole in the story between pages 7 and 8. This is because this portion would be filled with live action footage which would not require a voice-over. What specifically happens during this time isn’t clear but a large amount of time appears to have passed and all of a sudden all characters have begun acting like Earth teenagers when the originally had not been. The final two pages of the script included the “voice-over for live action”. This is mostly Luna’s lines. I inserted these two pages in the gap between pages 7 and 8 so that the narrative remained in order. It’s unclear how much time passed between each of Luna’s lines though individually numbered lines likely occurred as one piece of dialog. The lines may all have occurred within a single scene or throughout the entire episode for all we can tell.

Below you will find a complete transcription of the entire script. I have made an effort to preserve all formatting where applicable, which includes only two words that are lower case and a single italicized line. I will include scans of all 14 pages below this transcription. A number of hand written modifications to the original script occurred. I have only transcribed the original script. See the scans for all of the hand written details.

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Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon’s Queen Beryl, Tuxedo Mask and … Rhett Butler?

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel - Queen Beryl (Saban Moon)

More and more cels from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show (known to many as Saban Moon) have been popping up on ebay giving us a look at many previously unseen characters. Now we’ve got a look at Queen Beryl, Tuxedo Mask and a monster which looks suspiciously like the monster that fat alley cat and Rainbow Crystal holder Rhett Butler turned into.

Queen Beryl looks just weird. She doesn’t look human, though the original Queen Beryl has no non human features. Her skin is blue, which is just bizarre. Her shoulders are excessive and she just looks angry! Many auctions for cels like this one are selling for $99.99.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel - Darian, Tuxedo Mask, giving Sailor Moon her Star Pendant (Saban Moon)

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Queen Beryl’s ship The Dark Galleon and more Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon cels

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel - Queen Beryl's ship The Dark Galleon

A lot more new cels from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show have surfaced on ebay. This show which was only ever made into a single episode pilot and has only been seen in this short clip, is infamous amongst fans.

We now have a great look at Queen Beryl’s ship from the Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon show. Ever know Queen Beryl was in the show? Ever know she had a ship? It can be seen in this Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon cel auction. Here we have a look at “The Dark Galleon” which is Queen Beryl’s nasty looking ship previously seen only briefly in the online clip when it shoots a laser at another ship, destroying it. We know this name because in the script we talked about yesterday the Dark Galleon was mentioned as being Queen Beryl’s ship (it’s on page 3…).

SUDDENLY THE DARK GALLEON OF QUEEN BERYL APPEARED ON THE HORIZON AS HER FORCES DESCENDED ON THE GATHERING IN A BRUTAL ASSAULT.

What a cool looking ship! One sketch included in this auction even mentions “CHANGE ALL HEADS TO THIS”. What heads? Maybe there were other sketches with different or no heads? Maybe some other object has … multiple heads? Who knows! The auction also comes with other cels and refers to the show as “Project Y”, a name that also appeared on the script.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel - Queen Beryl's ship The Dark Galleon - "Change all heads to this"

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Toon Makers’ Sailor Moon cels surface on ebay

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel

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.

Toon Makers' Sailor Moon cel - Sailor Moon on her Sky Flyer

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