She morphs to a form, that can't be beat!
During the time Toei shopped the rights to the Sailor Moon
anime around in North America, it received a pitch from Toon Makers and Renaissance Atlantic (the same company that handled the adaptations of Super Sentai
into Power Rangers
for Saban Entertainment
). This pitch, dubbed "Saban Moon" by fans, turned out even less
faithful to the source material than the much-maligned American dub.
It also (obviously) never got picked up, so what little anyone knows about this pitch comes from a two-minute music video
that features footage from from a seventeen-minute pilot episode (which has never seen the light of day), an interview
with Rocky Solotoff, the pilot's director and producer, and several scripts
that turned up in late 2012. This version would have seen the civilian lives of the "Sailor Soldiers (now named the "Princess Warriors") filmed in live-action segments that featured an ethnically- and disability-diverse cast
(the pilot made Sailor Jupiter black
and Sailor Mercury a wheelchair user).
The only footage of this pilot in circulation came from a panel at an anime convention
; this low-quality shakey-cam footage also recorded the reactions of the convention's audience. A version with the perspective corrected
exists, as does a slightly longer version
which contains some of the preamble from panel host Allen Hasting (the author of the computer graphics software package Lightwave 3D who claims to have designed the vehicles, even though Rocky Solotoff said he didn't use Lightwave and a completely different person designed the vehicles).
Don't confuse this with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
, the live-action series made in Japan.
Tropes found in Toon Makers' Sailor Moon music video include:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Sailor Venus became a brunette, as opposed to her traditional blonde hair. Although her ethnicity has never been confirmed, there is speculation that it overlaps with a Race Lift to make her Latina or Mediterranean. Her uniform also changed from being orange to being a bright yellow with orange accents.
- The other girls' shoes and uniform accents were given the secondary colors from their original designs, so that Mars would wear purple heels and Jupiter would be wearing pink boots.
- Conspicuous CG: During the animated sequences.
- Expository Theme Tune: The theme song explains the premise of the Princess Warriors dual lives, though not much else.
- Five-Token Band: Sailor Jupiter was black, Sailor Mercury was a Wheelchair user and had long red hair, and Sailor Venus was depicted with dark hair and has been speculated to have been a Latina. Ironically, perhaps, only one — who appears to be Sailor Mars — was Asian.
- Handicapped Badass: Sailor Mercury is now a wheelchair user. Instead of a sailboard, she has what appears to be a Leonardo da Vinci flier for space (since she can't stand and sail), and a laser-powered flying wheelchair for ground combat. Interestingly, despite the series implied background of the girls fleeing home in the face of war, it is never explained why Mercury is in a wheelchair.
- Nice Hat: Several girls showed off their fancy hats at roughly 1:30 in the video.
- Race Lift: As per typical '90s kids shows, the cast were more diverse than the all Japanese Sailor Senshi. Luna also gets a "Cat Breed Lift", going from a black shorthair to a white longhair.
- Real Men Wear Pink: While Tuxedo Mask has not been uncovered in any of the cels, Prince "Darian" features prominently in the pilot script and his outfit is liberally accented with pink now.
- Space Sailing: They took the title 'Sailor Moon' rather... literally, probably due to the fact there would be no cultural connection to the common Sailor Fuku school uniform in the west, though the outfits as their heroine forms were still kept.
- Super Wheel Chair: Sailor Mercury gets two - one for space, and one for the ground. It fires lasers.
- Talking to Herself: According to the Rocky Solotoff interview, Adrienne Barbeau voiced both Queen Beryl and Queen Serenity.
- Toon Transformation: The girls are live action when civilian, animated when they transform into Princess Warriors.
- Transformation Sequence: Actually both to and from being Sailor Moon. It involved a lot of spinning as they floated through the sky.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Luna's eyeshadow.