"Sailor Moon" was a Proof of concept project headed by Toon Makers, Renaissance Atlantic and Bandai. Produced from 1993 to 1994, the project was an adaptation of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon meant for western audiences of the 20th century during a major bidding for the licence for Sailor Moon in the early nineties. The "Sailor Moon" concept used a hybrid of live action and animated sequences to denote the differences between action and non-action sequences, the latter of which presumably take place with on-screen actresses. On account of the live action footage, the proof-of-concept is widely mistaken by the Sailor Moon fandom for a production headed by Haim Saban and Saban Capital Group because of assumed similarities to the Power Rangers franchise (the latter of which is an adaptation of the Super Sentai franchise). Eventually a video of Toon Maker's work was released at a anime convention. In 2012 animation cels for the pilot were sold on Ebay.
In an interview with Animefringe Online, Rocky Solotoff, who was involved in the production of the Toon Makers concept of an American adaptation of Sailor Moon, was working with a production company called Renaissance Atlantic and Bandai. Toon Maker worked to produce pilots every year. The Sailor Moon concept pilot was the first pilot produced for Renaissance Atlantic and Bandai.
Originally, the production of the live-action/animated pilot was headed by Renaissance Atlantic. Solotoff wrote the script for the pilot with input from Bandai and Renaissance Atlantic. Renaissance and Atlantic, according to Solotoff, “felt that we had something”. The script was finished somewhere between 1993 and 1994.
Solotoff notes that Renaissance Atlantic was key in the eventual deal that Bandai made with Saban for the North American adaptation of Power Rangers. The Sailor Moon pilot written by Solotoff was presumably meant to be sold to FOX for their Saturday morning cartoon block, Fox Kids. Overall intention of the adaptation was to “Americanize the animation” and to give it a “Filmation style”, which the production expressed disappointment in on account of budget limitations. The animation and budget constraints were on account of the animation production taking place in Korea. The animation that was produced was essentially meant to be a presentation piece. Had they been given the opportunity of production, it was Toon Maker’s intention to partner with a better animation studio and gotten a better budget.
Allen Hastings, the author of Lightwave, was involved in the computer generated backgrounds that would have been used for the series. Solotoff, who was unaware of Hastings’ involvement in the production cites that the technology used in the production of the backgrounds were “created on old Toaster” by a company named NewTech that operated out of Kansas. He also mentioned that a scene using CGI was produced by a company in Japan. Concept designs for vehicles that would be used in the series were designed by an artist named Dale Hendrickson, who followed specific design requirements for the Sail Board. Solotoff speculated the requirements were tailored in the hopes of generating merchandise sales off of possible toys.
Not unlike the eventually DiC localization of the anime, the North American adaptation of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon featured an original theme song. However, unlike that of the Sailor Moon theme for the DiC dub, the Toon Makers theme did not feature the melody of "Moonlight Legends".
Sailor Moon’s role in the pilot as the Moon Princess and leader of the Sailor Scouts remained relatively unchanged. Additionally, one of the Sailor Scouts (Sailor Mercury) was created as a character that used a wheelchair and thus the design of the Sail Board was accommodated around that. The “Luna” character the pilot concept was a white cat in both the animated and live action portions of the presentation.
The character’s role as Sailor Moon’s guardian remained unchanged from the original Luna character. Queen Beryl and Tuxedo Mask were also retained for the pilot, but never appeared in the two minute clip presentation of the pilot. Queen Beryl and Sailor Moon’s mother, Queen Serenity, was voiced by actor Adrian Barbo, the only person officially cast for the pilot. With regards to representation of the race and nationality of the characters were changed to reflect its viewing audience.
The Sailor Scouts would have been portrayed similarly in live action footage as they were in the animated segments of the pilot, which would only take place when the Sailor Scouts transformed to fight Queen Beryl and other monsters taken from Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon.
- Following the release of the video and animation cels, fans speculated that the character who was in the wheelchair was either Sailor Venus or Sailor Jupiter.
- There were rumors that Sailor Jupiter was made the Moon Princess. Rocky Solotoff maintained that the roles of Sailor Moon and Jupiter were not reversed in any way.
- The actress hired to portray Sailor Jupiter went on to star in Starship Troopers.
- Toon Makers Sailor Moon
- Toon Makers Sailor Moon - TVTropes.com
- Toon Makers Sailor Moon - Sailor Moon News
- Sailor Moon à la Saban: Debunked - An Interview with Rocky Solotoff - Anime Fridge.com