* Toon Makers Sailor Moon *
The Saban Moon Never Seen!

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The first few groups of cels come to us from

It was 1993. SailormoonR was on the air in Japan, and Sailormoon was hitting the airwaves in Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, China and several more countries. A deal for Mexico was as good as set, and Toei Animation knew it was time to hit up one more market ~ The English Speaking one.

But while other countries had in place companies ready, willing and able to dub whatever they could get their hands on, finding a similar distribution company for North America and most of Europe would prove to be a difficult task. As the bidding war started, bootleggers were already producing fansubs and fandubs on low-grade VHS, and distributing them all over America and Canada. Public access stations even aired forbidden anime in some markets at 2-4 in the morning, so already Toei knew they were running out of time. They needed to find a proper company FAST, to get Sailormoon off the ground for the English world.

Enter Toon Makers/Toonmakers. A plucky advertising and animation company, hell bent on entering the realm of Saturday morning television.

Toei allotted Toon Makers just enough information to start development. But rather than just freaking dubbing the show ~ a cost-cutting maneuver that makes sense and ultimately would have saved oodles and boodles of time ~ oh no. They decided to take it one set further. Certainly, a step too far.

Saban's Americanization of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) was the #1 show in America at the time. What Saban had done, was to take a Japanese show, re-shoot non-action scenes with a California cast, and then re-splice in the Sentai action sequences from Toei, essentially making a brand new show from scraps. Toon Makers liked this idea, but they wanted to take it even further.

They decided to make an entirely new show.

Much like Princess Tenko and the Guardians of Magic (a Saban girls' program, then early in development) the Toon Makers version of Sailormoon would have been half live action and half American animation. The plot, similar to Power Rangers, would focus around five high school girls, who by day get into antics revolving around girl stereotypes (makeup, giggling for no reason, mall trolling, endless chatter about boys, flirting, more makeup, whining about how hard math is, slumber parties and jewelry) and by night are overtly sexualized ~ and yet emotionally sanitized ~ warrior princesses in outer space.

Oh God.

The excuse for the pilot and music video ~ which went viral more than a decade before the invention of YouTube ~ was explained in an article with Anime Fringe:

The pilot was made in created in late 1993 and was pointed at Saban in hopes of being picked up for airing on FOX in the fall of 1994. Toon Makers was working for Bandai in conjunction with Renaissance Atlantic, but the Japanese were already making so much from the anime that the deal just fell through. The thing is no one other than the companies involved were ever meant to actually see it. In fact, the two minute clip that is plastered all over the Internet is in reality one Toon Makers company reel as a music video.

Well, eventually they did use the original anime which was a deal that was struck with Bandai and DiC. But this was a concept created by Renaissance Atlantic which I think you and I are in agreement that would have probably been more successful-at least here in the United States and probably throughout Canada, Europe, and South America.

There was an actual pilot [written] with the input from both Bandai and Renaissance. And I think Renaissance and Toon Makers, more than anyone else, really felt that we had something that-at least at the time when that was done-which I guess I have to remember back... we did it in 93... 94... something like that.

They have worked for many years with Bandai and they were instrumental in the deal made with Saban to do Power Rangers. We also did a pilot for a television series called DinoZaurs which was 3D and 2D animation which was done in Japan. So we did that. So the relationship that Renaissance has with not only Bandai, but with Saban is the project. They just need for someone to take an idea and run with it.

Well, we created it for Renaissance and I would imagine with there relationship with Saban-and later-slash FOX that that's where they intended it to go. But, with the deal that was struck with the old Sailor Moon anime with DiC, I just think it died on the vine.

Renaissance Atlantic by the way, is also partially responsible for parts of the American Power Rangers, Hercules: The Legendary Journies, Young Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess, Cleopatra 2525, Jack of all Trades, and many more cult programs of the 1990's. Power Rangers is their main kids' show, as the rest of the programs are aimed at adults. A link for the rest of the article is way below.

Personally, I still feel that She-Ra and this other Sailor Moon look too much like blow-up dolls for a kids show, but let's not get too vulgar here.

Now Toon Makers apparently had seen just enough of the original Sailormoon to get the impression that Sailor Venus was not the end of the line. So while writing a brand new back story, they went ahead and made plans for everyone after Sailor Venus too.

In another time, another place, (no, this is not the opening to Parallel Sailormoon, we're not THAT lucky) our solar system was besieged. (A large word Toon Makers for real used.)

There were tons of wars and battles, and Queen Beryl apparently had a habit of randomly attacking "good" people.

She kidnaps Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn, and seizes their jewels of power.

Wait a minute . . .

HEY!! Don't tell me that Toon Makers actually inspired Sailormoon StarS with Galaxia randomly attacking people and taking their Starseeds! DUDE c'mon now!! You mean to tell me that the 1996-1997 Japanese series Sailormoon StarS, ripped off of Toon Makers' Sailor Moon, which in turn ripped off of Pirates of Dark Water, the early script of Princess Tenko, Princess Gwenevere/Starla and the jewel riders and Sailormoon series one??? REALLY TOEI?? REALLY???

The Sailor Senshi were re-named Princesses of Power. (Not too bad, they are legit princesses of their home planets.) Each Princess of Power has her own Jewel of Power. (Much like the Sailor Crystals in the SuperS manga . . . oh no. Oh please tell me this is a coincidence.) To obtain the ultimate power, Queen Beryl needs the last crystals belonging to Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter.

... HEY!!!

Now each of the Sailor Senshi ~ excuse me. "Princesses of Power" were supposed to be different, but that pisses me off. Now that I see it cleaned up, here's a rundown:

Sailor Moon would have been a bubbly blonde.
Sailor Mercury was a handicapped red-head who likes partying.
Sailor Mars would have been of Asian background with a butch, Sailor Uranus haircut.
Sailor Jupiter was African American with Sailot Saturn's haircut.
Sailor Venus was Latina.

Not even close to their Japanese counterparts. >_O These girls were supposedly "multi-cultural" but I can't get past the obvious "Blackface Jupiter". That really PISSES ME OFF!! It wasn't enough to bastardize my favorite anime, OH NO, we had to make it racist too?? What the hell were they thinking???

Each girl would have had her own "Sky Flyer" which is essentially a sailboat in the sky. The Flyer boats would have been launched via a larger flyer, that looks suspiciously like a ship they gave Queen Beryl, the Dark Galleon.

The royal families of the girls formed an alliance, under the rule of Queen Serenity. (This would have been the only time you'd see the Silver Millennium parents for everybody NOT named Sailor Moon.) They decided on an alliance, and declared the Moon their capitol base. (Okay now you're thieving from Voltron/Go Lion.)

To affirm this, Queen Serenity betrothed (WOW another big word) her child, Sailor Moon (apparently that's the name on the birth certificate) to Prince Darian of Earth.

Not to be confused with DiC's spelling "Darien" this is Mamoru/Endymion's re-casting.

They held a big party, and to prove his love, Darian gave Sailor Moon a star locket and a rose.

In the Japanese anime, Princess Serenity gave Prince Endymion the locket, as a token of her love. He loses it during the Rainbow Crystal arc, and Sailor Moon ends up having it back again. It's later used to restore his memory when Beryl brainwashes him. Toonmakers omits this, and has Darian giving Sailor Moon the locket and a rose, to celebrate her mom marrying her off to him.

Darian would have had brown hair, and a face similar to Prince Naveen, from Disney's 2009 film, The Princess and the Frog.

But Queen Beryl crashes her spaceship into the party, and randomly attacks everyone. Queen Serenity opens a portal, to send everyone . . . um, away. And she promises to find a way to communicate to them. But just as they leave, Darian is attacked, and the team presume him dead. (Wow, a death reference?)

The battle continues to planet Jupiter, where "a mysterious figure" aides them, and then disappears. (It's Darian.) From here, the series would pick up with everyone on Earth, where a White Luna joins them.

This is not even CLOSE to the original Sailormoon!!

This would have been part of a 17 minute pilot. Copies are known to exist, but have not yet been shown. Instead, we have this, a promo video Toon Makers sent to Toei Animation in 1994:

The theme song is as follows:

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

She's got her cat Luna
To give her advice
She's so fine
(Wait hold up. She's so fine? A GIRL sings this. Girl crush? In Sailormoon???)
So stand by her side!


Sometimes she's a fun-loving
sixteen year old girl
(Remember, they aged her. Usagi is originally 14, she isn't 16 until StarS.)
Sometimes she's a superhero
For the world

She can get dressed up
And look so sweet
She morphs into a form


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

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

The people in the video weren't the only ones grumbling.

Toei Animation's executives had the world's biggest conniption fit.

Although Toei cancelled the offer from Toon Makers, remnants of this version of Sailormoon lived on. DiC took from them the logo, which would also be later used by Cloverway, and Toei took from them the idea of a Moon Cycle. A toy for it was produced from 1995-1997 by BanDai North America, though it does not exist in the show.

A 2011 Wikipedia article expands on this:

The Toon Makers Music Video ~ When Sailor Moon was up for bids by Toei to be produced in North America, Renaissance-Atlantic Entertainment, who worked closely with Bandai and Toon Makers, Inc., conceptualized their own version of the property, which was half live-action and half Western-style animation. Toon Makers produced a 17-minute proof of concept presentation video, as well as a two-minute music video, for this concept, which Renaissance-Atlantic presented to Toei. Toei ultimately rejected Renaissance-Atlantic's bid because the series as Renaissance-Atlantic and Toon Makers envisioned it would have cost significantly more than simply exporting and dubbing the original anime. The music video was exhibited at a panel at Anime Expo 1998 by Allen Hastings, then with NewTek, Inc., and met with scorn, ridicule, and derision. A convention attendee taped the music video off the screen and uploaded the footage, which includes an introduction by Hastings and brief comments by other convention attendees afterwards, to the Internet. The clip has since been copied numerous times and can currently be viewed on many streaming video sites. Because of the relatively poor quality of the source video and circulated footage, many anime fans believed that the music video was actually a leaked trailer for the now-inactive project instead of an exhibition of a promotion piece. Additional copies of the footage, with Hastings' intro excised, have since been uploaded to the Internet and served only to bolster the mistaken belief. Because Renaissance-Atlantic had previously been instrumental in Saban Entertainment's acquisition of Toei's Super Sentai series for reimagining as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, people who viewed the music video mistakenly believed that Saban had actually created it and began to call it "Saban Moon." The Toon Makers music video has been called a worst-case scenario with regards to how Sailor Moon would have been presented in North America, in comparison to the original anime episodes that were eventually dubbed by DIC Entertainment and Cloverway Inc. and aired. Rocky Solotoff, Toon Makers' president and founder, wrote, directed, and produced the pilot episode of Renaissance-Atlantic's version of Sailor Moon, which to this day, has not been exhibited publicly. All five Guardian Senshi are depicted in the music video. Though Solotoff is legally prohibited from divulging much information regarding the Renaissance-Atlantic/Toon Makers version of Sailor Moon, he does reveal, in an interview with Animefringe magazine, the origin of the concept and music video, debunking many of the stories and speculations that had been connected to both. Details revealed in the interview include confirmation that both a white and black cat were planned to be in the series, although only a fluffy white cat is seen in the music video (according to the lyrics, this cat was meant to be Luna), and that each Senshi was written to be of a different nationality. Two curious remnants of Toon Makers' involvement with Sailor Moon remained after Renaissance-Atlantic shelved the project. The Renaissance-Atlantic series featured vehicles which did not appear in the original metaseries. One of these was the Moon Cycle, which Bandai manufactured a toy version of as part of the North American line of Sailor Moon toys. The Moon Cycle toy remains one of the more curious pieces of Sailor Moon merchandise produced for the North American market. More prominently, the Sailor Moon logo featured at the end of the music video was retained as the official North American Sailor Moon logo for the metaseries and all related programs and merchandising.

This of course is the Anime Fringe article here.

We may never fully know how well this travesty would have done, but it is an important piece of Moonie culture, that should never be forgotten.

Personally, I feel this is better left in the past. I'm glad they didn't get to bastardize the series. I dare not imagine what would have become of the offspring of Sailor Moon.

UPDATE: Well now the mystery is getting deeper. Farmville just released a new item, based on the Moon Cycle:

As for Toon Makers? The mystery of their fate is detailed on this blog.

I fear this story isn't over yet...

UPDATE: The cels that have been found went on sale after one of the key people in Toon Makers had a nasty bout with the law. Read More...
Toon Makers Gallery

Many of the Cels were sold under the name "Fox Animation Pilot" leading Moonies to speculate that the show had funding from Fox on behalf of Fox Kids. The cels were also sold along with cels from BraveStarr, She-Ra, Transformers, Dennis the Menace, X-Men and The Simpsons ~ all of which pre-date Toon Makers's very existence.

The cels were also sold with cels from DiC's Darkstalkers and Street Fighter cartoons, begging the question if this is a sign that aside from BanDai, could there have been a Capcom game, but of course no evidence survives of this tale.

All of the cels come from California, where several rival studios existed, all of which claim the same credits as Toon Makers ~ albiet they're actually listed in the credits of the cartoons they claim work on, while Toon Makers is not.

Rumors have surfaced about Toon Makers having been bought up by Fox or Universal, but they appear to be false.

The cels are now known to have been part of a sale, following the arrest of Toon Makers's own Raymond Iacovacci, who also worked for TMS, DiC and a wide range of other studios, explaining the above mysteries.

Added February 18, 2013:
A mess of art?
Fat lipped Sailor Mercury
The Dark Galleon from behind
... With Shading
The Princess's Main ship
Concept sketch of the Princesses walking
Sketch of the girls' main ship
Sailor Jupiter sailing

Added February 12, 2013:
Half Painted Sailor Mars and again and again
The Princesses of Power Walking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Sky Flyers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Queen Beryl and her ship 1 2 3
Darian and Sailor Moon sketch

Added January 23, 2013:
Sailor Derpy Moon
Sailor Mars on her Sky Flyer above the Sea
Warp Speed
Queen Beryl on her ship

Bakene, the only Youma used from the original Sailormoon:
1 2 3 4

Queen Beryl:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Queen Bery's Ship ~ The Dark Galleon:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Prince Darien/Darian/Endymion:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

The Sky Flyers:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

Sailor Moon Transforming:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

A Lava Monster/Youma:
1 2

Luna ~ A fusion between Luna and Artemis... Lunartemis?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Sailor Moon:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75

Sailor Moon's attack ~ Moon Tiara Action/Moon Tiara Magic/Moon Frisbee:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

The Princesses of Power ~ Sailor Senshi/Guardians/Scouts:
Sailor Mercury
Sailor Mercury Sketch
Sailor Mars
Sailor Mars Sketch
Sailor Jupiter
Sailor Jupiter Sketch
Sailor Venus
Sailor Venus Sketch

The Princesses of Power ~ Group:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

The Script:
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Extras 1
Extras 2
Extras 3
Extras 4
Extras 5