Sailor Moon Interview


Here is an interview about the upcoming release of Sailor Moon in the U.S. as carried on the CBC show "As it Happens", Tuesday, February 21st at 7:00 NST.

I have edited out most of the umms and ahhs, but I have left in grammatical errors, and probably added some of my own. Some, maybe all, of the names may be spelled wrong since (a) I am not really that familiar with Sailor Moon, and (b) I don't spell very well. If I am unsure of something it is marked with a question mark.

[Barbara Budd (?)]: Girls can be super-heros too, you know... That's the pitch for Sailor Moon. Fresh from Japan, she promises to be the biggest thing in kids TV since the Power Rangers. We're not talking about a run-of-the-mill super-hero here. This female role model fights sexism, and bad guys, while wearing go-go boots and a tiara. Jeff Pryor (?) is the spokesperson for the show "Sailor Moon." He's in Burbank, California.

[Michael Enwright (?)]: Mr. Pryor how big is Sailor Moon in Japan?

[Jeff Pryor]: Sailor Moon in Japan is gigantic. It is a very successful television franchise, and licensing and merchandizing property. In fact it is so popular that if you take Power Rangers and the Ninja Turtles it is even more popular than both those shows combined.

[M]: What a scary thought!

[J]: (laughs)

[M]: Is it a cartoon or animated... what is it?

[J]: Yes, it's a cartoon series. Basically what it is, is that the show centers around a fourteen year old girl who transforms into Sailor Moon and she is one of the first super-heros for girls that's going to be coming to television. She also has a team of other schoolmates who transform also into super-heros, and they all take the name from the planets. There's a Sailor Mercury, a Sailor Mars-

[M]: Oh, I see-

[J]: And a Sailor Jupiter, and they all form a super team that battle the evil Queen Beryl.

[M]: Queen Beryl?

[J]: Yes.

[M]: I see. What does she look like? Is she a kind of... sort of... a barbie doll... kind of?

[J]: Well, Sailor Moon?

[M]: Yes.

[J]: When she's in her super-hero form she has long boots, and she has a sort of a mini-skirt, and she also has a tiara and a wand that give her powers to fight Queen Beryl and her evil henchmen.

[M]: Uh huh.

[J]: We don't really think that, you know, she's really comparible to Barbie. In fact, the way we take a look at it is that she's almost just the opposite of Barbie, and it really gets into what we think is meeting a need into the marketplace. And it-

[M]: That need being?

[J]: Well, that need being that little girls growing up today are a lot different than they were thirty years ago. Today girls are taught to be more ambitious and self-sufficient than ever before, especially in households where both parents are required to work and the kids are spending their formative years in daycare or preschool. And today's young girls are being taught to follow the same principles that boys... and in many respects the gender gap has almost disappeared.

[M]: But, Sailor Moon, is she a feminist? Is that part of the attraction?

[J]: Well, a feminist is, I think, a strong word for a show that's targeted for girls between the age of five and eleven.-

[M]: Uh huh, yeah-

[J]: What we like to say is that I think what our target audience will get out of this is several things. First is there is wish fulfillment, there's empowerment, there is romance in the series. These are the aspects of the show which we really think are going to captivate the little girls audience. But, on the other hand there's also a lot of action in Sailor Moon, and the bad guys are really bad-

[M]: Right.

[J]: So we think that the boys are also going to enjoy the series as well.

[M]: You had to make some alterations though, in the show? Is that right?

[J]: We are making some changes in the show, most notably the title: in Japan the show is known as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, in the U.S. it will just be known as Sailor Moon.

[M]: And, I take it there will be the spinoffs in the toy industry... the clothes, the wardrobe, the makeup...

[J]: Yes, Bandai, which is the same company that produces toys for Power Rangers in Japan, and also in the United States, has been signed as the licensee to do Sailor Moon. One of her mentors is a cat... It's actually a celestial god that comes down in the form of a cat. The cat's name is Luna. And Luna speaks, uh, can only speak to Sailor Moon. So we have a plush Luna the cat that talks. When you hug the cat there's a voice chip that will then say, you know, "You're outta this world Sailor Moon." So there's also some other accessories like nail polish or nail gloss that sparkles when little girls put it on.

[M]: What about Canada? Are we going to see it north of the border?

[J]: Absolutely, the reception here in the United States has been terrific. We are just launching the project here in the U.S. We are now going to take a look at Canada and other markets where Sailor Moon is not mar- is not airing currently, and introduce the property in those markets as well. Again, one of the things that's creating a lot of excitement for this program, is any time that you have a program that bucks the trend it creates a lot of excitement.

[M]: Mr. Pryor, thank you. Thank's for being with us, and telling us all about it.

[J]: Ok. Thank you.

[M]: Goodbye now.

[J]: Goodbye.

[Barbara Budd]: Jeff Pryor is the spokesperson for the show Sailor Moon. He spoke to us from Burbank, California.