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Girl power and pratfalls prevail in new dub of 1993's 'Sailor Moon R: The Movie'

Girl power and pratfalls prevail in new dub of 1993's 'Sailor Moon R: The Movie'
A scene from the animated film "Sailor Moon R: The Movie." (Naoko Takeuchi / PNP / Toei Animation)

Since Naoko Takeuchi's manga debuted in 1991, the combination of slapstick comedy, breathless romance and female empowerment in "Sailor Moon" has resonated with girls around the world. Of the feature films in the long-running animated version, the 1993 "Sailor Moon R: The Movie," which is being re-released with a new English dub, is considered the best.

Usagi (Stephanie Sheh) and the other Sailor Scouts — Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako — battle Fiore (Ben Diskin), a powerful alien in the thrall of the murderous Kisenian Flower. Fiore knew Usagi's boyfriend Mamoru (Robbie Daymond) when they were children. After they were separated, he searched the galaxy for a flower worthy of presenting to his long-lost friend. Dismissing Usagi as an interloper, he wants to renew his bond with Mamoru and assist the Kisenian Flower's scheme to destroy the Earth.

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Earlier English translations soft-pedaled the nature of Fiore's affection for Mamoru. The lively new version is closer to the original, and suggests Fiore's feeling are more passionate than fraternal.

Fans of the series are unlikely to worry about the improbable plot elements as long as they see junior high girls transforming into super heroines, Usagi taking comic pratfalls, and the bonds of sisterly friendship being re-affirmed — all of which "Sailor Moon R Movie" provides.

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'Sailor Moon R: The Movie'

Running time: 1 hour 2 minutes

Not rated

Playing: AMC Orange 30, Orange; AMC Ontario Mills 30, Ontario

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