In the Limelight

Sandy Fox has had a prolific voice acting career, having voiced characters in anime series including Fushigi Yuugi, Magic Knight Rayearth, Chobits, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Scrapped Princess, and Akira, among many others. She can currently be heard as the voice of Chibiusa in Viz’s dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, and she’s also been the voice of Betty Boop for many years. Scoop had the chance to chat with Fox at Otakon 2017 about the industry and where it’s headed.

Scoop: We actually last spoke two years ago at Otakon 2015; how have the last two years been for you?
Sandy Fox (SF): Pretty exciting! The evolution of Sailor Moon and my character, Chibiusa, is getting more exciting as we move into the episodes with Pegasus, which we’re recording right now. For me, I’m kind of on this journey with Chibiusa. I didn’t grow up with Sailor Moon or was as familiar with it as most of the other cast members were. So it’s very exciting. It’s been a great year. And then more Betty Boop stuff is coming out – I just finished a line of five singing Betty Boop dolls. Any time I get the opportunity to voice the queen of cartoons I just get chills. It’s such an honor.

Scoop: Speaking of Sailor Moon, when we last spoke it was right after Viz had announced the redub. Can you tell me what it’s been like to work with Viz on the series for the last couple of years?
SF: Oh, Viz Media has done such an amazing job by bringing that fanbase back together and invigorating it and being involved in it. We’ve had the Sailor Moon R movie premiere in theaters across the country. So they’re doing a great job. I’m so excited about the fact that they’re keeping the entire storyline from the original intact. That includes the relationship between Neptune and Uranus, and it’s so beautiful to me because the more that our media represents the world in a loving and compassionate way, the more the world will respond to that. That inclusivity and that sense of unity is so exciting. I think our media has such an impact on society, so that we can have these great role models in our media is one way that we can change the world in a positive way. So I think Sailor Moon is changing the world in a positive way. I’m really glad it’s back and that it’s back in its full form.

Scoop: I grew up watching Sailor Moon on Toonami after school so for me it’s been interesting to see the resurgence around the series after 20 years. For you to come in to a convention and see the cosplayers out in full force, stuff like that – what is that like for you to be a part of it?
SF: I’ve been voicing anime for almost 24 years now – way in the very beginnings of dubbing anime in Los Angeles. So I’ve always seen Sailor Moon cosplay; that was really my introduction to Sailor Moon. But to see it now and to see the crossplay and the little kids and the grandmothers all doing it, it’s expanded so much! And also, when you think about it, in that ‘90s dub, they were doing what they thought was socially acceptable for kids’ cartoons. But now we have the internet and we’re able to be more global and reach more people. That’s really exciting – it’s just a really exciting time in general.

Scoop: As you mentioned, you sort of broke into anime dubbing during the boom of the ‘90s - I remember hearing you as Chiriko from Fushigi Yuugi...
SF: Oh wow! [laughs] You probably remember more than me! A lot of the fans will say – ‘Oh, do you remember this episode’ – and will bring DVDs of some of my very first projects like Akira or even the PS1 games like Tales of the Abyss. But when you’re doing a project, you just move on to the next one, and you’re not always able to see the entire finished product. The fans end up knowing probably a lot more than I do!

Scoop: Tell me a little bit about what it was like to be involved in that anime boom.
SF: I’d say it was even before the boom, the mid-’90s – ’94, ’95 – there were studios that were essential in bringing anime to the west. They were startup studios like Bang Zoom Entertainment… we were all kind of learning to dub, a lot of us. There were a lot of actors who came over from Robotech and those kind of projects, but somebody like myself, I was in a garage studio learning how to dub for the first time. It was very exciting because it was so underground, people were trading VHS tapes and whatnot. It was a whole different world. That’s something to really witness – where anime was back then, which was very much its own culture with a couple of little cons, to where it is today with huge conventions and a Hollywood Ghost in the Shell movie and more live-action coming out. It’s really exciting.

Scoop: Anything coming up for you that you’re able to talk about?
SF: A lot of them we can’t talk about, but I will say to please keep watching Sailor Moon! There’s lots of great stuff coming, new cast announcements, and just more exciting adventures with Chibiusa and Sailor Moon!