Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)

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Sonic the Hedgehog
Directed byJohn Grusd (Pilot only)
Dick Sebast (Season 1)
Ron Myrick (Season 2)
Voices ofJaleel White
Charlie Adler
Christine Cavanaugh
Jim Cummings
Bradley Pierce
Rob Paulsen
Mark Ballou (Season 1)
Cam Brainard (Season 2)
Kath Soucie
Frank Welker
Theme music composerNoisy Neighbors
Michael Tavera
Opening theme"The Fastest Thing Alive"
Composer(s)Michael Tavera (Season 1)
Matt Muhoberac (Season 2)
John Zuker (Season 2)
Country of originUnited States
Italy
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Andy Heyward
Robby London
Producer(s)John Grusd (Pilot only)
Dick Sebast (Season 1)
Ron Myrick (Season 2)
Len Janson (supervising producer)
Editor(s)Mark A. McNally
Sue Odjakjian
CK Horness
Running time20–22 minutes
Production company(s)DiC Animation City
Sega of America
Reteitalia
Saerom Animation
Milimetros
Apolostefanisson Enterprises
DistributorDHX Media (Current)
Mediaset
Release
Original networkABC
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1993 (1993-09-18) – December 3, 1994 (1994-12-03)
Chronology
Related showsAdventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic Underground

Sonic the Hedgehog (also known as Sonic SatAM[1]) is an American-Italian animated television series based on the video game series of the same name. It was story edited by Len Janson and produced by DiC Entertainment, Sega of America, Inc., and the Italian studio Reteitalia S.p.A.[2] It is the second of DiC's Sonic cartoons, following Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. It features a more dramatic and dark story,[3] depicting Sonic as a member of a band of freedom fighters battling to overthrow Doctor Robotnik. The program aired for two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1993 to December 3, 1994.[4]

Premise

The series takes place on Mobius, a planet mostly populated by anthropomorphic animals. The Kingdom of Acorn, based within the city of Mobotropolis, was at war with an unseen enemy. The King recruited a human scientist, Julian, to build war machines to end the war with a victory. However, during peacetime, Julian and his nephew Snively launched a coup d'etat against the kingdom. The King is banished to another dimension, the Void, and the citizens are captured and transformed into mindless robots, through a machine called the Roboticizer. Julian renames himself as Dr. Robotnik, now the steel-hearted dictator of Mobius. Mobotropolis is renamed Robotropolis, a polluted, factorial cityscape.

Robotnik finds himself opposed by a small collective group called the Freedom Fighters, who operate out of the secluded woodland village Knothole. They are led by Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally Acorn, the King's sole heir. Other members include Sonic's best friend Miles "Tails" Prower, technical expert Rotor the Walrus, French-accented coyote Antoine D'Coolette, half-roboticized Bunnie Rabbot, and Dulcy the Dragon. They act as an insurgency against Robotnik's regime. Sonic uses the Power Rings to gain a temporary boost in power. Both the rings and the Roboticizer were designed by Sonic's uncle Chuck, one of the victims of the machine.

Early on in the series, Sonic uses a Power Ring to restore Uncle Chuck's mind in his mechanical body. Chuck decides to act as a spy for the Freedom Fighters, operating from within the city. He is eventually exposed by Robotnik in the second season, and flees to Knothole. Sally searches for her father throughout the series. He is found alive within the Void, shared with a sorcerer, Naugus, who was also imprisoned within the dimension by Robotnik. Naugus attempts to escape the Void, but both he and the King discover their bodies turn to crystal whilst back on Mobius, and are forced to return to their prison. The heroes gain other allies, including Ari the Ram, and Lupe, leader of the elusive wolf pack.

In the series' sole two-part episode, "Blast to the Past", Sonic and Sally use the Time Stones to travel back in time, in an attempt to thwart Robotnik's planned takeover. They fail, but manage to get their younger selves to the safety of Knothole, with help from Sally's nanny Rosemary Woodchuck. In the series finale, Robotnik builds the Doomsday Project to wipe out his enemies. The Freedom Fighters launch a full scale assault against Robotnik, Sonic and Sally destroying the Doomsday Project with the power of the Deep Power Stones. Robotnik vanishes, and the Freedom Fighters declare victory, with Sonic and Sally kissing.

In a final scene, Snively becomes the main antagonist, accompanied by an unseen ally with red eyes. Ben Hurst, one of the series' writers, confirmed the figure was Naugus.

Characters

Knothole Freedom Fighters

  • Sonic the Hedgehog – Sonic is the main protagonist of the series. He is able to run at superhuman speed, and is the only freedom fighter capable of using magical rings called Power Rings. Sonic has a defiant attitude, but is also courageous, clever, and cunning. He is voiced by Jaleel White.
  • Sally Acorn – The rightful princess of Mobotropolis and Sonic's love interest. As strategist for the Knothole Freedom Fighters, she is intelligent and cautious. However, Sally remains competitive toward Sonic. She is voiced by Kath Soucie.
  • Bunnie Rabbot – A rabbit with a southern accent. Half of her body was roboticized, leaving her left arm and both legs mechanical. She is skilled in martial arts, and desires to be returned to normal. She is voiced by Christine Cavanaugh.
  • Antoine Depardieu – A coyote with a French accent whose clumsiness often places the others in danger. He has some difficulty speaking English. He has romantic feelings for Princess Sally, and attempts to impress her. However, his cowardice hinders this goal. Sonic often teases Antoine over his shortcomings. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Rotor – A walrus, and the mechanic of Knothole Village. He provides the Knothole Freedom Fighters with useful inventions, and accompanies them on missions. He is voiced by Mark Ballou (season 1), Cam Brainard (season 2).
  • Tails – A young fox who idolizes Sonic. While usually left behind in Knothole, he proves bright in dangerous situations. He is voiced by Bradley Pierce.
  • Nicole – A portable computer that Sally uses to hack into Robotnik's technology. Nicole speaks in a female monotone, and exhibits artificial intelligence. It is indicated that Sally received Nicole from her father. She too is voiced by Kath Soucie.
  • Dulcy – A young dragon, who provides the Knothole Freedom Fighters with transportation. Sporting powerful lungs, she can blow enemies away and freeze them with ice breath. She has trouble landing, and often crashes mid-flight. She is voiced by Cree Summer.

Villains

  • Dr. Julian Robotnik – A warlord who seeks to cover Mobius in machinery, and transform its population into robotic slaves. He is chiefly opposed by the Knothole Freedom Fighters. Robotnik's obsession with destroying Sonic is often his undoing. In this version, his real first name is Julian, adopting the moniker "Robotnik" after his takeover His left arm is also roboticized. He is voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Snively – Robotnik's assistant and nephew. He is constantly mistreated by his uncle. As such, Snively despises Robotnik and plots behind his back. He is voiced by Charlie Adler.
  • SWATbots – Robotnik's primary henchmen. They are voiced by Jim Cummings and Frank Welker.
  • Cluck – A robotic chicken, and the only creature Robotnik shows affection towards.
  • Naugus – A powerful sorcerer, who hates Robotnik for imprisoning him within the Void. He desires vengeance, but he cannot escape without crystallizing. He is voiced by Michael Bell.

Recurring

  • Sir Charles "Chuck" Hedgehog – Sonic's uncle, and the inventor of the Roboticizer before Robotnik stole it. He was roboticized and made into one of Robotnik's slaves, until Sonic restored his free will. He serves as a spy for the Freedom Fighters. He is voiced by William Windom.
  • Ari – A Freedom Fighter who worked as a double agent for Robotnik, only to be betrayed later and trapped in the Void. He is voiced by Dorian Harewood.
  • King Acorn – The former king of Mobotropolis and Sally's father. He was banished to the Void during Robotnik's takeover, and like Naugus, cannot escape without crystallizing. He is voiced by Tim Curry.
  • Lupe – Leader of the Wolfpack Freedom Fighters, and one of the Knothole Freedom Fighters' allies in the fight against Robotnik. She is voiced by Shari Belafonte.

Episodes

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 13 September 18, 1993 December 11, 1993
2 13 September 10, 1994 December 3, 1994

Season 1 (1993)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
11"Sonic Boom"Len JansonSeptember 18, 1993 (1993-09-18)
Princess Sally and Antoine follow up on a lead that suggests that her father, King Acorn, may be alive. Meanwhile, Sonic attempts to rescue a captured freedom fighter.
22"Sonic and Sally"Pat Allee and Ben HurstSeptember 25, 1993 (1993-09-25)
When the Princess is captured, Robotnik creates a robotic duplicate of her as a means of spying on and sabotaging the Freedom Fighters.
33"Ultra Sonic"David VillaireOctober 2, 1993 (1993-10-02)
Sonic finds his long lost uncle, Sir Charles, after a failed mission in Robotropolis.
44"Sonic and the Secret Scrolls"Janis DiamondOctober 9, 1993 (1993-10-09)
The Freedom Fighters embark on a mission to find magical scrolls which may hold the key to unlimited power.
55"Super Sonic"Jules DennisOctober 16, 1993 (1993-10-16)
An ancient, evil wizard takes away Sonic's speed, with the promise to return it if Sonic retrieves the wizard's computer archive of spells from Robotnik. (This episode was the actual 1st full edition of this series to air on ABC, on Sept. 18, 1993. [5])
66"Sonic Racer"Len JansonOctober 23, 1993 (1993-10-23)
Robotnik holds a race in Robotropolis in a bid to lure Sonic into a trap. The other Freedom Fighters take advantage of Robotnik's fixation on the race in hopes of destroying the city's power generator.
77"Hooked on Sonics"Randy RogelOctober 30, 1993 (1993-10-30)
Antoine goes after Robotnik himself in an attempt to impress Sally and earn personal glory.
88"Harmonic Sonic"David VillaireNovember 6, 1993 (1993-11-06)
Robotnik launches a spy satellite in an effort to locate Knothole Village, the Freedom Fighters' hidden base. Sonic and Rotor head towards the satellite using a makeshift rocket to destroy it.
99"Sonic's Nightmare"Frank SantopadreNovember 13, 1993 (1993-11-13)
Sonic is paralysed by a recurring nightmare personifying his own personal fears; meanwhile, Robotnik unleashes a machine capable of destroying the world.
1010"Warp Sonic"Matt UitzNovember 20, 1993 (1993-11-20)
The Freedom Fighters find themselves defending an underground city of Mobian refugees, all the while coming to terms with their own personal relationships.
1111"Sub-Sonic"Barbara SladeNovember 27, 1993 (1993-11-27)
The Freedom Fighters' home, the Great Forest, is dying. In search of magical water that causes plants to grow at an accelerated speed, the Freedom Fighters journey underground where they begin disappearing one by one.
1212"Sonic Past Cool"Kayte Kuch and Sheryl ScarboroughDecember 4, 1993 (1993-12-04)
Robotnik has set his eyes on the last living herd of a dinosaur-like species. The Freedom Fighters help the creatures navigate through the Great Jungle while fighting off the advances of Robotnik's machines.
1313"Heads or Tails"Len JansonDecember 11, 1993 (1993-12-11)
Sonic heads to Robotropolis in search of materials to build a defense against an impending invasion by Robotnik. However, the inexperienced Tails is tagging along.

Season 2 (1994)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
141"Game Guy"Pat Allee and Ben HurstSeptember 10, 1994 (1994-09-10)
Sonic and Sally befriend an ally who claims to be part of another Freedom Fighter group, but he is not what he seems to be.
152"Sonic Conversion"Pat Allee and Ben HurstSeptember 17, 1994 (1994-09-17)
Knothole's De-roboticizer is a success! Bunnie Rabbot and Uncle Chuck are back to their normal selves! But the Freedom Fighters' latest accomplishment seems too good to be true.
163"No Brainer"Pat AlleeSeptember 24, 1994 (1994-09-24)
When Sonic loses his memory, Snively takes advantage and gets the hedgehog to infiltrate Knothole.
17
18
4
5
"Blast to the Past"Ben HurstOctober 1, 1994 (1994-10-01) (Part 1)
October 8, 1994 (1994-10-08) (Part 2)

Part 1: The war with Robotnik goes badly. The only hope may lie in a pair of magical Time Stones: using them Sonic and Sally could travel to Mobotropolis Kingdom's past, prior to Robotnik's takeover and stop the fight before it begins.

Part 2: The time-travel mission to stop Robotnik has failed; his armies have already taken Mobotropolis! Also, Sonic and Sally have somehow put their younger selves and the Knothole Village in the Great Forest at risk.
19a6a"Fed Up with Antoine"Len JansonOctober 15, 1994 (1994-10-15)
Antoine is appointed king of a biker gang, unaware of their "cannibalistic" tradition.
19b6b"Ghost Busted"Pat AlleeOctober 15, 1994 (1994-10-15)
Sonic and Tails investigate a possible ghost problem while camping out.
207"Dulcy"Pat Allee and Ben HurstOctober 22, 1994 (1994-10-22)
Dulcy is summoned to a dragon mating ground as Robotnik seeks to Roboticize the remainder of her species.
218"The Void"Ben HurstOctober 29, 1994 (1994-10-29)
When Sally and Bunnie disappear, Sonic and Nicole rush in to rescue them, discovering the Void. Within the Void, they encounter a mysterious wizard named Naugus, an old friend, and the long lost King of Mobotropolis.
22a9a"The Odd Couple"Len JansonNovember 5, 1994 (1994-11-05)
Antoine is forced to share his house with Sonic after a failed landing from Dulcy destroys the hedgehog's home.
22b9b"Ro-Becca"Pat AlleeNovember 5, 1994 (1994-11-05)
Antoine accidentally activates a robot Rotor was working on. The robot suddenly develops a crush on him.
2310"Cry of the Wolf"Pat AlleeNovember 12, 1994 (1994-11-12)
Sonic and company finally make contact with another Royal Freedom Fighter group. They must work together when a nearly indestructable war-machine arrives to attack.
2411"Drood Henge"Ben HurstNovember 19, 1994 (1994-11-19)
Sonic and Tails team up in order to thwart Robotnik's scheme to possess the magical Deep Power Stones.
2512"Spyhog"Ben HurstNovember 26, 1994 (1994-11-26)
Uncle Chuck finds himself increasingly at risk operating as a spy in Robotropolis.
2613"The Doomsday Project"Ben HurstDecember 3, 1994 (1994-12-03)
Robotnik's Doomsday Project begins a week earlier than anyone had anticipated. With all of Mobius in danger, the Freedom Fighters prepare for what may be their final battle.

Broadcast and distribution

Initial run

The Saturday morning series differs from the weekly Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which premiered the same month. While Adventures is lighthearted and comical, Sonic the Hedgehog featured a comparatively complex plot and dramatic atmosphere. It explored unusual story concepts for animation, including losing loved ones to war.[6][3] At ABC's request, the second season included episodes devoted to humor, while darker elements were reduced. Other changes include Princess Sally donning a jacket for season two, and Rotor receiving a new design.

ABC also ended up, in some weeks, airing back-to-back episodes of this show during the 1st season, while in Season 2, each time slot for the show was single-airings only.[7]

Syndication

After the program's initial run, it appeared on the USA Network's Action Extreme Team from June 1997 to January 1998. The series aired in Canada on the CTV Network, with a bonus summer run between June 10 and September 2, 1995. ABC did not replicate this, replacing Sonic with reruns of Free Willy. Sonic the Hedgehog has not been rerun on broadcast or cable television in Canada since its cancellation on CTV, but was present on the Shomi video-on-demand platform until its November 30, 2016, closure. From 1994 to 1996, it had a complete run on the UK television channel Channel MCD. In December 1994, the first season was broadcast in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ Two.[8] On September 2, 2016, until December 29, 2017, reruns of the series began airing on Starz.[9]

Release history

DVD releases
DVD Name Ep # Release dates Additional Features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete Series 26 March 27, 2007 September 10, 2007 N/A This four disc boxset includes the entire 26 episodes from the series, and are presented in its original, uncut broadcast presentation. Bonus features include: storyboards, concept art, storyboard-to-screen comparisons, deleted/extended scenes, a printable prototype script of the series pilot (Heads or Tails), and interviews with Jaleel White and writer Ben Hurst. The individual cases and the DVDs themselves also feature fan art submitted to Shout! Factory during the box set's development phase. The set features cover art by Ken Penders, and was released by Shout! Factory and Vivendi Visual Entertainment. The Region 2 version was distributred by Delta Music Group PLC in the UK.

In other media

Comics

Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic book was initially based on the Saturday morning cartoon.[10] From its earliest issues, the book shared the characters and story premise established within it. However, the comic differed in that it featured humorous plots modeled after the weekday show.[11] After writer Ken Penders had the opportunity to view the Saturday morning program, the comic gradually became adventure driven.[12] The comic series shifted focus again after ABC cancelled Sonic the Hedgehog, developing into a relationship-based superhero story, and following a reboot, Archie's Sonic was primarily inspired by the video game series. Nevertheless, the characters and locales from the Saturday morning cartoon remained prominent until the comic's cancellation in July 2017.[10]

Video games

Several video games were intended to use elements from the TV series, although only one was completed. This was Sonic Spinball, released in 1993 for the Sega Genesis. It contained characters from the show, including Princess Sally, Bunnie Rabbot, Rotor and Muttski. The characters were also planned for use in another game, tentatively titled Sonic-16.[13] A prototype was created by the Sega Technical Institute. Yuji Naka disliked the project, and it was cancelled without further development.[13] Directly afterwards, the same team worked on Sonic Mars. Prior to cancellation, this would have featured Princess Sally and Bunnie Rabbot as playable characters.[14]

Reception

Sonic the Hedgehog initially ranked #9 in its time slot with a 5.2 rating, an estimated 4.8 million viewers.[15]

Mark Bozon of IGN criticized the show as dated, considering it "so bad, it's good."[16] Writing for DVD Talk, Todd Douglass Jr. remarked that Sonic didn't stand the test of time. Overall, he considered it to be of low quality, although he found the stories "Ultra Sonic" and "Blast to the Past" to be "the crème of the crop."[17] Luke Owen of Flickering Myth felt Sonic aged better than is often supposed, praising its well-executed characterizations and treatment of war, although he considered Antoine to be "one of the worst characters committed to a cartoon series."[3] GamesRadar listed the show as one of "the worst things to happen to Sonic." It criticized its plot and characters as "unwanted".[18] Former Escapist journalist Bob Chipman credited the series with providing a viably menacing take on Doctor Robotnik, and an engaging narrative.[19] Bob Mackey of USgamer wrote that the cartoon's writing didn't live up to its intriguing premise. In particular, he argued that the Antoine character perpetrated negative French stereotypes.[20]

As the years went by, the show gained a cult following, and it started gaining high praise. Doug Walker of Channel Awesome considered the series "a great show," and better than he remembered. He praised it for "literally taking nothing and turning it into something," with a strong story and good character development, as well as a subtle environmental message.[21]

References

  1. ^ Plant, Gaz (October 18, 2013). "Feature: A Supersonic History of Sonic Cartoons". Nintendo Life. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  2. ^ "Sonic Boom". Sonic the Hedgehog. Season 1. Episode 2. 1993. 22 minutes in. ABC.
  3. ^ a b c Luke Owen. "Looking back at… Sonic the Hedgehog (1993 – 1994)". Flickering Myth.
  4. ^ "Sonic the Hedgehog Episode Guide -DiC Ent". The Big Cartoon DataBase. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HsK7irA12o
  6. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog series episode "Ultra Sonic"
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsRuS3q4YnQ
  8. ^ RTÉ Guide, 9–16 December 1994 edition
  9. ^ Times, Tech (August 31, 2016). "STARZ Streaming September 2016: The Complete List Of Titles Added To The App This Month". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Expanded Universes: Sonic the Hedgehog comics and cartoon". Destructoid.com. ModernMethod. March 4, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  11. ^ http://www.saturdaymorningsonic.com/features/continuity/ "A few months after we launched the comic book, Sonic also made his debut as an animated TV character. In fact, it was perhaps the first time in animation history that two separate shows were simultaneously produced featuring the same character. “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” took a freewheeling slapstick approach to the characters and was seen across the nation in daily syndication. Meanwhile, the ABC-TV network checked in with a Saturday morning version simply called “Sonic the Hedgehog.” This series was filled with pure, slam-bang adventure and intrigue—and thoughtful characterization. In the beginning, Sega instructed our editorial team to reflect the art and story styles of the syndicated series, but it soon became apparent from fan reaction that the Saturday morning series was the one striking a nerve. The comic soon followed suit with a mix of the two styles, but a heavier emphasis on the dramatic." -Paul Castiglia, former editor of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic
  12. ^ "I became enamored of the storylines in the series but was told we couldn’t tie-in directly to the stories in the series as DiC - just like SEGA - refused to cooperate with us in allowing us access to their material for the purpose of tying together the continuity of the book with the show, something I was very much interested in, as was Scott. It was only during the time when it was uncertain whether or not ABC would even renew the series for a third season that DiC provided us with scripts and other materials, probably out of hope that maybe the book would help attract more viewers if it were tied in more closely with the show. Mike and I were even invited to submit outlines with the idea we would be contributing to the third season as scriptwriters. … It was only when we learned the show was cancelled that I changed my mind about embracing the show as it was and instead decided to proceed as if the book were the third season and continuing beyond that. There were many reasons for this but the most important one boiled down to simply this: the book’s very survival. We never, ever felt the book had much of a shelf life beyond the existence of the games and animated series if we didn’t develop it into its own unique series." -Ken Penders, former writer of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic, The Times They Are A' Changing. Original Source: http://www.kenpenders.com - Archived on: http://theamazingsallyhogan.tumblr.com/post/68112487973/sonic-the-hedgehog-ken-penders-bioware
  13. ^ a b Cifaldi, Frank (February 22, 2010). "Spun Out: The Sonic Games You Never Played". UGO.com. UGO Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 29, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  14. ^ Fahs, Travis (May 29, 2008). "Sonic X-Treme Revisited". Retro.IGN.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  15. ^ Source.
  16. ^ Bozon, Mark (February 28, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog – The Complete Series". Ie.DVD.IGN.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  17. ^ Douglass Jr., Todd (March 2, 2007). "Sonic The Hedgehog – The Complete Series". DVDTalk.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  18. ^ "The absolute worst Sonic moments". Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  19. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YDrVRqmrLY
  20. ^ "On Saturday Mornings, Sonic the Hedgehog Turned Platforming into Pathos". USgamer.net. October 7, 2014.
  21. ^ http://channelawesome.com/nostalgia-critic-adventures-of-sonic-the-hedgehog/

External links