Sonic Boom (TV series)
|Also known as||Sonic Toon|
|Created by||Sonic Team|
|Directed by||Natalys Raut-Sieuzac|
|Composer(s)||Michael Richard Plowman|
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||18 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Distributor||Lagardère Entertainment Rights|
|Original channel||Cartoon Network (U.S.)
Canal J & Gulli (France)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||November 8, 2014 – present|
Sonic Boom is a French-American CGI-animated television series, produced by Sega of America, Inc. and OuiDo! Productions in collaboration with Lagardère Thématiques and Jeunesse TV, respectively for channels Canal J and Gulli. Based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise created by Sega, the series is the fifth animated television series based on the franchise (plus the second one to be developed in France following Sonic Underground), and the first to be produced in computer-generated animation and in high definition.
The series premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on November 8, 2014 and on Canal J and Gulli in France on November 19. An international release is expected to follow by late 2015. The series is a part of the Sonic Boom spin-off franchise, which also consists of two video games, Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal, a comic series by Archie Comics, and a toyline by Tomy.
The animated series was first announced in October 2013, revealing a teaser image featuring the show's four main protagonists, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, in silhouette form. The series, which consists of 52 eleven-minute episodes, was developed by Evan Baily, Donna Friedman Meir, and Sandrine Nguyen, with Baily and Bill Freiberger as showrunners, under the supervision of Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka. On February 6, 2014, Sega revealed the first trailer for the series, showcasing the new designs for the characters.
The series features returning voice actors from the video game series, including Roger Craig Smith as Sonic, Travis Willingham as Knuckles, Cindy Robinson as Amy, Mike Pollock as Doctor Eggman, and Kirk Thornton and Wally Wingert as Orbot and Cubot respectively, while voice actress Colleen Villard succeeds Kate Higgins in the role of Tails. The series also introduces a new character named Sticks the Jungle Badger, a somewhat-delusional hunter who has been living alone in the wilderness for many years before meeting Sonic and his friends, who is voiced by Nika Futterman. In an interview with Polygon, Iizuka stated the series came about as a desire to appeal more to Western territories, following the 2003 Japanese anime series, Sonic X, with Iizuka also stating that the franchise will run in parallel with the 'Modern' series of Sonic games. Baily stated that the series would be a mixture of action and comedy, featuring an episodic structure.On October 4, 2014, Sega announced the air date of the series in the United States to be November 8, 2014.
On February 19, 2015, Cartoon Network announced in a press statement that Sonic Boom, along with 10 other shows, will return for the 2015-2016 TV season. This was subsequently confirmed by executive producer Bill Freiberger in a fan commentary to not be an indicator of a renewal or second season at this time.
Cast and characters
Sega confirmed various cast and characters for Sonic Boom on February 25, 2014. On May 29, 2014, Sega announced that Nika Futterman will play the role of Sticks, a jungle badger, who joined the franchise as a major character. Several new characters were also created for Sonic Boom, such as Mayor Fink, Fastidious Beaver, and Perci. Jack Fletcher works as the show's voice director, a role he has also held for the video game series since 2010.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (Roger Craig Smith) - The leader of the heroes of the series, a blue hedgehog with super speed. Unlike most incarnations, Boom Sonic has blue-furred arms and wears a brown scarf.
- Miles "Tails" Prower (Colleen Villard) - Sonic's sidekick who sports goggles and a toolbelt, and serves as the group's mechanic and technology expert. Tails' inventions do not always work out as intended, though he's highly confident in his abilities.
- Amy Rose (Cindy Robinson) - A girl hedgehog who is the peppiest member of the group, and who wields a giant hammer in battle. As in other series, Amy has a crush on Sonic, but seems to be more cautious about it than other versions of herself.
- Knuckles the Echidna (Travis Willingham) - The muscle of Team Sonic, whose redesign for Boom is the most drastic of any Sega character altered for the series: Boom Knuckles is considerably taller than most versions of the character, appears more muscular, and wears sports tape around his hands as opposed to spiked boxing gloves. Whereas other versions of Knuckles have a history of being gullible, Boom Knuckles is clueless and often annoys his teammates.
- Sticks the Badger (Nika Futterman) - A jungle badger skilled in the use of boomerangs. Sticks is a paranoid individual of wild habits, who enjoys digging through garbage and looking at shiny objects. While she may at times seem insane, her madness does occasionally stray into genius, allowing her to find solutions that no one else could have thought of.
- Doctor Eggman (Mike Pollock) - A mad scientist and the constant nemesis of Team Sonic and the inhabitants of Bygone Island. In this series, Eggman is typically portrayed as being rather buffoonish, with his schemes usually being considered annoying rather than threatening. At times he even appears to be on friendly terms with the heroes, though this usually leads to some scheme in which he tries to defeat them.
- Orbot (Kirk Thornton) - Eggman's orb-shaped robot henchman. He is the more formal and blunt of the two, often being totally honest even at Eggman's expense.
- Cubot (Wally Wingert) - Eggman's cube-shaped robot henchman. He is the more slow and dimwitted of the two, often misunderstanding the meaning of other characters' statements.
- Comedy Chimp (Bill Freiberger) - A chimpanzee and resident of Bygone Island who hosts his own comedy TV series.
- Dave the Intern (Roger Craig Smith) - Dr. Eggman's biggest fan who worked at a fast-food restaurant before being taken on as an intern by Eggman, only to be fired after he proved too ambitious.
- Fastidious Beaver (Mike Pollock) - A beaver and resident of Bygone Island who works as the village librarian. He has a tendency to correct other characters' grammar.
- Mayor Fink (Mike Pollock) - A mouse and resident of Bygone Island. He serves as the village mayor and often prioritizes maintaining his own political position above all else.
- The Gogobas (Young Gogoba voiced by Roger Craig Smith, Elderly Gogoba voiced by Cindy Robinson, Gogoba Chief voiced by Wally Wingert) - A tribe of chinchillas who live on Bygone Island like Sonic and his friends, who make up for their small size with devious manipulation.
- Pepper - A hippopotamus and sea captain. He is Salty's twin brother, though the two have a longstanding sibling rivalry.
- Perci (Cindy Robinson) - A young woman who lives on Bygone Island; in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric she is depicted as the latest in a long line of the island's protectors.
- Salty - A hippopotamus and sea captain. He is Pepper's twin brother, though the two rarely get along.
- U.T., the Universal Translator (Roger Craig Smith) - A robot built by Tails who not only translates languages into understandable English, but translates statements made by people into what they're actually thinking-often with consequences for the speaker.
||It has been suggested that this section be split into a new article titled List of Sonic Boom episodes. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2015.|
|No.||Title||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1||"The Sidekick"||Mark Banker (story)
Mark Banker and Doug Lieblich (teleplay)
|November 8, 2014||1.15|
|While Sonic and Tails are battling the Burnbot, Eggman's newest creation, it smashes the wing of Tails' biplane, the Tornado, and Tails crashes, being knocked unconscious in the process. Alarmed, Sonic scoops up Tails and retreats, and when he awakens, Sonic tells him that he can no longer be his sidekick as the job is too dangerous. Sonic holds auditions for a new sidekick, attracting competitors such as Knuckles, Amy, and new introduction the Fastidious Beaver, as well as Eggman and a temporarily disguised Tails. Only the latter two sufficiently meet Sonic's stipulated criteria, so he is forced to allow them and the Beaver (who has stayed around) to compete in a race; the winner will become Sonic's new sidekick. The Beaver is knocked out of the race early, but Eggman shortly reveals that his own application was insincere and he wants to destroy both Sonic and Tails. With a repaired Burnbot, he battles them again. In the fray, Sonic is knocked into a frozen lake, so Tails rescues him and they push the Burnbot through the ice to its demise. Sonic warmly accepts Tails back, and Amy offers instead to be a sidekick for Knuckles.|
|2||"Can an Evil Genius Crash on Your Couch for a Few Days?"||Doug Lieblich||November 8, 2014||1.15|
|Sonic and Tails awaken to a knock at the door, where they find a disheveled Eggman who asks to stay at the house for a few days as his fortress has been damaged and is being repaired. Sonic grudgingly accepts, so Eggman, Orbot, and Cubot gleefully rush in and go to sleep. The next morning, Amy, Sticks, and Knuckles wake up and are startled; Sticks is particularly skeptical, believing that Eggman is preparing to sic one of his robots on them, but Amy is optimistic. Over the course of the day, Eggman continuously annoys his hosts, such as by starting impromptu pillow fights. Sonic and Tails attempt to boot him, but Amy sets up a meeting for everyone to reconcile their differences. Eggman cries dramatically and Amy implores them for Eggman to have a second chance, which they reluctantly agree to. However, Eggman continues pestering the two, and they cannot sleep at all. Sticks recalls her warning, and suddenly Eggman reappears, having snuck out discreetly, with a giant robot, revealing that he indeed tricked them. He orders it to destroy them, but it instead heads to his lair, where the animals agree to stop it so they can sleep again. Sonic and Tails destroy it using two self-destruct buttons, but only after the lair is destroyed anyway. The next day, Eggman reappears at their house and asks to stay again, but is scared off by Amy's suggestions of games.|
|3||"Translate This"||Dave Polsky||November 15, 2014||1.02|
|While they enjoy the beach, Tails introduces his friends to his latest invention: a robot named UT (Universal Translator), who can translate any creature's thoughts into language. They are impressed when this works on a bird's song, but become hostile after it begins revealing their own thoughts out loud, such as Sonic's poor opinion of Knuckles' intelligence and Amy's affection for Sonic; Tails is hurt. Meanwhile, Eggman, Orbot, and Cubot, who are eavesdropping with a hidden camera, realize that they can exploit this newfound hostility among the animals, so they sneak into the house at night and replace it with a duplicate. Sure enough, Eggman uses the phony UT's voice box for insults, so a suspicious Tails operates on it and finds it is a fake. He sets off to rescue the real UT, but his irritated friends do not accompany him. At Eggman's lair, Tails is pressured into becoming Eggman's assistant in exchange for UT's freedom, but he first gives it an overacted message to deliver home, stating that he is fine. As planned, UT reaches the house and translates Tails' thoughts into a call for help. Tails' friends show up and rescue him from Eggman's robot barricade and they all return home, but Sticks throws UT into the ocean anyway.|
|4||"Buster"||Eric Trueheart||November 15, 2014||1.02|
|When Sticks' friends tell her to be nicer to (non-anthropomorphic) animals, she becomes attached to a slime-belching robot dog named Buster.|
|5||"My Fair Sticksy"||Doug Lieblich||November 22, 2014||1.12|
|After being invited to the "Awardy Award" Ceremony, Sticks admits she does not know how to behave like a lady.|
|6||"Fortress of Squalitude"||Mitch Watson||November 22, 2014||1.12|
|Amy decides to accept Eggman's invitation to design his lair for a magazine cover.|
|7||"Double Doomsday"||Mark Banker, Alan Denton, and Greg Hahn (story)
Alan Denton and Greg Hahn (teleplay)
|November 29, 2014||0.89|
|Eggman decides to take on an intern named Dave to assist him, but his evil ambitions prove more dangerous than expected.|
|8||"Eggheads"||Jean-Christophe Derrien and Romain van Liemt (story)
Romain van Liemt (teleplay)
|December 6, 2014||1.00|
|Eggman bakes up some "evil cookies" which turn Sonic's friends into Eggman's henchmen.|
|9||"Guilt Tripping"||Adam Beechen||January 17, 2015|
|After Sonic and Tails save a village from thieves, the villagers constantly guilt-trip them into staying there.|
|10||"Dude, Where's My Eggman?"||Alan Denton and Greg Hahn||January 24, 2015||1.10|
|Orbot and Cubot wake up without a recollection of the previous day's events, and they learn that Dr. Eggman is missing.|
|11||"Cow Bot"||Tom Pugsley (story)
Tom Pugsley, Alan Denton, and Greg Hahn (teleplay)
|January 31, 2015|
|After Eggman's killing machine, a cow robot, decides to take revenge on its creator, Sonic has no choice but to protect Eggman.|
|12||"Circus of Plunders"||Mark Banker (story)
Mark Banker, Alan Denton, and Greg Hahn (teleplay)
|February 7, 2015||0.94|
|While Tails temporarily leaves the group after a failed invention jeopardizes a mission, Sonic and friends agree to take up roles as stand-in performers at T.W. Barker's circus.|
|13||"Unlucky Knuckles"||Dave Polsky||February 14, 2015||1.11|
|When Knuckles begins suffering an extreme streak of bad luck, he begins searching for ways to shift the balance of luck back in his favor.|
|14||"The Meteor"||Romain van Liemt and Jean-Christophe Derrien (story)
Romain van Liemt (teleplay)
|February 21, 2015||0.94|
|A meteor causes Sonic and Eggman to switch brains, causing one to act like the other.|
|15||"Aim Low"||Alan Denton and Greg Hahn||February 28, 2015||1.18|
|When Eggman fails to defeat Sonic and his friends, he hires a motivational speaker named Soar the Eagle to help defeat them.|
|16||"How to Succeed in Evil Without Really Trying"||Dan Milano||March 7, 2015||1.11|
|When Tails' new machine destroys a local orchard, he joins The Lighting Bolt Society and becomes an evil genius.|
|17||"Don't Judge Me"||Reid Harrison||March 14, 2015||0.87|
|When Eggman fakes a neck injury after a battle, he sues Sonic for damages and sends him to court.|
|18||"Dr. Eggman's Tomato Sauce"||Alan Denton and Greg Hahn||March 21, 2015||0.90|
|Eggman makes some tomato sauce for the local village, but Sonic and his friends think there is something suspicious with the can.|
|19||"Sole Power"||March 28, 2015|
|20||"Hedgehog Day"||April 4, 2015|
A pair of video games that serve as a prequel for the series were released for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems in November 2014. The Wii U version, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, was developed by Big Red Button Entertainment, and the 3DS version, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, by Sanzaru Games. The games were announced alongside the TV series' first trailer on February 6, 2014 and serve as prequels to the series. Rise of Lyric sees players alternate control between Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. The game utilizes each of their abilities—Sonic's speed, Tails' flight, Knuckles' strength, and Amy's agility—allowing two players to play cooperatively and four players competitively. Shattered Crystal lets players control Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Sticks and places more emphasis on platforming and puzzle-solving than the more adventure-oriented Rise of Lyric. On June 20, 2014, it was confirmed that both games will be released on December 18 in Japan under the name of Sonic Toon.
Critical response aggregator Metacritic assigned Rise of Lyric an approval score of 33%, based on 21 reviews, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews". Shattered Crystal received an aggregate score of 46%, based on 16 reviews.
A comic based on the new franchise was created by Archie Comics with Ian Flynn as the writer and Evan Stanley handling the art, similar to Archie's long-running Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. Jesse Schedeen of IGN rated the first issue of the comic a 7.2 out of 10. He commended Flynn for not having relied on trendy, modern humor or dialogue in the comic's presentation, and also appreciated the fourth-wall humor and "clean, expressive" art style. Schedeen did, however, find the plot "fairly disjointed" and possessing little coherent structure, and he criticized Sticks, whom he considered a needless exposition device.
The Sonic Boom comics will be featured alongside Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, and Mega Man comics, as well as elements from the Mega Man X video game series as part of the 2015 Sonic/Mega Man crossover Worlds Unite.
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