Sonic Boom (TV series)
|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||52 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Distributor||Lagardère Entertainment Rights|
|Original network||Cartoon Network (U.S.)
Canal J & Gulli (France)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||November 8, 2014 – present|
Sonic Boom is a French–American computer-animated children's television series, produced by OuiDo! Productions and Sega of America, Inc. 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 co-produced 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 three video games, Rise of Lyric, Shattered Crystal and Fire & Ice, a comic series by Archie Comics, and a toyline by Tomy.
The animated series was first announced on October 2, 2013, revealing a teaser image featuring Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles "Tails" Prower, Knuckles the Echidna, and Amy Rose, 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, Kirk Thornton as Orbot and Wally Wingert as 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. However, on October 10, 2015, Lagardère Entertainment Rights announced that a second season is currently in production.
Sonic, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and Sticks reside on Bygone Island and defend it and the unnamed village they live in from various threats, including the mad scientist Doctor Eggman and his robotic creations.
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 (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) - The leader of the heroes of the series, a blue hedgehog with super speed. Unlike most incarnations, the Sonic Boom version of Sonic has blue-furred arms and wears a brown bandana.
- Miles "Tails" Prower (voiced by Colleen Villard) - A two-tailed fox who is Sonic's sidekick. He sports goggles and a tool belt, 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 (voiced by Cindy Robinson) - A girl hedgehog who is the peppiest member of the group. Amy 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 (voiced by Travis Willingham) - An echidna and the muscle of Team Sonic, whose redesign for Sonic Boom is the most drastic of any Sega character altered for the series: 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 (voiced by Nika Futterman) - A badger skilled in the use of boomerangs that comes from the jungle. 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.
- Dr. Eggman (voiced by Mike Pollock) - A mad scientist who is the constant nemesis of Team Sonic and the inhabitants of Bygone Island, residing in a lair off the island's coast. 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 (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - Eggman's red orb-shaped robot henchman. He is the more formal and blunt of the two, often being totally honest even at Eggman's expense.
- Cubot (voiced by Wally Wingert) - Eggman's yellow cube-shaped robot henchman. He is the more slow and dimwitted of the two, often misunderstanding the meaning of other characters' statements.
- Charlie (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - An archaeologist on Bygone Island. Knuckles briefly tries to assist him to make up for a past misdeed, but his frustration at Knuckles' incompetence drives him to becoming a villain, equipping himself with an ancient exo-suit.
- Comedy Chimp (voiced by Bill Freiberger) - A common chimpanzee and resident of Bygone Island who hosts his own late-night talk show.
- Mayor E. Pluribus Fink (voiced by Mike Pollock) - A mouse who is the mayor of the unnamed village on Bygone Island. He often prioritizes maintaining his own political position above all else.
- Fastidious Beaver (voiced by Mike Pollock) - A beaver and resident of Bygone Island who works as the village librarian. He has a tendency to correct other characters' grammar.
- The Gogobas - A tribe of chinchillas who live in Gogoba Village on Bygone Island. They make up for their small size with devious manipulation through kindness and guilt trips.
- Chief Gogoba (voiced by Wally Wingert) - The leader of the Gogobas.
- Young Gogoba (voiced by Roger Craig Smith)
- Elderly Gogoba (voiced by Cindy Robinson)
- Lady Walrus (voiced by Bill Freiberger) - A walrus living on Bygone Island. A running gag involves her baby constantly being put into danger as a result of Dr. Eggman's attacks.
- Leroy the Turtle (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - A turtle who serves as a postal worker and mail carrier for Bygone Island.
- The Lightning Bolt Society - A secret society of villains made up of small-time crooks. Though they are largely considered incompetent and harmless by the villagers and Doctor Eggman.
- Willy Walrus (voiced by Wally Wingert) - A walrus who is the leader of the Lightning Bolt Society.
- Dave the Intern (voiced by Roger Craig Smith) - A nutria and employee at the Meh Burger fast-food restaurant in the Village Center. He is Eggman's biggest fan and was briefly taken on as the Doctor's intern, but was later fired after he proved too ambitious. Dave later appeared as a founding member of the Lightning Bolt Society. In "Next Top Villain," it is revealed that Dave's mother is also evil and pressures Dave to be a better villain.
- Tree Spy (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - A gray wolf dressed as a tree who serves as the Lightning Bolt Society's spy and talent scout.
- Perci (voiced by Cindy Robinson) - A bandicoot who lives on Bygone Island with her twin sister, Staci. In Rise of Lyric, she is depicted as the latest in a long line of the island's protectors.
- Pepper - A bearded hippopotamus and a sea captain. He is Salty's twin brother, though the two have a longstanding sibling rivalry.
- Salty (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - A hippo and a sea captain. He is Pepper's twin brother though the two rarely get along. He has occasionally worked as a bouncer.
- Shadow the Hedgehog (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - A black hedgehog capable of super speed and teleportation. Idolized by Eggman for his popularity within the series, he is much more aggressive than other incarnations of the character, considering friendship a sign of weakness and determined to defeat Sonic at all costs.
- Soar the Eagle (voiced by Travis Willingham) - A blue eagle and local newscaster on Bygone Island, who also hosts seminars as a motivational speaker and life coach.
- T.W. Barker (voiced by Kirk Thornton) - A gray wolf who acts as the ringmaster at "T.W. Barker's Circus of Wonders" where it's performers are actually his slaves. In "Don't Judge Me," T.W. Barker worked as Doctor Eggman's lawyer when it came to suing Sonic for the injuries that were afflicted onto Doctor Eggman.
- Stuntbears - A trained brown bear and gray bear duo that serve as T.W. Barker's loyal henchmen, stunt performers, and circus performers.
- Zooey (voiced by Colleen Villard) - A fox living on Bygone Island, whom Tails has a crush on.
Sonic Boom made its international debut on Cartoon Network in Australia and New Zealand on April 4, 2015. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the series premiered on Boomerang on June 1. The series is also airing on Cartoon Network in Singapore and Malaysia, on Cartoon Network in India as Sonic Boom Dhamaal Aur Dhoom, on Okto in Singapore, and on K2 in Italy. It also began airing on Boomerang in the United States on October 8. The series premiered on Family Chrgd in Canada on October 24. It has also been acquired by the English-language feed of Cartoon Network in the Middle East and Africa.
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. A third game, Fire & Ice, will be released for Nintendo 3DS in 2016. Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom, a follow-up to the free-to-play Sonic Dash, was released on Android devices on July 1, 2015.
Critical response aggregator Metacritic assigned Rise of Lyric an approval score of 32%, based on 28 reviews, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews". Shattered Crystal received an aggregate score of 47%, based on 21 reviews.
A comic based on the new franchise by Archie Comics was released beginning in October 2014, with Ian Flynn as the writer and Evan Stanley as the artist, similar to Archie's long-running Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. Several issues were also written by TV series showrunner Bill Freiberger. 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 were featured alongside Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe, and Mega Man comics, as well as various other Sega and Capcom video game series as part of the 2015 Sonic/Mega Man crossover "Worlds Unite", with issues #8-#10 forming parts 2, 6, and 10 of the story. The series concluded with its 11th issue in September 2015, though stories featuring the characters continue to be printed as part of the Sonic Super Digest and Sonic Super Special Magazine books.
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