Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
Opening title card for Sonic the Hedgehog
|Directed by||John Grusd (Pilot only)
Dick Sebast (Season 1)
Ron Myrick (Season 2)
|Voices of||Jaleel White
|Theme music composer||Noisy Neighbors|
|Opening theme||"The Fastest Thing Alive"|
|Composer(s)||Michael Tavera (Season 1)
Matt Muhoberac (Season 2)
John Zuker (Season 2)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Andy Heyward
|Producer(s)||John Grusd (Pilot only)
Dick Sebast (Season 1)
Ron Myrick (Season 2)
Len Janson (supervising producer)
|Editor(s)||Mark A. McNally
|Running time||20–22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||DiC Animation City
Sega of America, Inc.
|Original release||September 18, 1993– December 3, 1994|
|Related shows||Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog (also known as Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic SatAM) is an American animated television series. It was story edited by Len Janson and produced by DiC Animation City. Made with the partnership of Sega of America, Inc., the show is based on the video game series. It aired two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1993, until December 3, 1994. It reran until May 1995. The series depicted Sonic as a member of a resistance movement known as the Freedom Fighters. They battled to free the planet from the cruel Doctor Robotnik.
The show's first season is set in a dystopian fantasy world called Mobius. While family friendly, it explored unusual story concepts for animation. These include losing loved ones to war. At ABC's request, the second season included episodes devoted to humor, while darker episodes were reduced. Princess Sally wore a jacket beginning in the second season. In the first season she wore only a pair of boots. Also beginning in the second season, Bunnie's upper arm is no longer robotic. Further changes include a new color palette for Rotor, and a flashier look power ring creation.
The series sharply contrasts with Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, another cartoon series starring Sonic. It had premiered in the same month. While Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is lighthearted and comical, Sonic the Hedgehog featured a more complex plot and dramatic atmosphere. This series is the primary inspiration for the Archie comic book series. It continues to use elements and characters from the cartoon.
The series aired in Canada on the CTV Network, with a bonus summer run between June 10 and September 2, 1995, that ABC did not replicate (they instead replaced it with reruns of Power Rangers until September 2, 1995). Sonic the Hedgehog has not been rerun in Canada since its cancellation on CTV.
The show takes place on a planet called Mobius. A warlord and former scientist named Dr. Robotnik (voiced by Jim Cummings), and his assistant/nephew Snively (voiced by Charlie Adler), invaded and conquered Mobotropolis, the capital city of Mobius, with an army of robot soldiers called SWATbots.
The show's backstory explains that Robotnik had once been leader of the Mobotropolis War Ministry, and that his creation and use of SWATbots led the country's victory in "The Great War". In the war's aftermath, he was to be appointed Minister of Science by the King of Mobius, who had decided to close the War Ministry and dismantle the SWATbots following the War. However, Robotnik overthrew the kingdom and declared himself to be the new King. King Acorn was never seen or heard from again.
Robotnik captures most of the citizens, including an intelligent old hedgehog named Sir Charles Hedgehog (Sonic's uncle) and his crowning invention, the Roboticizer. This invention, created with the intention to prolong life, changes living creatures into robots, but had the unintended effect of robbing the individual of their free will. Robotnik uses this technology to enslave the population.
Some citizens managed to escape the coup, and fled to Knothole Village in the Great Forest to hide from Robotnik's army. Under Princess Sally, they formed a group called the Freedom Fighters to restore Mobius and end Robotnik's rule.
|This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (December 2013)|
- Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Jaleel White, Tahj Mowry as younger Sonic) – Sonic is the 15-year-old titular hedgehog and the protagonist of the series. He is a courageous and cunning hedgehog. Possessing a defiant attitude, he is able to run at supersonic speeds. A capable fighter, he is selfless and direct in dangerous circumstances. He greatly misses his uncle, Sir Charles, who was roboticized. He is the only one able to use the Power Rings, usually to increase his speed. In season one, he appeared to be intelligent with a natural flair for cunning plans. In season two, his egotism and foolishness were embellished.
- Sally Alicia Acorn (voiced by Kath Soucie, Dana Hill as younger Sally) – Sally is the princess of Planet Mobius and Sonic's love interest. She is the strategist and leader of the Knothole Freedom Fighters (although she often calls Sonic the leader). Sally hacks into Robotnik's computers to find important targets in Robotropolis. Intelligent and cautious, Sally also shows egotism and spontaneity in many instances. She refuses to believe that her father is dead, and continues to search for him. In season one, Sally was more self-righteous and competitive towards Sonic, leading to blunders of her own. In season two however, she is more mellow and competent, usually playing the Straight Man of each mission.
- Bunnie Rabbot (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh) – Bunnie is a friendly cyborg rabbit with a southern accent, Bunnie was briefly captured, and had half of her body roboticized before she was saved, mid-transformation. Now her left arm and both her legs are mechanical. These robotic features, in addition to skill in martial arts, make her the brawn of the Freedom Fighters. Despite these advantages, she greatly desires to be normal again.
- Antoine Depardieu (voiced by Rob Paulsen) – Antoine is clumsy, cowardly, pompous, coyote who speaks with a French accent and uses French mannerisms. He is a member of the Freedom Fighters. He often has trouble speaking English. He also has a crush on Sally. His rival was Sonic, who would make fun of Antoine for his shortcomings. His clumsiness often gets himself or other Freedom Fighters into trouble. In the first season, he was often portrayed as being intelligent, if too arrogant and fearful to be of much use. In the second season, his clumsiness and cowardice became more exaggerated.
- Tails (voiced by Bradley Pierce) – Tails is a 10-year-old younger-brother figure to Sonic, whom he idolizes. Tails is the youngest Freedom Fighter (since the season two episode "Drood Hedge"). Often left behind in Knothole Village during missions, he is incredibly bright (also if season three was produced, he would have matured and played a much larger role as an official member of the Freedom Fighter team, even showing a bit of a rebellious side).
- Rotor (voiced by Mark Ballou in Season 1 and Cam Brainard in Season 2) – Rotor is a walrus who is the mechanic of the Freedom Fighters. He invents reliable gadgets for the Freedom Fighters in Knothole and on their missions. In season one, he accompanies the other Freedom Fighters on many missions. In the second season, he was completely redesigned, had a replacement voice actor, and stays behind to work instead of going on missions.
- Nicole (voiced by Kath Soucie) – Nicole is a highly advanced, artificially intelligent portable personal computer that Sally uses to analyze and hack into Robotnik's machines. While generally a formal computer, in the episode "Super Sonic", it copies Sonic's lingo so he can understand what it says, much to the bemusement of Sally. Comments by Sonic indicate that Sally received Nicole from her father, who programmed her with a great deal of information, some of which was barred from access until Sally came of age.
- Sir Dr Charles Hedgehog (voiced by William Windom) – Known as "Uncle Chuck," he is an elderly inventor, as well as Sonic's warmhearted uncle. Chuck invented the Roboticizer to allow people to live longer, but it had the unintended effect of robbing an individual of their free will. Robotnik later stole it and used it on him, turning him into one of many mindless drones and destroyed his "restaurant", Uncle Chuck's Chilli Dogs. With great difficulty, he regains control of his body and acts as a spy for the Freedom Fighters.
- King Acorn (voiced by Tim Curry) – King Acorn is the rightful King of Mobius, and father to Princess Sally. He was dethroned during a coup immediately following the Great War, and banished to the Void, a crystalline universe from which none can escape.
- Dulcy (voiced by Cree Summer) – Dulcy is a clumsy, loud-mouthed, young dragon who joined the Freedom Fighters in the second season. She often flies the Freedom Fighters to their destinations or rescues them. She also has powerful lungs, which can be used to blow enemies away, or freeze them solid with ice breath. She is terrible at landing, and often crashes into things mid-flight. She would have come into her full powers, if the show had a third season.
- Dr. Julian Robotnik (voiced by Jim Cummings, reprising his role from the unaired pilot of AoStH) – Dr. Robotnik is the madman who conquered Mobotropolis ten years earlier. He is a brilliant, yet heartless warlord seeking nothing less than to encompass the whole world in his machinery and robotic minions. His goals are constantly thwarted by Sonic the Hedgehog, his sworn nemesis. His hatred for the hedgehog has turned into a desperate obsession to capture and roboticize Sonic himself, which is often his own undoing. He was later defeated in the episode Doomsday Project. In season one, Robotnik was portrayed as a fearsome dictator and he had a deep echo to his voice. As season two was more lighthearted than season one, Robotnik was later depicted as a cruel but more buffoonish villain rather than the fierce and intimidating foe he was originally shown to be, and he no longer had a deep echo to his voice.
- Snively (voiced by Charlie Adler) – Snively is Dr. Robotnik's miserable underling and assistant, as well as his nephew. Snively is constantly abused, teased and intimidated by his uncle. In season one, Snively appeared to be loyal to Robotnik. In season two, Snively was shown to despise Robotnik and talk about him and make plans behind his back. He also despises Sonic, as shown in "Blast to the Past", where Snively once had a full head of hair, which he loses to a time-traveling Sonic. Snively's intelligence easily rivals his uncle's, but this trait is ignored. After Robotnik is defeated in "Doomsday Project", Snively himself plans to take over and run all of Robotropolis.
- Naugus (voiced by Michael Bell) – Naugus is a powerful sorcerer of unknown species, formerly Dr. Robotnik's mentor. He hates Robotnik for betraying and imprisoning him within the Void during The Great War. He wants nothing more than to see Robotnik suffer, but he cannot exist outside the Void for any extended amount of time. He was scheduled to reappear as one of the main villains in Season 3 alongside Snively before it was cancelled.
- SWATbots (voiced by Frank Welker, Jack Angel, Thurl Ravenscroft, Will Ryan (Pilot), Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Peter Renaday (Pilot) and John Kassir in Pilot) – The SWATbots are Robotnik's primary police and military unit. Designed as super-soldiers, these machines won the Great War prior to Robotnik's takeover. Now, they are his special defense force, making up a substantial part of Robotropolis' "population".
In other media
The Sonic the Hedgehog comic done by Archie Comics was based on the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon. Themes and storylines in early issues of the comic paralleled the cartoon, while characters and locales are still currently used.
Numerous different video games were intended to use the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series license, although only one was ever completed and released. This was Sonic Spinball, released in 1993 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, which contained references to the show, such as the inclusion of Princess Sally, Bunnie Rabbot, Rotor and Muttski. The franchise was also planned to be used in a game that had tentatively been titled Sonic-16. A prototyped was being worked on by the U.S.-based Sega Technical Institute, however, Yuji Naka disliked the project and it was cancelled before it could be developed any further. The team worked on another prototype, Sonic Mars, directly afterwards, which also would have used characters from the show, including Princess Sally and Bunnie Rabbot as playable characters, but was also cancelled. The team would then go on to work on the infamous Sonic Xtreme project, which was also cancelled, but by that point, the game had dropped any connections to the television series.
The show has received mostly positive reviews having a 7.1 rating on Imdb and has gained a cult following. The program initially ranked #9 in its time slot with a rating of 5.2, an estimated 4.8 million viewers. Mark Bozon of IGN criticized the show for not aging well, and being "so bad, it's good", comparing it to The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and The Legend of Zelda. Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk also found the show to be dated, though he found it enjoyable. "I got a kick out of 'Ultra Sonic,' where Sonic finds his now robotic Uncle Chuck," he wrote. " 'Blast to the Past Parts 1 & 2' and 'Doomsday Project' stood out alongside 'Ultra Sonic' as the crème of the crop." GamesRadar criticized the show as one of "the worst things to happen to Sonic." It criticized its plot and original characters as "unwanted". Bob Mackey of USgamer also found the show was poor. Meanwhile, Doug Walker of That Guy with the Glasses called 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 tasteful environmental message that wasn't overbearing.
- 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. 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 head 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. Cover art by Ken Penders and released by Shout! Factory and Sony BMG Music Entertainment. The Region 2 version was distributred by Delta Music Group PLC in the UK.|
- Sonic Retro – Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
- Sonic the Hedgehog series episode "Super Sonic"
- RTÉ Guide: 10–16. December 1994. Missing or empty
- Sonic the Hedgehog series episode "Sonic Boom"
- Sonic the Hedgehog series episode "Sonic Conversion"
- "Expanded Universes: Sonic the Hedgehog comics and cartoon". Destructoid.com. ModernMethod. March 4, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Cifaldi, Frank (February 22, 2010). "Spun Out: The Sonic Games You Never Played". UGO.com. UGO Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Fahs, Travis (May 29, 2008). "Sonic X-Treme Revisited". Retro.IGN.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Bozon, Mark (February 28, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog – The Complete Series". Ie.DVD.IGN.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Douglass Jr., Todd (March 2, 2007). "Sonic The Hedgehog – The Complete Series". DVDTalk.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "The absolute worst Sonic moments". Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- Walker, Doug (February 18, 2009). "Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog". http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- "Sonic The Hedgehog – The Complete Series". Amazon.ca. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Series [4 Discs]". Reviews.BestBuy.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Sonic the Hedgehog at DHX Media
- Sonic the Hedgehog at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Sonic the Hedgehog at the Internet Movie Database
- Sonic the Hedgehog at TV.com