Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)

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Sonic the Hedgehog
SatAMtitle.jpg
Genre Action/Adventure
Comedy-drama
Science fantasy
Directed by John Grusd (Pilot only)
Dick Sebast (Season 1)
Ron Myrick (Season 2)
Voices of Jaleel White
Charlie Adler
Christine Cavanaugh
Jim Cummings
Bradley Pierce
Rob Paulsen
Mark Ballou
Kath Soucie
Frank Welker
Theme music composer Noisy Neighbors
Opening theme "The Fastest Thing Alive" (performed by Steven Tyler)
Composer(s) Michael Tavera (Season 1)
Matt Muhoberac (Season 2)
John Zuker (Season 2)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (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 time 20–22 minutes
Production company(s) DiC Animation City
Sega of America, Inc.
Sae Rom Inc.
Release
Original network ABC
Audio format Stereo
Original release September 18, 1993 (1993-09-18) – December 3, 1994 (1994-12-03)
Chronology
Related shows Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic Underground

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 Entertainment. Made with the partnership of Sega of America, the show is based on the video game. The series depicted Sonic as a member of a band of freedom fighters, battling to overthrow Doctor Robotnik. It is the second Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, following Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and preceding Sonic Underground. The program aired for two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1993, until December 3, 1994. It continued in repeats until 1995.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The show takes place on Planet Mobius, a dystopian fantasy world. Prior to the events of the series, a warlord and former scientist named Doctor Robotnik conquered the planet. Robotnik was once head of the Mobotropolis War Ministry. During a previous conflict, his creation of robotic soldiers called SWATbots led to the country's victory. In the war's aftermath, Robotnik was to be appointed Minister of Science. However, he seized power and exiled the king. Robotnik captures most of the citizens, including Sonic's Uncle Chuck. Using Chuck's Roboticizer invention, Robotnik transforms the population into his robot slaves. A handful of citizens escape to Knothole Village, and form the Freedom Fighters. Led by Sonic and Princess Sally, they battle to liberate Mobius.

Characters[edit]

Knothole Freedom Fighters

  • Sonic the Hedgehog – Sonic is the protagonist of the series. He is able to run at superhuman speed, and is the only freedom fighter capable of using the Power Rings. Sonic possesses a defiant attitude, but is also courageous, clever and cunning.
  • Sally Acorn – Sally Acorn is the 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.
  • Bunnie Rabbot – Bunnie is 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.
  • Antoine Depardieu – Antoine is a coyote freedom fighter. He has a French accent, and displays difficulty speaking English. Antoine's clumsiness often places the others in danger. 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.
  • Tails – Tails is a young fox who idolizes Sonic. While usually left behind in Knothole, he proves bright in dangerous situations.
  • Rotor – Rotor is a walrus, and the mechanic of Knothole Village. He provides the Knothole Freedom Fighters with useful inventions, and accompanies them on missions.
  • Nicole – Nicole is 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.
  • Dulcy – Dulcy is 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.

Villains

  • Doctor Robotnik – Robotnik is 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 name is Julian, adopting the moniker "Robotnik" after his takeover.
  • Snively – Snively is Robotnik's assistant and nephew. He is constantly mistreated by his uncle. As such, Snively despises Robotnik and plots behind his back.
  • SWATbots – The SWATbots are Robotnik's primary henchmen.
  • Cluck – Cluck is a robotic chicken, and the only creature Robotnik shows affection towards.
  • Naugus – Naugus is a powerful sorcerer. He hates Robotnik for imprisoning him within the Void. He desires vengeance, but he cannot escape without crystallizing.

Recurring Characters

  • Uncle Chuck - 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.
  • Ari - A Freedom Fighter who worked as a double agent for Robotnik, only to be betrayed later and trapped in the Void.
  • 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.
  • Lupe - Leader of the Wolfpack Freedom Fighters, and one of the Knothole Freedom Fighters' allies in the fight against Robotnik.

Series overview[edit]

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

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1993)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Original air date Production
code
1 1 "Sonic Boom" Len Janson September 18, 1993 (1993-09-18) 01
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.
2 2 "Sonic and Sally" Pat Allee and Ben Hurst September 25, 1993 (1993-09-25) 02
When the Princess is captured, Robotnik creates a robotic duplicate of her as a means of spying on and sabotaging the Freedom Fighters.
3 3 "Ultra Sonic" David Villaire October 2, 1993 (1993-10-02) 03
Sonic finds his long lost uncle, Sir Charles, after a failed mission in Robotropolis.
4 4 "Sonic and the Secret Scrolls" Janis Diamond October 9, 1993 (1993-10-09) 04
The Freedom Fighters embark on an outlandish mission: to find magical scrolls which may hold the key to unlimited power.
5 5 "Super Sonic" Jules Dennis October 16, 1993 (1993-10-16) 05
Robotnik searches for a computer archive of spells belonging to an ancient evil wizard. Sonic heads to Robotropolis to get the crystal before Robotnik can use it. But soon he is stripped of his legendary speed by the wizard who compromises him that he will have his speed back if he finds the wizard's computer and returns it to him.
6 6 "Sonic Racer" Len Janson October 23, 1993 (1993-10-23) 06
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.
7 7 "Hooked on Sonics" Randy Rogel October 30, 1993 (1993-10-30) 07
Antoine goes after Robotnik himself in an insane bid to impress Sally and earn personal glory.
8 8 "Harmonic Sonic" David Villaire November 6, 1993 (1993-11-06) 08
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.
09 09 "Sonic's Nightmare" Frank Santopadre November 13, 1993 (1993-11-13) 09
Sonic is paralysed by a recurring nightmare personifying his own personal fears; meanwhile, Robotnik unleashes a machine that can literally destroy the world.
10 10 "Warp Sonic" Matt Uitz November 20, 1993 (1993-11-20) 10
The Freedom Fighters find themselves defending an underground city of Mobian refugees, all the while coming to terms with their own personal relationships.
11 11 "Sub-Sonic" Barbara Slade November 27, 1993 (1993-11-27) 11
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.
12 12 "Sonic Past Cool" Kayte Kuch and Sheryl Scarborough December 4, 1993 (1993-12-04) 12

Robotnik has set his greedy 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.

13 13 "Heads or Tails" Len Janson December 11, 1993 (1993-12-11) 13
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)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Original air date Production
code
14 1 "Game Guy" Pat Allee and Ben Hurst September 10, 1994 (1994-09-10) 14
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.
15 2 "Sonic Conversion" Pat Allee and Ben Hurst September 17, 1994 (1994-09-17) 15
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.
16 3 "No Brainer" Pat Allee September 24, 1994 (1994-09-24) 16
When Sonic loses his memory, Snively takes advantage and gets the hedgehog to infiltrate Knothole.
17 4 "Blast to the Past (Part 1)" Ben Hurst October 1, 1994 (1994-10-01) 17
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.
18 5 "Blast to the Past (Part 2)" Ben Hurst October 8, 1994 (1994-10-08) 18
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.
19 6 "Fed Up with Antoine/Ghost Busted" Fed Up with Antoine: Len Janson
Ghost Busted: Pat Allee
October 15, 1994 (1994-10-15) 19

Fed Up with Antoine: Antoine is appointed king of a biker gang, unaware of their "cannibalistic" tradition.

Ghost Busted: Sonic and Tails investigate a possible ghost problem while camping out.
20 7 "Dulcy" Pat Allee and Ben Hurst October 22, 1994 (1994-10-22) 20
Dulcy is summoned to a dragon mating ground as Robotnik seeks to Roboticize the remainder of her species.
21 8 "The Void" Ben Hurst October 29, 1994 (1994-10-29) 21
When Sally and Bunnie disappear, Sonic and Nicole rush in to rescue them, discovering the Void. Within the Void, they encounter a mysterious wizard, an old friend, and the long lost King of Mobotropolis.
22 9 "The Odd Couple/Ro-Becca" The Odd Couple: Len Janson
Ro-Becca: Pat Allee
November 5, 1994 (1994-11-05) 22

The Odd Couple: Antoine is forced to share his house with Sonic after a failed landing from Dulcy destroys the hedgehog's home.

Ro-Becca: Antoine accidentally activates a robot Rotor was working on. The robot suddenly develops a crush on him.
23 10 "Cry of the Wolf" Pat Allee November 12, 1994 (1994-11-12) 23
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.
24 11 "Drood Henge" Ben Hurst November 19, 1994 (1994-11-19) 24
Sonic and Tails team up in order to thwart Robotnik's scheme to possess the magical Deep Power Stones.
25 12 "Spyhog" Ben Hurst November 26, 1994 (1994-11-26) 25
Uncle Chuck finds himself increasingly at risk operating as a spy in Robotropolis.
26 13 "The Doomsday Project" Ben Hurst December 3, 1994 (1994-12-03) 26
Robotnik's Doomsday Project begins a week early than anyone had anticipated. With all of Mobius in danger, the Freedom Fighters prepare for what may be their final battle.

Broadcast and distribution[edit]

Initial run[edit]

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.[2][3] At ABC's request, the second season included episodes devoted to humor, while darker elements were reduced.[4] Other changes include Princess Sally donning a jacket for season two, and Rotor receiving a new design.

Syndication[edit]

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 Power Rangers. Sonic the Hedgehog has not been rerun in Canada since its cancellation on CTV. From 1994 to 1996, it had a complete run on the UK television channel Channel MCD.[citation needed] In December 1994, the first season was broadcast in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ Two.[5] On September 2, 2016, reruns of the series' first season began airing on Starz.[6]

Release history[edit]

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 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 Sony. The Region 2 version was distributred by Delta Music Group PLC in the UK.

After Shout!'s deal with Cookie Jar expired in 2012, this set was discontinued along with Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.[citation needed]

In other media[edit]

Comics[edit]

Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic book was initially based on the Saturday morning cartoon.[7] 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.[8] After writer Ken Penders had the opportunity to view the Saturday morning program, the comic gradually became adventure driven.[9] The comic series shifted focus again after ABC cancelled Sonic the Hedgehog, developing into a relationship based superhero story. Following a reboot, Archie's Sonic is now primarily inspired by the video game series. In all these incarnations, the characters and locales from the Saturday morning cartoon remain prominent.[7]

Video games[edit]

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.[10] A prototype was created by the Sega Technical Institute. Yuji Naka disliked the project, and it was cancelled without further development.[10] Directly afterwards, the same team worked on Sonic Mars. Prior to cancellation, this would have featured Princess Sally and Bunnie Rabbot as playable characters.[11]

Reception[edit]

Sonic the Hedgehog initially ranked #9 in its time slot with a 5.2 rating, an estimated 4.8 million viewers.[12] Early reception of the series was mixed, but after cancellation it acquired a cult following.[13] IGN criticized the show as dated, considering it "so bad, it's good."[14] Writing for DVD Talk, Todd Douglass Jr. remarked that Sonic didn't stand the test of time. He considered it to be of low quality, although he found several episodes 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."[15] FlickeringMyth felt Sonic aged better than is often supposed, praising its well-executed characterizations and treatment of war.[3] GamesRadar listed the show as one of "the worst things to happen to Sonic." It criticized its plot and characters as "unwanted".[16] Former Escapist journalist, Bob Chipman credited the series with providing a viably menacing take on Doctor Robotnik, and an engaging narrative.[17] 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.[18] Meanwhile, Doug Walker of That Guy with the Glasses 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.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sonic Retro – Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)
  2. ^ Sonic the Hedgehog series episode "Ultra Sonic"
  3. ^ a b Luke Owen. "Looking back at… Sonic the Hedgehog (1993 – 1994)". Flickering Myth. 
  4. ^ "The SatAM FAQ - Fans United for SatAM". 
  5. ^ RTÉ Guide, 9–16 December 1994 edition
  6. ^ Times, Tech (August 31, 2016). "STARZ Streaming September 2016: The Complete List Of Titles Added To The App This Month". Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Expanded Universes: Sonic the Hedgehog comics and cartoon". Destructoid.com. ModernMethod. March 4, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ "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
  10. ^ a b Cifaldi, Frank (February 22, 2010). "Spun Out: The Sonic Games You Never Played". UGO.com. UGO Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ Fahs, Travis (May 29, 2008). "Sonic X-Treme Revisited". Retro.IGN.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ Source. 
  13. ^ Way Past Cool!: A Conversation with Ben Hurst, Sonic The Hedgehog - The Complete Series. Brian Ward. Cookie Jar Entertainment. Burbank, California. 2007. B000M8N41W.
  14. ^ Bozon, Mark (February 28, 2007). "Sonic the Hedgehog – The Complete Series". Ie.DVD.IGN.com. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  15. ^ Douglass Jr., Todd (March 2, 2007). "Sonic The Hedgehog – The Complete Series". DVDTalk.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  16. ^ "The absolute worst Sonic moments". Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YDrVRqmrLY
  18. ^ "On Saturday Mornings, Sonic the Hedgehog Turned Platforming into Pathos". USgamer.net. October 7, 2014. 
  19. ^ http://channelawesome.com/nostalgia-critic-adventures-of-sonic-the-hedgehog/

External links[edit]