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|Sonic the Hedgehog|
Opening title card for Sonic the Hedgehog
|Created by||Len Janson|
|Directed by||John Grusd
|Voices of||Jaleel White
|Theme music composer||Noisy Neighbors|
|Opening theme||"Fastest Thing Alive"|
|Composer(s)||Michael Tavera (Season one)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Andy Heyward
|Running time||20-22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||DIC Entertainment
Sega Corporation (characters)
The Children's Channel
|Original run||September 18, 1993– December 3, 1994|
|Preceded by||Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Followed by||Sonic Underground|
Sonic the Hedgehog (promotionally titled Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog) is an American animated television series created by Len Janson and produced by DIC Entertainment with the partnership of Sega of America. The show is based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series and aired two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1993, until December 3, 1994, which reran until May 1995.
The show's first season focuses its subplots on subject matter that is unusual for, and darker than, most American children's cartoons; placing its setting in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, and using story concepts such as losing family members to war. The first season possesses some minced oaths and various innuendos. Nevertheless, the cartoon remains family friendly, as this subject matter is depicted in a softened manner.
ABC decided that the second season would have several episodes devoted entirely to humor, while "darker" plot developments and possibilities, as well as all violence, were reduced in magnitude. Due to concerns with her more human-like appearance compared to other characters, Princess Sally wore a vest beginning in the second season, whereas in the first season she wore only a pair of boots. Further changes in design include a new color palette for Rotor, Bunny's upper arm no longer being roboticized (as opposed to her forearm and shoulder, which remained roboticized) and a flashier look for the creation of power rings in the power ring pool.
The series sharply contrasts with Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, another cartoon series starring Sonic, which had premiered in the same month. While Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was very 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 of the same name, which continues to use elements and characters from this series, albeit with a separate continuity to the storyline.
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. Sonic the Hedgehog has not been re-run in Canada since its cancellation on CTV.
The show takes place on a planet called Mobius sometime in its 33rd century. Mobius is largely populated with Mobians and overlanders, however, a human warlord and former scientist named Dr. Robotnik (voiced by Jim Cummings), and his assistant and 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, Maximillian Acorn, 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 Maximillian is never seen or heard from again.
Robotnik banishes the old King, and captures most of the citizens, including an intelligent old hedgehog named Sir Charles Hedgehog 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, such as Sonic and Sally (Tails was not born yet), 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.
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. Overtime, while all the original main characters are retained in the newer issues, the comic series had since completely broke away most ties from the show's original continuity and attained greater focus on base material provided by Sega's official games.
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. 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 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, franchises that seemed cool when you watched them decades ago, but in all reality ...Looking back, those shows are so bad they're awesome. That's the kind of awesome Sonic The Hedgehog is."
Todd Douglass Jr. of DVDTalk found the show to be dated, though he said "Out of the 26 episodes that make up the complete series there were quite a few that were actually enjoyable. For instance, I got a kick out of "Ultra Sonic" where Sonic finds his now robotic Uncle Chuck. "Blast to the Past Parts 1 & 2" and "Doomsday Project" stood out alongside "Ultra Sonic" as the crème of the crop though there were a few episodes here and there that entertained on some level (even if it was low)."
GamesRadar called the show the worst thing to happen to Sonic, criticizing its plot and original characters, which it called "unwanted".
|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.|
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