Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by McGuirk, Jan 10, 2007.
Any reason as to why it has that Japanesse label on the cart?
Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the rarest (Sonic) book of all?
Yeah could be.
This is kind of interesting. Jaleel White says that he was cast as Sonic because the show aired Saturday mornings on ABC, and he, as Steve Urkel, was ABC's Friday night star. Was this already known, or is it new information?
It further cements the premise that "Sonic the Hedgehog" was the primary show and "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog" was adjacent.
Seeing as one came first and was called "Sonic the Hedgehog", I would agree.
All the early previews I remember seeing in UK mags (with that wierd concept art) also seemed to indicate SatAM was "the Sonic cartoon".
Which made it all the more surprising when I saw the first promotion for AoStH on Channel 4!
(IIRC C4 showed half of AoStH, then season 1 of SatAM before going back to finish the AoStH run, which were then repeated through the rest of the 90s. I can't remember ever seeing season 2 of SatAM on C4, only on TCC)
Actually, AoStH premiered first.
The wiki says the AoStH pilot came first and was turned down by ABC, leading to the SatAM show being created in its place.
But DiC continued with AoStH regardless... and I imagine it became the more lucrative show because Looney Tunes knock-offs fare better in international markets.
But none of this is referenced so do check.
I've not been able to find a source for that either. The story doesn't quite add up - for one thing, the AOSTH pilot uses Sonic 2 characters, but the early Sonic cartoon concepts that evolved into ABC's STH has a cast built around the Sonic 1 characters. Unless they dusted off an older concept after ABC rejected AOSTH?
Milton Knight, who worked on AOSTH (and most notably, designed Robotnik) said that Archie comics had contacted him when they were planning their Sonic comic, shortly before Kent Butterworth called and offered him a job on AOSTH.
An early AOSTH "Bible" references the Saturday show (at one point, AOSTH was supposed to be a prequel). It has a few ideas that didn't make it into the final show, but were in the Saturday show (Tails riding in Sonic's backpack, Robotnik as a hands-off, credible villain).
This all paints a very odd timeline, especially when you consider that the Saturday Sonic was itself retooled between its pilot episode and season 1 proper. If ABC rejected a pilot prior to all of this, it probably wasn't the AOSTH pilot that we know of.
Holy crap -- that concept art of AOSTH that uses sonic 1 is super interesting. The blue robotnik especially. Robotnik on the monitor in Sonic 1 is blue.
And oddly those designs use Porker Lewis and Johnny Lightfoot, and while I recall Porker Lewis having a different design in the UK comics Johnny Lightfoot was pretty similar to this incarnation.
This whole thing is rather odd.
Somebody fetch me a full set of scans from Sonic the Poster Mag #1.
Preferably something better than those awful STC scan sets which ignored pages that weren't considered "relevant". The ones with the watermarked barcodes. The ones you're probably going to give me, if indeed you give me anything.
That is where those early Sonic cartoon screenshots come from.
Oh my god, could this be...?
They don't exist and people here who have them either don't have the time or don't want to do it at all as it's been said over the years.
That "early cartoon" Robotnik design definitely evolved into the ABC show Robotnik design.
Sonic Spinball's concept material and the first UK Sonic the Hedgehog Yearbook also had elements of the cartoon Robotnik design.
It's a little interesting that the Yearbook's cover has the pointy shoulder pads and the long gloves, but the interior pages don't. (Richard Elson carried the latter version over into Sonic the Comic.)
The design of the jumpsuit is mostly the same as both cartoons, except it still has the triangular elements and doesn't have the lower stripe. Sonic Spinball's Robotnik is similar (no lower stripe) if you look at the ending sprites.
Anyway, it seems to me that Milton Knight's AOSTH Robotnik must have come afterwards. Notice how the Saturday Robotnik's robotic arm only came later in the design process, with the big ball-joint shoulder and ring-like elements on the elbow joint. They serve a specific design function. AOSTH's Robotnik has those same design elements, even though his arms aren't robotic. It seems that Milton Knight was probably given the finalised Saturday Robotnik design and asked to adapt it into something humorous for the syndicated show. That's probably why he has the cape in one scene of the pilot (repurposed for the end credits) - it was a carryover from the Saturday show design, that they quickly ditched.
It would also explain why they used the Saturday Robotnik in the Archie comic (which began in 1992) and almost used him in the SegaSonic arcade game, before completely switching gears and making AOSTH Robotnik the standard (even in books ostensibly based on the Saturday cartoon).
But then they brought the design back for Sonic Underground - go figure.
Sega of America renamed all the Sonic 1 animals for early '90s tie-in media, except Flicky
Ricky = Sally Acorn
Pocky = Johnny Lightfoot
Picky = Porker Lewis
Pecky = Tux
Rocky = Joe Sushi
Cucky = Chirps
The Japanese designs were mostly retained, except Sally Acorn was given a red bow in her hair, Tux was given a black bow tie and Porker Lewis was given trotters instead of hands and a "Charlie Brown" style curl of hair. You can see these versions of Sally and Porker as early as the Sonic 1 promo comic by Francis Mao. I also recall seeing Ohshima's Sonic 1 art of Ricky and Pecky edited/redrawn into Sally and Tux. I don't recall if Porker got the same treatment. These guys showed up a lot in UK published children's books. Early issues of STC had all of these design quirks.
As for STC's Johnny and Porker's updated looks - that started in STC #18, with Porker wearing a black leather jacket and white shirt, then in #21 Johnny appeared with a red leather jacket, white shirt and blue jeans (Porker also started wearing blue jeans that issue). Sonic the Poster Mag #1 was released a little bit before STC #15. Nigel Kitching released his plots or scripts for these issues, if I recall correctly, where he suggested the leather jackets/biker gang look to artist Richard Elson. But I'm sure one or both of them must have seen these cartoon concept images, even if it was just a subconscious influence, because otherwise it'd be a helluva coincidence.
On a related note, it seems that the ABC Sonic cartoon was going to have background characters resembling Flicky and Picky/Porker Lewis. These are very much in the style of the "Heads Or Tails" pilot episode, and the unused intro (which was actually animated!).
There's also this development stage, with devil Robotnik, pony-tailed cyborg Robotnik and human Sally.
I see the timeline going something like this:
- AoStH is conceived and gets rejected.
- As a result, DiC tries again. They attempt to come up with an alternate Sonic cartoon that is the opposite of AoStH, giving it a darker, more serious tone and adding the animal friends. It gets approved.
- DiC manages to salvage AoStH by retooling it into a prequel to the other cartoon. The AoStH bible gets written. Now that the cartoons were approved, Archie starts its plans to produce a comic tie in.
- Things change. AoStH becomes its own thing again. The second cartoon slowly morphs into SatAM. Since this one is also its own thing now, it tries to distance itself from traditional Sonic, replacing the animal friends with (early versions of) the Freedom Fighters, changing Robotnik into a monster and a cyborg, and making Sally a human.
- The final AoStH and SatAM Robotnik designs are created, based on early western concept art. Said concept art also served as a basis for Robotnik's design in that UK comic and Spinball. SatAM slowly evolves into what we see in Heads or Tails. Sonic Spinball is produced around this time, based on the SatAM designs of this era (except for Robotnik).
- The AoStH pilot is produced.
- Heads or Tails is produced. The Archie Sonic comic debuts, using the contemporary SatAM designs.
- AoStH and SatAM evolve into their final forms, toning down the game elements even more.
There's an early "Sonic the Hedgehog" series Bible that says "revised 2/18/92" and "revised 3/11/92". The core cast are all there, even Tails, but the Badniks are all from Sonic 1 (Crabmeat, Buzz Bomber and Caterkiller).
If anyone can find the source of the "ABC turned down the AOSTH pilot" story, maybe there's some context we're missing, but it doesn't seem to track with the evidence. If there was a pilot that ABC turned down sometime prior to February 18th 1992, it probably isn't the one with Scratch, Grounder, Coconuts and the Milton Knight Robotnik.
It's my job to ask />
it's my job to say "put these on the wiki".
I do recall reading (in a book I didn't actually buy, due to being a skint student in Borders) something about one of the cartoons being in development at the same time as Sonic 2's own development, with someone from the original Sonic Team working as a consultant.
What cartoon it was however wasn't disclosed, although I'm guessing those early images seen in Sonic the Poster Mag #1 were a result of it.
I had that Poster mag btw. IIRC it had bios of the AoStH characters and a brief overview of both shows alongside images of their appropriate Robotnik incarnations. Synopsis of about 20 AoStH episodes were also included (with pretty much all of them giving away the endings). Shame most of the scans out there are from the "Yay SatAM, BOOOO AoStH" era of fandom.
If I recall, Sonic the Hedgehog as a cartoon in terms of the lineage was considered and developed first. Afterwards, as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was nearing completion, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was conceptualized as a prequel to said cartoon, before Robotnik took control over Mobius. Out of the two, Adventure of Sonic the Hedgehog was ready to be demonstrated first to ABC as a fully completed pitch animation from Milton Knight and Ed Love, intending to picture the series' intended vision.
ABC then dismissed the pilot to Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog for a various number of reasons; DiC continued working on Sonic the Hedgehog, an intro was developed which as also presumably a presentation for network executives of what the final output 'would' look like. Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog then continued off independently as a cartoon far separate from the story of Sonic the Hedgehog, with Robotnik already being in place, having each episode contained individually with no correlation to each other except for the Chaos Emerald story, instead of a newly arriving character in an "on the chase" saga.
That would make a lot more sense. Do you remember the source for this information? Why would they show the made-for-syndication AOSTH to ABC though? Were ABC not already funding "Sonic the Hedgehog" at the time?
I've not been able to find much information on the development of the shows.
Tom Kalinske talks about it a little here: https://medium.com/@romanojay/interview-with-tom-kalinske-former-ceo-of-sega-of-america-781d3d680b6f
And there's a Variety article from 21 March 1993: https://variety.com/1993/digital/news/sonic-is-the-top-hog-on-dic-toon-slate-105150/
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