Sonic the Hedgehog, known amongst fans as Sonic SatAM is an American animated television series created by DiC Entertainment based on SEGA's video game series of the same name. The show served as the partial basis for the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series by Archie Comics, which continues even twenty years after the cartoon's cancellation and still features many of the cartoon's own characters.
The series aired from 18 September 1993 to 3 December 1994 on ABC. It ran for two seasons. A third season was in the early planning stages until ABC canceled the show due to a change in leadership lead to the new owner wiping away everything connected to the previous and initiating his own plans. At its height, it was actually rivaling FOX Kids' Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
Characters and Concepts
While the comic was heavily influenced by the show, the writers were allowed to deviate from the source material which resulted in several major differences between each series.
- In the show, Robotnik is the one who seals Naugus in the Void, the result of a former partnership that ended in betrayal. In the comics, it was Warlord Kodos who planned to betray Naugus instead but Naugus gave him the slip by escaping into the Zone of Silence. This took place before Robotnik's allegiance with the Kingdom of Acorn.
- Additionally, the Void serves as Naugus' prison in the show instead of the Zone of Silence as seen in the comics.
- In the first episode of the show, "Sonic Boom", it is implied that the King had managed to escape Robotnik's coup and was a fugitive on the run; supplying the Freedom Fighters with useful information.
- The events of this episode were later retconned in the 2nd season two-parter "Blast to the Past", in which Robotnik banishes the King to the Void to join Naugus. However, it is possible that this was a direct result of Sonic and Sally's attempt to alter history.
- In the show, Sir Charles was still Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Science despite his failed attempt to utilize the roboticizer. In the comics, he was so ashamed of his failure that he retired from his position and entered the fast-food business.
- In the episode "Ultra Sonic", Sonic manages to temporally restore Uncle Chuck's roboticized mind through the use of a Power Ring and later encourages him to override his programming in "Sonic Conversion". In the comic, Chuck's mind is restored by a freak-accident caused by Robotnik experimenting with the Void's properties.
- In the show, Bunnie was shown to have been childhood friends with the Freedom Fighters before the coup and was amongst the children smuggled to the Great Forest for safety. In the comics, she joined them at an older age shortly after being roboticized.
When the comic switched over to the Post-Super Genesis Wave continuity, elements from the cartoon were carried over, albeit mixed in with game-based elements. Of course, there are still several notable differences:
- Snively is no longer a relative working for Dr. Eggman. He is now a former scientist from G.U.N. who was persuaded to join the Eggman Empire.
- To differentiate him from his old reality counterpart, he now bears his former uncle's first name of "Julian". Snively is now his surname.
- The conflict that was once the Great War never happened. Rather, it was a hostile standoff between the Kingdom of Acorn and the Guardian Units of the Nation set up by Dr. Eggman and Walter Naugus as a ruse to cover their secret operation.
- Robotnik banished both King Acorn and Naugus into the Special Zone rather than the Void or Zone of Silence. This may be a reference to how the Zone of Silence was later merged with the Void and turned into the Special Zone in the old continuity.
- While not outright confirmed, Sonic the Hedgehog and the Freedom Fighters were not all childhood friends before Dr. Eggman's coup like in the show. Sally was familiar with Antoine at the time, but they later met Rotor, Bunnie and Sonic in Knothole.
- Professor Charles the Hedgehog is no longer officially recognized to be a relative of Sonic. Rather, he is referred to as "uncle" in the informal sense of the word.
- Bunnie, who is once again a childhood friend of the Freedom Fighters in this canon, was partially roboticized by Chuck to save her life rather than by Robotnik, as shown in the old reality.
- The show itself never explained exactly how she came to be partially roboticized. However, a test video for the cartoon's prototype intro (which can be viewed on the SatAM Complete Series DVD set) shows that a freak accident with Sally trying to free Bunnie accidentally ended up partially roboticizing her.
- Rather than being depicted as an adult, Lupe now appears to be in her teens - roughly the same age as the Knothole Freedom Fighters.
Aside from historical differences, the show also depicted the characters and setting slightly differently than their comic counterparts.
- Robotnik, in the early days of the comic, was depicted as being more comedic and sillier than his animated counterpart. In the show, he was much more sadistic and sinister, gleefully watching his prisoners cower in fear of his threats. He was also much more fierce and hot-tempered, pummeling Snively for his failures and growling with rage.
- This depiction of the character would later be adapted into the comics when a more serious direction was chosen.
- His attire was also slightly different than his Archie counterpart, with the lower half of his red jumpsuit being black beneath its yellow waistline.
- Despite being classified as a villain, Naugus is depicted more as an anti-villain in the show; showing mercy to the Freedom Fighters and admiring their skills and abilities while harboring a taste for revenge against Robotnik. In addition to elemental powers, Naugus is also shown using other forms of magic not seen in the comics, such as charm spells, telekinesis, hypnosis, shapeshifting (both himself and others), and pathfinding.
- These powers would later resurface in the Post-SGW timeline.
- In the comics, Rotor's color scheme was always light-purple with a beige muzzle as seen in the show's pilot episode. In the show proper, he was colored blue and was given a smaller, gray-colored muzzle.
- For the second season, Rotor was drastically redesigned again. He became chubbier and the shape of his snout and tusks were smaller. His eyes were colored orange, his tool belt was a darker shade of red, and was given black rubber gloves.
- In the comic, Antoine was given the name "D'Coolette". Whereas in the 15-minute episode "Odd Couple", his last name is given as "Depardieu".
- In the Pre-SGW timeline, Lupe had two distinct markings beneath her eyes. In the show, it was a single scar which ran beneath her left eye.
- This error was fixed in the Post-SGW timeline.
- Despite it being a separate continuity, two episodes of the show (both written by Pat Allee) have been confirmed to be canonical in the original timeline thus far. They are "Cry of the Wolf" and "Ghost Busted".
- There have been multiple callbacks to the show throughout the comic's run.
- Former show writer, Ben Hurst, initially planned for Mobius to be a post-apocalyptic Earth in the cancelled 3rd season. This idea would later be reused in the comics during Karl Bollers' run.
- Nicole's backstory in the Post-Super Genesis Wave Timeline was loosely based on Hurst's notes for the cancelled 3rd season, in which NICOLE was revealed to be an artificial intelligence patterned after a deceased girl.
- Nigel Acorn's name and mannerisms are a homage to his voice actor in the show, Tim Curry, and his role as Nigel Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys.
- Wolvurkel is modeled after Steve Urkel from Family Matters, played by Jaleel White, who also voiced Sonic in the show the comics were based on.
- Antoine's hatred of margarine stems from an infamous scene in the 2nd season episode "Spy Hog", in which Snively tortures him for information by cooking escargot with margarine instead of butter.
- Mecha Sally uttering "Where were you when they were passing out brains?" is a direct quote from an imaginary roboticized Sally in "Sonic's Nightmare".
- Background characters resembling Geoffrey St. John, Hamlin Pig, and Dylan Porcupine can be seen throughout various episodes. Considering the dates of the episodes' airtime, it is likely that writer Ken Penders based his characters' designs after their likenesses.