CG Animated ‘Sonic Boom’ Series Coming To Cartoon Network In 2014
Suiting his speedy nature, Sonic the Hedgehog is never far from a new video game, having starred in more than 70 since his debut in Sega Genesis in 1991. But animation? Despite a starring in a flurry of shows in the 1990s including two simultaneous (but tonally different) cartoons circa 1994, an original animated video from Japan in 1996, the rock and roll themed Sonic Underground in 1999 and finally Sonic X in 2003-2004, it's been almost a decade since Sonic and friends squared off with Dr. Eggman in a proper animated series. That's set to change in the fall of 2014, with a new CG animated series with the working title Sonic Boom set to debut on Cartoon Network.
Billed as a "character-driven comedy that leaves a trial of robot wreckage in its smoldering wake" in Sega's official press release, the show will follow Sonic, his sidekick Tails and allies Knuckles and Amy Rose as they battle the robot-crazed Dr. Eggman, presumably over control of their world's powerful Chaos Emeralds. Dr. Eggman won't be the only foe they'll face, however, with "a rogue's gallery of enemies -- some familiar to Sonic fans and some brand-new" will also stir up trouble for the show's heroes.
The timing of the announcement coincides with the upcoming release of Sonic Lost World on Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS systems later this month, which may or may not introduce some of the "new" characters set to appear in Sonic Boom. Sonic will also appear as a playable fighter on the same systems in 2014 in the latest incarnation of Super Smash Brothers.
Cartoon Network (along with GULLI and CANAL J in France) seems to be hedg(ehog)ing its bets on the new series, ordering an initial batch of 52 11-minute episodes co-produced by SEGA of America Inc. and Genao Productions. The team itself seems pretty ironclad from a branding standpoint, incorporating major figures from Sega to ensure that the show is consistent with the video games and other media it'll be tied to.
Sega's press release indicates that the show was packaged by Sega executive producers Evan Baily, Donna Friedman Meir, and Jane McGregor. Baily, Meir and Genao's Sandrine Nguyen developed the series, while Genao's Boris Hertzog and McGregor "structured the financing and negotiated all the deals." Baily and Co-Executive Producer Bill Freiberger (The Simpsons, Drawn Together, ...The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) are named as Sonic Boom's showrunners. Takashi Iizuka, who has been associated with the Sonic games since working on Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles in 1993 and is now the head of Sega's Sonic Team, will be overseeing the show. No word on a theme song writer, but they could do worse than the "Sonic Boom" jam from the 1993 Sonic CD game.
So where does that leave Archie Comics, who has been printing an ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog series and numerous specials, crossovers and spinoffs since 1992, not to mention a 40-issue series based on Sonic's last animated incarnation, Sonic X? An Archie representative could only tell CA, "It's too soon to say no comment for now." Considering that Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog ongoing has incorporated elements from every Sega game and animated series in some form over its 253 (and counting) issue history, fans may not have to cross any white-gloved fingers too hard to see the new show have some effect on their series of choice in the coming year.