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Trivia / Sonic SatAM

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The TV Show

  • All-Star Cast: In addition to Jaleel White voicing Sonic again, the series boasted some of the best voice actors in the business - Kath Soucie, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Christine Cavanaugh, Charlie Adler, Cree Summer and Frank Welker. Bradley Pierce even qualifies having previously voiced Chip in Beauty and the Beast, and Tim Curry appeared a couple of times.
  • Ascended Extra: Originally, Sally Acorn was a very minor character from the original Sonic The Hedgehog (specifically, she's one of Sonic's animal friends who Robotnik captured, and is freed when Sonic breaks her out of a badnik). She had her own official merchandise as early as 1991. The cartoon upgrades her to Sonic's love interest and main ally. Her presence in the cartoon made her so popular that an official statue of her standing alongside Sonic was placed near the entrance the SegaWorld theme park in Sydney, Australia.
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  • Ascended Fanon: The SatAM nickname made it onto the cover of the DVD boxset.
  • Author Existence Failure: After the series was cancelled, Ben Hurst attempted to make a continuation, either trying to make a Season 3, or at least a movie to conclude the story. He sadly passed away in August 2010 with nothing to show for his efforts but some drafts.
  • Children Voicing Children: Tails was voiced by then-ten-year-old Bradley Pierce.
  • Creator's Favorite: Ben Hurst's favorite characters according to this Newsgroup interview were Sally, Sonic, and Dulcy:
    Sal's also one of my favorite characters - although Dulcy will always have a special place in my heart. The wonderful thing about Sal is that, not only is she strong and capable, she can give as well as get in any exchange with Sonic. She doesn't order him around - she cajoles, persuades, convinces him to go in the direction she suggests - but as we all know - if Sonic really doesn't want to go in her direction - it just plain old ain't gonna happen. To me, what truly sets Sally aside is her heart. She has a deep well of compassion she draws from - and though Sonic is equally compassionate, Sally has the ability to articulate her heart-felt feelings (which Sonic will then agree to with a, "Yeah, that.") I fell in love with the characters. All of the characters. But my favorites were always Sonic and Sally - and the relationship between them was a joy and pleasure to keep alive.
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  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Ben Hurst named "The Doomsday Project" as his favourite episode of the ones he wrote:
    I used to think it was "Blast to the Past". But now, I'm leaning towards "Doomsday". I love the interaction between Sonic and Sally - and the kiss at the end. :) And the "You'll always be my hero" line.
  • Creator's Pest: Word of God has it that the reason Season 2 had Rotor Demoted to Extra was due to creator and producer Len Janson's unexplained dislike of the character.
  • Deleted Scene: The DVD contains deleted scenes from "Drood Henge" and "The Doomsday Project".
  • Edited for Syndication: When the series re-aired on the USA Network, many scenes were cut for commercial time.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Almost all of the writing staff who worked on Season 1 were removed sometime before writing for Season 2 began, leaving Ben Hurst as essentially the only writer for the series going forward.
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    • The remaining staff were pushed to create Dulcy to balance out the gender ratio of the Freedom Fighters. The four Antoine shorts were also a request of executives, as a part of their demand to lighten up the series by adding more comedy.
    • Sega of Japan was known to make frustrating and seemingly arbitrary demands. For example, like many American cartoons, the characters were all originally designed with four fingers instead of five. The designs were approved by Sega of America but were rejected by Sega of Japan, who were reportedly afraid that it would be associated with the Yakuza's tendency to chop off fingers. This resulted in DiC needing to reanimate a number of already completed scenes to include the additional fingers.
  • Fake Nationality: Antoine, as voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Fan Nickname: Aside from the SatAM one, the other nickname sometimes used by fans is "Sonic TAS" ("Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series").
  • Off-Model: Being a DiC cartoon, SatAM wasn't immune to the occasional animation error such as Sonic running up invisible walls or Tails' gloves being colored blue instead of white.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Cam Brainard replaced Mark Ballou as Rotor in Season 2. Ballou was asked to reprise the role, but opted out at the last minute due to personal reasons. Years after the series was cancelled, Ballou stated in an interview that he regretted making that choice.
    • An unusual example is Sally in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog special Sonic Christmas Blast. Sally has no lines except for gasps and moans, and the vocal effects are provided by Tabitha St. Germain. This is because Kath Soucie could not reprise her role due to conflicts with her work on Space Jam.
  • Out of Order: "Heads or Tails" is the pilot episode but aired at the end of the first season.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Tim Curry, an actor who made his name playing villains, provides the voice of the kindly and just King Acorn.
    • Even when voicing villains, Jim Cummings tends to be known for his comedic roles. Robotnik is decidedly not comedic.
  • Screwed by the Network: Despite pulling in solid ratings against Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and being connected to a mega-popular video game series, the show got cancelled for two reasons: Disney had just bought ABC and decided to clean house concerning their Saturday lineup (which would lead to One Saturday Morning emerging a couple years later), and many of ABC's stations tended to delay the lineup or preempt it entirely to air local news. As a result, some people didn't see the show until USA Network put it on as part of their Action Extreme Team block.
  • Talking to Herself: Kath Soucie as Sally and NICOLE.
  • Troubled Production: Sega of America did a poor job of speaking on behalf of the Japanese office. For example, DiC had to reanimate a number of scenes because Sega of Japan didn't approve of the characters having only four fingers despite Sega of America having gave the animators the go ahead on the character designs. (Of course, this was a symptom of the infamously-poor relationship between Sega's Japanese and American branches.)
  • Unfinished Episode: Story plans had already been made for a third season, in which Naugus and Snively would take turns as Big Bad and Tails would develop into a main character. ABC ensured the series would never last past two seasons.
  • Voices in One Room: A variation was used: Most of the cast, which was largely composed of veteran voice actors, acted in the same room, with the sole exception of Jaleel White. While this made it hard to play off of the rest of the cast, he also had more takes to work with. This was especially true for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Underground, because those two shows did their recording in Canada, while White was in Los Angeles.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The show's third season was completely laid out and prepared, and then ABC cancelled it:
      • The Freedom Fighters (now called "Freedom Builders") would have begun the process of rebuilding Mobotropolis, Rotor spearheading the transformation, and Sonic finding that Victory Is Boring. Unbeknown to them, Snively would be sneaking about Robotropolis, gathering intel on the Freedom Fighters and plotting to attack them outright. For a time, Snively is able to place himself in a position of power, proving himself as formidable a foe as Robotnik, if not more so. However, his time as head villain would prove short lived thanks to the efforts of the Freedom Fighters, and in a moment of desperation would free Naugus, Robotnik, and King Acorn from the void. Naugus immediately takes on the title of main villain, using the King as bait to lure Sally in, making Robotnik into his Snively equivalent, and in turn making Snively nothing. Snively was slated to defect to the Freedom Fighters in retaliation, although he would secretly plan to betray them at some point, Antoine being the only one to notice - and ultimately stop - Snively's plans.
      • The show apparently would have eventually confirmed, as some fans had already speculated, that Mobius was Earth All Along, with the story set millennia after a world-purging nuclear war that wiped out humans and caused animals to become sapient. Robotnik and Snively were to be the last humans alive and had been off-planet on a space colonization mission when the war struck. After betraying and killing the rest of their crew, they returned to Earth and, due to relativity, landed after the animals had already assumed control of the planet.
      • Tails would have matured and played a much larger role as an official member of the Freedom Fighters, even showing a bit of a rebellious side and would save Knothole Village from a major disaster. Furthermore, his relationship with Sonic would have been closer to the games.
      • Dulcy would have come into her full powers. All Ben Hurst said about that was, “You don’t want to see a dragon when she gets mad.”
      • Sally would be romanced by someone other than Sonic, though in the end Sonic would eventually come out on top. Sonic would also undergo a major personality change.
      • Nicole's backstory would be told, revealing that she was once a Mobian child that was brainwashed into a computer program by Robotnik. At some point NICOLE would be restored to her former self, becoming a part of the Freedom Fighters.
      • At some point, Knothole would "get crunched".
      • Knuckles was supposed to appear at the end of the season and was going to be more of a main character for an also never made fourth season.
    • According to the series bible, Nate Morgan from the Archie comics was originally supposed to appear in the show. Also, Snively's original name was Quizley, and he was Robotnik's third cousin on his mother's side rather than his nephew. The bible also mentions more sinister renditions of badniks from the games such as Crabmeat and Caterkiller. While a redesigned Buzz Bomber appeared in the pilot, the others made no appearance, though like Nate Morgan made appearances in the early comics.
    • The bible also refers to several unused episode ideas, an early script for "Heads Or Tails" would have revolved around Princess Sally's birthday, for example. There were also character changes - Tails was the same age he was in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (4 1/2) as opposed to eight, Bunnie's dream was to become Sally's royal hairdresser (this made it into her first appearance in the Archie comics), Antoine was British and Rotor having bad breath as the result of an all-fish diet.
    • Some very early prototype designs were recently uncovered. Sally was a human at one stage (and a proto-Seedrian at another), Bunnie had some Disney-esque stylization and was organic from the waist up (or mechanical from the head down, in another sketch), and Robotnik, as a likely result of having no visual references, was drawn as both a cyborg-pirate thing, and then a green demon overlord that looked kind of like Ganondorf if he were drawn by Don Bluth.
    • The original intro/workprint of this show, as seen in animatic form here, and in partial video here, was far different, more cartoonish and offered an alternate take on how Bunnie became a cyborg- only a couple of elements from this made it into the final intro. It is also debatable if this is an intro or a pitch promo workprint for the ABC network similar to The Real Ghostbusters pitch promo workprint (also by DIC). The partial video also has music that was never used or heard anywhere else.
    • The unused soundtrack that was released a long while after the discontinuation of the show. This soundtrack has unused songs from the show written and performed by Michael Tavera. Some of the music can be used to match up with the intro, especially the "Burning Way Past Cool" track.
    • Ben Hurst at one point discussed with a Sega executive about making a movie that would have used some ideas in the unmade third season in 2000, including the origins of NICOLE. According to Hurst, the Sega executive he was in contact with, was, to begin with, quite receptive towards the idea. Ken Penders, who had heard about Hurst's pitch, contacted Hurst and offered to help out. Hurst in turn offered to include him in the effort and shared the details about his strategy for getting the project approved. However; the Sega executive's attitude towards the project completely changed shortly afterwards and it was ultimately rejected, and Hurst would directly and openly accuse Penders of going behind his back and sabotaging the pitch by talking poorly about it to Sega in order to make his own pitch for a potential Sonic feature film look more appetizing to the company. With the live-action film project finally progressing, it's unlikely this will ever be restarted again.
    • According to Hurst, the network's demand of the Antoine-centric shorts scuppered his plans to include more Freedom Fighter groups, including a jungle-based group.
    • In the earlier scripts, Bunnie was in love with Rotor. This is not directly referenced in the final show, though Bunnie is seen dancing with Rotor during the show's intro sequence.
  • Word of God: The answers to questions about the series-ending cliffhanger to SatAM were eventually discovered in interviews with the writing staff, including some plot threads which were supposed to continue from this point. These include the pair of sinister red eyes glaring at the viewer when the show ended belonging to Naugus, Snively's Heel–Face Turn, Robotnik becoming Naugus' lackey as the latter became the series' Big Bad, and increased prominence for Tails.

The Cancelled Game

  • Recursive Adaptation: A video game adaptation of a cartoon based on a video game series.
  • What Could Have Been: This was one of many attempts at making a SatAM game revolving around stealth rather than speed. The closest the show ever got to being adapted into a finished Sonic game were Sonic Spinball, which relegates the SatAM cast to cameos in a minigame, and Sonic 3D Blast, which excised all of the SatAM elements and ended up being an attempted Flicky revival.

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