Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Sonikku za Hejjihoggu?), trademarked Sonic The Hedgehog, is a title character and the protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega, as well as in numerous spin-off comics, cartoons, and a feature film. The first game was released on June 23, 1991, to provide Sega with a mascot to rival Nintendo's flagship character Mario (see 1991 in video gaming). Since then, Sonic has become one of the world's best-known video game characters, with his series having sold more than 80 million copies. In 2005, Sonic was one of the first game character inductees into the Walk of Game, alongside Mario and Link.
While many individuals at Sega had a hand in Sonic's creation, programmer Yuji Naka and artist Naoto Ōshima are generally credited with the creation of the character. a blue 15-year-old anthropomorphic hedgehog, who has the ability to run at supersonic speeds and the ability to curl into a ball, primarily to attack enemies. This is a major part of the gameplay of the series.
Origins And HistoryEdit
While Sega were seeking a flagship series to compete with Nintendo's Mario series along with a character to replace Alex Kidd as the company's mascot, several character designs were submitted by its AM8 research and development department. Many results came forth from their experiments with character design, including an armadillo (who later developed into Mighty the Armadillo), a dog, a Theodore Roosevelt look-alike in pajamas (who would later be the basis of Dr. Robotnik/Eggman's design), and a rabbit (who would use its extendible ears to collect objects, an aspect later incorporated in Ristar). Eventually, Naoto Ōshima's spiky teal hedgehog, initially codenamed "Mr. Needlemouse", was chosen as the new mascot. Sonic's blue pigmentation was chosen to match Sega's cobalt blue logo, and his shoes were a concept evolved from a design inspired by Michael Jackson's boots with the addition of the color red, which was inspired by both Santa Claus and the contrast of those colors on Jackson's 1987 album Bad; his personality was based on Bill Clinton's "Get it done" attitude. Sonic was created without the ability to swim because of a mistaken assumption by Yuji Naka that all hedgehogs could not do so. A group of fifteen people started working on the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, and renamed themselves Sonic Team. The game's soundtrack was composed by Masato Nakamura of the band Dreams Come True. Sega sponsored the group's "Wonder 3" tour, painting Sonic on the tour bus, distributing pamphlets advertising the game, and having footage of the game broadcast above stage prior to its release.
he original concepts gave Sonic fangs and put him in a band with a human girlfriend named Madonna. However, a team from Sega of America, led by Madeline Schroeder, who calls herself "Sonic's mother", "softened" the character up for an American audience by removing those elements. This sparked a heated issue with Sonic Team. Naka later admitted that it was probably for the best. Sonic's appearance varies greatly depending on the medium and the style in which he is drawn. In the video games, Sonic's original design by Oshima was short and round, with short quills, a round body, and no visible irises. Artwork featuring this design and drawn by Akira Watanabe was displayed on the package artwork for Sonic the Hedgehog, and most subsequent Sonic video games featured similar designs
When Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Mega Drive appeared, Sonic's proportions changed. The original 1:2 head to height ratio changed to 1:2.5.
Beginning with Sonic Adventure in 1998, Sonic was redesigned by Yuji Uekawa as a character with longer legs and a less spherical body, longer and more drooping quills, and green-colored irises. Further subtle changes to the character's design have been made in subsequent games. Spin-off media such as comics and cartoons have featured variations on all these video game designs, with restrictions set by the standardized model sheets.
The first animated series to feature Sonic was Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, in which he was voiced by Jaleel White. The cartoon had a very comical take on Sonic and Tails' adventures battling Robotnik. Pierre De Celles, an animator who worked on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, described the show as "fun and humorous."
In the dramatic series Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic was again voiced by Jaleel White. He lives on the planet Mobius in Knothole Village, where he belongs to a band of Freedom Fighters that fight to free their world from the literally iron-fisted rule of the evil dictator Dr. Robotnik.
Sonic Underground featured the introductions of Sonic's triplet siblings Sonia the Hedgehog and Manic the Hedgehog, as well as his mother Queen Aleena, the four of whom were destined to defeat Robotnik and rule Mobius as the "Council of Four". Jaleel White returned to voice Sonic for the third time as well as voicing Sonic's siblings, with Samuel Vincent providing Sonic's singing voice. This series is the only Sonic the Hedgehog series with European origins, as it was a co-production between the United States and France.
Additionally, there were two OVAs in Japan that formed a single story which featured Sonic, Tails, Robotnik, Knuckles, and Metal Sonic. Sonic was voiced by Masami Kikuchi in Japan, and Martin Burke in the United States, where the two OVAs were treated as one unique, 1 hour long movie under the name of Sonic the Hedgehog: The movie.
Sonic X, was an anime in which Sonic is teleported to Earth by Chaos Control, caused by the Chaos Emeralds (though the final season takes place in his own world). Here, he befriends a boy named Chris Thorndyke, and his infamous aquaphobia is made far stronger; in one episode where Sonic and his friends go on a cruise, Sonic is in a constant state of panic and desperately searches for a way to escape. In this series, he is voiced by Jun'ichi Kanemaru in the Japanese version, and by Jason Griffith in the English version.
Sonic: Night of the Werehog is a short film by Sega's VE Animation Studio, released to coincide with the release of Sonic Unleashed. In the film, Sonic and Chip enter a haunted house, and must deal with two ghosts trying to scare them.