Man of the Year (also titled Sonic the Animation in the Movie Theater and just Sonic on the title) is a minute and a half length animated short that was featured in the compilation game Sonic Jam. The short was animated by TMS Entertainment (at the time known as Tokyo Movie Shinsha) using hand-drawn 2D characters accompanied by mostly 3D computer-generated environments. Although the character designs are practically identical to the games, the animation style mimics that of the western Warner Brothers cartoons that TMS was helping co-animate at the time, such as Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures.
After the title screen, the camera flies over a large metropolitan city, ending on Robotnik's island hideout just off the coast. In his hideout, a newly awoken Robotnik in pajamas goes to sit at his desk with a mug of coffee and a newspaper, whereupon he has a spit take when he reads that Sonic has been deemed the "Man of the Year". Robotnik angrily balls up the paper and throws it at the TV, turning it on, showing the same message and several crowds of people cheering for Sonic. Further enraged, Robotnik tries to turn the TV off, but stumbles over a trash heap, where he then arises while violently swinging and strangling a Sonic doll. He suddenly gets an idea and runs out of the room.
In the city, Sonic is seen running and jumping about, when suddenly Robotnik appears in a Sonic suit and rocket skates, where he then begins terrorizing the civilians; drawing on the faces of people who want his autograph, jumping on cars and destroying sign posts. After causing chaos throughout the town, a television displays an announcement proclaiming Sonic has now been deemed "Worst Man of the Year", showing an image of the disguised Robotnik making an akanbe at the camera. Unaware of the havoc wrought in his name, Sonic runs by a crowd of civilians watching the TV and stops to get their attention when, much to his befuddlement, they start angrily yelling at him.
After a moment of confusion, Sonic then notices Robotnik standing atop a nearby building, looking down on him and laughing villainously before losing his balance and falling off the edge, where the short ends with a "To Be Continued" screen.
- Throughout the animated short, following pieces of music are played:
- Morning Mood by Edvard Grieg - as Robotnik wakes up in the morning. It should be noted that before the animated short, many motifs and samples of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" were used before as musical cues and the main theme of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg - when Robotnik learns that Sonic is "Man of the Year".
- The background music for the present of Metallic Madness from Japanese and European releases of Sonic the Hedgehog CD - while Robotnik is causing trouble.
- The end of the short says, "To be continued," but no continuation was ever produced.
- Robotnik's laugh at the end of the short is taken from the Japanese boss theme of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- In June 2016, the animated short was shown during the Sonic 25th Anniversary event held in Joypolis.