Man of the Year (known just as Sonic on the title screen) is an over minute and a half length animated short that has been featured in the compilation game Sonic Jam. The hand-drawn animation of the short has made by TMS Entertainment (known as Tōkyō Movie Shinsha during that time), but the short also combines computer-generated graphics. Although character designs are close to the games counterpart, the animation style is similar to that of Animaniacs or Tiny Toon Adventures for example.
The short has no spoken dialogue, but several pieces of music play through the short (see below) and sound effects from video games are included. The short's only main characters are Dr. Robotnik and Sonic.
After the logo zooms in and fades out, the screen is shown to hover over the city on the island of Robotnik's hideout, as Dr. Robotnik walks in the room in pajamas and going to a desk with a mug of coffee and a newspaper. He spits out the coffee when he discovers that the newspaper article that states Sonic being the "Man of the Year". Robotnik balls up the paper and throws it at the TV, which sets it on, showing the same thing with people being excited. Enraged, Robotnik tries to turn the TV off, but stumbles on room trash heap, where he for a moment then comes up while swinging and strangling a Sonic doll. He suddenly gets an idea and runs out the lab.
In the city, Sonic is seen running around on the buildings and jumping from wall to wall while suddenly Robotnik appears in a Sonic suit from the corner of the street, running around (with rocket boosters on his feet), and wreaks havoc by doing things such as drawing on the faces of people who want his autograph, jumping on cars, and destroying sign posts. After his actions has causing chaos in the city, television screen then announced that Sonic was the "Worst Man of the Year", as showing Robotnik performing an akanbe. Sonic, not knowing of the crimes committed in his name, stops to talk to some civilians who watched the same television screens but, much to his confusion, they start yelling at him.
At the same time, Robotnik standing on top of the building, as he's overlooking Sonic getting yelled at, and laughing villainously, until he is shown about to fall off the building.
The following pieces of music play during the short:
- Morning Mood by Edvard Grieg - as Robotnik wakes up in the morning.
- In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg - when Robotnik learns that Sonic is "Man of the Year".
- Background music for the present (JP/EU) of Metallic Madness from Sonic the Hedgehog CD - while Robotnik is causing trouble.
- Before the short, many motifs and samples of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" were used at several music tracks and main theme of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The end of the short says, "To be continued," but no continuation was produced.
- Robotnik laughing at the end of short has taken from Japanese boss theme of Sonic the Hedgehog CD.