|This article's subject exists primarily within the Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie continuity.|
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic the Movie for short, also known simply as the Sonic Anime or Sonic OVA) is a two-part OVA based on the video games with same name. The OVA was originally produced in Japan during 1996, where it was simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Sonikku Za Hejjihoggu?), and its two 30-minute episodes ("Journey to Eggmanland" and "Sonic vs. Metal Sonic") were released over two separated VHS tapes. ADV Films dubbed it to English and released both episodes edited together as a direct-to-video film in North America on September 8, 1999 as Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
The story follows a giant mecha (known as Dark Eggman in the Japanese dub and Metal Robotnik in English) who appears in Dr. Robotnik's utopian city of Eggmanland (called Robotropolis in English dub as a tie-in with SatAM) and banishes the doctor. The mecha takes control of Robotnik's robotic army, to lure Sonic, Tails and Knuckles into the Land of Darkness. Once there, the blue blur defeats the Metal Robotnik, who turns out to be Robotnik himself who lured Sonic to his base in order to copy his DNA for his new robot Hyper Metal Sonic, an evil Sonic-shaped robot who shares his memories and feelings, and essentially lives the same life as Sonic himself.
The OVA's main characters are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Doctor Robotnik and Metal Sonic (named Hyper Metal Sonic in OVA). All characters are based on their game counterparts with some minor alterations. Several Badniks from games also appear in OVA such as Crabmeat, Crawlton, Buzzbomber and Snail Blaster. The OVA also features characters that have never seen in games, such as Sara, the President of South Island, Old Man Owl and Metal Robotnik. Several minor characters include President's aide, and Robotnik's guard robots, who are unnamed and have be seen several scenes such as in the President's office. Another unnamed humanoid cyborgs are seen as well firing at Robotropolis during the Robotnik's narration.
The animation for the OVA has been produced by Studio Pierrot. Sonic is closely animated in the same style as in intro and ending cinematic of Sonic CD, although traditional animation for the game is made by Toei Animation with co-production of Studio Junio. The ending theme of OVA is "Look-a-like" which is sung by Riu Konaka, who also made lyrics of the song. The catchy 90's soundtrack of OVA is composed by Mitsuhiro Tada, who also did the arrangement for "Look-a-like".
There's been also possibilities that OVA would originally going to be a series but because of Sonic VS. Metal Sonic being unsuccessful, only two episodes got released.
Unlike the official games' continuity, the OVA takes place in a world called Planet Freedom, which is divided into two regions: the Land of the Sky and the Land of Darkness. However, in a reference to the games, one part of the Land of the Sky is called South Island, which is the setting of the original game and several other spinoffs in the series. Like many anime series, Planet Freedom appears to be a crossbreed of a fairy tale land and Earth. In the English dubbed version, the two regions are referred to as being separate dimensions, most probably due to a translation error.
The story begins with Sonic relaxing in a beach chair and listening to electronic music outside the ruins of a crashed Boeing 747 and USS Enterprise, which serves as his house. When Tails comes out to test his new, jet-propelled bodyboard, he asks Sonic to give it a try. Sonic declines, because he has a great fear of water. Tails' bodyboard, however, encounters a flying ship driven by Oji-san (Old man Owl), an old and harebrained anthropomorphic owl, and almost collides with a mountain before being rescued by Sonic. Afterward, Oji-san gives news of the President being held captive by Dr. Robotnik. Sonic and Tails race to the Presidential Palace (Presidential House in the dub), where they encounter Robotnik and his robotic guards holding the President and his daughter, Sara.
Robotnik tells Sonic that his city at Robotropolis (Eggmanland in the Japanese version) in the Land of Darkness, is being held by a metal version of himself called Metal Robotnik, who attacked his good people with a battalion of demonic robots and sabotaged the Robot Generator by overloading it with energy, which would then (supposedly) malfunction and release excess electricity and destroy Planet Freedom within a few hours. Unfortunately, when Robotnik finishes his speech, he notices everyone has fallen asleep including Sonic, Tails, and his own robots.
After he gains the trust of Sonic, Dr. Robotnik gives Tails a navigational watch for his journey, and the two head for the Land of Darkness. Metal Robotnik crashes into the Presidential House, and Sara demands that Robotnik give her a ride in it, entering the control panel and playing around. Sonic and Tails enter the Land of Darkness, encountering Badniks, but they soon get to the abandoned city. There, they get into a long battle with Metal Robotnik, eventually meeting up with Knuckles who helps them destroy the mecha.
Sonic, Tails and Knuckles go into the core of the city, where Sonic is held in a glass container which copies his DNA. The protagonists think that the bomb that Robotnik threatened would blow up the Land of the Sky was a dud.
Metal Robotnik appears, eventually crumbling, revealing Dr. Robotnik and Sara in it. Knuckles falsely accuses Sara of being behind his scheme, and in reply she cries a river and reveals that "the robot and the machine going haywire were all part of Robotnik's evil scheme," which Robotnik does not deny. He shows Sonic a metal version of himself, Hyper Metal Sonic, and the two get into a fight.
Metal charges at Sonic with full speed for a while, with Sonic dodging most of his attacks. However, when Sonic jumps up to avoid Metal, Metal rams into Sonic's back at max speed which knocks Sonic out. As soon as he comes to, Sonic jumps on top of a mountain and loses sight of Metal, and to Sonic's surprise, Metal appears out of nowhere and kicks Sonic's head knocking him off the mountain to the valley below. Tails and Knuckles go back to the Land of the Sky, where Tails learns that Hyper Metal Sonic is out to destroy the world by hitting the Ice Caps and blowing it up. The blue hedgehog wakes up in Green Lake City (a heavenly shrubbery), and thinks about Metal Sonic knowing everything he does, or has done. Sonic gets to the workshop, and hears all about the Ice Cap dilemma from the President (much to the dismay of the President and Tails).
Sonic, Tails and Knuckles go to the Ice Cap, where Sara is being held captive for marriage at the North Pole. (Dr. Robotnik's main goal in the movie is to destroy the world, leaving only he and Sara to marry and have children). Sonic encounters Hyper Metal Sonic, and the two have a long fight to which Metal gains the upper hand. Tails corrupts Metal's data with the navigation watch Robotnik gave him before, and Sonic is able to do serious damage with his Spin Dash. Metal manages to recover and attacks Sonic again but it is clear at this point that Metal is damaged too badly to win and is severely beaten down by Sonic. At the same time, however, the President's ship is destroyed. Hyper Metal Sonic saves the President and Sonic realizes that Metal does have emotions, as he was programmed with Sonic's DNA.
Metal gets blown into a crack and falls down into the subglacial volcano, where Sonic tries to save him, but Metal tells him that "there is only one Sonic" and is destroyed by falling into the magma, much to Sonic's dismay. While Sonic is smarting from his injuries and mourning the loss of Metal, Robotnik says that he still has Sonic's DNA, and reveals his plans to create a superior, emotionless replica of the blue blur. A design failure of his (a robotic turtle) blows up the CD that the DNA is inside, thwarting his plans. After, Knuckles hits Sonic on the head because in the fight, Sonic stepped on Knuckles by accident and the two chase each other. The whole cast is seen following behind Sonic before Sonic races off and the movie ends.
Differences between Japanese and English versionsEdit
The OVA originally was released in two separate VHS cassettes in Japan, but was later cut and compound into direct-to-video film as ADV Films licensed and sold it in west. Besides the opening and end credits, original two Japanese VHS releases differs several ways from all American releases. Many differences may come due compounding both OVA episodes together, translated to be more fitting for west audience or being minor edits. Differences include:
- Separate Japanese VHS releases have sub-titles for each episode. The first episode's subtitle comes after Sonic the Hedgehog logo and gloves while strong sound can be heard. Second episode's subtitle appears during Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are making towards the robot generator. Both sub-titles are removed from American releases.
- Like usually in Japanese animation, there are several swearing words that are replaced with more lenient words in American releases.
- The first episode's Metal Sonic prologue scene has ominous background music playing, while in American releases the music is muted while only background sfx and english dialogue are heard.
- In the english dubbed version, the two regions are referred to as being separate dimensions, most probably due to a translation error.
- The stele which one of smaller Eggman robot hold shows kanji writing. In American releases it says "GOODBYE SARA!!" with blue font.
- The first episode in Japanese VHS ends to the end credits, while it shows different footages from first episode. The American releases used footages from second episode of OVA in end credits. Different footages from first episode include:
- Sonic saving Tails and Old Man Owl.
- First conformation with Metal Robotnik.
- Chase scene on roadway bridge.
- Sonic defeating Metal Robotnik.
- Sonic, Tails and Knuckles looking to the sunset and Robotropolis.
- There's few seconds shot of view to Robotropolis while camera zooms toward at the beginning of the second episode in Japanese VHS. The small shot was cut in American releases.
- In the original translations, Knuckles was presented as a mole and not as an echidna; it also stated that he is an "accomplished flyer" when he cannot fly but can only glide (although he does appear to fly in the movie). This mistake even reoccurs in the character bios featured in the DVD release. In the movie, Knuckles is seen in a whack-a-mole parody and called "mister mole" by Sara.
Screenshots from Japanese releaseEdit
VHS and DVD ReleasesEdit
The OVA was first released at Japan in May 31st. 1996 as two separate VHS tapes by Taki Corporation as distributor. There exist rental and store variations of both VHS releases. The first VHS also features the beginning advertisement for Nights into Dreams... game.
The OVA was years later dubbed to English, compound into direct-to-video film and released at North American and Europe in September 9, 1999 by ADV Films, one day earlier before the US release of Sonic Adventure with several scenes being cut. The movie was later re-released on DVD in January 13, 2004 as earlier releases still has small edits. The later DVD releases features the fully uncut version of the movie. The extras on DVD includes character bios and picture gallery.
Deleted scenes from 1999 releaseEdit
The original 1999 VHS release and early copies of the DVD release have scenes that were edited or cut out due its offensive imagery. These edits are include during the television runs of the movie. These scenes were later bring back to uncut DVD versions in 2004.
- One scene includes Sonic showing the middle finger at Metal Robotnik. The earlier VHS release edit the scene as Sonic is actually showing his index finger.
- In the scene where Robotnik and Sara are trapped under the debris of Metal Robotnik, Robotnik gropes Sara; Sara said, "What do you think you're doing with your hands?!" In the Japanese version, Eggman said that, "They feel so nice."
- When Robotnik proposes to Sara, as she regretfully imagines her future with him, it is shown that Sara is breastfeeding a baby and is pregnant.
- Sara called Hyper Metal Sonic a pervert because of him looking up her dress. Sonic (who basically sees, thinks, and feels everything Metal does) has an adverse effect on this event.
- In this same event, Sonic lands painfully on his crotch on Eggman's Eggmobile.
- When Sara, Knuckles, and Tails roll up into a giant snowball, they crash and Tails is shown holding on to Sara's breasts. To which Knuckles tells him to "Get off!" and later comment "I'd never thought you'd stoop that low!"
- Tails' new, jet-propelled bodyboard has similarities to the Extreme Gear from the Sonic Riders series.
- It is debatable whether the Robotnik's story was actually true, if he attacked his own city, or if the mecha actually did attack the planet on its own free will and was then taken control of by Robotnik. This would explain its name being a variation of the doctor's.
- When Sara and Robotnik are playing the video game, Robotnik's name in the video game read "Eggman" and Sara's name is spelled "Seira".
- In the movie, agreeing with official information from the actual games, Tails has a severe case of astraphobia: a fear of thunder and lightning.
- The hat Knuckles wears never appears in any Sonic game, but it is a minor plot point in the Sonic the Hedgehog comics published by Archie Comics. In that series, it is a gift from his great-grandfather, Hawking, and a story arc showing a possible future for the characters depicts Knuckles wearing that hat regularly.
- The finish move that Sonic use with help of Tails and Knuckles to defeat Metal Robotnik may have inspired their Team Blast in Sonic Heroes.
- The abandoned city bears an uncanny resemblance to New York City, in a post-apocalyptic setting. This can be further proven as one of the skyscrapers in the city resemble the Empire State Building.
- When Dr. Robotnik (Dr. Eggman) notices on his screen in his flying machine that Hyper Metal Sonic has found the point of destruction, the text "SEGA" is seen on Robotnik's monitor.
- The ending climax where Sonic tries to save Metal Sonic seems to been inspired by Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
- Another tie-in to the Archie Comics universe, they may have based the demise of Metal Sonic being buried alive in lava and rock on this movie, where Hyper Metal Sonic is destroyed in the lava at the North Pole.
- A reference to the movie was made in World Collide part 5 by the Copy Robot while he was fighting Megaman.
|Sonic in other media|
|Manga | AoStH (episodes) (Christmas Blast) | Sonic the Comic | SatAM (episodes) | Archie (Knuckles) | Movie | Underground (episodes) | Sonic X (episodes) (comic) (card game) | Night of the Werehog | Sonic Universe | List of printed media|
|Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog||
|Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)||