The 5 SU storyboards didn't sell, so I dropped the price a couple hundred bucks. Item
Comeon..Sonic Underground wasn't THAT bad. Sure it wasn't the greatest
of the Sonic series, but it was still a cool Sonic cartoon overall.
There's no comparing it to Sonic SatAM though. Proof that it wasn't too
bad? Look around, there are some loyal SU fans, if it sucked that bad,
it would be hated by all, would it not? lol.
As for what I think of the auction, it's cool that official storyboards
and such for the series are being released to the public, however, It's
quite sad to see all of that great stuff be scattered across the world.
I have seen previous auctions of the character models and backgrounds
for Sonic Underground, at the prices they sold at, that was a steal. I
think they should have sold for atleast a couple hundred. I think the
reason they didn't go as high is because not as many were aware of the
auction, or have already sorta left the Sonic community. I knew this one
guy that was nuts about the series, he couldn't get enough of Sonic
Underground, this was when it was airing on WB. Then one day he just
disappeared without a trace, I'm sure if he was around and had the
money, he would gladly buy the series merchandise (storyboards and
such). That's all I have to say for now.
I think it was really terrible. Come on; Sonic and his siblings go around
Mobius singing in a rock band to cheer people up? That's a ridiculous
premise. Don't forget the fact that Jaleel White voiced all three
hedgehogs, INCLUDING Sonic's sister, Sonia.
I don't think there has ever been a cartoon that has really captured the
epic, adventurous feel of Sonic.
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Well, I have to admit, you do have a point for a few things, like the
rock band thing, there was like a song in every episode, quite a few
songs weren't as good as they could be. I also know what you mean about
Sonia's voice, I would have preferred it if it was an actual girls voice
rather than the same person that voices Sonic and Manic, her voice did
sound kinda strange sometimes.
As for the last comment you said about how you don't think any Sonic
series yet has captured the epic, adventerous feel of Sonic, I can agree
with that. I think that Sonic SatAM is the closest they have come to it
though. What do you think? That series had the dark animation most of
the time that you'd come to expect for a Sonic series, nice storyline
and all, sucks that it had to be cut close before the release of Season
3 though. Wonder if Ben Hurst ever plans on picking up on that again
someday (you know, actually finishing the series where it was left off,
not likely, but I can dream, lol). Something tells me that there would
have been a lot more to the series than the public has learned about the
unreleased season so far.
Anyway, sorry for getting off topic into SatAM so much, Sonic X is a
good series as well, but it's not very close either to having that
adventureous feel we'd come to expect of a Sonic series, probably even
farther off than SatAM.
There's one thing that sorta bugs me about Sonic Underground though..I
know at one point you see a statue of King Acorn from SatAM (a.k.a.
Sally's father). That there sorta confused me and made me think one
thing: Is King Acorn Sonic's father? lol. Think about it though, while
Robotnik was taking over, I remember the statue getting damaged and the
head of it falling off, that was clearly King Acorn, I don't see who
else it could be. Unless Sonic Underground is some sort of alternate
time and space to SatAM. Wish someone would explain that to me, heh.
> I don't think there has ever been a cartoon that has really captured the
> epic, adventurous feel of Sonic.
Do you really find the Sonic world to be "epic"? I just don't see the
characters (especially Eggman) lending themselves to a serious show.
I've always thought the Sonic world works much better as a semi-humorous
TV series then a two hour long movie.
Sonic X could have been the perfect Sonic cartoon, but they had to go
and add Chris and Chuck and all those other human characters, taking the
focus away from Sonic and friends.
Not to mention the fact that they completely changed the tone of the
cartoon by adding lame cartoonish background music in the dubbed version
rather than using the original as well as completely changing most of
the story. They only proved anime fans right that the japanese versions
of shows are better than dubbed, otherwise it would atleast be somewhat
better, even though it had the humans. They were original for a while,
but then it wasn't long until it started following the story line of
games, which was ok, but I think they could have done better...Besides,
now for those people who play Sonic Adventure 2 and never have, but have
seen Sonic X, they'll probably say stuff like "Where's chris?" when they
get to the space colony ark part since chris did go to the space colony
with them in the show, but chris didn't exist in the game.
Of course I do! Play Sonic 3 & Knuckles. That game is VERY epic,
particularly from Lava Reef Zone onwards. Heading through the volcano and
seeing the Death Egg in the background, then fighting Knuckles in the Hidden
Palace with that tapestry of Super Sonic vs. the Egg Robo in the background,
to going up to Sky Sanctuary to chase Robotnik, jumping onto the Death Egg,
and having a final battle in outer space?! TOTALLY epic. No show has ever
captured that feeling of adventure.
See though, I don't really expect dark animation from a Sonic series. Zones
in Sonic games aren't super-happy-fun-magical-rainbows, but they do have
lots of color and varied aesthetics. SatAM had two things: forest and
polluted city. I want to see interesting locales with great style, like
Hydrocity, Aquatic Ruins, Metropolis, Ice Cap, Hill Top, Starlight, etc.
Sonic games always gave off a feeling of travelling the WORLD for adventure;
SatAM had a very here-and-there approach; the forest and the city.
In that respect, I don't think SatAM came very close at all.
I hadn't thought about that part. Let me revise my original statement
about how Sonic should be presented. The best example I can give is the
TV series Gargoyles. Every episode was self contained, though there
were plenty of references to earlier episodes. And every so often,
there would be a two or three part episode where the story between each
episode was a direct continuation. SatAM was pretty good in this
respect, though the setting was too dark.
Just look at Sonic Adventure. Except for the underlying goal of find
the Chaos Emeralds, the story was very much in Zone of the Day mode, all
the way up until Super Sonic's story.
Sonic Underground was a sad, sad story. With the opportunity looming large for the
third season of SatAm, DIC made a creative decision to trash that continuity and strike
out in a new direction. The reason: because they could add songs with the whole
Sonic, Sonia and Manic thing and collect extra residuals from ASCAP/BMI (the group
that pays song royalties - DIC makes deals with songwriters to split or sign over the
rights to their compositions - exactly the same way that they force the writers and story
editors to sign over all rights to their stories.)
All residual payments for cartoons go to DIC - even the royalties set aside for creative
people in Europe (based on blank videotape and audio cassette sales). There have
been legal battles about that (through the Writer's Guild), but the only reputable
animation producer in America (to my knowledge) to hand those monies over to the
writers - was Warner Brothers. I've actually received royalty checks from the European
release of episodes that Pat Allee and I wrote for "Tiny Toons."
Here's how Sonic Underground happened. After SatAm was canned because of a
change in leadership at ABC and low ratings caused by multiple pre-emptions caused
by sporting events and finally - being placed up against the red-hot "Power Rangers,"
(now there's some genius programming strategy) - a new version of Sonic was created:
Did they ask me or Pat or Len Janson to develop the series? No. In fact, I never
heard of the series before a DIC story editor called and asked me and Pat to come to a
cattle call for Sonic Underground. I refused (we don't do cattle calls - which, for those
of you unfamiliar with the term - is where they bring in about 20 writers to learn about a
series and pitch written premises (for free) in hopes of snagging an episode or two).
The story editor got us there by guaranteeing us at least a few episodes. So, off we
went to a conference room at DIC.
We got there and yep, twenty writers. They showed an episode of SatAm (first season)
to "illustrate the background" of the characters. It wasn't one of mine or Pat's - it was
one of the other episodes. After they described the marvelous new direction (Siblings,
Music, Missing Mother, Stupid New Characters) they ended the meeting. We were
taken into another room with the story editor who told us he wanted us to write the pilot
episode. We did. Sega read the script, then the story editor was fired and we were
hired. They also hired another team of story editors - who survived through about 8
episodes before they left. We also got a few fledgling writers shoved down our throat
by the producer (results: I had to rewrite their damned unusable scripts from page one -
they still got paid for the script - I got nada)
We tried our best to get some lore going, but DIC was racing through the series at 2
episodes a week - an insane pace and one calculated to maximize their profits. We
managed to get a three-part origin story through, but with the limited time, we were
unable to tie everything together. The only bright spot was that we assigned 6 scripts
to Len Janson, who wrote some damn nice stuff.
So that's the saga of SU. As I rewatch some of the episodes, I'm surprised it's as good
as it is. I'm fully aware it doesn't match up to SatAm and I would give my eye teeth to
be hired to do the SatAm third season. But the only way for that to happen would be
for some visionary exec at DIC to realize they're sitting on a gold mine.
I did consult with DIC to see if there was a way to generate some enthusiasm for a
feature film to be the "Third Season" of SatAm. I was given the name of a Sega
executive and had a most pleasant conversation. She had to go to a meeting, but said
she would like to talk to me more about the idea.
The next day, I got a call from Ken Penders, who had been alerted by his contact in
their office that I was interested in getting a Sonic movie going. I generously offered to
include him in the effort and told him my strategy. Get Sega to become invested in the
idea by hiring us to interview their creative game designers, execs, etc and see if we
could develop a story line that would fulfill the third season - and simultaneously give
them creative ideas to develop new games. A win-win, situation.
Then, I called Sega back, but I was shocked when the exec "lit" into me, telling me,
"People pay US to develop Sonic product, we don't pay them!" Then she hung up on
me. Obviously, Penders had related my strategy to them in a less-than-flattering way.
Thanks for the knife, Ken.
So, I gave up. Later, I was informed by friendly fans that Penders had written in his
message board or some such place that "Ben Hurst doesn't know how movies are
made in Hollywood." (Hey Ken, read "Adventures in Screenwriting" by William
Goldman and get some humility) Then he dropped hints that HE would be the writer for
a big Sonic Feature Film. That was three years ago.
So, if you're reading between the lines, you can see I don't hold out much hope for
seeing the third season of Satam - or being the one who does it if it happens. And that
makes me sad. Because if it were to happen, those 13 episodes would sizzle.
But this I've learned: Never leave a series on a cliffhanger unless you have a contract
for the next year. And be more careful in my choice of people to confide in.
May this find you all in good health and spirits - and who knows? Miracles could still
happen with Satam. But I think the odds of hitting the California Lotto are slightly
Best to all,
"DarkeSword" <darke...@exphyl.com> wrote:
>"Sonic Club" <so...@knothole.satam> wrote in message
>> Comeon..Sonic Underground wasn't THAT bad. Sure it wasn't the greatest of
>> the Sonic series, but it was still a cool Sonic cartoon overall. There's
>> no comparing it to Sonic SatAM though. Proof that it wasn't too bad? Look
>> around, there are some loyal SU fans, if it sucked that bad, it would be
>> hated by all, would it not? lol.
>I think it was really terrible. Come on; Sonic and his siblings go around
>Mobius singing in a rock band to cheer people up? That's a ridiculous
>premise. Don't forget the fact that Jaleel White voiced all three
>hedgehogs, INCLUDING Sonic's sister, Sonia.
>I don't think there has ever been a cartoon that has really captured the
>epic, adventurous feel of Sonic.
Ben, do you mind if I post this verbatim to a few other message boards?
I know some other boards that would be interested in this, but I'd
like to make sure you're okay with the retelling.
I posted it publicly - you can post wherever you like.
They won't sell because it's the wrong kind of paper for wiping your ass.