Sample Sidebar Module

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Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.
The SatAM Sonic Cartoons
images/main_bkg.jpg
What is "SatAM"? You've probably seen that word around the internet and around MobianLegends.com, but wonder what it means. It stands for 'Saturday AM' ("Saturday Morning"), and refers to the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon show that aired on the ABC Network in the United States from 1993 to 1995, and on the CTV Network in Canada. The show differed from its contemporary Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon in syndication, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog ("AoStH") in that it had a far more serious tone, compared to the slapstick insanity and humourous nature of AoStH.

Plot overview: What SatAM is about

SatAM is about a group of forest-dwelling freedom fighters waging open guerilla warfare against the tyrannical Doctor Robotnik in the industrial city of Mobotropolis, from their hidden location, Knothole Village. They call themselves the "Freedom Fighters", and are loyal to the missing and overthrown King Acorn. Doctor Robotnik was originally the Minister of War for the Kingdom, but had hijacked Sir Charles' Roboticizer, a machine that turns people into robots. It was meant to help older, ill, and injured people live longer, but it changed them by taking away their will. Sir Charles then destroyed the roboticizer, but not before Robotnik stole the plans for it, and overthrew the king with his army of robots. The king was banished to the Void, along with former Royal Wizard Ixis Naugus. The Freedom Fighters fled to Knothole Village, hidden deep within the Great Forest, doing raids and damage on Robotnik's infrastructure. They managed to cripple his factories several times, and linked up with other freedom fighter groups, such as the WolfPack, led by Lupe and Reynard. Their final confrontation was when they destroyed the Doomsday Machine, a building-sized assembly line of Destroyer Pods, toppling Robotnik.

(due to Disney buying the network) caused those plans to be shelved. It would later re-surface on the USA Network in 1996 (albeit in an edited fashion), but would leave the North American TV airwaves for the last time in 1997.

Ever since cancellation in 1994, the show"s absence has had its fans talk about what would have happened if a third season was ever made, and has helped to keep the spirit of the show alive. In recent years, the head writer of the show (Ben Hurst) has interacted with the fans, and the whole show has even seen a DVD release. It has even been re-broadcast in many other countries around the world too. Whatever the future of the show may be, it will still have its loyal fans, ready to do what they can to make sure the tales of the Knothole Freedom Fighters isn't forgotten to the mists of time.

Characters

The characters of SatAM were mainly members of groups, listed below:

Knothole Freedom Fighters:
    Sonic the Hedgehog
    Princess Sally Acorn
    Antoine Depardieu
    Bunnie Rabbot
    Rotor the Walrus
    Miles "Tails" Prower
    Dulcy

The WolfPack:
    Lupe
    Reynard

Other characters:
    Lazaar
    Griff
    Ari
    Paulo
    Dirk
    King Acorn
    Sir Charles "Uncle Chuck" Hedgehog

Villains:
    Doctor Robotnik
    Snively
    Cluck
    Ixis Naugus

Cast

Main Characters
antoinec bunniec sallyc
Antoine Depardieu:
Rob Paulson
Bunnie Rabbot:
Christine Cavanaugh
Princess Sally Acorn/Nicole:
Kathie Soucie
rotorc1 rotor2c sonicc
Rotor the Walrus (Season 1):
Mark Ballou
Rotor the Walrus(Season 2):
Cam Brainard
Sonic the Hedgehog:
Jaleel White
dulcyc tailsc  
Dulcy the Dragon:
Cree Summer
Miles "Tails" Prower:
Bradley Pierce
 

Other Characters
unclechuckc kingc lupec
Uncle Chuck:
William Windom
King Acorn:
Tim Curry
Lupe:
Shari Belafonte
aric youngsonicc youngsallyc
Ari:
Dorian Harewood
Young Sonic:
Tahj Mowry
Young Sally:
Dana Hill
void051    
Ixis Nagus:
Michael Bell
   

Villains
robotnikc snivelyc  
Dr. Robotnik:
Jim Cummings
Snively:
Charlie Adler
 

Credits

Sonic SatAM Credits:
(Special Thanks, Ronic!)
S1: Worked Season 1
S2: Worked Season 2
BS: Worked Both Seasons

Executive Producers:
Andy Heyward (BS)
Robby London (BS)

Supervising Producer-Story Editor:
Len Janson (BS)

Produced & Directed By:
John Grusd (Pilot Only)
Dick Sebast (S1)
Ron Myrick (S2)

Executive in Charge Of Production:
Brian A. Miller (BS)

Production Supervisor:
Stacey Gallishaw (BS)

Associate Producer:
Kent Meredith (S1)
Antran Manoogian (S1)
Jennifer Pelphrey (S2)

Production Coordinators:
Alice Alonzo(BS)
Antran Manoogian(S1)
Helen Brennick(S1)

Production Assistant (Pilot Only):
Joshua Lou Friedman

Assisted By:
RaNae Bonella (BS)

Casting:
Marsha Goodman (BS)
Virginia K.(Ginny)McSwain (BS)

Voice Director:
Virginia K.(Ginny)McSwain (BS)

Talent Coordinator:
Stephanie McCorkle (BS)

Voices (Main Cast):
Jaleel White as Sonic (BS)
Kath Soucie as Sally/Nicole (uncredited as Nicole) (BS)
Bradley Pierce as Miles "Tails" Prower (BS)
Christine Cavanaugh as Bunnie Rabbot (BS)
Jim Cummings as Dr. Robotnik (BS)
Charlie Adler as Snively (BS)
Rob Paulsen as Antoine Depardieu (BS)
Mark Ballou as Rotor the Walrus (S1)
Cam Brainard as Rotor the Walrus (S2)
Cree Summer (as Cree Summer Francks) as Dulcy the Dragon (S2)
William Windom as Uncle Chuck (S1 Guest; S2 Regular)

Credited Additional Voices:
Shari Belafonte as Lupe (S2)
Tim Curry as King Acorn (S2)
Dorian Harewood as Ari (S2)
Dana Hill as Young Sally (S2)
Tahj Mowry as Young Sonic (S2)
William Windom as Cat (S1)
Michael Bell as Nagus (S2)

Uncredited Additional Voices:
Crystal Cooke (S2)
David Doyle (S1)
Dave Fennoy (S2)
Alaina Reed Hall (S2)
Gaille Heindenmann (S1)
John Kassir (S2)
Katie Leigh (S2)
Nancy Linari (S2)
Victor Love (S2)
Danny Mann (S1)
Jason Marsden (S1)
Hal Rayle (S2)
Lindsay Ridgeway (S2)
Charlie Schlatter (S1)
Frank Welker(S1)
April Winchell (S2)

Series Writers:
Patricia Allee (BS)
Jules Dennis (S1)
Janis Diamond (S1)
Benjamin Hurst (BS)
Len Janson (BS)
Katye Kuch (S1)
Randy Rogel (S1)
Frank Santopadre (S1)
Sheryl Scarborough (S1)
Barbara Slade( S1)
Matt Uitz (S1)
David Villiare (S1)

Creative Supervisors: Andy Heyward (BS)
Mike Maliani (BS)

Associate Story Editors:
Patricia Allee (BS)
Benjamin Hurst (BS)

Script Coordinator:
Lori Crawford (BS)

Script Assistants:
Kevin Donahue (BS)
Penny Lee (BS)
William A. Ruiz (BS)
Stacy Sibley (BS)

Director Of Research:
Renee Toporzysek (BS)

Art Director:
John Grusd (Pilot Only)
Dene A. Ross (S2)

Character Design:
Ken Kinoshita (S1)
Denise Shimabukuro (Pilot Only)
Gary Paul Terry (Pilot Only)
Creative Capers (Pilot Only)
George Goodchild (S2)
Mark Rubinchik (S2)

Prop Design:
Warren Manser (Pilot Only)
Brad Morris (BS)
Wayne Schultz (Pilot Only)
Vadim Sokolov (S2)

Background Design:
Enzo Baldi (S1)
E.R. Cruz (S2)
Drew Gentle (S2)
Gilbert W. Hung (S2)
Ron Roesch (S2)
Vladimir Spasojevic (S1)
Glen Tarnowski (Pilot Only) Dean Thompson (S2)

Color Background Painters:
Stephen Lee (Pilot Only)
Sai Ping Lok (S1)
Junn Roca (BS)
Teri Shikasho (Pilot Only)
Lin Hua Zheng (S2)

Main Title Layouts (S1 Only):
Dick Sebast
Clint Taylor

Main Title Storyboard (S1 Only): Dick Sebast

Main Title Background Painters (S1 Only):
William Dely
Sung Woo Hong
Abel Laxamana
Sai Ping Lok

Color Key Artists:
Derdad Aghamalian (Pilot Only)
Kathrin Drorian (BS)
Cathy O'Leary (S1)
Tina Oliva (Pilot Only)

Cel Painters:
Josephine Contreras (S2)
Christine Miller (S2)
Jose Alfonso Perez (S1)
Robert 'Bob' Watts (BS)

Storyboards By:
Mike Bennett (S2)
George Booker (S1)
Kuni Bowen (S1)
Dan Fausett (BS)
Karl Fischer (S2)
Owen Fitzgerald (S2)
Kevin Gollaher (S2)
Joe Horne (S2)
Elaine Hultgren (S2)
Scott Jorgensen (BS)
Dan Kubat (S1)
Art Mawhinney (BS)
Doug Murphy (S1)
Lane Raichert (BS)
Chris Ratowski (S1)
Dave Rodriguez (S1)
Keith Sargent (S2)
Clint Taylor (BS)
Karl Toerge (S2)
Scott Wood (S2)

Storyboard Supervisor:
Michael Swanigan (Pilot Only)
Clint Taylor (S1)
Gary Paul Terry (Pilot Only)
Joseph P. Dempsey (S2)

Storyboard Revisions:
Pat Agnasin (S2)
Brian Chin (S1)
E.R. Cruz (S2)
George Lafayette (S2)
Rusty Olson (S2)
Mark Page (S2)
Mark Rubinchik (S2)
Steve Simone (S2)
Todd White (S2)
Charlie Zembillas (S1)

Storyboard Slugging:
Kent Butterworth (S2)
Vincent Davis (S1)
Robert G. Hathcock Jr. (S1)
Walt Kubiak (S2)
Marsh Lamore (S1)
Michel Lyman (S1)
Ron Myrick (S2)
Dick Sebast (S1)
Richard Trueblood(S1)

Layout By (Pilot Only):
STUDIO B.

Layout Supervisor (S1 Only):
Clint Taylor

Animation Timing:
Max Becraft (S1)
Kent Butterworth (BS)
John Cataldi (S1)
Rudy Cataldi (S1)
Zeon Davush (S2)
Mark Glamack (S2)
Robert G. Hathcock Jr. (S1)
Walt Kubiak (S2)
Michel Lyman (S1)
Warren Marshall (S2)
Marlene May (S2)
Ron Myrick (S2)
Brenda Piluso (S2)
Jim Simon (S2)
Richard Trueblood (BS)
Bob Tyler (S2)
James West (S2)
Bernie Wolfe (S2)

Music Editor:
Pete Fausone (S1)
Steve Griffen (S1)
Stuart Goetz (S2)

Music Supervisor:
Joanne Miller (BS)

Main Title Theme ("The Fastest Thing Alive"):
NOISY NEIGHBORS Productions

Music by:
Matt Muhoberac (S2)
Michael Tavera (BS; just additional music in S2)
John Zuker(S2)

Executive In Charge Of Post Production (S2 Only):
Kevin McLaughlin

Post Production Supervisor (S1 Only):
Richard S. Gannon (assisted by Kimberly C. Francis)

Post Production Coordinator (S2 Only):
Kathleen Mary O'Hara

Administrative Assistant:
Ted Supa (BS)

Supervising Editor:
Gregory K. Bowron (BS)

Picture/Film Editors:
Richard Allen (BS)
Richard Bruce Elliott (BS)
Ron Fedele (BS)
C.K. Horness (S2)
Donald P. Zappala (BS)

Assistant Picture Editor (S2 Only): Kris Gilpin

Supervising Sound Engineer:
Michael J. Cowan(BS)

Dialogue Editors:
Trudy Alexander (BS)
Heather C. Elliott (BS)
Peter Tomaszewicz (S1)

Format Editors (S1 Only):
C.K. Horness
Mark A. McNally
Susan Odjakjian

Post Production Sound Effects Audio (S2 Only)
Gnome Productions

Supervising Sound Effects Editor:
Michael Mancini (S1) Bruce Nazarian m.p.s.e. (S2)

Sound Effects Editors:
Greg Beaumont (S1)
Robert Hargreaves (S1)
Jason King (S2)

Re-Recording Engineers:
Bruce Nazarian m.p.s.e. (S2)
Dennis Patterson (S2)
Hector Rosa (S1)

Videotape/post Supervisors:
Fifun A. Amini (BS)
James B. Epstein (S1)
Tonda Lark-Saska (BS)

Colorist:
Brian Borne (BS)

Video Editors (S1 Only):
Brian A. Lettieri
Karen Snyder

Dubbing Assistant (S1 Only):
Kristopher S. Daly
James B. Epstein

On-Line Editor (S2 Only):
Brian A. Lettieri

Editing Assistants:
Mel Ashkenas(Pilot Only)
Barry Bindell(BS)
Scott Cooper(S1)
Kendra D. Drapkin(BS)
Kris Gilpin(S1)

Animation Production by:
MILIMETROS DIBUJOS ANIMADOS (S1 Only)
SAE ROM PRODUCTION COMPANY LTD. (BS)

Overseas Animation Supervisor:
Doug Williams(BS)

Characters and Name Licensed From:
SEGA OF AMERICA INC. 1992

© 1993 DIC ANIMATION CITY & SEGA OF AMERICA INC.
© 1994 DIC PRODUCTIONS L.P. & SEGA OF AMERICA INC.
Coproduced by RETITALIA, s.p.a. in association with TELECINCO


Video Game prototype

For more information on Sega Technical Institute, see the Sega Technical Institute (STI) Page.
There were plans to make a video game based on SatAM in early 1993 by Sega Technical Institute. SatAM's influence was huge, as STI thought it had enough potential to be made into a video game. A prototype video was made of the gameplay, showing sprites similar to Sonic Spinball, with graphics that would've certainly pushed the Mega Drive/Genesis to its limits. This video is the only thing of the aborted Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) video game that remains, though SatAM's influence on the Sega Genesis would live on in Sonic Mars, another aborted effort on the Sega Saturn. For more information on Sonic Mars, see its section on the STI page.

Origins: Before SatAM

Back in 1992, animation house DiC Entertainment had approached ABC (then owned by broadcasting firm Capital Cities Communications) about doing a cartoon show adaptation of the phenominally popular video games Sonic the Hedgheog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. In their demo presentation, they had proposed AoStH, but the network had initially refused, citing the lack of quality from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog's animation and storylines, but would reconsider if DiC Entertainment had made some changes. DiC returned with a dramatic departure from most other children-oriented shows of the time: SatAM Sonic, with its showcase of a guerilla war against the tyrannical Doctor Robotnik, led by Sonic the Hedgehog, Princess Sally Acorn, and the Freedom Fighters. The show was immediately accepted, and contracted by the end of 1992, and aired for the first time on September 18, 1993 on ABC.

Prototype

In early 1993, an article in Sonic the Comic (the British comic officially licensed by Sega Of Europe) announced two new television series starring Sonic the Hedgehog, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (AoStH) and Sonic the Hedgehog. Within the four pages of plot synopsis and concept art, a group of screenshots of the characters and scenes that greatly differ from the rest appear without explanation. These screenshots have circulated through the Internet contributing to the theory of a cartoon series aborted before production which has been dubbed "The Mystery cartoon" also "Pre-SatAM" by Sonic fans.

The supporting cast in the Pre-Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon are based on the small animals freed from enemies in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game — although wildly different in design, they all bear the same names as those attributed to the various video game animal characters listed in the UK book, Stay Sonic, which were also used in Sonic the Comic strips.

Most notably, the image went on to inspire redesigns of Sonic the Comic supporting characters Johnny Lightfoot and Porker Lewis - while originally they were single the basic rabbit and pig video-game character designs, they were abruptly redesigned to be given humanoid proportions and the leather jackets the image depicted. Most notable in the image is the lack of Tails; it could be that the concept was drawn up before Tails' arrival in the series. Most of the characters within the show were almost the "Anti-theses" (opposites) of their SatAM selves, such as Joe Sushi later evolving into Rotor, with Johnny Lightfoot and Porker Lewis as nothing like their Sonic the Comic portrayals.

The animation quality of this cartoon was, as shown in the screenshots, very similar to AoStH, including the slapstick elements. The cartoon did contain "The Freedom Team" (which would later be chronicled in the british Edgemont-Fleetway series Sonic the Comic), but this was dramatically re-written into SatAM Sonic. See Before SatAM at Sonic-HQ.net for more information.

Power Struggles

SatAM Sonic ran into problems almost from the beginning, since it was up against Fox Kids' "white-hot" Power Rangers in the 8:30 AM timeslot. Fox Kids kept shuffling its schedule around to counter SatAM with Power Rangers, when ABC (or the ABC affiliates) would try to move it to 9:00 or 8:00 AM. The second speed-bump the show would encounter was ABC constantly pre-empting its animated cartoon block on Saturday Mornings for Saturday Morning sports, such as Football, and Basketball (particularly Big Ten Ticket Basketball in the midwest and Great Lakes), while CTV and its affiliates would run the episodes out-of-order in Canada.

The show would manage to surprisingly retain its fanbase, despite the erratic airing it recieved, and this is credited to the writing prowess of Len Janson, Ben Hurst, Pat Ailee, the sound technicians and the animators, and the all-star cast of voice actors that helped to make it such a high-quality show. It was also during this time that the show would spawn a partial-spin-off in the form of USA Cartoon Express

Cancellation

For more information on why SatAM was cancelled, see the Cancellation Page.
The show's final episode aired on December 3, 1994 and its "repeats" run ended on June 3, 1995, on ABC, and on September 2, 1995 on CTV. It was at this time that Capital Cities/ABC was being courted by the Walt Disney Company, as Disney wanted to purchase Capital Cities for the ABC Network. This purchase went through in Feburary, 1996. 1996 was a transition year for ABC, as nearly ALL of its "old" programming was cancelled or allowed to end, such as Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), What a Mess, Reboot, and other popular shows, to be replaced with Disney programming.

Similarly at this time, CTV was going through network-ownership changes that resulted in it no longer airing ANY animated programming after it was purchased by Baton Broadcasting (owned by former electronics and television manufacturer Electrohome), causing most other canadian broadcasters like Global Television Network to follow suit.

SatAM Sonic would air on cable on YTV in Canada for a couple more years, following the cancellation on ABC, and CTV, and on USA Network from 1996 to 1997 in an edited form. 1997 would be the final year that USA Network would air ANY childrens' programming, and cancelled its animation block, USA Cartoon Express.

The Rumoured Third Season

For more information on why SatAM was cancelled, see the Cancellation Page.

Shortly before cancellation, the writers had grouped together and started tossing around concept ideas for the third season. No storyboards, animation cells, or episodes were made, as the call of cancellation came fairly quickly. The only work done on Season Three were initial outlines of which direction the story and show would've gone, and where the characters would have gone. The reason for cancellation of SatAM was simple: the ABC television network was owned by the American Broadcasting Company, itself owned by Capital Cities Communications. The Walt Disney Company purchased Capital Cities for the ABC network, cancelled all non-Disney shows, and when the ABC childrens' programming director retired at the end of their term in 1996, they merged ABC's childrens' programming with that of The Disney Channel, making the Disney head of childrens' programming the head of ABC's as well.

Even though Season Three never made it off the ground, this has not stopped fans from discussing what might have happened in the third season, had the show been allowed to continue, and has even fuelled fanfiction and speculation to this day. Ben Hurst even stated at SAGExpo that had the show gone on, Knuckles the Echidna would have been introduced towards the end of Season 3, and become a main character in Season 4. SatAM still lives on in one form, as the Sonic the Hedgehog comics by Archie Comics has adapted most of the SatAM universe, and carries its locations and characters very prominently as a spiritual successor.

The Internet Years

Fans lucky enough to have access to the world wide web in the early days of the internet had a cause for hope, as they began organizing in fan sites as early as 1996, with the first all-SatAM fansite (rat.org) starting up during this period. Others, such as SonicHQ, theSonicFoundation, and TeamArtail would also start up in this period, but they would not cater primarily to SatAM fans.

Lead writer Ben Hurst also answered many fans' questions on newsgroups and internet chat rooms on where he wanted Season 3 to go, as well as whose eyes were visible at the final episode's end (they belonged to Ixis Naugus').

Towards the end of the 1990s, there were petitions being circulated to get SatAM released onto home video (partially successful), back onto the airwaves (not successful), or into a full-length feature film (also not successful, for reasons below). Also at the end of the 1990s, fans that had recorded the entire series on VHS had begun sharing copies with friends online, after converting them onto their computers.

Revival

At the beginning of the new millennium, hope was starting to wane of SatAM ever returning in any form, until Shout! Factory had managed to purchase distribution rights of Sonic the Hedgehog from DiC Entertainment so they can release it on DVD home video. At first, fans were skeptical, as many cruel hoaxes like this were played in the past, but this was quickly proven to be the real deal, and Shout! Factory even had a contest held for fans to submit fan art work that would be included as the backgrounds on the box set's interior. This four-disk boxset was released in the United States and Canada on March 27, 2007, and includes bonus interviews with Jaleel White (voice actor of Sonic the Hedgehog), and lead writer Ben Hurst, with the cover of the box set done by Ken Penders, writer and artist of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book.

In 2002, Archie Comics' writer Ken Penders (of the Sonic the Hedgehog Comic) had approached Dreamworks SKG about the possibility of making a full-length film about the Knuckles the Echidna comics, as well as the Sonic comics. While Dreamworks was interested in the idea, the issue of who owned the rights to which characters (Archie, DiC, Disney, Sega, and Sonic Team all had stakes in the product), would become a legal nightmare to sift through, and was thus not considered a viable property to launch, especially with Sega of Japan's reluctance to work with outside companies on projects regarding Sonic the Hedgehog, and the declining popularity of the "American" or "Western" view of Sonic in general, and the comics in particular.

Relations with other Sonic the Hedgehog shows

The show was pre-dated by Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, with 65 episodes made in 1993, and followed by Sonic Underground, with 40 episodes made in 1998, all of which were made by DiC Entertainment. While many fans and even some staff (such as writer Ben Hurst) tried to turn Sonic Underground into the "third season" of SatAM (either directly, or as a spiritual successor), this was not to be, as DiC wanted to go in an entirely different direction (including music in the shows to increase their profits via music royalties), and Ben Hurst left citing difficulties working with what DiC wanted. This neatly explains why the backstories to SatAM and Sonic Underground are so similar, with Robotnik taking over quickly, imprisoning King Acorn, using The Destroyer to pollute everything, and roboticizing Uncle Chuck.

Legacy

The show's legacy is nothing short of spectacular. SatAM Sonic featured an all-star cast of voice actors, highly-talented top-tier writers led by chief writer Ben Hurst and conceptual writer Len Janson, and a team of extremely-talented artists. The show's animation was (and still is) considered top of its class, its stories (though dark and dystopian), were realistic, believable, and gripping, and the characters were relatable and almost human, with realistic emotions and behaviour. The show's fans are as dynamic as the show's stories, which are passionate and have outlived the show's initial run by nearly two decades, and still going stronger than ever. This is a testament to the writing skills of Ben and Len, and all the other writers, all the dedicated fans that kept the show alive, and everyone else that was involved in the making of SatAM into what it is. The show also presents a compelling case to base any future Sonic television shows from.

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