Rumour: Sonic Mania to Include Animated Cut Scenes?

Sonic Mania continues to build levels of excitement in our senior staffers not seen since the nineties; we’ve adored every little element and reveal of what is set to be a fitting homage to Saturn/Genesis/Megadrive-era Sonic, lovingly crafted by the Mania team.

Among many speculations, fans have suggested that Sonic Mania may include animations akin to those book-ending Sonic CD. Last week, our eagle-eyed SSMB members spotted this WIP short animation above, posted and then quickly removed from the tumblr of Max Collins. The scene depicts an exchange between Sonic and one of the yet-to-be-seen Hard Boiled Heavies (the character having only been partially revealed in Mirage Saloon’s background). Collins resume includes work for Studio Yotta and Cartoon Network, leading to the postulation that they may have been recruited to develop animations for the game.

While the animation could easily be dismissed as a fan tribute, IndyCotton on the Sonic Retro forums gives even more compelling evidence, by drawing a comparison to the HBH model and the Heavy Gunner silhouette reveal from SXSW, as seen below. This would seem to suggest the artist has heavily inferred the model from this silhouette (including features such as the cape and head crest), or more likely has access to the final character model of this particular HBH (“His Boiled Highness”, perhaps?).

While this is all purely hype and hearsay, we certainly hope there is truth, even if just elements, as this would be a wonderful addition to the game.

As always, Sonic Stadium will keep you up to date on all Mania updates as they happen!

Props to Maxtiis (SSMB) and IndyCotton (Sonic Retro) for their evidence!

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T-Bird

With a decade under his belt, T-Bird is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. T-Bird is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.

25 Comments

  1. Holy shit that would make so much sense! If you’ve ever played Major Magnet, the first PagodaWest game, you’ve probably seen the cool 40-ish second intro animation. So. considering the CD inspirations, plus these guys backgrounds and well… this, it’s not too crazy to suggest some animated cutscenes might be present. And I don’t have a single problem with that.

    1. Of course you don’t have a problem with it, because there’s literally no problems to be had. It’ll be a beautifully hand-animated 2-dimensional Classic-era-emulating indie-developed Sonic game.

      Why, again, is this game supposedly only aimed at fans and Forces at the general public, when Mania represents everything the general public has wanted out of Sonic since ’98 and Forces is busily crossing all the checkpoints of the Sonic Cycle?

      1. They’re pretty much equally marketed from what I can tell. Mania probably more so because it’s 90’s original sonic style which as you’ve said is more widely liked. Of course It’s not exempt from problems because it’s a game at the end of the day but the general public’s preference will put it above all that.

        I never understood the sonic cycle much yet if it’s the semi-usual negative representation of 2000’s to present Sonic I hear and read often, I’m used to it by now. However, despite my own feelings on it, you may be right. I want to and do believe in forces potential but Sonic Team both by circumstance and some of their own doing have been backed into a corner where they can’t not afford to play it safe.

        Real shame though, I did appreciate how outgoing and experimental they were until lost world, boom and corporate mistakes led to the current situation. Hopes are still high though, It’s all you can do these days with the world we live in.

  2. I hope it’s just for the intro/credits like Sonic CD, well… I don’t see any problem if this animated scenes turn in cutscenes on game like, after every stage, but I really like cutscenes in game like Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

  3. As someone who isn’t all too excited for Mania simply due to the nature of what kind of games I like (mostly ones that aren’t 2D sorry to say), this sounds incredible and awesome.

    1. Why do you assume there’s voice acting? There wasn’t in the CD animations and there wasn’t for Classic Sonic in Generations ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Also, his name is Robotnik ._.

      1. “Also, his name is Robotnik ._.”
        In the games, it’s always Eggman. Robotnik only exists in the crappy Dic cartoons and the now two dead comic series.

        “Thrown in Jaleel White as the voice of Sonic and you got a deal!”
        Gross, no! Let’s not have Sonic sound like a nasally street thug. Jaleel never voiced him in the games, let’s keep it that way.

  4. YES! Please let this be true, I loved seeing those animated cutscenes in Sonic CD, I felt like every Classic Sonic game should have had them (but for obvious reasons, they couldn’t, lol). I think it’s a pretty integral part of the whole Classic brand (plus I think many of us have always fantasized about a proper Classic Sonic anime series. Or at least, I have.), as it really lends itself well to Sonic’s art style back then, and adds a breath of imagination and creativity that adds a bit more depth to the world you play through in the games. Well, when you’re trying everything in your power not to use 3D anyway. But yeah, if they are doing this, then it’s an awesome callback to CD and quite possibly an idea of what the series could have done if it still kept it’s classic sprite based formula into the Saturn era. I have no doubt they would have done this more often back in the day if they were able to, but you know, what if’s and all that.

    1. They already did Sonic in anime. THREE TIMES: CD, OVA, and X. I’m none too big on the latter two, and would very much appreciate it if Sonic never went into anime again; it’s just not his thing. Little to no character acting animation, overly over the top reactions, and annoying dialogue. All those things made me cringe while I watched Sonic X when I was younger, to the point that I outright neglected the franchise altogether until my brother bought me Rush for DS.

      I have my own visions for a new Sonic 2D animated cartoon that is NOT ANIME, taking heavy inspiration from the first 4 original Sonic Genesis games, primarily Mania, combining the bright colors and design patterns of the levels with a 1950s/60s Rocky and Bullwinkle/Underdog-esque abstract art design in the vein of Maurice Noble of the late Looney Tunes shorts.

      Sonic the Hedgehog, in my opinion, always looked like a mascot for a new car from, say, Volkswagon or Ford, thanks to the added shine he was given from the American cover of the first game. This shine, coupled with the cover’s depiction of Green Hill Zone with a heavy emphasis on the checkerboards, gave me a Speed Racer vibe, and it works in Sonic’s favor because speed is his strongest selling point. The Giant Rings with wings that he would often pop out of along with the red scroll with the title of the game also gives me a racing/victory vibe. Checkered flag=Green Hill checkers-you pick it up.

      As this show is influenced by Sonic’s heyday in the 1990s, it will feature a lot of the classic Sonic stages, i.e. Green Hill Zone, Studiopolis, Casino Night, Stardust Speedway, Chemical Plant, Sky Sanctuary, etc. As well as references to other SEGA creations, like Nights, or Ristar. Included within the show is also the music featured in those games along with the original sound effects featured, so it will have the feel of playing those games.

      I’m sorry to disagree with all you, but I feel that Sonic NEEDS to have express his heavily promoted ‘attitude’ verbally as well as visually, which is why his hypothetical voice actor in place of Roger Craig Smith would be Caleel Harris of the Loud House. Because in the days of the Genesis, in Adventures and SATAM, he was voiced by Jaleel White, who managed to convey Sonic’s fancy-free, street-smart attitude to the American audience perfectly. This decision is following in the tradition of the earlier 1990s shows. Tails’ voice would be Max Charles.

      Unlike Boom before it, this show will feature as much traveling as possible, since Sonic is always looking for new places to run around in. Green Hill Zone would have a country club and would function primarily as Sonic’s home base, a commentary upon how many times he visits the place in the games. Amy Rose in this version would either run a chili dog stand or be the neighborhood news reporter in the vein of Polly Purebred of the Underdog show or Lois Lane. Sonic would be tasked with the role of a newspaper boy, delivering papers all around to the residents of the Green Hill Country Club, as he likes running around areas like that in the first place. Knuckles would return to his role as the guardian of the Master Emerald on Angel Island, and return to his serious, stoic, yet gullible self in the old days. Eggman will remain Eggman, but this time, he will be aided by other more threatening and interesting food related villains. Another departure from the first five Sonic shows will be that he will have a main female henchman working under him, as opposed to the usual male henchmen. I also hope to include Sally Acorn, pre SAT-AM design in the show as well, as she will serve as why Sonic is reluctant for female companionship.

      My aim for this show is an adventure-comedy, presenting the finer moments in Sonic’s gaming history, and giving audiences my personal take on what a Sonic TV show SHOULD be like. I also hope to incorporate the talents of Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack), Alonzo Ramirez Ramos (Mickey Mouse, Gravity Falls), Heiko Drengenberg(Mickey Mouse, Penn Zero), Rob Renzetti(Teenage Robot, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, etc) and Lauren Faust (My Little Pony, Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls, Powerpuff Girls) to help me piece together a successful show mixing old with the new

      1. You misunderstood me. I was referring to the idea of a CLASSIC Sonic anime SERIES. Sonic CD and Sonic OVA were nice (CD a little more so) but they didn’t exactly have the volume a whole series could follow. CD was just an opening and closing montage, while the OVA was, well, an OVA, pretty much just a movie. And Sonic X was pretty much just Adventure/Modern Sonic as depicted at the time, pretty much focusing on Adventure thru Battle with some elements of Heroes thrown in here or there. No real references or moments based on any past events before those titles, and it doesn’t really explore much further after the beginning of the 3rd season. Sonic X was nice, but it’s not what I’m particularly asking for, and while I liked it, I don’t think it was exactly what many fans had in mind when they were thinking of a Sonic anime series.

        Also, I heavily disagree, Sonic CAN work as anime, you just need to get competent people working on it and you need to handle everything the right way. That’s like saying that because you didn’t like ONE Sonic toy they shouldn’t make any other form of Sonic themed merchandise, it’s just flawed reasoning. Just because Sonic X wasn’t the most well-put-together anime doesn’t mean there should never be an attempt to get it right. Hell, a traditional American 2D animated Sonic cartoon could do just as badly for all the same reasons you’ve listed, or maybe even worse (*coughAdventuresOfStHcough*). It’s not a matter of one medium being more suited for this franchise over the other, it’s a matter of getting people who actually know how to do their job and actually do it well so that Sonic is presented in the best way possible. Sonic X “turned you off Sonic” for a while? Sorry to hear you felt that way, but that doesn’t mean everyone else should have to suffer a lack of anime-inspired Sonic goodness just because you had a bad experience with one iteration of it (personally, Sonic X had the opposite effect on me, I never would have gotten into Sonic otherwise).

        Also, sorry to say, but in my humble opinion your idea for an American-influenced Sonic is a little too idealistic for my tastes. I mean, I’m just speaking for myself here, maybe other fans feel differently (anyone?), but it feels like you’re asking for something that would just be WAAAAAAY too corny, even for Sonic. It would essentially be a step backward into the Adventures Of days. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and claim that that show has ruined the prospect of any American-driven Sonic show in any way possible (I mean look at Boom, it’s been pretty good lately, particularly in the writing department), but it literally sounds like you want the show to be very similar to how Adventures Of worked, only taken even further on the American cartoon influence. Particularly the 90’s (or, uh, 50’s-60’s? I mean, Underdog isn’t what I think of when I think of animated Sonic…unless you’re actually using the term “underdog” to describe him, but you’ve made it pretty clear you’re talking about the animated cartoon of the same name. I just, I don’t, WHAT?) style of doing things. Look, I don’t mind being influenced by something from that era, but you got to understand that we aren’t exactly going back to that era any time soon.

        We can be influenced by it in certain ways, if anything I’d say the current trend in cartoons to have the snarky witty dialogue take center stage while the antics happen around it is somewhat reminiscent of the old days of the Loony Tunes where their dialogue was their primary source of comedy. But to want to go back to a particular formula that’s just a little too stale by this day and age for most audiences? I don’t know, I’d see it being an amusing little fan project or something, and maybe that’s something you’d want to do and all the more power to you for doing it, but as far as an actually licensed series by Sega goes, sorry, I really REALLY don’t see that happening, they’d likely try their luck at another anime again before doing something that risky.

        Also, GOOD LORD, it sounds like you want to unite every single creator of every popular show within the last 10 years under one project! Do you not realize how unrealistic that sounds? It’s a great fantasy, but that’s even less likely to happen, it’d be a miracle to just get one of those guys on board. And all for just YOU’RE take on Sonic? Look, again, I think you’d be better off just trying to make this your own personal fan project, since that’s an avenue where something like your personal take on Sonic is more likely to be accepted by a wide margin, especially for something this particular and specific. I didn’t try to pitch my own idea for a Sonic anime or anything, I just want the idea to be picked up and for minds more creative than me already in the industry to figure out a story and premise from there, since as long as they’re creative people I can trust, I don’t have to worry about whether they’d make something better than I would have thought up or not. The last thing I want is to force my idea of what Sonic should be down other people’s throats, there’s been too much of that lately.

        You’ve got a great deal of influence and inspiration, but I think your goals are a bit lofty if I’m going to be honest. I’d focus more on directing that energy in a way that you can already channel it, into a fan work itself, or if that’s not something you can do yourself, try pitching it to another already prominent fan artist/content creator so that they can pick it up and you can be a creative consultant for that. It’s an idea I’d still be curious about seeing happen, I’d just rather not see it as an official Sonic cartoon endorsed by Sega as if to say “See, THIS is what you SHOULD think of when you think of Sonic”, that just feels way too pushy to me.

        Or maybe I’m just blowing this all out of proportion and it’s just another petty war of Anime vs Cartoons again. Personally I think Sonic can work well in either, again you just need to get the right minds involved and put the actual work in that will make it great. And as with the games, a greater focus on the quality of the work as opposed to how quickly you can get it out there…which is still easier said than done half the time when it comes to having to animate for a show meant to premier new episodes every other week.

  5. Oh, sweet Jesus, it’s like someone took Tyson Hesse’s work was brought to life. I can’t overstate how much I want this to be real. If so, it’s probably for a credits roll. á la Sonic CD, though a cutscene for each Hard Boiled Heavy would be absolutely amazing.

  6. This game is going to be the biggest bomb sega will ever detonate the hype is real and strong within this one. I will gladly buy this 100 times over and might put sonic back on top but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves we still have sonic forces.

  7. Now this is interesting. 2d drawn scenes in this game much like Sonic CD’s beginning and end scenes. Could be good no doubt as in terms of animation style, 3d is like an end goal nowadays, or at least a blend of the two. I’d be more than happy with the latter a la treasure planet or attack on titan but the former is more than substantial. Plus, indie games often manage to surprise in the most unexpected areas.

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