Monday, September 6, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 21-E: From Games to Toons Pt.5

Mina: Ok,it's time to cover the 3rd and Final Mario Cartoon. And After this,we'll be covering Sonic.

Super Mario World was a short-lived series loosely based on the Super NES game of the same name. It only aired thirteen episodes due to Captain N: The Game Master's cancellation on NBC.

The series centered on Mario,Luigi,and Princess Toadstool,now living in Dinosaur Land (sometimes also called Dinosaur World) with Yoshi, who was depicted on the show as a curious childlike dinosaur with a large appetite and several phobias. King Koopa (otherwise known as Bowser) and the Koopalings were also around, having followed the Mario Bros. and the Princess to Dinosaur Land.

Unlike in the game, Dinosaur Land was depicted as being populated with cavepeople, including a pre-adolescent caveboy named Oogtar. Some episodes revolved around Mario trying to introduce a modern invention to the cavepeople in an attempt to make their lives easier,only for the Koopas to twist it into an evil scheme.

Mina: It's unclear whether the characters had traveled back in time or if Dinosaur Land was simply a "lost valley"-esque island that the characters had come to.

Mina: The show was originally aired on Saturday mornings on NBC in the 1991-92 season,the last year the network had cartoons on their Saturday Morning block. It was featured in a half-hour time slot with a shortened version of Captain N: The Game Master.

Mina: This new show was called Captain N & The New Super Mario World. Episodes of Super Mario World were later shown as part of the syndication package Captain N and the Video Game Masters.

Afterwards,the series was split from Captain N and shown in time-compressed reruns on Mario All-Stars. The show is now used in a variety of Youtube videos along with the hotel mario CDI game.

Unlike the previous two Mario cartoons, the show was not widely distributed on home video,in fact its only release was the inclusion of the show's Christmas episode on the 1996 VHS release Super Mario Bros. Super Christmas Adventures. This series is the most short-lived of the three American Mario animated series.

The show takes place in Dinosaur World where Yoshi lives with a preadolescent caveman named Oogtar. In addition, Yoshi's Island is populated with cavemen instead of Yoshis. In Fact,Yoshi is the Only Yoshi in the show.

Mina: You heard right folks,American Yoshi is one of a kind..in more ways than one.

Several names were changed from the game. Forest of Illusion was called Enchanted Forest Vanilla Dome was referred to as the Lava Pits,and The Valley of Bowser is both smaller and unnamed. The enemies featured in the game were rarely called by their in-game names on the show,and Bowser was still called King Koopa.

Mina: The King Koopa/Bowser thing was okay,because it was consistant with the other Mario cartoons.

And speaking of Mario Cartoon consistancy.Koopa had his all-green appearance,The Mario bros. had red and green overalls,and the Princess had red hair. However,it is unknown what happened to Toad. Did he stay behind to look after the Mushroom Kingdom? We don't know,since it was Never mentioned. In fact,Toad himself wasn't mentioned at all in this show.

Anyway,Another notable fact was that Luigi found Yoshi. When he hatched,Yoshi was small and was not born with his saddle, as revealed when Luigi told him the story of how Yoshi was born.

Mina: Also,Unlike the previous 2 Mario Cartoons,this show lacked Cover songs. This was a very smart move on DiC's part. Well,that's all she wrote for the Mario cartoons. It's now time to cover Sonic.

The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (aka AoStH) first aired in September of 1993, and only for one season. It follows the escapades of Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower as they attempt to stop the evil Doctor Ivo Robotnik and his array of vicious robots from taking over the planet Mobius.

Mina: When Sonic isn't battling Robotnik,he's either helping those in need,racing around the world,or indulging in as many Chili Dogs as he can get his hands on.

Mina: This series is very much a slapstick type comedy,especially with the incredibly melodramatic explosions and quirky story lines. Sonic is always portrayed as being skilled and clever,whereas Scratch and Grounder are clumsy and often serve as Robotnik's foil.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was created by DIC Entertainment,which produced a total of 65 episodes,and was syndicated by Bohbot Entertainment (now BKN International). Before it's creation,DiC showed a Promo of AoSTH to ABC. However,ABC told DiC that the show was too cartoony to be apart of their Saturday Morning block.

However,ABC liked the idea of a Sonic cartoon,so they had DiC create a more serious series to compete with other Saturday Morning shows. However,DiC was fond of their original concept,so they decided to make 2 Sonic cartoons. One was this one and the other was Sonic SatAM,the one that aired on ABC.

The plots often loosely followed the storyline of the Sonic video games series, although when the cartoon began, the Sonic games were still quite new, and lacking much plot or character development, which was filled in by the show's writers.

Later DiC ceased production on this comical version to spend more time on a more dark Sonic Cartoon,Sonic the Hedgehog aka Sonic SatAM,a series launched on ABC's Saturday morning line-up.

After the original airing, DiC created one more episode in the winter of 1996 called "Sonic Christmas Blast". This special features a non-speaking cameo by Princess Sally Acorn. It also has Sonic and Tails visiting Robotropolis, which has a human population and a lighter atmosphere.

Mina: Pierre De Celles, an animator who worked on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, described the show as "fun and humorous." The central protagonists are Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles "Tails" Prower, while the main antagonists include Robotnik and his two 'hench-bots' Scratch and Grounder,with a third robot,Coconuts,appearing on occasion.

There are many occasional minor characters,most of which are not from the games. These characters include: Robotnik's dominating mother and Wes Weasley, a salesman and con-man. The planet,Mobius,is more of a zany,colorful cartoon world in this show,than it was in SatAM. And Speaking of SatAM... Take it Mina.

Mina: Right. Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series aka Sonic SatAM was produced by DIC Entertainment with the partnership of Sega of America and was loosely based on the Sonic video game series. The series aired two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1993 until December 3, 1994.

Mina: The series sharply contrasts with Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, a syndicated series that premiered in the same month. While Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was lighthearted and comical,Sonic the Hedgehog featured a more complex plot and a darker atmosphere that constitutes a departure from the tone of the most Sonic games.

Mina: The Archie Comic continues to use elements and characters from this series, and there are similarities between this show the Archie comic series, however, there are many notable differences in tone and character portrayal.

The show takes place on a planet called Mobius sometime in the 33rd century. An infamous mad scientist named Prof. Julian Robotnik invaded and conquered a huge city named Mobotropolis with the help of his assistant Snively and his army of SWATbots.

Robotnik was to be appointed Minister of Science by the King of Mobius, Maximillian Acorn. However,Robotnik betrayed the King and made the palace his own personal headquarters. From there, he captured the rest of the citizens,including Sonic's uncle,Sir Charles and his crowning invention,the Roboticizer.

Turning the device against Charles,Robotnik changed him into a robot slave. After doing the same to the other captives, Robotnik turned his army loose on the world, Robotizing any who crossed his path.

Those who managed to escape fled to Knothole village and formed a group called the Freedom Fighters.

The Freedom Fighters include Sonic the Hedgehog,Rotor,Antoine Depardieu,Bunnie Robbit,Tails,and Sally Acorn. Sally carries a sentient mini-computer named NICOLE.

Mina: The Knothole Freedom Fighters constantly foil Robotnik's schemes, although fail to make much difference, since Robotnik literally rules the planet with an iron fist.

And now to talk about the Unproduced Season 3.

In an interview,screen-writer Ben Hurst reveals the third season had already been plotted out before the show's cancellation. Upon the request of an eager fanbase, Hurst revealed the unknown villain would be the wizard Ixis Naugus. He also revaled that Robotnik wasn't killed at the end of Doomsday,instead he became trapped in the void as Naugus' prisoner.

Snively would briefly rise to power and assume his uncle's title as oppressive overlord, but quickly fails thanks to Sonic and the Freedom Fighters. Out of desperation,Snively frees Naugus from the void,and in the process also frees Robotnik and King Acorn.

Naugus immediately becomes main villain and uses King Acorn as bait to try and capture Sally. Snively,reduced to nothing,defects to the side of the Freedom Fighters.

Mina: More developments would happen between the relationship of Sonic and his friend Tails, who discovers an "incredible power" and saves the Freedom Fighters from a great disaster.

It's also been mentioned that Sally would have a romance with someone other than Sonic. The origins of Robotnik and Snively would've also been revealed. Ben Hurst has said no scripts were written for Season 3. He also said that after he failed to convince the ABC network to renew the series,he gave up on Season 3 entirely.

Other revelations from Hurst were that the eyes at the end of the series belonged to Ixis Naugus.He also stated that Amy Rose and Knuckles would've been introduced towards the end of Season 3,and become main characters in Season 4,if the show had made it that far.

There were also rumors about making a follow up straight to DVD feature, but it later turned out to be false.

Mina: Interesting stuff,huh? Now lets check out what this show could've looked like.

In 1993,an article in Sonic the Comic announced both Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic SatAM. Within the four pages of plot synopsis and concept art,were a group of strange screen shots.

These screen shots have circulated through the Internet contributing to the theory of an aborted Sonic series before production. These pics have been dubbed "Pre-SatAM" by Sonic fans.

The supporting characters in the "Pre-SatAM" are based on the small animals in the games. And even though they're different in design,they all bear the same names as their Game counterparts.

Mina: Most notable in the image is the lack of Tails.it's possible that the concept was drawn up before Tails' arrival in the series.

Next up,we'll be talking about 2 very obsure cartoons: Battletoads and Mutant League.

1 comment:

John Raiye said...

Thanks,
For telling all information about many cartoon characters .It is good to know through blog about mario and other famous characters.
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