This has been the year of multiverse storytelling from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to Evelyn Quan Wang’s life in Everything Everywhere All at Once, so why not Sonic the Hedgehog too? In a brand-new Netflix animated series from SEGA and WildBrain, Sonic Prime puts the video game icon into universes of chaos when Dr. Eggman shatters the Paradox Prism. Navigating never-before-seen worlds and alt versions of his besties like Tails, Knuckles, Rose and Rouge, the series shakes up Sonic’s storytelling in a canon adventure.
In fact, SYFY WIRE has an exclusive look at the Shatterverse New Yolk City version of Tails, known as Nine because of her bionic tails, along with Sonic, who sports an amped up set of kicks.
Check it out below:
In the works for more than five years, Sonic Prime takes the franchise into new realms to mix it up for the character and the game’s ensemble of characters. Executive Producer Logan McPherson tells SYFY WIRE that the canon series is just happening to hit when multiverse storytelling is all the rage. “The multiverse, and in our case the Shatterverse, wasn’t in the zeitgeist as much. But now that we’ve started to see some of that content come out, we’re like, ‘Well, we’re on trend,'” he laughs.
We asked McPherson and Sonic’s voice, Deven Mack, to walk us through what to look forward to with this version of Sonic, Dr. Eggman and the Shatterverses.
Sonic Prime’s Big Adventure
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
McPherson: It’s a very emotional story for Sonic. He goes on a crazy roller coaster; a lot of ups and downs. We wanted to create a really immersive world with a lot of atmosphere, a very cinematic feel, a lot of mood and tone in the lighting. We really pushed our production pipeline from an innovation standpoint to ensure that we had a look that that honored this tradition of SEGA.
And we really did want to stretch Sonic and some of the legacy characters to their limits and take them to places where they’ve never been before. The series is canon and we didn’t want to rewrite any history at the same time. Having that pillar of mythology in Green Hill as our beginning and end to bookend the series, we felt like it did that. And then by going into the Shatterverse, it took the shackles off and allowed us to explore and stretch and play with these characters in a way that we maybe couldn’t do if we were held with inside of that mythology for the whole time.
Sonic’s New Voice
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Veteran voice actor Deven Mack steps into the vocals for Sonic. As a kid, he first watched Jaleel White voice the character in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and then entered the gaming side with Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. Initially nervous about disappointing the life-long fans, Mack says the incredibly positive reception to the series teaser trailer got rid of his fears.
Deven Mack (Sonic): In Sonic Prime, a lot of the reactions that you’re going to see from Sonic are emotional with all of these surprises and having to deal with all these things. And that’s the same shock that’s hitting me. I was like, “Wait, this is actually happening? All right, let’s go figure this out.” It’s a very, very genuine thing I’m just really grateful that I’ve gotten to experience.
For me, I really try to make my performance about the emotional care and connections that Sonic has towards his friends, especially with Tails, being a mentor and a role model. Tails is actually the character that I relate to the most personally, so his dynamic with Tails, especially the version of Tails that you’re going to meet in the New Yolk City area, that’s something that really, really connected with me on a personal level.
I Am the Eggman: Times Five
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
After the shattering of the Paradox Prism, Dr. Eggman finds there are now five versions of himself from infant age up through Old Man Eggman. Together, they become The Chaos Council.
McPherson: That was actually Man of Actions’ idea, who we partnered with in the development. Sonic has fought Dr. Eggman a million times. He’s basically almost never lost to him. What we really wanted to do is ask how do we bring a different dynamic to Eggman as a character? And what are some things we could do to blow people’s minds and create the unexpected? They came up with this idea that if we’re shattering reality, and we’re having these shattered alternate versions of Sonic’s friends, can we split The Council in that way? And how does that tie into the logic of the prism energy?
Sonic is essentially unaffected, because he’s the one that shatters the prism. He’s kind of at ground zero, so he is unaffected. The next closest is Eggman and it affects him in different ways. And that’s how we justified the logic that the five split and it was just a hilarious idea that they could span an age range. You got to see Eggman from a baby to an old man with their different styles within that. It created this hilarious group dynamic within the council itself where you can have all kinds of infighting and jockeying for position. It just gives us a really unique villain and something unexpected.
With the prism break, Sonic visits New Yolk City, Boscage Maze, No Land and Shatterspace.
McPherson: There are five shards that immediately gave us a scope of five worlds. Those worlds were all meant to be, in a way, a reflection of Green Hill that’s completely out of whack. And Sonic’s never existed in any of these worlds. You get this reflection of what Green Hill could be without Sonic present as a hero. In No Land, we obviously know Sonic can’t swim. What if we threw a bunch of pirates in there? New Yolk City is the ultimate reflection of if Eggman won, what would he do to Green Hill? He’d remake it in the mechanized, industrial version in his own image. It’s just like a weird amusement park/prison state which is the opposite of Green Hill. It’s kind of an It’s A Wonderful Life journey.
Sonic Prime premieres Dec. 15 exclusively on Netflix.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, the OG animated series, is streaming now on Peacock.
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