The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog pilot is the seven minute-long pilot episode of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series. It was created as a proposal for the series and was never aired.
The episode was produced in-house in America, rather than being outsourced to Asia as the series was. It was unaired and was not included on any of the DVD releases of the series, but on 4 March 2009 it was released by Milton Knight and posted on YouTube by Dan Variano.
As a pilot, the episode is not as polished as the series that followed it. There is some dialogue missing and it features no music nor sound effects. Only three voice actors appeared in the pilot: Gary Owens (the narrator), Jaleel White (the voice of Sonic), and Jim Cummings (the voice of Robotnik, Scratch, and various others). Owens' narration was written out of the series when it was produced, but Jaleel White did go on to play Sonic in the series. Jim Cummings was replaced by Long John Baldry (Cummings did voice Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series), though) and Phil Hayes took over as the role for Scratch. The Sonic Says segment also featured an uncredited voice for Tails, although it is rumored that Russi Taylor (the voice of Minnie Mouse, Birdie the Early Bird and Strawberry Shortcake) provided his voice. Although much of the visual design was carried over through the series, some stylistic elements were changed (such as the voice-over narration by Gary Owens).
There are several recognizable references to video games than what is featured in the series. Emerald Hill Zone is featured as place, where Robotnik's big top is located. There are many Badniks from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 featured such as Mashers, Octus and Chop Chops. Robotnik is also seen utilizing the Egg-O-Matic with a wrecking ball attached on the chain.
The short film is perhaps most notable for a short scene halfway through in which Robotnik attempts to crush Sonic under a giant weight, but ends up being squashed himself (twice). This short piece of animation was used in the ending credits of the actual series. Some more footage from the pilot was used when Scratch and Grounder were watching TV in "Untouchable Sonic", and the scene where Robotnik stands on stage in front of a robot audience was used as the Continue screen for the game Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. A few clips from the pilot were notably used in the TV commercial for the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 LCD game. Several high-quality clips were later seen in a behind-the-scenes video for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
- Badniks (first appearance)
- Dr. Ivo Robotnik (first appearance)
- Miles "Tails" Prower (first appearance)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (first appearance)
- Hi-tops (first appearance)
- Triple Spin (first appearance)
This episode opens with Sonic running down a pathway when he comes along a wanted poster featuring himself and stops to look at it. Although the wanted poster has a specific amount of the money listed as the reward for his capture, Dr. Robotnik is seen saying that whoever catches Sonic can name their own reward. Sonic interrupts the meeting and takes off, and Robotnik's minions inside quickly give chase. Fortunately, a bull which charges Sonic runs into his pursuers instead and allows Sonic to run away freely. Robotnik launches a cactus at Sonic, but he easily outruns it and the cactus eventually gets tired and, literally, runs back into the cannon, which explodes in Robotnik's face. Robotnik is shown later testing a button-activated heavy weight. He sees Sonic speed by and presses the button in hopes that the press will crush Sonic. However, when he walks up to the weight, he sees nothing. Sonic (who has swiped the remote control button) pops up from under a manhole and flattens Robotnik. He inadvertently throws the remote down onto the ground directly underneath the weight, and speeds off. The flattened Robotnik gently floats down on to the button, where he gets smashed again. He's later seen being inflated by Scratch.
Next, Robotnik comes up with a plan to steal the water supply of a town, but Sonic comes to their aid by reversing the suction of the vacuum to put the water back. Then, Robotnik tries drilling a hole underneath Sonic as he is relaxing in the sun, but Tails flies down and hits a lever that causes the machine to move forward and it drills out the side of a cliff. Robotnik again tries to attack the town but is quickly thwarted by Sonic as he uses his spindash to destroy the arms on the machine. The scene quickly cuts to Robotnik mounting his Egg-O-Matic with a wrecking ball connected to a chain and chasing Sonic. Sonic wraps the machine in tape which prevents Robotnik from accessing the controls as it crashes into the side of a cliff.
The last scene has Sonic signing off the show while standing in front of the shows logo. He breaks the fourth wall saying that he is fast and Robotnik is furious, and later that the series will premiere in the fall of 1993.
At the end of the pilot, a Sonic Says segment plays, in which Sonic warns Tails about crossing the road without looking both ways first.
- Kent Butterworth (producer, director, storyboard)
- Milton Knight (animation, storyboard, layout, Robotnik character design)
- Ed Love (animation)
- Gary Paul Terry (storyboard, layout, Scratch and Grounder character design)
- Eddie Fitzgerald (storyboard)
- Mike Fontanelli (design)
- Marc Schirmeister (design)
- Jordan Reichek (design)
- Gary Owens (voice: narrator)
- Jaleel White (voice: Sonic)
- Jim Cummings (voices: Robotnik, Scratch, additional characters)
- Parts of this episode are briefly seen in the episode "Untouchable Sonic", though with new background music, sound effects and voice clips not used in the original version.
- The scene where Robotnik attempts to crush Sonic with a giant weight is used for the show's end credits in following episodes.
- The wanted poster featuring Sonic has Sonic's arms miscolored as blue.