- Not to be confused with the in-universe fictional series, Chao in Space.
Chao In Space is a one-shot animated web episode that first aired on the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube Channel on 12 December 2019. It is based off of the fictional in-universe Chao in Space and acts as a Holiday special for 2019.
- Brace for impact as forces collide in “Chao In Space”! Don’t worry – you’re (probably) not dreaming. Inspired by the posters originally found in the Sonic Adventure series, the epic space saga finally comes to life as a beautiful short animation, almost 20 years later. It’s our little gift to you, and we hope you like it. From all of us at SEGA – Happy Holidays!
Races and species:
- Chaos Drive (multiple)
After chaos ensued on the Death Egg, a Neutral Chao finds itself flying its spaceship away from a Dark Chao. The Dark Chao puts up an intense chase, shooting its lasers at the Neutral Chao. The Neutral Chao performs several evasive maneuvers but is soon hit by one laser, much to its annoyance but to the glee of the Dark Chao. This pushes the Neutral Chao to turn its ship around and fly back at the Dark Chao.
This sequence is revealed to be a dream. In reality, a Neutral Chao is taking a nap under a tree with Sonic in the Neutral Garden but is showing signs of distress that the hedgehog takes notice to. In the dream, the two Chao clash several times which results in part of the Neutral Chao's spaceship to get damaged. The dreaming Chao is soon annoyed enough to stand up and start walking towards the garden pool. Sonic quickly guides it away from it, only for the Chao to instead trip over. Back in the dream, the Neutral Chao is disheartened after its ship had been wrecked. However, as it looks at a picture of it graduating with its two other Neutral Chao friends, the Neutral Chao finds its determination again and drives off once more. In reality, the Neutral Chao is climbing the small mountains which Sonic quickly notices. He attempts to save the Chao but it flies away at the last minute, leaving him to fall into the pool. As two Chao look at the slightly annoyed hedgehog, a Penguin swims over to hug Sonic.
In the dream, the two Chao shoot at each other and clash once again. Back in reality, Sonic is busy chasing the Neutral Chao as the other Chao in the garden watch them. As everyone else is distracted, Dr. Eggman, dressed as Santa Claus, arrives in the garden and plots to steal the garden's presents. Soon, Sonic sees the Neutral Chao flop onto the ground with a sad mood. In the dream, the Dark Chao managed to destroy the Neutral Chao's spaceship and turns to fly off. As the Chao floats helplessly in space, its friends from graduation fly in via hyperspace by his side. They provide the Neutral Chao with seven Chaos Drives that makes it enter a cocoon and enter a Super State. The Dark Chao turns around to see the phenomenon and is initially not impressed, but after a Penguin flies in and grants the Neutral Chao thick eyebrows, it becomes intimidated. The super-powered Chao then flies directly at its foe. In reality, the Neutral Chao sleepily runs with its arm extended. Sonic lifts his leg to let the Chao continue its route peacefully. The Chao unknowingly runs before the thieving Eggman and punches him in the face, just as his dream self blasts through the Dark Chao's ship.
Sonic quickly catches the Chao before it can fall off the cliff and looks over to see Eggman helplessly falling. Sonic is initially confused by the event but smiles and cradles the sleeping Chao. In the dream, the Neutral Chao is celebrating its victory with its friends and is about to open a bottle of Chao Soda. Before it does, it spots the spirit of Tikal clapping for it, which brings tears of joy to its eyes. The Chao then turns back to its bottle, trying to take the cork off. In reality, the Chao is actually pulling Sonic's nose. Despite this, the Chao manages to get the cork off, much to Sonic's dismay.
Shortly after the episode's release, promotional merchandise was available from Sega Shop, including an of Sonic and the Neutral Chao napping under a palm tree, of all the Chao designs used in the short and based on Chao in Space.
- Inspired by "Chao in Space" poster designed by: Yoshitaka Miura
- Original Chao Design by: Sachiko Kawamura
- Unit Production Manager: Jasmin Hernandez
- Written, Directed, Animated by: Tyson Hesse
- Cleanup and Additional Animation: Severin Piehl, Mariel Cartwright
- Storyboard by: J.N. Wiedle, Tyson Hesse
- Background Design: GGDG
- Environment Animation and Compositing: Brady Hartel
- Original cut-scene music taken from Sonic Forces, Composed by: Takahito Eguchi
- Original Chao music taken from Sonic Adventure 2, Composed by: Fumie Kumatani
- Escape from the City - Chao Ver., Composed and Arranged by: Jun Senoue
- Music and Dialogue Editor: Tyson Hesse, Jun Senoue
- Voice Overs: Roger Craig Smith, Mike Pollock, Tomoko Sasaki
- Special Thanks: Tomoya Ohtani
- Executive Producers: Takashi Iizuka, Kazuyuki Hoshino, Hiroshi Nishiyama
- Co-Executive Producers: Ian Curran, Ivo Gersovich, Hitoshi Okuno
- Graphics: Jimmy Lenoir, Petia Koutzarova
- Special Thanks: Ian Drazen, Evan Bader, Fatima Budica, John Choon, Katie Chrzanowski, Michael Cisneros, Jennifer Cox, Alan Hadaya, Ryan Hamlyn, Sandra Jo, Austin Keys, Mai Kiyotaki, Cindy Lin, Hannah Motegi, Keisuke Nagai, Maria Romo, Aaron Roseman, Nathan Shabazi, Miki Takahashi, Lola Shiraishi, Ayumi Tanioka, Justin Thormann, Anoulay Tsai, Aaron Webber
- Production Chao: Brooklynn, Dean
- This episode features several references and Easter eggs:
- The Neutral Chao and its friends' spaceships appear to be based on the Chao Pod and X-wing starfighters.
- The Dark Chao's spaceship appears to be based on the Dark Chao Walker.
- The keep case for the Chao in Space movie the Neutral Chao is seen holding is based on a Blu-ray case.
- Miniature radio-controlled cars of the Chao Pod and the Speed Star can be seen in the Neutral Garden.
- Sonic Mania Plus and Sonic Forces can be seen as presents in the garden.
- Chaos Drives can be seen as presents in the garden. These are items that debuted in Sonic Adventure 2 that can enhance a Chao's skills.
- One of the Chao that looks at Sonic when he fell into the garden's pool looks like Crusher the Chao.
- One of the presents seen in the garden has Ring-designed wrapping paper.
- One of the Chao in the garden is a NiGHTS Chao.
- The purple and white Hero Chao in the garden is based on a Chao named "Pocky" that J.N. Wiedle (one of the storyboarders for the short) made when she first played Sonic Adventure 2 in 2002.
- A Sonic doll that can be seen in the garden is based off of the Sonic doll that Amy owned in the Sonic Boom episode, "Sticks and Amy's Excellent Staycation".
- Since the episode's air date, the doll has been a recurring joke on the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube livestreams.
- The way in which the Neutral Chao uses seven Chaos Drives to undergo a super transformation is a reference to how some characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog series can use the seven Chaos Emeralds to achieve a Super State.
- The way in which the Neutral Chao first entered a cocoon to achieve its Super State is a reference to how Chao enter cocoons to become adult Chao or reincarnate.
- The way in which the Penguin influenced the Neutral Chao to gain eyebrows is a reference as to how Animals in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 are able to alter the appearance of Chao.
- The Chao Soda that the Neutral Chao possesses may be a reference to Chaos Cola advertisements from Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2.
- Tikal's appearance is similar to a Force spirit from the Star Wars franchise.
- The music that plays during the ending credits sequence is a Chao rendition of "Escape from the City" from Sonic Adventure 2.
- According to Tyson Hesse, the Chao in the dream sequences were referred to as "Chaobi", "Darkth Chao", "Biggschao" and "Chaowedge". These names are references to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles from the Star Wars series.
- Unlike prior official web animations such as Sonic Mania Adventures and Team Sonic Racing Overdrive, characters (other than the Chao) now have voice clips, although they mostly consist of grunts. The only line of dialogue is at the very end where Sonic says, "Ow, my face!" when the screen cuts to black.
- During the segments taking place in the Chao Garden, the music is actually that of the Chao Kindergarten rather than the Neutral Chao Garden.
- Chao In Space - Official Animation. YouTube. Sonic the Hedgehog (12 December 2019). Retrieved on 12 December 2019.
- 【ソニック】「CHAO IN SPACE」(チャオ・イン・スペース)【アニメコレクション】. YouTube. SONICMOVIECHANNEL (12 December 2019). Retrieved on 12 December 2019.
- Katie on Twitter. Twitter (2 September 2020). Retrieved on 2 September 2020.
- J.N. Wiedle on Twitter. Twitter (12 December 2019). Retrieved on 12 December 2019.
- Tyson Hesse on Twitter. Twitter (13 December 2019). Retrieved on 14 December 2019.