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Promotional art from early stages of pre-production of the cartoon.

When DiC was developing the first Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, the company's earliest ideas bore little resemblance to the finished products, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog.


These early designs first came to light in October 1993 when an article in issue #12 of the UK's Sonic the Comic promoting the impending UK broadcast of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog used an image from this early developmental period. Several more of these prototypical images were featured a few months later in Sonic the Poster Mag #1, a special issue dedicated to the two Sonic cartoons.

As its most distinguishing feature, this early show would have featured a "Freedom Team" based on the animal friends from the first Sonic video game, all dressed in a "hip" early-90's style, with sunglasses, open sports jackets, and large hair: Princess Acorn, Johnny Lightfoot, Joe Sushi, Porker Lewis, Tux, Chirps and Flicky.[1] While this idea evidently wound up morphing into the Freedom Fighters of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the irreverent artistic style of the images proved more in line with the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. One notable absence is Tails, which likely indicates the show was conceptualized before Tails made his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, probably around Fall or Winter of 1991. Though earliest mention and the information about Tails is in the revised show bible from February 18th to March 11th 1992.

The early images evidently had some influence on the staff of Sonic the Comic, though this may just have been because they mistakenly believed them to be an accurate representation of one or both of the cartoons, which they had begun an effort to emulate. Following the images' publication in the comic, Sonic the Comic soon after formally introduced it's own version of the Freedom Fighters, and redesigned Porker Lewis and Johnny Lightfoot so that they now wore variations of the clothing that their counterparts in these images sported.[2]