Sonic the Animation is a minute and a half-length animated short created for theme parks like Sega World Japan. It was later featured in the compilation game Sonic Jam.
The short was animated by TMS Entertainment (at the time known as Tokyo Movie Shinsha) using hand-drawn 2D characters accompanied by mostly 3D computer-generated environments. Although the character designs are practically identical to the games, the animation style mimics that of the western Warner Brothers cartoons that TMS was helping co-animate at the time, such as Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures.
The short has no spoken dialogue, but several pieces of music play throughout alongside some sound effects from the games. The short's only main characters are Dr. Robotnik and Sonic.
After the title screen, the camera flies over a large metropolitan city, ending on Robotnik's island hideout just off the coast. In his hideout, a newly awoken Robotnik in pajamas goes to sit at his desk with a mug of coffee and a newspaper, whereupon he has a spit take when he reads that Sonic has been deemed the "Man of the Year". Robotnik angrily balls up the paper and throws it at the TV, turning it on, showing the same message and several crowds of people cheering for Sonic. Further enraged, Robotnik tries to turn the TV off, but stumbles over a trash heap, where he then arises while violently swinging and strangling a Sonic doll. He suddenly gets an idea and runs out of the room.
In the city, Sonic is seen running and jumping about, when suddenly Robotnik appears in a Sonic suit and rocket skates, where he then begins terrorizing the civilians; drawing on the faces of people who want his autograph, jumping on cars and destroying sign posts. After causing chaos throughout the town, a television displays an announcement proclaiming Sonic has now been deemed "Worst Man of the Year", showing an image of the disguised Robotnik making an akanbe at the camera. Unaware of the havoc wrought in his name, Sonic runs by a crowd of civilians watching the TV and stops to get their attention when, much to his befuddlement, they start angrily yelling at him.
After a moment of confusion, Sonic then notices Robotnik standing atop a nearby building, looking down on him and laughing villainously before losing his balance and falling off the edge, where the short ends with a "To Be Continued" screen.
Throughout the animated short, following pieces of music are played:
Japanese clothing company Milkboy made a T-shirt based on the short with the newspaper featuring Sonic as the front design. The back design used stock art of Sonic and the logo from the SegaSonic the Hedgehog brand.
In June 2016, the animated short was shown during the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party event held in Tokyo Joypolis.