Back in December of 2013, fans of the early 90′s cartoon Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog were saddened to learn that actor Christopher Evan Welch, the man credited as voicing Miles “Tails” Prower, had passed away. However, soon after the news hit, several fans noted a discrepancy with the actor’s age and the obvious child-like voice of Tails. Christopher Evan Welch was 28 in 1993, there’s no way he could have pulled off such a voice. I decided to find out if Evan Welch was indeed the voice actor of Tails, and after a few e-mails with friends of the actor and a call to Evan Welch’s agent in New York, I came to the conclusion that Christopher Evan Welch did NOT voice Tails. But if he didn’t, then that meant another actor did, and it was possible that the REAL Christopher Welch was still out there.
It’s not often that we get a look at how Sonic games are made, so it’s surprising that SEGA suddenly released a behind the scenes video for Sonic Boom. While there’s not much new info, it does show a lot of new concept art for the game and a couple of voice recording sessions for the TV show. There’s also one very small bit of new gameplay that you will probably miss if you blink.
The cast for the game and TV show was also revealed, which confirms that Orbot and Cubot will be present in this spin-off. It also shows that Tails now has a new voice actress, with Colleen Villard replacing Kate Higgins. This isn’t the first time Villard voiced a Sonic character, as she is also the current voice of the beloved Charmy the Bee.
[Source: SEGA Blog]
[Updated: Game details and Western exclusivity]
So today was a bit of a big deal in the Sonic franchise. After all the rumors, leaked photos and a leaked trailer, we finally have solid info on this Sonic Boom thing. First off: it’s not a reboot, but a spin-off franchise that will co-exist with the modern Sonic games, Boom providing a different take on familiar faces. A TV show, two new video games and toys are being developed and will be released later this year. So let’s dig into this thing! First up: the TV show. Originally announced last year, we now actually have details of how it will play out. The series is being produced by OuiDO! Productions and will air on Cartoon Network during the 2014/2015 season. The 52 episodes ordered will each be 11 minute self contained stories, with no over-arching plots. Among the situations the cast will get wrapped up in are “Knuckles becoming mayor” and “Dr. Eggman faking an injury so he can take Sonic to court.” The primary characters all play their own roles, such as Tails being the go-to Mr. Fix-It and Amy being an archaeologist, using her knowledge to help out the group as they explore new lands.
Then there is what a lot of you might care more about: the new video games. The first game is for the Wii U, and is the final of the three exclusive Sonic titles for Nintendo systems. Unlike every major title over the past decade and a half, Sonic Boom is not being developed by Sonic Team, but by Big Red Button Entertainment. The studio consists of ex-Naughty Dog staff, including Christian Senn. Known around these parts as lead designer on the cancelled Sonic X-treme for the Saturn, Chris’s official title at the studio is Lead Level Implementer. Sure, it’s almost 20 years later, but Chris finally gets his crack at the Sonic franchise.
Led by Bob Rafei of Jak & Daxter and Uncharted fame, Sonic Boom is being described as a “wide linear” game, with interconnected levels branching out from central hub worlds. Focusing on more than just speed, Naughty Dog’s heritage will have some influence on how the title will play. Also, for the first time in a long while, the core four will be playable, with at least two on screen at all times, and all four being involved in boss battles, each character having their own unique attributes. Other known details: Funky Rustic is contributing sound to the game, it uses CryEngine 3, will feature four player co-op and the most important detail of all: the trailer uses Skrillex music.
The other announced game will land on the Nintendo 3DS and is being made by
Dimps Sanzaru Games, known for the latest Sly Cooper title. There aren’t really any details for this game yet, but apparently Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a pretty solid game, so it seems to be in good hands.
In the wake of these announcements, gameing site Polygon interviewed Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, who revealed that the entire Sonic Boom line was designed with a Western audience in mind. While Sonic Team still has a supervisory role, Big Red Button has creative control, and as such there are currently no plans to bring either the show or the games to Japan. Could this change in the future? Maybe, but for now Japanese Sonic fans are going to have to deal with the import shops if they want to check out this new take on the hedgehog.
There’s also a toyline in the works, which is being made by Tomy. While no imagery of the toys were released in the media frenzy, you can see plenty of screenshots and concept art for the game and TV show after the jump.
[Source: SEGA Blog]
Yup, it’s almost Christmas. Meaning there’s Christmas stuff you can watch on TV, the internet, your phone or some futuristic machine that hasn’t been invented yet that you’re reading this on at the moment. Or you could actually be spending time with your family or loved ones, because that’s a Christmas thing you can do. Anyway, this week Balena Productions made another Sonic Christmas cartoon, some of our staff did commentary on a different Sonic Christmas cartoon and cool music guy Falk made a thing. Also some other stuff including:
- Balena Productions made another Sonic Christmas cartoon [See the video above]
- Here’s the SEGA Cinema holiday special featuring Barry, David and Bartman [Featuring Sonic Christmas Blast]
- Falk made a new Endless Possibility remix [Actually it’s really a cover]
- The folks who do Sonic Talk talk about Sonic Lost World in their holiday special [SEGAbits]
- LakeFeperd (known for Sonic Before- and After the Sequel) has released his latest fan-game: Sonic Chrono Adventure [Here’s the download] [Discuss the game here]
- Wait, Sonic Lost World getting a Yoshi’s Island Zone wasn’t some weird fever dream? [Also a Legend of Zelda zone?]
- I’m not sure what to think about this trailer SEGA released for the aforementioned Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC [Seriously I don’t]
- You can get all the Sonic games on Steam for only 15 bucks until January 2nd [Maybe wait for the daily deals for individual games]
- Ryo Hazuki found a way to make vehicles out of arcade cabinets and will be racing around in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed while playing Outrun at the same time sometime in the future [It was a leak so shush don’t tell SEGA]
- Another couple of classic SEGA games got a 3D revamp on 3DS this week, this time Streets of Rage and Shinobi III [Fantasy Zone next please]
In celebration of the holiday season, I (Barry the Nomad), David the Lurker and Bartman settle in around the fireplace, sip eggmanog, and enjoy two episodes of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. The first is the holiday special “Sonic Christmas Blast”, which released three years after the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog aired. The special was planned to be titled “An X-Tremely Sonic Christmas” to tie in with Sonic X-treme. But when X-treme was scrapped, the title was changed to tie in with Sonic 3D Blast.
The second bonus episode is entitled “Sno Problem”, a wintery themed adventure that sees Sonic and Tails taking on Robotnik who has unleashed his Ultra Freeze-O-Matic on mobius. His grand scheme? Watch and find out!
We’ve also added a few surprises, so sit back and enjoy! Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!
Variety has reported that actor Christopher Evan Welch, the voice of Miles “Tails” Prower in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series, has passed away at the age of
48*. Welch voiced Tails in all 65 episodes of the series alongside Jaleel White’s Sonic and Long John Baldry’s Robotnik (Baldry passed away in 2005).
Welch’s other TV credits include AMC’s Rubicon, The Sopranos, The Practice, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU and The Good Wife. Welch also appeared in several movies including Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and Lincoln, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
As a Sonic fan who tape recorded every single episode of the series as they aired, Welch’s death really is heartbreaking. His voice acting really shaped the character of Tails in those early days when he was a silent sidekick in the games, and was relegated to a smaller role in the Saturday morning Sonic series. All of us at Sonic Retro send our thoughts to Welch’s family and friends.
I wanted to add that the Seattle Times has a fantastic tribute to Welch’s stage acting career, featuring a great photo from 1993 which was around the same time he had worked on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
*Despite many entertainment outlets stating that Welch was likely 48, this doesn’t jive with his child-like voice in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. At 48 now, Welch would be 28 in 1993. But given puberty has been the presumed cause for Welch not appearing in Sonic Christmas Blast in 1996, he would have been closer to 11 which matches with a 1983 birthdate floating around. And yet, the Seattle Times shows a photo from 1993 featuring a man much older than 11. So either Welch was much older and could do a great child voice, and did not appear in the Christmas special for other reasons, or something else is not matching up.
And by animu I only mean Kill la Kill. It’s a show in which school uniforms give people powerful powers and there’s different tiers of powerful school uniforms and it’s made by the same guys who made Gurren Lagann. Go watch Kill la Kill you guys. Also some big Sonic stuff happened.
- Forum member Jayextee is making his own neat-looking game called [SLAVE]
- George, Barry and Bartman did a commentary on Shenmue the Movie [SEGA Cinema]
- The SEGAbits The Cave contest ends tomorrow, you can still enter and try to win some stuff [Contest]
- Speaking of The Cave, here’s an interview with Ron Gilbert by [SEGAbits]
- My Life with SEGA revisits the Alien Trilogy [Youtube]
- Nintendo brought the incredibly shocking news that Sonic will be in Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS [Smuggy smug]
- The first CG Sonic cartoon is coming to Cartoon Network next year [Sonic Boom]
- Gametrailers dug up some new details on Michael Jackson’s involvement with Sonic the Hedgehog 3 [Gametrailers]
- If you’re one of those guys who likes to spoil everything before he plays a game, here are all of the worlds and color powers in Sonic Lost World [I’m not looking]
- Ikaruga is on Steam Greenlight, vote for it if you want the game to be released on PC! [Steam Greenlight]
- SEGA is making a Plants vs. Zombies arcade game [Arcade Heroes]
SEGA just suddenly announced that there will be a new comedic CG animated series called Sonic Boom. This show will be Sonic’s fifth cartoon on TV, but if this teaser image is anything to go by this will be the first to heavily change the character designs. I can’t be the only one getting flashbacks to Loonatics Unleashed…
Sonic Boom will air during the fall of 2014, with the first season consisting of 52 eleven-minute episodes. The cartoon is being produced by SEGA of America and Genao Productions. You can read the full press release after the jump for more info.