Sonic Prime is now out on Netflix globally and we got to put some questions to one of the executive producers on the ambitious new Netflix Sonic adaptation.
Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game character known all around the world and has been adapted into many formats over the years, including the live-action movies that dominate the box office, numerous TV series, and of course, the video games that define many of our childhoods.
Sonic Prime is the new animated series that’s a collaboration between SEGA, WildBrain, Man of Action, and Marza.
Amongst the voice cast for the series includes Deven Mack, Ashleigh Ball, Brian Drummond, Adam Nurada, Shannon Chan-Kent, and Kazumi Evans.
Executive producer on Sonic Prime, Logan McPherson serves as SVP of Creative at the Canadian-based WildBrain animation. They’re the same studio behind Fireman Sam, Polly Pocket, and Snoopy in Space. For Netflix, they’ve produced Carmen Sandiego, Johnny Test, Chip and Potato, and of course, Sonic Prime.
What’s on Netflix: Can you talk a little a bit about how the project came about with SEGA and Netflix
Logan McPherson: Sega invited us into the development process with Man of Action. Together we fleshed out the core concept, the character line up, and what a rough episodic breakdown would look like. From there we developed the artwork and created a pitch deck outlining the key story beats and produced a short teaser to illustrate what the show would look like. Netflix loved the teaser and the concept and greenlit the show!
WoN: How much flexibility did SEGA give you with Sonic Prime? Did they give you a rule book on what you can and cannot do with the character and universe?
The show exists in the timeline of the current games, so it had to be faithful and authentic from that perspective. But once we entered the “shatterverse,” we could create new characters and take the story in different directions that I think will be both intriguing and fun for the audience.
WoN: How big does this project compare to prior shows you’ve worked on at WildBrain, for example? Was the team substantially bigger?
We’ve done some pretty big shows, but this was a level-up in certain respects. Our asset team had to be huge as the character count was super high, and there are five worlds being featured.
The animation team was also bigger than normal as we were really pushing the quality of animation. It also features huge character counts in the shots, with lots of fighting and battling so there was not shortage of work to do for the animation team! When you have such a large crew, you need a bigger production team as well to help keep it all organized and on track!
WoN: In the series, we see the voice actors often playing multiple roles including different variations of themselves. How did the voice actors, animators and writers treat that challenge?
The Shatterversions of the characters feature wildly different personalities than their Prime counter parts.
We often took one aspect of the Prime characters personality and threw it into overdrive with the Shatterversion. This created a connection to the Prime, but also allowed us to play with the character in a different way at the same time. There were instances where the personality was so different we used a different voice actor for the role – Prime Knuckles, and Dread Knuckles for instance are played by different actors. The animation team was then able to really lean into these unique aspects and play with the different attributes.
WoN: Netflix picked up a big batch of Sonic Prime episodes and without going into spoilers, season 1 concludes with a big cliffhanger. Can you give us a tease on what to expect in the next season and any expectations on when we might see it?
Yes, that is not the end of the story and we have made more episodes. I don’t have any details about when exactly they might launch but you can expect them in the not too distant future. The story continues to build and stretches Sonic to his limits both physically and emotionally, so you can expect a wild ride and a lot of fun to come!!
Have you checked out Sonic Prime on Netflix? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.