sonic originswhich contains newly remastered versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and sonic cd, is now available for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. While technically a compilation title, there are several truly new odds and ends included within. For example, there are several scenes of all-new animation between different levels. Ahead of the compilation video game’s release, ComicBook.com had the opportunity to chat with Jasmin Hernandez, who is a short-form animation production manager at Sega of America, via email all about the new animated bits, why Sega decided to include them at there, and more.
In addition to answering our questions about the new animated scenes in sonic origins, Sega also provided ComicBook.com with a series of character designs for the new animations. That includes design sheets for Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Eggman, Amy, and even Metal Sonic. Those design sheets are peppered throughout the following interview.
As noted above, sonic origins is now available for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise in general right here.
Have you had a chance to play sonic origins for yourself just yet? What do you think about Sega continuing to make animated content for its video games? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop in order to talk about all things gaming! And keep reading to check out our full interview with Hernandez and the character design sheets!
The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
On How Much New Animation Was Made
ComicBook.com: sonic origins features a number of animation bits, including remastered versions of those original in sonic cd. Roughly how much new animation was done for the compilation?
Jasmin Hernandez (Production Manager, Short Form Animation at Sega of America): We produced 5:30 minutes of new animation for sonic origins. The team felt it was super important to connect all the Sonic’s classic adventures through the opening and ending cutscenes found in game.
On the Decision to Make New Sonic Animation
What made Sega decide that creating new animation for the compilation was the way to go? Obviously, from the outside, it seems like the sort of thing that isn’t strictly necessary.
Animations have always been a focal point for the Sonic franchise. Following the positive reception we’ve received from Sonic fans around the world surrounding the animations found in recent titles such as Sonic Mania Plus, Team Sonic Racing, and Sonic Colors: Ultimatethe team felt compelled to include new animations for sonic origins. Animations have become a highly anticipated component of our game releases from our community, and we always aim to please our dedicated fanbase.
On Who, Exactly, Did the New Sonic Animation
Sonic fans will want to know, so I have to ask: who, exactly, did the new animation? Is this another production from Tyson Hesse and company or…?
Tyson Hesse directed the animation and together we worked with Powerhouse Animation Studios. Working with Tyson is always a pleasure. His passion for the Sonic franchise, animation and storytelling are qualities that make working with him so enjoyable. This is the first time our team has worked with Powerhouse Animation Studios and the whole experience was terrific. The team there is so talented, passionate, and a joy to work with. With Tyson’s direction and the brilliant team at Powerhouse Animation Studios, I am hoping our audience can see and feel how much love went into producing the animation for sonic origins.
On Goals for the New Sonic Animation
Sonic has a giant legacy when it comes to animation. What sort of goals did the team have in mind when creating these new bits for sonic origins?
Our team has seen our animations as a great way to connect with a large variety of audiences, and one that we think new fans and old fans alike can resonate with. Sonic, with his playful attitude and signature characteristics, match the colorful and energetic animations we’ve created for sonic origins and hope to continue to create at SEGA. With that, we felt like bringing new animations to sonic origins would be a great way to celebrate the iconic games that started the Sonic franchise, while also creating a welcoming entry point for newcomers.
On Inspirations for the New Sonic Animations
Additionally, what kind of inspirations did the team draw on for the new animated bits?
For sonic origins the team wanted to stay as true to the original Sonic titles as possible and were most inspired by the titles included in Originsincluding Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and sonic cd. During development, the team honed in on the original animations and drew inspiration from the original titles’ storylines. With that as our guide, we aimed to bring out each character’s unique personality to the screen. Stylistically, we wanted to complement the intro and outro animation of sonic cd. We felt that it would bring cohesiveness when connecting the stories.
On the Enduring Appeal of Sonic
And further more, speaking of legacy, what to you makes Sonic and his friends so endearing to folks decades later?
Great question! Since Sonic’s origination, the Blue Blur and friends quickly became beloved video game characters due to their uplifting and personable characteristics, fun demeanors and so much more. Over the years, at SEGA we’ve strived to deliver games and experiences that reflect Sonic’s positive personality from him, and one that fans around the world can resonate with. Since then, we’ve seen Sonic grow beyond video games, spanning from film to plushies to animations and more, but despite where Sonic is found, Sonic and his friends’ lovable and enduring personalities have always shined through. We hope to push the boundaries when it comes to Sonic, and always strive to make our fan base proud.
On the Future of Sonic Animation for Games
Increasingly, it seems like every new Sonic video game has some kind of new animated content attached to it. Is that the standard going forward? Should fans expect that sort of thing in the future? Or is it a case-by-case basis?
We take every project as we go, but animations have increasingly become more and more important to the SEGA family following the positive reception we’ve received from our fans. Moving forward, fans will have to wait and see, but we would love to continue to create beloved animations for our audience while continuing to stay true to Sonic’s roots. We truly aim to satisfy our dedicated fanbase and community and similar to the Blue Blur himself, anything is possible.