Prototype Sonic Items Title
SatAm - Saturday Morning Sonic TV Show Prototype Page
With a lot of large art, and a lot of information...
This TV Show gets it's own page of 'prototype' documentation as an item/article. You can read more about the Sonic the Hedgehog TV shows over on Sonic Gear Show Pages--but those are the end result! What came before that? If you are curious about how things got their start for this show, this is the page for you...because there's a lot more here than meets the eye if you want to read all the way down the 'rabbit-hole' of information...or should that be 'the knothole'?
Sonic Gear Main Page * Sonic Prototypes 1 * Sonic Prototypes 2 * Sonic Prototypes 3 * Sonic Prototypes 4 *
Sonic Prototypes 6 * Sonic Prototypes 7 * Sonic Prototypes 8 * Sonic Prototypes 9 * Sonic Prototypes 10 *
Sonic Prototypes 11 *
Things in general to know:
1. TV shows, especially animated shows take a REALLY LONG time to create, and also there is a LOT of work that goes into them. They are expensive.

2. TV Networks control when a show will air, and they also control what type of shows they ask for, and IF they ask for another season. They don't tend to try to control the shows themselves.

3. Shows very typically go through prototype & planning stages, and often changes are made during this time. Older shows will have more 'materials' from this phase because there was less computer stuff at those times.

This would be a typical early art item which is a concept drawing of a special scene they wanted to have included, with the red notes on there of what the characters are doing or feeling.

The scene is the 'ring pool' which would give out the power ring that Sonic could take to be 'powered up' as was the gimmick for them in the show.

The notes say about how Sonic is to approach carefully the ring, wait for it, and a 'remark' from that early Rotor proto character where he is fat, but has a tuft of hair and sunglasses still. (Note one tusk) You'll likely find lots of stuff around like this on internet searches. It is good, and interesting to see.
Bat Bot & Toady Sinvely Proto Designs Here's a look at Robotropolis with the pollution pipe, smoke stacks, junk yard, and buildings being lorded over by a big 'bat bot' evil robot. The bat never ended up appearing as a monster in the show, but that's also pretty typical from early 'scene setters' like this. Robotropolis did end up dark/junk-yard feeling, so you can see how elements get preserved.
The other art is "Toady", which is the character for prototype-Snively. You can see that he started out as a taller Frankenstein character with 'chrome dome' bolted on skull-cap, robotic arms, clompy-boots, and a shirt/tie with a "T" on it for "Toady". He's one of those characters where the name means something very obvious if you have enough vocabulary but is funny to kids who don't. A "Toady" is literally the word for 'stupid underling / minion / low-level servant / snivelling goon who is always in the employ of a villain type character'. But kids hear the word "Toad".
Ironically he ended up with the same exact 'very obvious name for babies' but To Snivel instead of to Toady. But why the franken-theme? Well, you'll see in just a moment.
It Was NOT Originally a Sonic Show
It WAS The Princess SALLY SHOW

Did you ever see SatAm and wonder why Princess Sally was a BETTER CHARACTER than Sonic? Why she has so many devoted fans? Why Australia really really latched onto her? It's because it was supposed to be HER show all along. A magic forest princess beating the big bad polluter-man and saving the day with her rag-tag group of forest creatures funny talking animals. She was always better written than he was, she did more, was smarter, and had more flexibility in her character than he did--because it was really her who was the star and "Sonic" was simply a blue glaze applied to the Sally Cake.
Sound preposterous?
Let's dig in!

Demon Dr Robotnic Uh oh!
Who's this?'s the show's original villain, the polluting demon wizard who is ruining the animal's forest. The guy clearly has absolutely 0 to do with anything, and the writing on the paper shows they wanted to get away with this guy being Robotnic so they didn't have to change anything that had already been done...
But they were forced to. Because remember how networks don't try to exert a lot of control over the content (rule above) all the time, but License-Owners SURE DO and Sega SURE DID and this guy went into the waste-paper-bin because...well of course he'd have to. But when you look at this design, the next couple of things are going to make sense about stuff that did get kept--so it's important to start with him.
Robotnic's Chicken Everybody knows Cluck...
But this is how Cluck got started. Of course, as a real chicken, it's the "Scruffy & haggared black rooster". Of course, being a demon wizard, you would expect a character like that to have a familiar or a pet, and chicken bones and chicken feet are common in 'magic spells', as also feathers can be so it makes perfect sense for the character to have that.
It's also a black bird to invoke 'crows or ravens', but without having that exact bird/cliche either. (Maleficent had one, other big bads having crows that do their bidding in media is common)
Because "Bad Wizard" had nothing to do with technology in this stage, of course it is a real rooster and not a robot at all. They ended up keeping it, turning it into completely a robot, and naming it Cluck for Robotnic to eventually own in the final version of the show.

Another thing that's about to become abundantly clear is that anyone working on the show was NEVER SHOWN game play footage, game art, a game cartridge, box, or any other media from Sonic the Hedgehog before working on the show. They knew names, but not what he was, what the world looked like, how things behaved, or the asthetic of absolutely anything.

This is an enduring mystery.
Why Sega never sent any materials over to the show-makers/developers despite however long they had to do it is a mystery that lasts/and may last forever. But it's clear they didn't--at all. Remember-at this time grownups didn't play video games because they were toys for babies only. Many people had no consoles at all, and PCs weren't out. No mobile phones. There was no way for these adult producers to determine anything about Sonic outside of the style sheet & "Don't" list that Sega gave them to adhere to.

Early Robotnic Sketch Toady Here's a further-along Robotnic, and this time the rooster is a robot too. They're working with "Egg" there in the sketch at the top, but likely nobody ever said 'eggman' at this point.
Toady is back from the earlier sketch, toadying along beside him, with the hunchback frankenstein look still going on. You've got the 'wizard-ish' coat kept the face is defenetely closer to SatAm Robotnic. He has armor arms/very thin, or they are both robo-arms. The note says "Dr. as Humanoid", because their variations on him (as you'll see) were pretty vast.
Pig Robot Frankenstein Robotnic
Here he goes again, this time as a pig robot Frankenstein type character. You've got the pig nose, jaw bolt, & the black eyewhite area that he ended up keeping. A bold move with the radius/ulna "bones" as cables for the robotic arm being exposed. The note says "Electric Ponytail" , which would probably spark for effect when he gets mad or the lights on his 'mowhawk' would set off somehow.
Cluck's here again, this time with a mace for the tail, and mirroring the head spike with the beak.
There's more!
There is a whole page of other designs for him, but it is too large to fit on this text page. It is on it's own separate page so be sure to push SatAm Robotnic Prototype Sheet Page to see & read.
The "Cowboy Tails" mystery is also present there & gets it's explanation! Hmm!
Prototype Bear Sally Now, let's move onto the good guys, starting with the real star of the show, Sally Acorn.
This art is one of her later, more advanced arts. This was once they had to start changing her to fit the show, instead of how she was first thought up. As you can see, whoever did this has been watching a bunch of earlier Disney because she has a strong look of Gadget Hackwrench (Rescue Rangers Mouse), Tale-Spin Rebecca Bear, and maybe a little bit from Animals Robin Hood?
It's a very familiar looking design, but, as usual there's nothing particularly wrong with 'well that looks familiar'. And she's dressed a little bit Princess Jasmine, which, also fine.
But you know what this does NOT look like?
A Sonic character. You know how there are about a zillion beloved & hated "Sonic Fan Characters" that little kids are always making up and posting all over the internet....
to the point it became a meme to look up "Yourname-The-Hedgehog" and see what whacky art pops up when you do it. Loads are re-colors (It's Tails but green!) characters with tack-ons (It's Sonic but purple and he has bangs!) but even 12 year olds know what a "Sonic Character" style is, and this bear...or whatever she is...doesn't have it. That's again--because they never saw the games or any materials about them.
Human Sally Prototype Here's something annoying.
But let's get into the details first. This is Human Sally who was designed by the same hand as the Demon Wizard & his Chicken, at what was probably the same time because of the marker used, and the fact that it's in color. (She probably wasn't pink, that's likely to be 'white person skin tone' when the marker and sketch was new)
However, she only adds to the confusion because neither one of those is a protagonist (or antagonist)--in her own art! Both of them are passive, not active (Demon Wizard was active, all of the Robotnic poses/ideas are active or 'viewer regarding')
The top one she is deliberately doing a nudie-mag pin-up girl pose and rolling her eyes at someone/her situation.
The bottom one she's faced off-camera, unhappily talking as she sits. Neither of these is how you pose the star of the show when you're pitching them--so why do they exist at this point of the development timeline??
Naturally there's way more, but again, it's another huge sheet so see SatAm Princess Sally Prototype Art Page. And there, you can see that she started out as....a plant! It's true.
Antoine Prototype Space Fairy Elf Guess who this is!
It's Antoine D'Coolette Depardieu...the space...fairy elf.
This isn't by the marker-artist who did the color, but it is the same one behind the design on the Sally page that ended up as actual Sally. (Whoever this is favors big bangs--they use it twice) He fits right in with her Jetsons retro-future space garb with the big shoulders fins and the skin-tight leotard.
But look there on the feet, yeah it's elf shoes but that curling design on the side? Cowboy boot element. Cowboy was still creeping around in the designs.
Does he have a tail?
He seems to!
Here, he's winking and being sassy, so you can easily imagine him as the faux-suave character that is cowardly that he ended up as. As a non-main character, this is the only found (so far) thing of him.
SatAm Early Bunnie Robot Stomping in, here comes Bunny "Robot"
Doing a character all about a single pun was also big in these days, so "Bunnie Rabbot" fits right in. But how much 'bot' to do? That will be the evolution of her design that you can see with this page. They also seemed to have a good bit of trouble with her due to not being able to think outside of any boxes....ever.
Here, her face is LITERALLY Bugs Bunny but given eyelashes and human lips. The body proportions are also Bugs Bunny. Not Sonic, not human, but Bugs. She's also completely robotic, shown for emphasis with her big foot stomping outward toward the viewer.
The twisted up ears are just awful. They wanted to play around with "Ears ARE Hair" and can be styled in the same way but to imagine twisting up your ears horribly like that is just nasty to look at. Also the head plagerized BugsBunny so the design didn't end up happening.
Bunnie Rabbot Studies More for Bunnie, this time from Demon Wizard & Chicken artist.
You can see her color approaching what she actually got in the show, and the design tilting toward the show. Instead of her fur being purple, it ended up her leotard was. But, the robot/big legs are in place and the head is moving away from "It's Bugs Bunny in Drag".
Why are the ears growing out of the same point on the head?
Ease of animation. You don't have to worry about depth if 2 items originate from the same point on the head. It's deliberate/a short cut. Mickey Mouse has an odd variety of ear misplacement of it's own/it is common in western animation.
There's a little of the Jetsons' Future/Retro space elements going on with the shoulder guards, belt, and gloves. It was pretty much omni-present through early designs of basically everybody.
There's also a Giant Prototype Sheet For Bunnie.
They did clearly end up with difficulty vs the whole "HOW is a Robot", because it gets dodgy for a kids show when someone is cutting the limbs off the characters. They also had a sexy time!'ve seen the fan art for some originals when you go to the above page.
DIC Only Tails Reference Why was Tails brown?
Where did the whole early "Brown Tails" thing come from? Here's your answer! It took until 2023 to find it, but this faded old sprite sheet thing is the source of all the Tails Troubles from SatAm to AOSTH.
This tiny sheet was the ONLY reference that DIC (the animation company) got sent for Tails from Sega. The nasty green background does it no favors and only makes him look browner and worse. The belly dot, ear interiors, and lower face are all a wierd peachy-brownish while Tails himself is a sort of umber maybe? Then, the tail tips are white inexplicably. It's not a great look for him, (tail tips should have been consistent if they really wanted that blah peachy color) and the background makes it rather worse. It's no wonder we ended up with Brown Tails--but still odd that so many sources clung to it so hard even after corrections were sent about it.
Of course, when 1 thing's answered, another question pops up: Why did Sega even let this out? Who did this bad art of him? The Tails actual-designer character/creator person deliberately had him orange because it is opposite on the color-wheel to blue, and put a bunch of white on him too SPECIFICALLY to contrast with Sonic & draw the viewer's eye. Like...that was a foundational thing for him so why did it vanish for this old art?
More items may turn up later...but this set sure solves some mysteries about it.
It's super interesting to see the phases it went through, and how all the elements added up to what we actually got. Sega basically said "We Want Another Sonic Show" & the people over at Sally-Environment-Princess basically said, well, you can use our project/revamp it into the Sonic Show, if it means we'll get on air.
Because shows take so long to produce/are so complicated (espeically back then) this was much, much earlier than even Sonic 3. Sonic 2 barely managed to shoe-horn in Tails to the show/that's why he was barely in it. The lack of materials made him be brown and useless also. The first 2 games also had the plot of "Sonic runs to the right to let animals out of robots & then beats a boss--repeat until end", so it's not like Sega had gobs of material to (Fail to) hand over anyway. So the cast of woodland creatures makes sense because you can't have "Running to the right" as a plot.

Sally was the star, and her 'romantic interest' character was written over by Sonic. This is why he's always shown grovelling at her feet and she is always bossing him around. They call him "Freedom Leader" in name only, when it's all clearly her. She's got the plots with her father, her kingdom, her friends, her computer = Nicole, her nanny Rosie Woodchuck--all that stuff supports her, not him. Antoine was probably always the "crumby 2nd-guy" to fawn over how awesome Sally was and always be rejected because he's a crappy character on purpose/non-love-triangle.

Eventual Demon Wizard - Ixis Naugus in the void, with King Acorn.
Magic Stones/Deep Power Stones - Sega provided no information/these would have been Chaos Emeralds
Robotnic Dies- Yes supposedly at the end of the 2-parter finale/cliffhanger for the 2nd (and final) season
Who's red eyes with Snively? - It's Naugus, he got out and didn't turn to crystal (confirmed by series writer Ben Hurst)

Dulcy Dragon:
Introduced in the 2nd season, it's unlikely she'd have any proto art. They were probably ramping up to magic in the 2nd season with a big magical dragon & then bringing in Naugus to do magic there right at the end. (They continued to really, really, want magic mideval fantasy wizard dragon elf time in this thing and this was their gateway to turning Sonic into what they wanted, not what he was.)

Bad Moves:
As the top of the page says, networks don't try to control the shows much, but they do control how much show (how many eps) and when the show airs. In this case, they stupidly wanted to use the show to "Beat Power Rangers" when it was at the height of it's popularity, so they slotted it against the Rangers & "Viwership dropped too low", so despite being wildly popular in season 1, it couldn't handle the Rangers & got canned after season 2--despite being TOLD they'd get Season 3/that's why they cliff-hanger-ed it. When something gets made, you have no idea what time slot you'll get.
Beating the Rangers was stupid/unnecesary because it only occupied half an hour on Saturday morning. Simply allowing that half hour to dominate all ratings wouldn't have hurt the network & would have let the very popular SatAM show succede. Put something like a re-run, or non-competitor/kiddie (non-action) show against the Rangers & have Sonic follow it to capture the action oriented audience once the Power Ranges show was over at the end of that particular half hour slot. The bottom line being that greed killed it.