Sonic - SatAM - Preproduction

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Pilot storyboard #1
Source: TV
Layers: 1
No sketches available
Cel Number: 26
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Added 6/26/2023
Updated 6/26/2023
Wow, wow, WOW. I'm over the moon to have a SatAM storyboard at all (let alone from the PILOT), but this in particular has some VERY interesting details! Things I find of interest include but are not limited to:

-- Robotnik's design is 99% the same as we later know him, but the details of his face make him MUCH cartoonier and less threatening/intimidating. That nose in particular is so comical it makes it hard to take him too seriously, which would've compleeeetely thrown off the tone of the show. The pilot episode is goofier than the rest of the series in general, but can you imagine if they'd never changed this detail?

-- The dialogue explains EXACTLY how Snively and Robotnik are related: Snively is "married to [Robotnik's] aunt's niece." It's interesting to see that this means they're related ONLY by marriage and share no direct familial blood. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this wording suggests that he's even further removed from being directly related than we thought; the use of the phrase "my aunt's niece" is very deliberate, because Robotnik could've just as easily said "my cousin" but specifically didn't. What this suggests to me is:

1. One of Robotnik's parents has a brother.
2. The aunt in question married that brother.
3. The aunt in question has a sibling of her own.
4. That a sibling of the aunt's had a daughter, who in this case would NOT be Robotnik's cousin.
5. Snively then marries into THAT family.

So if you want to get REALLY strangled with the relations, you can say that Snively is Robotnik's parent's sibling's wife's sibling's daughter's spouse! This is, of course, a huge departure from later in the series when Snively directly addresses Robotnik as "Uncle Julian" in Blast to the Past. Obviously we can't necessarily say they're blood relatives in that scenario either, but it's at least a much SIMPLER relationship than what's being suggested here!

This also shows that at one point Robotnik and Snively were the same generation, whereas later on in canon it's most likely that Snively is a generation behind Robotnik and therefor much younger.

(Also, before anyone asks, the edit to the word "niece" was just correcting a mispelling, not covering up an alternate version.)

-- I'm also somewhat impressed that this is directly stating that Snively is married. That might honestly be blowing my mind more than the relationship reveal, because I just cannot see ANY version of Snively even wanting a significant other, let alone a spouse. (And furthermore, even if he did, I'm impressed he found someone that'd want HIM.)

-- Snively's lines in the second and third panels confirm that this version was still leaning hard into the egg puns. I'm pretty sure this is known from the SatAM Bible, but I think it's still of note because storyboarding comes much later in the development process, and that detail was still around at this stage.

-- Cluck and Snively clearly have an antagonistic relationship from the start, but it looks like Snively may not actually be able to swat back at him at this stage. Obviously this is hard to say one way or another from just this one glance, but the impression I get is that Cluck can screw with Snively as much as he wants and Snively just has to take it. That would at least allow for Snively coming up with ways to get him back (such as the remote that pops Cluck's eye out) to be a later development of their dynamic.

-- TAILS <3 I don't really have anything insightful to comment on Tails' design or behavior or anything, I'm just really glad to see him in this storyboard!! I would've been pleased enough to have this just based on the things I've already observed, but Tails is a wonderful little bonus on top of it all!!

-- One last thing that I find extremely interesting isn't on the storyboard itself, but on the certificate of authenticity that came with it. Both this one and the one that came with my other pilot storyboard say these are from Sonic Underground, not SatAM. That strikes me as so interesting, because it makes me wonder 1) would these have ever even made their way into my collection if they'd been properly clocked as being from SatAM, because they could've been marketed to other collectors with VERY DEEP POCKETS, and 2) it makes me think yet again about the so-called Sonic Underground proto logo that I got a while ago. Even back when I first got it I questioned whether it was really from Underground, because SatAM is the only Sonic series to simply be called "Sonic the Hedgehog," but the auction listed it as supposedly being from Underground. Maybe there's all sorts of SatAM artifacts floating around out there that have been misidentified as being from SU?

One more massive THANK YOU to my friend Doodles, who traded this storyboard to me (along with a couple other items) in exchange for one of my comic pages!

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