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How the Sonic the Hedgehog OK K.O.! Team-up Happened

Andy Sanders



OK Ok.O.! Let’s Be Heroes is, with out query, considered one of the most cartoony cartoons on air. Whereas some animated collection have skewed extra in direction of dramatic lengthy operating plotlines, OK Ok.O.! has embraced simply how a lot of a cartoon it’s. It’s wacky, zany, and delights in referencing different cartoons.

It proudly wears its influences on its sleeve and a kind of is Sonic The Hedgehog. The lengthy operating online game franchise has had a number of animated collection over the years and OK Ok.O.! creator Ian Jones-Quartey (and far of the collection’ crew) rely a few of these as massive influences on the collection.

For Jones-Quartey, he’s been wanting Sonic to visitor star on the present since its first season and that dream lastly got here true. Sonic and Tails visitor starred on the collection’ current episode “Let’s Meet Sonic” and it was a pleasant romp full of nonstop references to Sonic’s previous in overt and refined methods. Whereas it could have been simple to get misplaced in all the Sonic love, the episode stored the type and really feel of OK Ok.O.! intact all through. It was a real team-up in all methods.

Pulling off that sort of stability isn’t simple, particularly in an eleven minute episode of tv. We spoke with Ian-Jones Quartey about the unique conception of the episode, how they pitched it to Sega, and all these references.

First off, I’d like to find out about your historical past as a Sonic The Hedgehog fan.

I used to be launched to Sonic from the very first sport. Neighbors of mine once I was a child had a good friend who had a Sega Genesis who introduced it over. It seemed fairly superior to me and I could not afford a Sega at the time, so I acquired immersed in the comedian books and the TV cartoons. I simply actually appreciated the character and ultimately I owned all the video games and performed them.

I used to be simply an enormous Sonic fan in my youth after which as an grownup truly, as simply an animator, I acquired to animate in the intro for Sonic Mania. I did two fairly simple photographs, however the intro to Sonic CD is definitely considered one of my largest influences and sort of the method that the Ok.O.! characters, once they have their arms balled up in fists, they sort of simply grow to be balls. That was one thing I stole from Sonic.

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How did you even make this episode even occur? Speak about the conception of it.

We’ve been planning this episode since the first season of OK Ok.O.! We had talked a little bit bit about doing crossovers as one thing that we had form of a thrown round in the writers’ room/ We introduced this as much as our collection government who stated, “Effectively, is there a personality that you’d actually need to have a crossover with?” We, myself and my government producer, Toby Jones, immediately stated Sonic, as a result of I am an enormous fan. Additionally the crew that makes the present, numerous them are actually large followers too. We all know if we had the likelihood to do a crossover with Sonic they might actually deal with it very nicely and with respect.

So what’s the course of by way of simply getting permission to make use of Sonic?

Really doing the deal took a extremely very long time to the level the place, there have been a number of instances we thought it wasn’t going to occur. However individuals stored engaged on it and mainly Sega and Cartoon Community simply needed to make a deal on the complete factor. As soon as they stated we have been okay to go, we storyboarded the total episode and we pitched the complete factor to them. Simply mainly getting approvals on say, the method Sonic seems to be, what he does, that form of factor.

The factor about Sega was that we made a little bit presentation for them about why our crew linked to Sonic and the way we noticed the character and the way the character was inspiring to us, they usually actually trusted us and allow us to sort of put our personal spin on him. It felt actually good as a result of I feel, it is OK Ok.O.!, so the present is fairly cartoony. It may be fairly on the market. However they noticed that every part we have been doing was coming from a respect and love for Sonic. They have been actually nice companions to work with.

Inform us extra about that presentation to Sega. What have been a few of the issues that you simply stated to Sega to get them to belief you?

All of us have private histories with the characters. We took an image with me and Toby coated in a bunch of Sonic paraphernalia that we’ve got. I had my Sonic comics identical to mendacity round the workplace for anybody to learn. But additionally, we talked a little bit bit about the indisputable fact that all of us associated to Sonic. We love the video games however we even have numerous affection for Sonic animation. There are a number of animated variations of Sonic that have been actually particular to all of us, and never simply the Sonic CD intro, or the Sonic anime, however even the two Sonic animated exhibits made in the early ’90s. Coincidentally, they have been produced in the constructing that we truly produced OK Ok.O.! in. It is sort of an odd coincidence, however they understood that there was some historical past there and so for us it felt actually good. It felt like they understood what we needed to do.

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Speak about creating the story of the episode.

Effectively, so we have accomplished a few totally different crossovers on OK, Ok.O.!, however the factor is we have by no means accomplished a crossover only for the sake of doing the crossover. We at all times wanted to have a narrative or character dynamic or gimmick that will make it make sense. For this present the purpose why it was simple for us to get our heads round it was as a result of in the present KO is a large fan boy. He is the greatest fan of each hero who walks via the door and he is simply actually desirous about realizing about hero stuff as a result of he needs to be the biggest hero ever. Sonic sort of suits into that basically nicely as a result of one factor we find out about Sonic is that not solely is he a courageous hero, he is very egotistical and he likes to drink up individuals’s reward.

We figured as soon as we acquired these two personalities collectively, it could be actual fireworks between them. We thought there can be numerous chemistry, after which once we acquired so as to add Tails into the combine it made every part excellent as a result of then, Tails is Sonic’s pure foil. So it simply labored out rather well.

OK Ok.O.! episodes are normally solely about 11 minutes. Had been there any longer variations of the episode that you simply had thought of doing or was there numerous stuff you needed to reduce as a result of there have been so many stuff you needed to place in?

Effectively, we had numerous issues we needed to place in however we felt prefer it was essential to offer the Sonic episode the finest remedy that we might and make it a superb OK Ok.O.! episode. A traditional OK Ok.O.! episode is 11 minutes, and we actually felt like we had a narrative that the scope slot in 11 minutes. We did not need to put in numerous a padding or further speaking simply to make it longer. We figured the complete level is it is Sonic in OK Ok.O.!. Let’s truly put him in an actual OK Ok.O.! episode and, it is Sonic, so you are going to need to get proper all the way down to the motion and also you’re gonna need it to be quick. We simply did not need to wait round. This one was written and designed to be 11 minutes, completely.

The episode is stuffed with references to the level I am unable to even record all of them. Might you speak a little bit bit about these references that you simply included, every part from the music calling again to the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. There are photographs which can be instantly taken from the Sonic OVA. Speak about inserting all these many Sonic references.

We simply have an absolute reverence and love for all Sonic, all of its lore, and since we’re doing an animated model of Sonic, we needed to pay homage, not simply to the Sonic video games, but additionally the totally different Sonic animation over the years. We went out of our method to guarantee that we had references to virtually each totally different piece of Sonic animation. It is arduous to suit all of it in trigger there’s been a lot however we needed to guarantee that there’s lots further for followers.

Specifically there are numerous references to Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog. Is that as a result of it’s the wackiest of the exhibits and OK Ok.O.! is fairly wacky?

Yeah, completely, and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is considered one of my greatest influences by way of animation. It’s extremely wacky and virtually a low lease Bugs Bunny however it has numerous expressive humorous drawings and it does a lot only for amusing. All the characters are actually humorous with no different purpose for them to exist; they’re simply there to be hilarious. That was truly considered one of my greatest inspirations when making OK Ok.O.!. I needed to make a present that was sort of zany and off the wall and had every part. Now that we even have Sonic in the present, we are able to do some direct name outs to considered one of the present’s greatest inspirations.

Video of The Worst

I seen in the episode that you simply guys additionally made a reference to Ben Schwartz’s Parks and Recreation character Jean-Ralphio when Sonic yells, “The WORRRSSSSSST.” Since he’s taking part in Sonic in the upcoming live-action film, I’d love to listen to extra about that.

It’s so humorous, we had Roger Craig Smith who’s the present voice of Sonic, and we had him in the sales space and as soon as we have been accomplished recording all the dialogue, we have been sort of going via and taking a look at all the moments in the script and seeing if there have been like further little issues we might put in there. So when Sonic jumps down he says, “Alright, field mind,” and he says all these little strains, numerous these have been improvs that we truly got here up with in that second.

We had Roger Craig Smith do a pair improvs and that I feel was a suggestion that may’ve come from the author’s room. We weren’t even certain we have been going to go away it in however we have been identical to, nicely it would be humorous if Roger Craig Smith did it. Then it acquired an enormous snigger out of all people after the file, so we simply put it in an early model of the animatic. Then it stored getting laughs, after which it was simply a kind of issues that, this occurs all the time on OK Ok.O.! We put in a joke that we’re like, “nicely that is simply so silly, the solely people who find themselves going to snigger at it’s ourselves,” however then all people thinks it is humorous after which we simply go away it in.

Had been there any references that ended up getting deleted from the episode that you simply appreciated, however clearly there have been simply time constraints?

I really feel like every part just about acquired in. I needed to be very particular about numerous issues. For example, there is a flashback that Tails has to first assembly Sonic and her voice actress, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, did this unimaginable monologue about what it feels prefer to have a end line and to have a aim and to have one thing to tug for. One in all the issues that we talked to the artwork group about was that, nicely, all people sees Sonic they usually immediately suppose Inexperienced Hill Zone however we’ve got to verify that is Emerald Hill Zone from Sonic 2 as a result of that is the place Tails is from. There are numerous little issues like that we simply needed to guarantee that we acquired proper.

For further issues that we want we might have had in, I imply, after all the factor that will be actually wonderful can be to have KO get to go to Sonic’s world however I feel that is likely to be too massive of a narrative for one episode. Perhaps sometime.

One in all the stand out moments in the episode was Sonic and KO racing via the ramps. That was the most Sonic game-like sequence in the complete episode.

One in all the fundamental issues we needed to do in the episode was give Sonic a while to shine and exhibit a bunch of cool strikes. Initially all that stuff was going to happen exterior in entrance of Boxmore however we ultimately put every part inside and we figured, nicely it is a large manufacturing unit so let’s simply flip it into an enormous Sonic degree. Our artwork director sort of patterned it after a number of various things from Chemical Plant Zone, additionally the particular levels from Knuckles Chaotix, after which we had considered one of our animators, Jeff Liu, who was the storyboard supervisor, truly animated that basically cool scene of Sonic operating via numerous these issues.

I animated the half the place Sonic goes slow-mo as a result of I needed a cool part like that and likewise to point out off him doing the gentle pace sprint. We additionally actually had numerous enjoyable fascinated about. if we have been making our personal Sonic cartoon, what have been the sort of powers we might present him have? What sort of issues would we would like him to do?

In case you needed to choose one second via the complete manufacturing of this episode that was your favourite a part of the course of, what wouldn’t it be?

We labored on the designs for Sonic and Tails for a extremely very long time. Principally the factor that was tough about it was attempting to get these characters to slot in our world. It took us a short while to get there with these characters as a result of the Sonic characters, whereas they’re very cartoony and the present may be very cartoony, we needed to verify that there’s a little little bit of a match, in order that it actually seemed like they belonged to the similar world. We labored with the character designer, Ben Bates, who truly had numerous expertise drawing Sonic the Hedgehog. He used to do the covers for the outdated Archie comedian e-book.

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He’s considered one of our designers, so he helped us out lots and he helped us create these new character designs for Sonic and Tails. What was very nice with that we sort of acquired to undergo a bunch of outdated Sonic character designs from older exhibits and we have been capable of pull little items from every one. What was nice was that we truly despatched all the character designs to Sega for approval and it wasn’t one thing that I thought of till we did it, however then they needed to ship our designs to the Sonic Staff.

So truly the Sonic Staff was working off of our designs too. Kazuyuki Hoshino seemed over all of our character designs and he did notes on them and he tried to guarantee that they match into the type of Sonic. So it was actually superior to get their assistance on these issues they usually made it higher. They identified all these small issues that you do not take into consideration while you work on these characters, like what’s the proportion of their eyes and ears and their heads, their our bodies, and all that sort of stuff. It was actually enjoyable placing all these issues collectively.

One in all the strains that I like on this episode comes from Rad the place he says, “We have been up all night time taking part in movies sport.” OK Ok.O.! is stuffed with strains like that. Speak a little bit bit about that form of line that is mindless, however it’s so hilarious.

I feel “movies sport” took place as a result of we simply needed to keep away from saying “video video games” in the present. For some purpose it simply felt low cost in the place that we had it in. A number of of our story boarders got here up with the time period “movies sport” and at it first it was simply sort of a factor for Mr. Gar to say so he would sound outdated and out of contact. However ultimately we simply got here to see it as “movies sport” is how all people refers to video video games in the present.

One in all the issues that we love to do on the present that is actually enjoyable is we prefer to create a listing of phrases that we use and a listing of phrases that we do not use. Simply to attempt to get individuals to jot down round actually apparent jokes in order that you do not use jokes the place it is characters who go like, “I heard that,” or one thing like that. We need to guarantee that issues have their very own idiosyncrasies.

Clearly there’s going to be lots of people who’re studying this and watching this episode who’re simply Sonic followers that may simply be entering into OK Ok.O.! What do you need to say to them about what OK Ok.O.! is, and why they may prefer it, particularly if they’re Sonic followers?

In case you’re a fan of Sonic, for those who like pure hearted heroes who even have darkish sides and battle towards one another, and you want one thing that is enjoyable and shiny and colourful however could be a little edgy when it needs to be? I imply that is OK Ok.O.!. In case you watch a little bit extra of the present you will perceive very a lot that Sonic was one thing that impressed numerous us. If that is the sort of tone you are desirous about, I feel individuals would actually get pleasure from watching it and there is numerous present to observe.

What are you most excited for in OK Ok.O.! developing? Clearly Sonic has occurred, however what different enjoyable tales can OK Ok.O.! followers look ahead to?

Effectively now that we’re via with Sonic, I am actually hoping that everyone binges, will get caught up, watches each week, and joins us for the collection finale, which is gonna play later this yr. It is the fruits of numerous issues that we have been engaged on, and it is simply popping out to be an entire lot of enjoyable. In OK Ok.O.! we do our massive severe tales, however we at all times guarantee that for each deep darkish factor, there’s like one million jokes that can assist you trip via. I hope all people joins us for that.

What different group ups would you like to do for those who might with OK Ok.O.!?

Effectively you realize, it is robust as a result of Sonic was an enormous one and I feel the factor about doing a group up is that, like I used to be saying earlier, you’ll be able to’t do the group up only for a team-up’s sake. It has to return from a extremely good story or a extremely good concept. For example, with Captain Planet, we have been like, it is going to be humorous if Lord Boxman began polluting and it introduced Captain Planet out of hiding. For Ghoul Faculty we have been like, what if there’s an entire universe full of various characters and Enid knew these characters, like they went to elementary college collectively. So actually all of it comes from a superb story and I feel there’s positively a future for extra crossovers if we’ve got a superb story. 

Something you need to say to the Sonic followers on the market? Any Sonic media that you have been having fun with these days?

I principally simply purchase and revel in virtually something Sonic. I have been studying numerous the IDW comics lately. I am simply an enormous fan, and Sonic fandom is basically fascinating as a result of it is so massive and so diverse. All of us love Sonic from totally different elements of the franchise and I am excited for individuals to offer OK Ok.O.! an opportunity as an extension of that Sonic factor. It most likely will not be the factor that makes somebody love Sonic for the first time however for those who’re a Sonic fan who has cherished Sonic for a very long time and is open to totally different interpretations on the character, and loves seeing Sonic pop up somewhere else like Wreck-it Ralph or Prepared Participant One? I actually hope that you will give OK Ok.O.!’s shot at Sonic an opportunity and I actually hope you get pleasure from it.

Shamus Kelley is a popular culture/tv author and official Energy Rangers skilled. Observe him on Twitter! Learn extra articles by him right here!

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