Sega’s Jasmin Hernandez on new Sonic Origins animation and what the future may hold

Sound originswhich contains recently remastered versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, and sonic cd, is now available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Although it’s technically a compilation title, it contains several really new elements. For example, there are several scenes of brand new animation between different levels. Ahead of the compilation video game’s release, ComicBook.com had the opportunity to chat with Jasmin Hernandez, Head of Short Animation Production at Sega of America, via email about the new animated elements, why Sega decided to include them in everything, and more.

In addition to answering our questions about the new animated scenes of Sound origins, Sega also provided ComicBook.com with a series of character designs for the new animations. This includes design sheets for Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Eggman, Amy, and even Metal Sonic. These design sheets are sprinkled throughout the following interview.

(Photo: SEGA)

As stated above, Sound origins is now available on 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 here.

Have you had the chance to play Sound origins for yourself right away? What do you think of Sega continuing to create animated content for its video games? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to hit me up and hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming! And keep reading to check out our full interview with Hernandez and character design sheets!

The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

On how many new animations have been made

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(Photo: SEGA)

comicbook.com: Sound origins features a number of animation bits, including remastered versions of the original ones in sonic cd. Approximately how many new animations were made for the build?

Jasmin Hernandez (Production Manager, Short Form Animation at Sega of America): We produced 5.5 minutes of new animation for Sound origins. The team felt it was extremely important to tie together all of Sonic’s classic adventures through the opening and ending cutscenes found in the game.

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On the decision to make a new sound animation

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(Photo: SEGA)

What made Sega decide that creating a 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 central to the Sonic franchise. Following the positive reception we’ve received from Sonic fans around the world regarding 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 Sound origins. Animations have become a highly anticipated component of our community game releases, and we always aim to please our dedicated fan base.

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On who, exactly, did the new sonic animation

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(Photo: SEGA)

Sonic fans will want to know, so I have to ask: who, exactly, did the new animation? Is it another production of Tyson Hesse and company or…?

Tyson Hesse did 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 our team’s first time working with Powerhouse Animation Studios and the whole experience has been great. The team there is so talented, passionate and a pleasure to work with. With Tyson’s leadership and the brilliant team at Powerhouse Animation Studios, I hope our audiences get to see and feel all the love that has gone into producing the animation for Sound origins.

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On the goals of the new Sonic animation

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(Photo: SEGA)

Sonic has a giant animation legacy. What kind of goals did the team have in mind when creating these new elements for Sound origins?

Our team has seen our animations as a great way to connect with a wide variety of audiences, and we believe new fans and old fans alike can resonate. Sonic, with his playful attitude and distinctive characteristics, matches the colorful and energetic animations we created for Sound origins and hopes to continue creating at SEGA. With this, we wanted to bring new animations to Sound origins would be a great way to celebrate the iconic games that launched the Sonic franchise, while creating a welcoming entry point for newcomers.

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On the inspirations for the new Sonic animations

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(Photo: SEGA)

Also, what kind of inspirations did the team draw on for the new animated elements?

For Sound origins the team wanted to stay as true to the original Sonic titles as possible and took the most inspiration from the titles included in Originsincluding Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, Sonic 3 and Knuckles and sonic cd. During development, the team looked at the original animations and drew inspiration from the storylines of the original titles. With this as a guide, we sought to bring out the unique personality of each character on screen. Stylistically, we wanted to complement the intro and outro animation of sonic cd. We felt this would bring cohesion when connecting stories.

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On Sonic’s Enduring Appeal

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(Photo: SEGA)

And besides, speaking of legacy, what makes Sonic and his friends so endearing to people decades later?

Big question! Since Sonic’s inception, Blue Blur and his friends have quickly become beloved video game characters due to their uplifting and likable traits, funny behaviors, and so much more. Over the years, at SEGA, we’ve strived to deliver games and experiences that reflect Sonic’s positive personality, and that fans everywhere can resonate with. Since then, we’ve seen Sonic grow beyond video games, from movies to plushies to animations and more, but despite where Sonic is, the lovable and enduring personalities of Sonic and his friends always shined. We hope to push the boundaries when it comes to Sonic and always strive to make our fan base proud.

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On the future of sonic animation for games

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(Photo: SEGA)

More and more, it seems like every new Sonic video game has some sort of new animated content attached to it. Is this the norm in the future? Should fans expect this kind of thing in the future? Or is it case by case?

We take on each project as we go, but animations have become increasingly important to the SEGA family following the positive reception we’ve received from our fans. Going forward, fans will have to wait and see, but we’d like to continue creating beloved animation for our audience while staying true to Sonic’s roots. We truly aim to satisfy our dedicated fanbase and community and like Blue Blur itself, anything is possible.

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