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So I've lately been looking into shows I'd love to see in HD/Blu-Ray. Some shows this works very well and really creates a difference, but it all depends on the original source material.

Star Trek the Original Series was shot on 35mm film (Higher Resolution than Full HD) so can be transferred across fantastically with some touching up. Star Trek Next Generation has been announced, which was shot in 35mm film but editted on video, meaning they put the entire show back through the post-production process to edit it together on film for HD transfer.

But then I looked at certain shows as Home Improvement, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Red Dwarf etc, all classic shows which would look phenomenal in HD but unfortunately were all shot natively on video, so the only sources there are will be in Standard Definition.

Applying this very base knowledge, I started looking to see if the Sonic OVA (the movie) would make a plausible transfer and found a few very interesting things about all the Sonic series. Please bear in mind my information on print, negative tech specs of Sonic series is from IMDB and is considered accurate at time of writing but could easily be proven otherwise.

Sonic the Movie (OVA)

Imagica Corporation, the company responsible for the movie, built the entire movie on 35mm film but the final print was NTSC Video. This information doesn't specify whether or not it was editted on video or on 35mm film, but if the final production print is video, then to save on costs the editting is likely on video too.

If the editting was put together on 35mm film, then the Blu-Ray/HD transfer is a relatively simple and costless manner of making a second final print of the editted movie in an HD format. Couldn't be simpler.

If the editting was done on video then the process becomes more costly, and the likelihood of this showing up in HD decreases hugely, especially as it's not something that will be showing up in syndication anywhere. They would have to enter the original 35mm negatives back into the whole post-production phase again and re-edit the entire movie before transferring it to HD for Blu-Ray. Post-Production is a very costly thing, so this would definately reduce our chances of seeing the movie on Blu.

For arguements sake, say it was released on Blu-Ray, the detail would be great to see (Those matte paintings are gorgeous enough in SD, highly detailed work went into some of the art and HD would show that up in a way it literally has never been seen before). I would also like to see some quality extras, maybe a few interviews with the writers and voice actors. Whilst they would likely be Japanese, it would be a great translated interview. Also a small documentary about SEGA's position in the market at that time (Sonic OVA was launched the same day as the Dreamcast).

Lastly, there would be a chance to redub the audio for DTS-Master HD 7.1, as the vast majority of shows are doing now, with the current cast of voice actors. That may be the small push SEGA might consider to join this up with the current titles and put in the minor financial support the release would require.

Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)

This one is a big surprise to me. Considering the prints on the DVDs and the different TV channels it has appeared on, I was led to believe this show was strictly made on video to cut all costs down as small as possible. According to IMDB this is not the case. In fact, IMDB states that this show is not only filmed on 35mm, but the final prints of the episodes were also in 35mm prints. This would be a very odd choice for a small childrens cartoon to make, but ultimately if true would be the saving grace for the series in Syndication.

If this show's final prints are all 35mm prints, then it would cost next-to-nothing to just slide them into an HD format ready for syndication and/or Blu-Ray distribution. Just thinking of a Full HD Robotnik's mouth ("Snively, what colour is my hearrrt?") is enough to churn your stomach and realise that this must be done.

The downsides for this show do not lie with the prints, nor the cost of releasing them (Effectively very minor). But in the rights of distribution which took years to arrange just for the video print copies that were slapped on DVD. In order to get a Full HD transfer means attaining the rights to the original prints and that adds complications to the procedure a thousand-fold.

If it were to be released on HD, it would be great to have some additional extras on the following the show has and maybe interviews with the voice artists such as Jim Cummings. Maybe even modern interviews and see if the cast can still perform the original voices. All cloud-9 stuff, but it would be a very interesting extra. Regardless an easy Full-HD transfer would be enough for me so long as someone can get those rights all ironed out.

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (AoStH), Sonic Underground and Sonic X

Unfortunately there is no information on these two shows so I have no idea of their ability to be made Full HD or not.

AoStH has a chance, being made by the same production company as SatAM raises it's chances, but as it was a different team the choice of video may have been made to fund a larger number of episodes.

Sonic Underground came at a time where the move to video was getting weirdly more popular despite the looming HD era (Which may not have been on consumer radar, but the industry had full knowledge of it). I have no idea how likely a 35mm print is of this show.

Personally though, a Full HD version of either of these shows is likely pointless. AoStH was a great show but with so many episodes to transfer for a show who's art quality was akin to someone just having a laugh, the conversion would feel slightly wasted. Maybe it'll improve the animation quality a bit (Lose the motion-blur) but that would be about all.

For Sonic Underground, there are a lot of fans for it and ultimately the artwork renders may look much better given a full conversion. I just really don't want to hear those God-awful songs halfway through an episode ever. If they can cut the music out of the middle of episodes, they might sell it to me.

Sonic X was abysmal. We all know it. Still, a Blu-Ray transfer would likely sell to fans, there are six people in the world who like it. Having said that, it was made cheaply in the early 2000s, and that says it all to me. It will most definately be a video print as production companies grew strangely more and more incompetent future planning during this time. Many TV shows of this era was still show on video despite HD being only 2 years away, and that's definately incompetence on anyone's part (Bearing in mind this was a time before recession and the media industry was loaded with cash). In any case, without knowing the original prints I have no idea whether this would make a good HD conversion and generally I don't care... though I'd still buy it on Blu-Ray if it came out. I like to torture myself... shut up... >.>

What do you guys think? Would you want to see any of these in Full HD, given the option? If so, what extras or updates would you like/do you think would match each series? The cost of transferring these is cheaper than making a new series/film from scratch and in the case of SatAM the financial cost of transfer is minimal, however the older the shows get the more complex the rights get.

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Based on what Shout! Factory went through with it's SatAM and AoStH DVD's I don't think Blu Rays are ever going to happen. All DiC could supply them with where the original master tapes, as I believe that's all DiC had left. There may be a slim chance there are film reels somewhere, but according to Brian Ward, the Shout! Factory DVD's are the best it's ever going to look.

Underground was colourd digitally, as such there's almost no chance of their being film stock to use for a Blu Ray. On that note, TMS has been digitally colouring cartoons since the mid-90's, as such it's unlikely X would have the material needed for an effective HD master.

The OVA seems the best bet, but since Sega has all but been ignoring it for the last 10 years (save for an edited version of Look-A-Like appearing on the 'True Colors' album) it is unlikely we'll see it.

Would be amazing though, seeing "STRANGE ISN'T IT?!!?!" in HD would be fantastic!

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Why are they ignoring the OVA in the first place? I don't see the big deal. Is it just because it was originally an anime that never really launched? Was it the plot or setting that grossed 'em out? Hell, I love the OVA on top of all Sonic animations. I don't see why they shouldn't bring it back.

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Sonic X was abysmal. We all know it. Still, a Blu-Ray transfer would likely sell to fans, there are six people in the world who like it. Having said that, it was made cheaply in the early 2000s, and that says it all to me. It will most definately be a video print as production companies grew strangely more and more incompetent future planning during this time. Many TV shows of this era was still show on video despite HD being only 2 years away, and that's definately incompetence on anyone's part (Bearing in mind this was a time before recession and the media industry was loaded with cash). In any case, without knowing the original prints I have no idea whether this would make a good HD conversion and generally I don't care... though I'd still buy it on Blu-Ray if it came out. I like to torture myself... shut up... >.>

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who the hell owns the rights to the ova

either way i'd totally buy a new edition of that, all the other shows can go fuck themselves, doubt a blu-ray release would actually be a new transfer, in the unlikely event it would end up on BR, it'd would most definitely be a shitty upscale. I'm sure no company gives a flying fuck about a mid 90s semi-obscure cartoon to give it a decent treatment, look at the treatment of Interstella 5555's blu-ray for example.

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I thought Sonic X was great considering the fact that it was the closest of the four TV Series to the games.

I'd argue that. Heavily.

Sonic X was abysmal. We all know it. Still, a Blu-Ray transfer would likely sell to fans, there are six people in the world who like it. Having said that, it was made cheaply in the early 2000s, and that says it all to me. It will most definately be a video print as production companies grew strangely more and more incompetent future planning during this time. Many TV shows of this era was still show on video despite HD being only 2 years away, and that's definately incompetence on anyone's part (Bearing in mind this was a time before recession and the media industry was loaded with cash). In any case, without knowing the original prints I have no idea whether this would make a good HD conversion and generally I don't care... though I'd still buy it on Blu-Ray if it came out. I like to torture myself... shut up... >.>

I'd also argue that all of the reasons that AoStH would probably be a waste in HD apply to Sonic X as well, because it suffers from a lot of the same problems (the difference being that they were generally intentional in AoStH).

Edited by TGaP Tornado

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Based on what Shout! Factory went through with it's SatAM and AoStH DVD's I don't think Blu Rays are ever going to happen. All DiC could supply them with where the original master tapes, as I believe that's all DiC had left. There may be a slim chance there are film reels somewhere, but according to Brian Ward, the Shout! Factory DVD's are the best it's ever going to look.

Well that sucks. If DiC only has the final master tapes then where the hell are all the 35mm film reels? It would be genuinely sad if they were destroyed but the more likely result for them is the same as many shows from small companies. They tend to get sold off when companies are in financial trouble to anyone who will buy them which means that the reels will be in some private collection. If they are, then that private collector may allow a company to make HD copies of the footage.

But for a now-dead series which won't make an extensive amount of money, unfortunately I doubt SEGA, DiC or anyone else is going to put the money, time and effort into it for an HD transfer. But as long as those 35mm reels survive, a true HD conversion is always a possibility, no matter how small.

Underground was coloured digitally, as such there's almost no chance of their being film stock to use for a Blu Ray. On that note, TMS has been digitally colouring cartoons since the mid-90's, as such it's unlikely X would have the material needed for an effective HD master.

Anything from the late 90s and early 2000s that uses the word 'digitally' will be standard definition only. Sonic X and Sonic Underground therefore have NO chance of High Definition copies unless the original lineart film reels are available and the show goes through the entire post-production process again with colouring, editting and treatment. And that's only assuming the original linearts are available. This is more difficult and expensive than finding SatAM film reels.

The OVA seems the best bet, but since Sega has all but been ignoring it for the last 10 years (save for an edited version of Look-A-Like appearing on the 'True Colors' album) it is unlikely we'll see it.

Would be amazing though, seeing "STRANGE ISN'T IT?!!?!" in HD would be fantastic!

Why are they ignoring the OVA in the first place? I don't see the big deal. Is it just because it was originally an anime that never really launched? Was it the plot or setting that grossed 'em out? Hell, I love the OVA on top of all Sonic animations. I don't see why they shouldn't bring it back.

That is a major question. The OVA was created by SEGA's consent for the release of the SEGA Dreamcast. While SEGA gave their approval for DiC etc to make their shows, it wasn't designed to promote their own releases. Sonic OVA was shown as a double bill on American TV on the day of the Dreamcast's release and was released on video soon after.

It seems to me that SEGA have just forgotten that the OVA exists since Sonic X came along, but SEGA have bad blood over Sonic X pertaining to being screwed about with contracts, so realistically they're probably wondering what the hell they can release on Blu-Ray to support their again-growing franchise. Maybe someone should nudge them in the direction of the OVA and wake them up? All in all it's a far cheaper option than making a movie/TV show from scratch again.

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Actually the OVA was made in Japan in 1996. It was meant to be an ongoing series but for whatever reason (I'm assuming low sales) it ended after 2 episodes. Then in 1999 it was finally dubbed for the west, and they made the wise choice to edit them together and call it a "movie".

Was it shown on American TV? I've never heard about that. I do know Sega asked DiC to make a new Sonic cartoon because the Dreamcast was being released in America and we got Sonic Underground. Thanks DiC.

I honestly doubt Sega care too much about releasing anything on Blu Ray. The old DiC cartoons didn't sell amazing well on DVD apparently, most people disliked X so Blu Ray sales would be low, and not many people outside of big time fans have seen the OVA. If I'm honest what I would really wanna see on Blu Ray would be "Night of the Werehog" and more CGI shorts. Those would look outstanding on a HD TV.

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Imagica Corporation, the company responsible for the movie, built the entire movie on 35mm film but the final print was NTSC Video. This information doesn't specify whether or not it was editted on video or on 35mm film, but if the final production print is video, then to save on costs the editting is likely on video too.

If the editting was put together on 35mm film, then the Blu-Ray/HD transfer is a relatively simple and costless manner of making a second final print of the editted movie in an HD format. Couldn't be simpler.

If the editting was done on video then the process becomes more costly, and the likelihood of this showing up in HD decreases hugely, especially as it's not something that will be showing up in syndication anywhere. They would have to enter the original 35mm negatives back into the whole post-production phase again and re-edit the entire movie before transferring it to HD for Blu-Ray. Post-Production is a very costly thing, so this would definately reduce our chances of seeing the movie on Blu.

For arguements sake, say it was released on Blu-Ray, the detail would be great to see (Those matte paintings are gorgeous enough in SD, highly detailed work went into some of the art and HD would show that up in a way it literally has never been seen before). I would also like to see some quality extras, maybe a few interviews with the writers and voice actors. Whilst they would likely be Japanese, it would be a great translated interview. Also a small documentary about SEGA's position in the market at that time (Sonic OVA was launched the same day as the Dreamcast).

Lastly, there would be a chance to redub the audio for DTS-Master HD 7.1, as the vast majority of shows are doing now, with the current cast of voice actors. That may be the small push SEGA might consider to join this up with the current titles and put in the minor financial support the release would require.

Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)

This one is a big surprise to me. Considering the prints on the DVDs and the different TV channels it has appeared on, I was led to believe this show was strictly made on video to cut all costs down as small as possible. According to IMDB this is not the case. In fact, IMDB states that this show is not only filmed on 35mm, but the final prints of the episodes were also in 35mm prints. This would be a very odd choice for a small childrens cartoon to make, but ultimately if true would be the saving grace for the series in Syndication.

If this show's final prints are all 35mm prints, then it would cost next-to-nothing to just slide them into an HD format ready for syndication and/or Blu-Ray distribution. Just thinking of a Full HD Robotnik's mouth ("Snively, what colour is my hearrrt?") is enough to churn your stomach and realise that this must be done.

The downsides for this show do not lie with the prints, nor the cost of releasing them (Effectively very minor). But in the rights of distribution which took years to arrange just for the video print copies that were slapped on DVD. In order to get a Full HD transfer means attaining the rights to the original prints and that adds complications to the procedure a thousand-fold.

If it were to be released on HD, it would be great to have some additional extras on the following the show has and maybe interviews with the voice artists such as Jim Cummings. Maybe even modern interviews and see if the cast can still perform the original voices. All cloud-9 stuff, but it would be a very interesting extra. Regardless an easy Full-HD transfer would be enough for me so long as someone can get those rights all ironed out.

What do you guys think? Would you want to see any of these in Full HD, given the option? If so, what extras or updates would you like/do you think would match each series? The cost of transferring these is cheaper than making a new series/film from scratch and in the case of SatAM the financial cost of transfer is minimal, however the older the shows get the more complex the rights get.

Wow, just reading this information that you researched out made me excited for the possibility of a release, considering I've always wanted to own this, my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog animation, on Blu-ray. I was always looking forward to a release and was a little confused and bummed that nothing has come yet. Also, you guys know (probably since it's no longer in print) a used copy of the DVD is upwards of more than $50 USD (with new ones being at least twice that amount) on Amazon.com. Luckily for me, I stocked up on a few different versions and formats. I would love to know how I can in some way support trying to get a Blu-ray released (with features and original episodal edits would be cool, too) because I don't see why this shouldn't be done.

 

The OVA seems the best bet, but since Sega has all but been ignoring it for the last 10 years (save for an edited version of Look-A-Like appearing on the 'True Colors' album) it is unlikely we'll see it.

Would be amazing though, seeing "STRANGE ISN'T IT?!!?!" in HD would be fantastic!

Thanks for pointing me in the way of that edit. Yeah, that would be awesome to see, you and me both!

 

Why are they ignoring the OVA in the first place? I don't see the big deal. Is it just because it was originally an anime that never really launched? Was it the plot or setting that grossed 'em out? Hell, I love the OVA on top of all Sonic animations. I don't see why they shouldn't bring it back.

Agreed! Was hoping others would feel the same way, too!

 

who the hell owns the rights to the ova

either way i'd totally buy a new edition of that, all the other shows can go fuck themselves, doubt a blu-ray release would actually be a new transfer, in the unlikely event it would end up on BR, it'd would most definitely be a shitty upscale. I'm sure no company gives a flying fuck about a mid 90s semi-obscure cartoon to give it a decent treatment, look at the treatment of Interstella 5555's blu-ray for example.

Totally and it's a shame for me.

 

Actually the OVA was made in Japan in 1996. It was meant to be an ongoing series but for whatever reason (I'm assuming low sales) it ended after 2 episodes. Then in 1999 it was finally dubbed for the west, and they made the wise choice to edit them together and call it a "movie".

Was it shown on American TV? I've never heard about that. I do know Sega asked DiC to make a new Sonic cartoon because the Dreamcast was being released in America and we got Sonic Underground. Thanks DiC.

I honestly doubt Sega care too much about releasing anything on Blu Ray. The old DiC cartoons didn't sell amazing well on DVD apparently, most people disliked X so Blu Ray sales would be low, and not many people outside of big time fans have seen the OVA. If I'm honest what I would really wanna see on Blu Ray would be "Night of the Werehog" and more CGI shorts. Those would look outstanding on a HD TV.

It did in fact show in The States. The channel name that I saw it on was called STARZ! and I was always stoked at the time to see it make it to tv programming!

 

I heard a similar thing about its possibility to become an anime series, too. It's too bad it was cut so short but at least we got what we have now. Thankful for that!

 

I would appreciate it if anyone would message me and notify me of any further information about a transfer and/or release of the OVA on Blu-ray or any other related informations. Cheers, all!

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I'd like to see all four get a BD release purely for the sake of them getting wider publicity and reaching a new audience. I think all four shows are good, Aosth and SatAM especially but I think Underground and Sonic X both have their moments too.

 

So yeah, i'd be all for it, even if the picture quality wouldn't be much better. It'd be good to have all of them availible again, the OVA and Sonic X especially which are ridiculously difficult to get and cost a fortune...

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