Friday 14 January 2011

SegaWorld Sydney had a Sonic Puppet Show!

Yes you read that correctly. In possibly one of the most bizarre but brilliant discoveries about Sonic in a very long time, SonnikuForever on the Sonic Retro forums (see the thread here) was sourcing the net for information on Sydney's SegaWorld park which was open between 1997 and 2000, particularly about that supposed live show of which a soundtrack CD was released to the Internet some years back. Barely anyone online could even recollect what the show was like but SonnikuForever found the website of the shows creator Phillip Einfield of whom he got in contact with and the puppeteer was kind enough to send over scans of photos of the show along with a full detailing on what the show was like, how it was made and more! Hit the jump for the full scoop:

Here's what Philip sent SonnikuForever about the show:

The Sonic the Hedgehog Puppet Show performed 3-4 half hour shows daily in Sega World Sydney throughout 1998-99.

It was performed on center stage, pretty much in the middle of Sega World next to the food court. People could dine at their tables while watching the show.
The show was designed, written, produced and performed by Phillip Einfeld Puppetoons. It involved 2 puppeteers and a live hostess.

Dr. Robotnik had devised a plan to finally defeat his arch enemy Sonic. He has concocted a robot making machine that would build the ultimate, evil, robot with every device needed to catch Sonic. With the help of his buddies Tails and Princess Sally, Sonic defeats the robot (Grounder) who turns out to be a bit slow physically and mentally. Robotnik blasts off back to his secret laboratory in anger and everyone lives happily ever after.

Originally, a show with dancers and costumed characters performed on the stage. The soundtrack you have heard is from that show. I think I may have the puppet show sound track in my files somewhere but it could take some time to find it.
When Sega decided to disband the original stage show, due to it not being very dynamic, late 1997, I was brought in to replace it with the puppetshow and some animatronic displays.
I redesigned the stage to represent planet Mobius, on either end were magic mountains, every 15mins except during show times, audio animatronic Sonic and Tails characters rose out of top of mountains and spoke to each other and audience, anouncing show times and upcoming events in Sega World. In center of stage stood the large, fully sculpted puppet theatre. Perched above the theatre was a big ,purple, animatronic bird that spoke to the audience. Above the stage was a large vid screen. Segments of the puppet show where filmed and appeared on the screen I.e when Robotnik blasts off in his space ship he is seen flying across a planet strewn sky above the audience (on the screen).
The puppets were large, muppet style creations, Sonic, Tails, Princess Sally, Dr. Robotnik and Grounder the Robot. A large 'Robot making Machine' prop was made along with special Sonic hats for children chosen from audience to wear. The show included much audience participation. I had 3 original songs recorded (I attached the lyrics).
I used all my own people for the voices (all approved by Sega) From memory I voiced Grounder, Dennis White voiced Dr.Robotnik, and Sonic, Tails and Sally were voiced by Alexis Nagy. The original music and songs were written and produced by myself and Mark Rosenberg.
The photos are just something else. It's almost like when Woody found out about his old cowboy puppet show in Toy Story 2. The puppets are huge and a little bit freaky but in a charming way. Sonic and Tails are adorable, Robotnik looks awesome and Sally is a bit of a ugly wreak, kind of like those plush toys of her that were sold at the park. There is also a puppet of Gronder from AOSTH, though his a bit off-model to say the least, but still neat.

The set is also inspired by the Adventures cartoon, and there are Sonic and Tails animatronics that popped out of the Dr.Seuss like scenery. The expression on Tails face is quite frankly hilarious. As a child though I would of love this to pieces, seeing as I loved puppet shows and Sonic. What a find! How many video game franchises can say they even had a puppet show based on them?

Btw this is just a good time as any of ask this: Sega Memories wants photos, memories and write ups about anything visitors of SegaWorld Sydney may have. If you went there back when it was open and something to say about it, we would love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cute. Thank you n_n