Princess Sally Acorn
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|Princess Sally Acorn|
|Species: Squirrel, chipmunk|
|Series: Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series)|
|First seen: Heads or Tails|
Princess Sally Acorn is a fictional anthropomorphic squirrel/chipmunk created by DiC for the 1993 Sonic the Hedgehog animated TV series (SatAM). A founding member of the Freedom Fighters, she shares a leadership role with Sonic the Hedgehog in an attempt to defeat Dr. Robotnik and rescue her deposed father, King Acorn.
When brought to the west, the rescued animals in Sonic the Hedgehog were given localised names and a backstory, as outlined by the Sonic the Hedgehog Bible. Of these, the character Ricky became known as "Sally Acorn", the only obvious female character in the original game (although strictly speaking Flicky was designed as female). As such, when DiC were designing their Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, they chose to use Sally Acorn as the female lead.
DiC appears to have toyed with a "princess" character from an early stage, possibly as a love interest for Sonic, or as someone to be captured by Robotnik, fulfilling the damsel in distress cliché. In earlier versions of the concept, a "Princess Acorn" character, with an entirely different design to the finished product, is shown as being both a love interest and a strong character in her own right, ready to take on Robotnik as part of a "freedom team". Other designs also suggest Princess Sally was at one point set to be a human character.
While her design would change and the Sonic-princess romance (initially) toned down, Princess Sally Acorn would emerge as a major character in both SatAM and the US comic book series released by Archie Comics, fulfilling a leadership role. While it would be Sonic who would get all the laughs and take part in most of the action, Sally would devise the plans and coordinate the team.
Sally Acorn's design is notorious for having changed several times during development of the cartoon. The Archie Comics series, which although based on DiC designs was published nearly a year in advance of the TV show airing, featured no less than three designs of Sally - a blonde-haired, red squirrel seen in issue #¼, a brunette (or black-haired) pink squirrel used up until issue #16 and a brown squirrel/chipmunk hybrid with more "womanly" features and a blue jacket, used from issue #16 onwards. In the second Genesis wave in issue #252, Sally is donned with more than just the boots and jacket, but is given a black shirt inside her jacket, gloves, black capris, and blue sneakers in place of her boots.
"Pink Sally" can also be seen in the pilot episode of SatAM, "Heads or Tails". More confusing is that in the original run of the show, this was broadcast at the end of the season, when the finalised Sally design had already been seen on screen.
Sega of America were keen to adopt Princess Sally as an official Sonic the Hedgehog character, but aside from a cameo role in the US-produced Sonic Spinball and planned appearances in the scrapped Sonic-16 and Sonic Mars, she has never appeared in a video game. However, in the US release of Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Amy Rose is erroneously referred to as "Sally Acorn" in the game's manual and Sally was used in promotional material for Sega World Sydney in Australia.
The DiC cartoon project eventually resulted in two shows; SatAM and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (AoStH). Princess Sally did not appear in the latter, however does feature in a non-speaking role in its 1996 Christmas special, Sonic Christmas Blast, which aired three years after the show had been cancelled. Here Sally has her final SatAM design, but the pink colour scheme similar to the pilot. This was the last time the character ever appeared on television outside of reruns.
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In the second American Sonic cartoon, Sally is the leader of the Freedom Fighters. She is the love interest of Sonic the Hedgehog, much to the dismay of the young royal guard, Antoine. She is something of a mother to Tails, Sonic's surrogate younger brother, and a good friend of Bunnie Rabbot. Sally's goal, along with the rest of the Freedom Fighters, is to defeat Doctor Robotnik and free her father, King Acorn. She is voiced by Kath Soucie in the original English version, and Yuka Shioyama in the Japanese dub.
In the American Sonic comics, Sally is currently about 17 years old (according to Ken Penders) and is the Daughter of King Maximillian Acorn and Queen Alicia Acorn. She is also the younger sister of Elias Acorn, sister in law to Elias' wife Meg and aunt of Alexis Acorn, the child of Meg and Elias. Her Family ruled over all Mobians and their respective territories for many generations. Their official dynasty ended shortly after the Great War, to which the treacherous Warlord Dr. Julian Ivo Kintobor (an overlander defector) staged a coup d'etat, usurping the Acorn throne. Rechristened Ivo Robotnik, the newly proclaimed dictator turned the capital of the Mobian territories into an industrial hell and used the horrific roboticization process to transfigure 85% of the city's population into his mindless robot slaves. Dominion over Mobian territory soon turned to the domination of the entire planet, with him as its supreme overlord. A young Sally, of only five years, was hidden from Robotnik's grasp and sent to live in the protected village of Knothole within the bowels of the Great Forest. Sally grew up to lead a band of ragtag rebel militiamen from Knothole starting at age 10, living with her friends, her governess Rosie, and her mentor Julayla. Early on in the fight, princess Sally would lose her mentor Julayla, but through the long period of fighting lying ahead of her, Sally would rely on her deceased mentor for strength to lead the Freedom Fighters. The goal of the "Freedom Fighters" would be to oust their oppressive ruler. In relatively close proximity to Robotropolis (capital of Mobius), they carried out numerous guerrilla attacks against Robotnik, constantly striving for his overthrow. The Knothole Freedom Fighters soon discovered that they were not the only ones to start an insurrection... and united their cause around the globe. Finding the former Princess a definite threat to his reign, Robotnik devised an elaborate assassination plot, nearly taking the now 15 year old rebel leader's life. Victory seemed to be in the dictator's grasp when he discovered the location of Knothole, to which he built a massive superweapon in order to wipe it off the face of his world. His "Endgame" scheme was foiled by the rebellion and Robotnik ended up MIA during the weapon's destruction, presumed killed by its backfiring. During the years to follow, Sally worked hard to reestablish her Father's government... encountering a myriad of hardships, including the arrival of an alternate reality Robotnik (Robo-Robotnik), who retook Mobotropolis. Robo-Robotnik was destroyed in battle, but through the digital transfer of his conscious into a new robotic body, he was able to live on as "Dr. Eggman". Now she presides over the newly established Kingdom of Knothole, once a haven from the destructive powers of Eggman until he too, like his mighty predecessor, learned of the location. She has a compact super computer with her called Nicole, which can speak and perform other tasks and helps with research, this nifty computer being sent from an alternative future where Sally is queen, feeling that apparently this reality's Sally would seriously need a friend. Sally is also among the few individuals who can wield the Sword of Acorns, other characters who have been able to use it include: Sonic the Hedgehog, Mammoth Mogul and King Max Acorn.
Sally's love is her people. They are whom she sacrifices herself for and would put them before anything else. Males are secondary and are a source of a co dependent relationship: As in, in return for her affections and attention (if in fact that will not prove a bad move for her people), a male provides means of support and aid to her. Sonic has of course been the greatest means of support emotionally and to simply get her out of a pinch so he is therefore the one Sally gives most of her attentions and affections to.
Sonic however hasn't been her only suitor, In instances involving the comic she has at points of its history been a bit of flirt or lover to males such as Geoffrey St. John, (who is now romantically involved with Hershey the Cat), and Knuckles the Echidna Sally's childhood friend (who has now fallen for Julie-Su echidna). Geoffery's being the more serious case of the two, as in the beginning Sally had felt she was in love with Geoffery, in the end only to find out she did not and found herself leading Geoffery on. In recent issues though some would say she's gotten "a taste of her own medicine", as Mina Mongoose is a rival for Sonic's heart.
In issue #99, Mina kisses Sonic, and while he had a little pleasure in the kiss, Mina would walk away unsatisfied in the end because she knew he was more shocked by her actions than he was pleased. Sally watches, misinterprets the situation as something that sealed a girlfriend/boyfriend commitment between Sonic and Mina, gets upset, and runs off, nearly destroying her 10-year friendship with Sonic. Issue 109 when Sally learns the kiss was a "thank you" kiss, not a symbol of Mina and Sonic becoming more than friends or "dating" as she called it, and in the very next issue, she acts kinder and seems more loving to Sonic. Some say that she is only nice to him if she knows she will have him, which is a debated subject even today. In the end, in Archie comics, her love life with Sonic takes a halt when the king and queen leave the throne to see the world for awhile and put Sally in charge. Sally wants Sonic by her side governing. But Sonic understanding he makes a difference in the world through direct actions, does not share her desire. So after arguing with Sonic, she slaps him and runs away crying. The future remains unknown for these two, but her true love for the people has remained the same. In other words, their relationship status is legally cut off from the Genesis Wave, forbidding further intimacy between the Sega characters and the characters created exclusively for the comics.
Sally once commanded a ragtag militia called the "Knothole Freedom Fighters" to take on the dictator Ivo Robotnik. However it is revealed as of Sonic 132, Sally is now a royal princess of a now established kingdom and is no longer leading the former rebels behind enemy lines because the kingdom cannot risk their only heir to the throne. According to Karl Bollers, the main writer of the Archie Sonic comic book, there IS no more "Freedom Fighters" as the status quo has changed from a group of "ragtag" rebels to soldiers fighting against Doctor Eggman's terrorism. The soldiers now listen to Sonic more so, even if Sally outranks him; and now that her parents have been reunited, Sally is no longer Knothole's voice of authority.
A saga known as the "Endgame" (issues #47-50) was written, intended to remove Princess Sally from the comic with dignity so that she did not truly lose any of her fans. In issue #47, which was written by Ken Penders, Sally was killed, since the king's arrival would displace her power, making her unnecessary. However, Archie editor Justin Gabrie ordered her to be revived, due to current promotional issues, and so she was in issue #50. (This interfered with the schedule and caused many pages to be cut for issue #50; later it was revised and reissued as a Sonic Super Special.) Her role in the story (and the popularity of the character) waned slowly after her revival.
Princess Sally appears as a named but non-speaking character in Sonic Christmas Blast. For a second year in a row, Sonic and Sally agree not to buy each other Christmas presents. However, feeling guilty that Sally did in fact give him gifts the previous Christmas (including a special ring), Sonic sets out to buy her "two stores full" of presents from Robotropolis.
Other Sally Acorns
Throughout the American medias, numerous doppelgängers of Sally Acorn have appeared, namely created as robots by Dr. Robotnik for infiltration purposes.
In the cartoon episode Sonic and Sally, Dr. Robotnik created a machine to duplicate Sally's complete physiology and most of her thought-patterns to infiltrate and locate Knothole Village. Along with being able to look exactly like Sally Acorn, it was equipped with a Mega Muck dispenser and an arm laser pistol. Although the clone was able to duplicate the complexity of a Mobian's mind, it didn't have all of Sally's memories, thus raising suspicion with Tails. When, on a mission in Robotropolis, the Robo-Sally didn't know Sonic and Sally's secret handshake, it was then that Robo-Sally's deception was revealed. Although Robo-Sally was able to stop Sonic for a short period of time, Bunnie Rabbot stepped in and helped. Then, using his speed, Sonic ran circles around the Robo-Sally, eventually immobilizing her from the confusion. The disabled Robo-Sally was used by Sonic to replace Sally, who was in a roboticizer, to save her. Robo-Sally made a brief appearance in Sonic's Nightmare, in both of Sonic's dreams, this time being the real Sally.
Removal from the reboot and legacy
As a decision made by Ian Flynn in 2017, Sally, along with all others that where made for the original comic book series, will not be revived in the IDW reboot of the series due to the issues suffered by the lawsuit Ken Penders faced since fall 2012, causing several characters he created to be removed and subdued the original continuity, as drawing closer to the games. Despite not appearing in the new comic book series, her legacy and independence still lives on by fans of the original comic book series and the Saturday morning cartoon show.
|Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie comics) characters|
|Main||Sonic the Hedgehog | Princess Sally Acorn | Miles "Tails" Prower | Rotor Walrus | Bunnie Rabbot | Antoine D' Coolette | Knuckles the Echidna | Dr. Robotnik|
|Recurring||Geoffrey St. John | Ixis Naugus | Julie-Su | Mammoth Mogul | Mina Mongoose | Monkey Khan | Scourge the Hedgehog | Snively | Uncle Chuck|
|Sonic the Hedgehog (TV series) characters|
|Main||Sonic the Hedgehog | Princess Sally Acorn | Tails | Rotor Walrus | Bunnie Rabbot | Antoine D' Coolette | Dr. Robotnik | Snively|
|Recurring||Cluck | Dulcy the Dragon | SWATbot | Uncle Chuck|