Beyond the Background: Antoine, from Zero to Hero
Today’s Beyond the Background examines the saga of one of the anthropomorphic Freedom Fighters from planet Mobius.
Ah, no. Not him….
Yes, that’s right; today Beyond the Background takes a look at that kooky French palace guard coyote, Antoine D’Coolette.
Yeah, I thought Antoine was another fox at first.
Anyways, Antoine began his career in the ABC Sonic Hedgehog Saturday morning cartoon series, nicknamed Sonic SatAM by its’ fans. There, the character played a vital role in the Knothole Freedom Fighters’ operation to overthrow Dr. Robotnik and restore the planet Mobius to its’ original pristine beauty: he was the one member everyone could laugh at and look down upon, the butt of everyone’s jokes, including his own. Antoine was clumsy, cowardly, vain, braggadocious, skittish, incompetent and pompous. He typically had 2 objectives on the show:
- Trying to prove he’s better than Sonic, and failing miserably.
- Trying to get with Princess Sally, and failing miserably.
And so it went for the duration of Sonic SatAM‘s 1/12 seasons on TV. Then after the series ended and the Sonic saga continued in the comics, he initially seemed to continue in the same vein, but then something interesting happened (aside from Sally going from her strange pink palette to her original brown hue):
First, the character was redesigned; made to look less jokey and more visually appealing:
Next, he began changing internally as well as externally. A lot of this can be attributed to a confab with another Freedom Fighter, Bunnie Rabbot…
…Who told him to believe in himself and never give up, no matter what the obstacles (and trying to be pretty and flirty while simultaneously being half robot, she’d know a thing or 2 about obstacles) or how often you get roasted (never say “roasted” to an anthropomorphic animal). Taking this advice, comics Antoine began sharpening his skills and making himself a formidable warrior in his own right: maybe not the fastest thing alive, but a skilled swordsman and an active pilot, nothing to sneeze at, he also actually started displaying feats of bravery, strength and nobility. Sure, Antoine still displayed moments of skittishness and he still had the occasional habit of mangling English, and he displayed some exaggerated bravado from time to time (though mainly as a way to assure his fellows that everything was going to be OK and to psyche himself up and swallow his fear) , but no longer did Antoine routinely grace the Wall of Shame bulletin board month after month.
This chance tete-a-tete with Bunnie also led to another pivotal evolution for Monsieur D’Colette: as a result of her pep talk, the 2 of them began going on more missions together and generally spending increasingly more time together. It no longer mattered that Sally just wasn’t that into him; he eventually realized that he was getting nowhere with Sally in a hurry, but his companionship with the Bionic Bunny quickly filled that void. Antoine and Bunnie’s partnership became so close that eventually he proposed to Bunnie. Next thing you know, Boom Baby. You’re looking at Mr. and Mrs. Antoine and Bunnie Rabbot-D’Coolette. Talk about a change in character!
This rarely happens with toons. It’s rare to see a cartoon character grow and change so dramatically, and for the better, it’s even rarer to see a rejected lover character in fiction finally get the point and move on (I’m looking at you, Bling-Bling Boy from Johnny Test!), so to see a character accomplish both of these achievements deserves mention, hence this blog post.
-OK, that might be pushing it. But it’s still cool to see a former joke character come into his own.