Video games (especially those with platformer elements) were easy fits for syndicated cartoons. I spent a lot of time watching the Super Mario Super Show despite the show’s silliness and use of Captain Lou Albano. Another show I naturally watched in the same vain was the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Featuring Sonic, the speedy blue hedgehog and his sidekick Tails (something resembling a fox but with two tails) would face off against Dr. Robotnik and a legion of robots that wanted to take over the planet Mobius. These robots included Scratch (a chicken), Grounder (the gadgets robot) and a less used Coconuts (monkey bot regulated to sanitation duty). The original series would run 65 episodes and a special before spinning off into a somewhat darker show dubbed just Sonic the Hedgehog.
The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog worked in a lot of areas. It was entertaining, using its slapstick humor to keep the plot moving for the entire 22 minutes. Sonic might have been an ego-maniac but it wasn’t so overbearing that it took away from the cartoon (except the phrase “I’m waiting”). The villains were extremely entertaining as Dr. Robotnik came to life better than expected since the video game series was fairly new and it didn’t really have much to draw from. Even the main robots were fun to watch, well with the exception of Scratch who to be honest was just plain annoying. The show also served to create many sub-villains and sub-heroes that held interest and were sometimes multi-dimensional. In fact, they even created a few characters that switched sides and did so in a way that made sense.
Ouch, this one is predictably in Full Screen 1.33:1 but I forgot how bad it looked. There honestly looks like no restoration was done and it was simply coughed up to dvd and called a day. But I think what distracted me the most was the background scenery. The main characters are drawn beautifully, I like the styles but the backgrounds and miscellaneous bots are drawn so dull and so void of life, that a lot of times you focus on that more than what is going on. Sad to say, but it looks more like an Etch a Sketch sometimes.
Audio isn’t much better, its Dolby Digital Mono 1.0 and sounds pretty typical of those from the era. The action sequences produce some excitement and dialog is okay but nothing is going to stop the presses and keep you glued to your seat. Subs are non-existent but then did you really expect them to be?
- Automatic Trailers: Sonic the Hedgehog: The Complete Series, Super Mario Bros Super Show Volume 2, and C.O.P.S..
- A Conversation with artist Milton Knight 8:07: A brief conversation with the artist as he talks about the show’s origins and influences. Decent stuff but as soon as it starts to get going it seems to end.
- How to Draw: Sonic the Hedgehog 2:01: I like how to draw segments when they are interactive and decently produced. This is horrid. This shows Milton Knight drawing Sonic in a mere 2 minutes. Sure we have a pause button and sure we can play it over and over but if it had been done step by step and with use of dvd controls it wouldn’t just look like a waste of a feature.
I like the series, I genuinely do. It’s zany, its got Sonic, Tails and Dr. Robotnik the way I like him; funny, egotistical and a large rump. The 22 episodes deliver (with hopefully two more volumes to follow) on a story and an entertainment level. The first volume of the dvd was a little bit of a disappointment in the production department. Video and Audio weren’t what I hoped and the extras were meh at best. However for fans of Sonic or video game cartoons in general, this is required viewing and interesting to see with Sonic cartoons of today how far the characters have come. So grab a chili dog and remember to do as Sonic Sez (Says) and have a good ole speedy blue hedgehog time.
Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad
High Stakes Sonic
Trail of the Missing Tails
Close Encounter of the Sonic Kind
Momma Robotnik’s Birthday
Birth of A Salesman
The Robotnik Express
Too Tall Tails
Tails’ New Home
Over the Hill Hero
The Mystery of the Hi-Tops
So Long Sucker
Sonic Gets Thrashed