Sonic Underground

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Sonic Underground
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The near death of the Sonic TV franchise...from the same makers of The Wacky World of Tex Avery.
Genre: Musical
Running Time: 21 minutes
Country: United States
France
Release Date: January 6 – May 23, 1999 (France)

August 30th – October 22nd, 1999 (United States)

Network(s): TF1 (France)
UPN (United States)
Created by: Jean Cheville
Jean Chalopin
Robby London
Distributed by: Buena Vista International Television
Starring: Jaleel White
Maurice LaMarche
Garry Chalk
Gail Webster
Peter Wilds
Sam Vincent
Michael Stark
Episodes: 40

Sonic Underground is a 1999 French-American TV series produced by DiC Entertainment and their french subsidiary Les Studios Tex. It is based off the Sonic the Hedgehog games, however it bears little relation to them. It follows the story of Sonic and his siblings, Sonia and Manic as they go on adventures to try to find their mother.

Bad Qualities

  1. Poor grasp of the source material.
    • Tails is not seen nor mentioned in the series without any given reason at all. He doesn’t even make a cameo appearance. This is made worse as Knuckles is seen in the show, so why not Tails?
    • The Chaos Emeralds are poorly represented.
  2. Cheap and stilted animation. It doesn't help that, though they outsourced the animation to Hong Ying (owned by Wang Film Productions), the show was made by the infamous Les Studios Tex (the same studio behind The Wacky World of Tex Avery).
  3. The humor and jokes are both laughable and insufferable, with some exceptions.
  4. This show ended on a cliff-hanger, just like Sonic SatAM. The triplets were supposed to reunite with their mother, which can fulfill the prophecy, defeat Robotnik and restore everything, but the outcome was never resolved when the series was cancelled, thus making the entire show pointless and moot. A comic conclusion was planned, but later cancelled as well.
  5. Tons of animation errors. There are plenty of weird faces, perspective and anatomy issues and cut-off/unfinished body parts that populate the series. Knuckles suffered especially from these.
  6. Most of the episode ideas are recycled from Sonic SatAM and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  7. Outdated and/or rehashed character designs. Sonia and Manic are especially laughable since they look more like fan-made characters that were made using DeviantArt.
  8. Awful voice acting, even from usually great actors such as Jaleel White and Maurice LaMarche, with White's voice for Sonia being the biggest offender.
  9. Sonic has an incredibly annoying personality, as he tries way too hard to be cool, but only comes off as a major dork. Also, his singing voice (which is provided by Samuel Vincent) is just horrible.
  10. Unbelievably stupid and unexciting battle scenes. Sonic's guitar is capable of shooting lasers from the headstock with the trigger of this laser sometimes being the strum of the strings.
  11. Most of the songs (with the exception of "Someday", "I Found My Home”, and "Teach the Children, Light the Way") are so horrible, forgettable, stupid, disgraceful, and ridiculous, especially "Fun in the Sun" and "Being a Kid Is Cool".
    • Speaking of which, the music videos by how they're edited are both awkward and weird.
  12. To add insult to injury, this is all just an ad and a marketing tool for Sega's upcoming console at the time, Sega Dreamcast.
  13. Knuckles is simply forgotten in this show (despite some episodes featuring him).

Good Qualities

  1. Catchy theme song (both opening and closing).
  2. Some heartwarming moments.
  3. Manic is a likable character, and his singing voice is passable. Dr. Robotnik can easily be considered the best part of the show as well.
  4. Sonic's character design is at least identical to his AOSTH and SATAM design.
  5. While Tails doesn't appear in this series, Knuckles (making his first appearance in a television series) does make appearances in the series.
  6. Jaleel White (English) and Olivier Korol (French) reprise their role as Sonic, as was usual with DiC.
  7. As mentioned in BQ #3, some of the humor/jokes are comical.
  8. As mentioned in BQ #11, "Someday", "I Found My Home", "Teach the Children, Light The Way" are actually pretty decent songs.

Trivia

  • Sonic Underground was created and released to help promote Sega's then-upcoming console the Sega Dreamcast.
  • This was the last acting role for Gail Webster, the voice of Queen Aleena, (who only had seven roles other than the one she had in this show) as she has had no others since.
  • This was also the last Sonic series to be produced by DiC Entertainment, as well as Jaleel White's last official voice role as Sonic.
  • Sean Connery is often miscredited as having voiced Great-Grandfather Athair, when in fact it was Maurice LaMarche imitating Connery.
  • The show's main theme song would later spawn memes of it.

Videos

Reception

Sonic Underground was met with mostly negative reviews. Some people have said that out of all the Sonic cartoons DiC produced, this is the worst out of all of them.

David Cornelius of DVD Talk said "While many Sonic fans did not take too well to all the changes, preferring the original "Sonic" cartoon to this stranger, sometimes darker, sometimes sillier incarnation, the series did win a small but loyal cult following. I fall more on the side of disappointment - for all the cleverness that went into crafting an all-new backstory, the episodes themselves are uninspired - but acknowledge the simple fact that it scores well with its target audience."

Comments


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PerryPikaplush

18 months ago
Score 1
This show made the Ruby Spears Mega Man Cartoon look decent
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KalloFox34

16 months ago
Score 4
This show feels more like (bad) fanfiction than an actual cartoon.
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Mr. Dready

7 months ago
Score 1
I know it's weird but even Machinima's Sonic for Hire is better than this and that is a parody.
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DmitriLeon2000

5 months ago
Score 0
Les Studios Tex didn't animate the show — Hong Ying Animation Co. Ltd. did.
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Luigitehplumber

5 months ago
Score 0
Hong Ying is the animation outsourcer, not the proper company.
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Rendy4ever

5 months ago
Score 0
Unpopular Opinion: I'm ok with this show.
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Luckygamer77

one month ago
Score 1
While I don't find this to be the best Sonic cartoon of all, however I still love this show because I grew up with it.
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RockyBalboaFan

22 days ago
Score 1
This show was painful to watch...

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