Welcome to the first article in a new series of articles I'm doing called "Cartoon King". In this article I will be reviewing a cartoon that seems to be very popular on this web-site.
Sonic The Hedgehog (or Sonic SatAM as it is called by it's many fans) is the second animated television show to be based on the Sega Genesis video game of the same name. The show premiered on ABC in 1993 and was produced by DiC Entertainment. At the time this show came out there was already another Sonic cartoon, "Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog"
,but theese were two completely different shows. Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog was more of a comedy show, Sonic the Hedgehog was more of an action show. Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog had Dr. Robotnik as a goofy villain, this one had him as an evil dictator.
Adventures of Sonic had barely any plot, this one had a big plot. So as you see they are very different and there's a lot of other reasons, but I don't want to take too long. The show takes place on planet Mobius. The capitol city of the planet is Mobotropolis a city that is ruled by King Acorn (voiced by Tim Curry). One of the king's friends Julian (voiced by Jim Cummings) has stolen Sir Charles Hedgehog's machine "The Roboticizer", a machine that was created to make old people live longer, but as robots. The problem with "The Roboticizer" is when it turns people into robots they loose there mind. Julian would later be known as Robotnik. And Robotnik Roboticized Sir Charles and sent King Acorn to The Void. Making Dr. Robotnik the new ruler of Mobotropolis wich he named "Robotropolis". Robotnik and his nephew/assistant, Snively (voiced by Charlie Adler)
roboticized almost everyone on Mobius and made them his robot slaves, "SWATbots". But he didn't roboticize everyone. The animals who escaped, ran to Knothole Villaige wich is hidden somewhere in The Great Forest, and called themselves The Freedom Fighters. The Freedom Fighters are a small group of animals who are fighting to restore Mobotropolis back to it's former self, and save they're roboticized friends and families. The Freedom Fighters include:Sonic Hedgehog:
Sir Charles' nephew, Sonic is the leader of the Freedom Fighters. The two things he loves the most are: chili dogs and freedom. Sonic is (as the theme song says) "The Fastest Thing Alive". Sonic can outrun anything and anyone on Mobius and possibly the world. Sonic hates waiting, and loves doing things as fast as possible. Some people look at him as being dumb, but he's not dumb, he's not a genius either, Sonic just usually doesn't think before he does things. Sonic is the only one who can use the power rings. Uncle Chuck, created the rings for Sonic and nobody knows the secret to their power or why only Sonic can use them. Sonic is voiced by Jaleel White (A.K.A. Steve Urkel on "Family Matters").Sally Acorn:
The only daughter of King Acorn. Even though she is a princess, she doesn't like to be treated any different from everybody else. Most of the plans and strategies for the freedom fighters comes from Sally, but that's with help from her tiny computer Nicole. Even though she does like Sonic, a lot of things he does, Sally finds annoying such as: Sonic's chili dog obsession, Sonic's way of not thinking before his actions and the two can be seen arguing quite often. Sally is voiced by Kath Soucie (who also voiced Phil and Lil on "Rugrats", and Mom on "Dexter's Laboratory")Antoine Depardieu:
Antoine is a cowardly, clumsy coyote with a french accent. He often has trouble pronouncing english words such as fool, poem, and bingo. Antoine is in love with Sally, and tries his best to protect her, but does a bad job because he is afraid of almost of everything. Antoine and Sonic don't get along very well, and that's for two reasons. Reason #1: Ant and Sonic's personalities are almost completely the opposite of each other. And reason #2: Antoine is very jealous of Sonic's relationship with Sally. Antoine is voiced by Rob Paulsen (who also voiced Yakko on "Animaniacs", Pinky on "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and The Brain", Carl Wheezer on "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius", and Raphael on the 1987 version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles").Bunnie Rabbot:
Bunnie is a rabbit who was almost roboticized. Due to her almost being roboticized one of her arms is metal and both of her legs are, but that can sometimes be useful, as it makes her the strongest of the Freedom Fighters. Despite her metal limbs giving her strenght, she really wants to be normal again. Bunnie is probably the nicest freedom fighter. And that's not saying the others are mean, but what I'm saying is: Bunnie gets along with all the other freedom fighters, while Sonic and Antoine don't like each other at all. Bunnie is voiced by Christine Cavanaugh (who also voiced Chuckie on "Rugrats", Dexter on "Dexter's Laboratory", Gosalyn on "Darkwing Duck", and Oblina on "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters").Miles "Tails" Prower:
Tails is a ten-year-old, two-tailed fox. If he twirls his tails around like tornado he can fly. Since he is the youngest Freedom Fighter he usually can't go on missions. Tails looks up to Sonic and he tries to be just like him. Tails is voiced by Bradley Pierce.Rotor:
Rotor is a blue walrus who is very smart with machines. Rotor's design has changed throughout the series. In the pilot episode he was purple and wore a yellow hat.
In the later episodes he looked pretty much the same except his skin was blue and his stomach and muzzle were a darker color. (The first picture I showed of Rotor was this design)
In season 2 he was much fatter, he had red eyes, his hat was red instead of yellow, and his muzzle was rounder.
I perfer his season 1 design, becuase I think he looks kinda weird in season 2. I just don't think they should've changed his design so much. I really liked Rotor and I'm kinda dissapointed that he wasn't in the show as much as the others. Rotor was voiced by Mark Ballou in season 1 and by Cam Brainard in season 2.Dulcy:
Dulcy is a loud-mouthed, and extremely clumsy dragon. Because of her size and abillity to fly most of the Freedom Fighters ride her when they need to go places, even though she is horrible at landing. Dulcy didn't join the Freedom Fighters until season 2, and her first appearance was "Game Guy". One thing that really annoys me about Dulcy is how every time she gets hurt she looses her memory and keeps using the same "I'm okay ma!" joke over and over. I know she's supposed to be a comedy relief character, but she doesn't have to use the same joke over, and over, and over, and over! Dulcy is voiced by Cree Summer (Penny on "Inspector Gadget", Elmyra on "Tiny Toon Adventures", and Susie on "Rugrats").
From Rob Paulsen to Jim Cummings, Tim Curry, Charlie Adler, Jaleel White and Kath Soucie, Sonic SatAM was FULL of famous people. I think the show had one of the best voice casts of all time and is just one of many reasons why this show was great.
Something this show is known for is how it ended on a cliffhanger. The final episode "The Doomsday Project" was not meant to be the final episode. At first it seemed like Robotnik and Snively were gone and Mobotropolis was back to being a peaceful and beuatiful place. But then on the very end we find out Snively didn't die in the explosion. And we see a pair of red eyes.
Many people believed those were the eyes of Knuckles or Metal Sonic, but Ben Hurst (a writer on the show) said those were the eyes of Naugus and that in season 3 Naugus would be the main villain. If you don't know who Naugus is, he's a sorceror who appeared in one episode of this show. But anyway back to the cliffhanger. Unfortunately ABC canceled the show before season 3 could happen, and nobody got to see Naugus mess with Robotnik in the void, and no one got to see Tails become more of a main character. Why was it canceled you ask? Sonic The Hedgehog was canceled because one of the show's it was competing with was Fox's "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" and that show was doing a lot better in the ratings. Also the new president of ABC didn't really care too much about Sonic The Hedgehog and wanted to cancel it. So in 1994 Sonic The Hedgehog was officially canceled and nobody could see what would happen in season 3. It's sad how the best Sonic cartoon had to be the shortest lived:
-Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog had 66 episodes,
-Sonic Underground had 40 episodes,
-Sonic X had 78 episodes,
-and sadly, Sonic the Hedgehog the best of the bunch, only had 26 episodes. It's just not fair.
Something important for the Sonic franchise that this show did, was inspire Archie Comics to do the Sonic The Hedgehog comic books that are still being published to this day. The comics borrowed a lot of elements from this show icluding: the Freedom Fighters, Robotnik being a dictator, and the SWATbots. Now it's time to fully judge the show, say the good things and bad things about the show, and give it a rating.THE GOOD THINGS:
1. This show has a great theme song. And it could possibly be the greatest cartoon theme song of all time.
2. The animation on this show was really good. The backgrounds were very well datailed and the characters were nicely drawn.
3. This show had superb voice acting. Some of the best I've ever heard. Not only because of all the stars in the show, but they were good voice actors too and they were all the perfect choices for all the characters. I know you "Sonic Adventure fanboys" are gonna disagree, but Jaleel White is Sonic's best voice. Yes I said it Jaleel White is a better Sonic than Ryan Drummond. When I think of Sonic talking I think of Jaleel White's voice. Plus Jaleel was a better actor and he gave Sonic more of a personality. I also like Jim Cummings as Dr. Robotnik, because I think he captured the character's evil personality perfectly, did a great evil, creepy sounding villain voice and Jim Cummings has always been one of my favorite voice actors. And let's not forget how great Charlie Adler was as Snively. So to me Jaleel White IS Sonic, and Jim Cummings IS Dr. Robotnik.
4. This show had great writing. Espacially the episodes written by Ben Hurst. Unlike most video game based cartoons, you can tell the writers really cared about this show and put a lot of effort into making this show great.
5. This show had a very well thought-out plot. And the story was much darker than most Saturday morning cartoons and the heroes didn't always win. There's lots of villains who want to take over the world, but Dr. Robotnik has already taken over and has almost completely destroyed the planet.
6. This show has very likeable characters. From Sally to Rotor, to Bunny to Uncle Chuck, to Tails and Sonic himself, these were all characters you would actually like or care about. Even if most of them weren't in any games.
7. This show's version of Dr. Robotnik is one of the greatest cartoon villains of all time. So people who love really mean and evil villains will love Robotnik in this show. I mean I usually want the villain to actually be mean and scary, and so do a lot of people.
8. If this show didn't exist, neither would the Sonic comics. So fans of Archie's Sonic The Hedgehog comics remember this show for giving them the idea for the concept of the freedom fighters, Snively, SWATbots and all the other elements they used that originated from this.THE BAD THINGS:
1. Now this is a problem that a lot of cartoons have, and that is: some not so good episodes. I mean when you look at it, this problem is in almost every cartoon, and in this show's case those episodes are 4 shorts called: "Fed Up With Antoine", "Ghost Busted", "The Odd Couple", and "Ro-Becca". Those episodes are just comic relief shorts that are all about Antoine, and have nothing to do with the show's plot. Those episodes were pointless, and didn't change anything in the show's story. That and the episode "Ro-Becca" was just awful.
2. Dulcy constantly using the "I'm OK ma!" joke got really old, really fast.OVERALL:
Overall Sonic The Hedgehog is an awesome show. Out of all four Sonic cartoons this one is easily the best. I love the voice acting, the characters, the theme song, the plot, and how it was just something different. Despite two very, very, very minor flaws, Sonic The Hedgehog is one of the greatest cartoons of the 90's. And I always say "TV cartoons were at their best in the 90's". I highly reccomend this show. And not just for Sonic fans, but for everyone.
Sonic The Hedgehog gets an "Excellent" rating of 94%.
Next time on Cartoon King I will review "The Ren & Stimpy Show". THE END