Sonic Underground

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Sonic Underground
Sonicunderground.jpeg
Sonic Underground title card
Also known asSonic le Rebelle
GenreDystopian fiction
Action/Adventure
Musical
Created byJean Cheville
Directed byMarc Boreal
François Hemmen
Daniel Sarriet
Voices ofJaleel White
Maurice LaMarche
Gary Chalk
Gail Webster
Peter Wilds
Samuel Vincent
Michael Stark
Louise Vallance
Tyley Ross
Theme music composerRobby London
Mike Piccirillo
Opening theme"Sonic Underground"
Composer(s)Mike Piccirillo
Jean-Michel Guirao
Country of originFrance
United States
Canada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes40 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Andy Heyward
Michael Maliani
Robby London
Producer(s)Janice Sonski
Running time20–22 minutes
Production company(s)DIC Productions L.P.
Les Studios Tex
TF1
Sega of America, Inc.
DistributorBohbot Kids Network
Buena Vista International (1999–2003)
Broadcast
Original channelTF1 (France)
ITV1 (U.K.)
First-run syndication (U.S.)
Original runAugust 30, 1999 – October 22, 1999
Chronology
Related showsAdventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog
 
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Sonic Underground
Sonicunderground.jpeg
Sonic Underground title card
Also known asSonic le Rebelle
GenreDystopian fiction
Action/Adventure
Musical
Created byJean Cheville
Directed byMarc Boreal
François Hemmen
Daniel Sarriet
Voices ofJaleel White
Maurice LaMarche
Gary Chalk
Gail Webster
Peter Wilds
Samuel Vincent
Michael Stark
Louise Vallance
Tyley Ross
Theme music composerRobby London
Mike Piccirillo
Opening theme"Sonic Underground"
Composer(s)Mike Piccirillo
Jean-Michel Guirao
Country of originFrance
United States
Canada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes40 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Andy Heyward
Michael Maliani
Robby London
Producer(s)Janice Sonski
Running time20–22 minutes
Production company(s)DIC Productions L.P.
Les Studios Tex
TF1
Sega of America, Inc.
DistributorBohbot Kids Network
Buena Vista International (1999–2003)
Broadcast
Original channelTF1 (France)
ITV1 (U.K.)
First-run syndication (U.S.)
Original runAugust 30, 1999 – October 22, 1999
Chronology
Related showsAdventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic Underground is an animated series that follows the adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and his siblings, Sonia and Manic. The cartoon follows a main plot separate from all other Sonic the Hedgehog media and it first premiered in France on January 6, 1999 on TF1. Then it premiered in the UK on May 2, 1999 on ITV1 and finally in the US in syndication on August 30, 1999. The series ran only for one season, consisting of forty episodes. As of June 11, 2012, re-runs of the series began airing on Disney XD.

Plot[edit]

The show takes place in a separate canon and continuity than any other Sonic the Hedgehog media. Queen Aleena, the kind and fair ruler of Mobius, was overthrown by Dr. Robotnik and his robotic armies. Robotnik seized control of the planet and forced her into hiding. To preserve the dynasty, Queen Aleena separated and hid her three children: Sonic, Manic, and Sonia after the Oracle of Delphius told her of a prophecy: one day they would reunite with their mother to form the "Council of Four," overthrow Robotnik, and become the rightful rulers of Mobius once more. Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik did his best to set up an autocratic government, and legally turned anyone who stood against him in robots devoid of freewill, and forced the nobles into paying large amounts of money to him as tribute.

When Sonic, Manic, and Sonia grew up, the Oracle of Delphius revealed the prophecy to them: So Sonic, Manic, and Sonia decided to go on a quest, searching throughout Mobius for Queen Aleena. Dr. Robotnik, with the assistance of the bounty hunters Sleet and Dingo, tries constantly to capture the royal family and prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled.

The three siblings have powerful medallions that can change into musical instruments, and also weapons when the triplets are in perfect harmony with each other. Sonic's medallion is an electric guitar, Sonia's medallion is a keyboard that functions as a smoke machine, and Manic's medallion is a drumset that can be used as an "earth controller" with cymbals that can deflect laserfire. All of the medallions can be used as laser guns. The three use the amulets not only to fight Robotnik's forces but to also as instruments for their underground (illegal) rock band, "Sonic Underground."

Characters[edit]

Main protagonists[edit]

Secondary characters[edit]

Villains[edit]

Episode list[edit]

History[edit]

Development[edit]

It is often said that SEGA contacted DiC Entertainment to make a new Sonic cartoon, which would help gain interest in buying their new console, the Dreamcast. Sonic Underground started production in early 1997, around the same time the development of both the Dreamcast and Sonic Adventure had started.[1]

The show was developed at a rushed pace. Two episodes per week were produced, and the writers were not given enough time to "tie everything together" in the plot, being limited to a "three-part origin story" for coherency. DIC used "cattle calls" to generate episode plots: periodically, about twenty unaffiliated writers were brought into the studios to learn about the established characters and brainstorm possible plots for episodes, after which about one or two would be selected.[2]

While it was believed for a while that 65 episodes were made of which only 40 aired (since there were supposedly 65 planned), Ben Hurst, a main writer from Sonic the Hedgehog (dubbed SatAM by fans), who was also involved in Sonic Underground's production, stated in a chat at the Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2008[3] that only 40 were produced.[4]

Airing[edit]

Sonic Underground ran for one season in 1999 in syndication on the Bohbot Kids Network block.

Currently (As of 2009), reruns of Sonic Underground are airing on Firestone Communications' Sorpresa, a Hispanic children's station (Channel 850 on Time Warner Cable) in the United States. All of the audio has been translated into Spanish. In the United Kingdom, it airs on Pop, which has also aired Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and its sister station Kix!. Between 2005 and 2006, it was also aired on ITV2 on the Action Stations! block.

Re-runs of the series started airing on Disney XD as of June 11, 2012. This makes it the second time a Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon airs on a Disney-themed channel with the first being Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog on Toon Disney.

DVD releases[edit]

The complete Sonic Underground series, comprising all 40 episodes on 10 DVDs, was released by Anchor Bay in the UK, compatible only with region 2 players.[5] The entire series was re-released by Delta, who released a 4 disc DVD set with a 5th DVD containing bonus features for region 0 players.[6] the return entire series was re-released by GO Entertain, in the UK, compatible only with region 2 players.

Shout! Factory and Vivendi Entertainment have released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 (NTSC) in two volume sets. Volume 1, simply entitled Sonic Underground, was released on December 18, 2007.[7] It contains the first 20 episodes of the show on three discs; a bonus fourth disc is an audio CD containing eight songs from the series, including the opening theme. The fourth episode is missing from volume 1, but was placed on volume 2. Sonic Underground: Volume 2 was released on June 17, 2008, featuring the remaining 20 episodes. In May 2013 NCircle Entertainment released Volume 1 along if many of the older SEGA and Nintendo cartoons that were already released by Shout Factory. Most of the newer NCircle's releases are 100% clones of the Shout Factory versions.

Reception[edit]

The show met with mostly negative reviews. 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."[8] GamesRadar called the show as one of "the absolute worst Sonic moments", criticizing the more characters and the complex plot.[9]

Other media[edit]

The Sonic the Hedgehog comic from Archie Comics featured a story in one of its special issues in which the Sonic Underground continuity was featured. According to the comics' plot, the reality in which Sonic Underground takes place is one of many parallel universes that share elements with Sonic's own. In the story, Sonic Prime-hailing from the main universe in the comic series-joins forces with his counterpart and siblings to stop Dr. Robotnik, who has managed to assemble a monstrous battle machine known as the Giant Borg. Robotnik obtained the pieces for this machine due to being mistaken for one of his own counterparts by Evil Sonic, an evil counterpart of Sonic's who later came to be known as Scourge the Hedgehog.

The Sonic Universe spin-off comic was originally scheduled to feature an epilogue to the unfinished Sonic Underground for its 50th issue. However, for unknown reasons this was replaced with a story focusing on one of Sonic's long-running enemies, Metal Sonic. The Underground Epilogue has apparently been put on hold indefinitely, possibly due to its lack of relevance to current Sonic games and the comic series as a whole.

Sonic Underground is available on Netflix with a TV-Y7 rating for Fantasy Violence.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Developing the Underground
  2. ^ PorpoiseMuffins (August 6, 2014). "Ben Hurst on SatAM". Saturday Morning Sonic. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ "SAGE - Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2008". Sagexpo.org. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  4. ^ According to Hong Ying Animation works of 1998, the animation studio who animated Sonic Underground list 40 episodes which is the complete series.
  5. ^ "Sonic Underground, by Anchor Bay". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Sonic Underground
  8. ^ "Sonic Underground: The Series : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  9. ^ http://www.gamesradar.com/the-absolute-worst-sonic-moments/?page=2

External links[edit]