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Sonic Underground
Sonicunderground.jpeg
Sonic Underground title card
Format Animated series
Directed by Marc Boreal
François Hemmen
Daniel Sarriet
Tom Smith
Voices of Jaleel White
Maurice LaMarche
Gary Chalk
Gail Webster
Peter Wilds
Samuel Vincent
Louise Vallance
Tyley Ross
Theme music composer Robby London
Mike Piccirillo
Composer(s) Mike Piccirillo
Jean-Michel Guirao
Country of origin  United States
 France
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 40 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Andy Heyward
Michael Maliani
Robby London
Running time 20-22 minutes
Production company(s) DiC Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel UPN
Original run August 30, 1999 – May 4, 2000
Chronology
Preceded by Sonic the Hedgehog
Followed by Sonic X

Sonic Underground (Sonic le Rebelle in French) is an animated series that follows the adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and his siblings, pink hedgehog Sonia and green-hued Manic. The series ran for forty episodes, and was canceled before the plots could be resolved.

Contents

Plot

Sonic, Sonia, and Manic are the children of Queen Aleena Hedgehog. Queen Aleena was once the kind and fair ruler of Mobius, but Dr. Robotnik and his robotic forces took over and forced her into hiding. She separated and hid Sonic, Manic and Sonia after the Oracle of Delphius told her of a prophecy. Dr. Robotnik began ruling Mobius under unfair laws, roboticizing anyone who stood against him, as well as forcing the nobles into paying large amounts of money as tribute.

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

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

Characters

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Main characters

  • Sonic The Hedgehog: The world's fastest hedgehog and leader of the Sonic Underground. He is the lead singer; his medallion transforming into a laser-blasting electric guitar with his medallion string being red. As fast as the speed of sound, Sonic can easily outrun and outsmart Robotnik's forces. He is a big fan of chili dogs (just like in earlier Sonic cartoons). He is terrified of water as he cannot swim. Sonic wears anti-gravity sneakers that allow him to hover over the ground while running. In an alternate reality, Sonic and his siblings were the rulers of Mobius, but Sonic was an obese hedgehog due to eating too many chili dogs, and had banned music on the planet. Sonic's most-used phrases in the series include "Way past cool", "Bummer Majores!", "I'm waiting!", "It's juice and jam time!" and "Let's do it to it!" He was voiced by Jaleel White. His singing voice was done by Sam Vincent.
  • Sonia the Hedgehog: The female member of the Sonic Underground and the sister of Sonic and Manic. Unlike her brothers, she was raised by an aristocratic foster family, giving her an upper class mentality. She hates getting dirty, and is skilled at gymnastics and karate, and possesses superhuman strength and the ability to spin in a cyclonic manner similar to the Tasmanian Devil. Her medallion can transform into a laser-blasting keyboard with the string color being yellow. Sonia has a pink motorcycle which can go as fast as Sonic (this was destroyed in the 36th episode). Sonia develops an attraction towards Knuckles at the Flying Fortress saga of the series. In an alternate reality, Sonia and her brothers are rulers of Mobius, but she was even more vain than normal. She was also played by Jaleel White. Her singing voice was done by Stevie Vallance.
  • Manic the Hedgehog: Manic is a cool and calculating hedgehog and was raised by thieves, becoming a master of their trade. When Manic met his siblings, they disapproved of this, though his skills with lock-picking, computer hacking, and other fields are greatly needed. Manic possesses neither Sonic's speed nor Sonia's strength, thus making him the only member of the Sonic Underground with no superpowers on his own. Manic is the drummer of the Sonic Underground. His medallion hides his drums, which can cause earthquakes; the Oracle of Delphius claims that his drums are the most powerful instruments of the three. His medallion string is blue. In an alternate reality, Manic and his siblings are rulers of Mobius, but he took away everyone's money for his own greed and enjoyment. Like Sonic and Sonia, he was voiced by Jaleel White. His singing voice was done by Tyley Ross.
Clockwise from the top, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonia the Hedgehog, and Manic the Hedgehog as they appear in the comic Sonic Super Special #10

Secondary characters

  • Queen Aleena Hedgehog: The mother of the Sonic Underground group and former ruler of Mobius before Robotnik's takeover. She had to give them up in order for the prophecy to become true. She spends the series on the run from her own children, until the time is right to reveal herself. Her character has many allies, including the Oracle of Delphius and Knuckles. She also does a bit of narrating in the start of every episode (and narrates the end of "Tangled Webs").+(rouge the bat also appears, but she just doesn't show herself.)
  • Knuckles the Echidna: The guardian of the Master Emerald and Angel Island. He is very protective of his island home, and has set many traps about the island. He has a pet dinosaur called Chomps. His great-grandfather Athair warns him that he must stay on the island in order to play his part in the freedom of Mobius. In regular Sonic continuity, the Chaos Emerald that Knuckles protects in the series is called the 'Master Emerald'. The name was changed to simply 'Chaos Emerald' due to the fact that the Chaos Emeralds weren't established in the series' continuity. He was played by Ian James Corlett.
  • The Oracle of Delphius: An odd, warty, reptilian anteater in a cloak. The Oracle prophecised that when Robotnik invaded Mobius, Aleena and her children would form the Council of Four to overthrow Robotnik and free Mobius. The Oracle lives in a cave somewhere in a cold region of Mobius, and is quite good at making chili dogs.
  • Bartleby: A posh mink who is one of Robotropolis' richest aristocrats. Bartleby is Sonia's former fiancé, who dislikes her brothers and works as an agent for Robotnik. Eventually, Bartleby flees from Robotnik and joins the Freedom Fighters. He has an English accent, and the combination of that with his pompous behavior makes him a stereotype of English people.
  • Cyrus: Cyrus is a lion and a technician for the Freedom Fighters. He is an old friend of Sonic. In his first appearance he was working as a spy for Robotnik but later quit. Cyrus has appeared several times afterward. His father was roboticized. His voice was also provided by Ian James Corlett.

Villains

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik: Robotnik is the ruler of Mobius, having conquered it with his army of SWATbots. Robotnik lives in Robotropolis where he captures Freedom Fighters and roboticizes them into his robotic servants. Robotnik's main minions include Sleet and Dingo. Robotnik's round shape doesn't help him stand up straight and when standing on unstable ground (such as when Manic's drums are causing their signature earthquakes) he will bounce around like a ball. In an alternate reality he was a freedom fighter who used his skills with robots to lead the Revolution. He had a shock of red hair, but was still comically obese. His voice was provided by Gary Chalk who played Grounder on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Sleet: One of Robotnik's canine bounty hunters. This cunning wolf leads the bumbling Dingo about on missions to capture the hedgehogs. Sleet has a morphing device that can transform Dingo into anything Sleet wishes. Sleet may seem to be a serious villain, but he is always failing at missions and only rarely succeeds. He does however appear to get away from being roboticized no matter how angry he makes Robotnik. Sleet is constantly being crushed by Dingo and is usually the one out of the pair who suffers the most from their failures. Sleet was voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
  • Dingo: One of Robotnik's canine bounty hunters. Dingo is a huge, almost ludicrously muscle-bound blonde canid with an Australian accent. He is partially roboticised (his hands and his left leg from the knee down), which is never explained. Dingo has a relentless crush on Sonia, but otherwise his loyalty remains fiercely with his partner Sleet. In the Flying Fortress saga, Dingo breaks a Chaos Emerald which transforms him into an enormous out-of-control beast that threatens to destroy Mobius, but eventually reverts back to normal (crushing Robotnik in the process). Dingo was voiced by Peter Wilds.

Episode list

The Sonic Underground series was thought be composed of 65 episodes, until 2008, when Ben Hurst, a writer of the animated series Sonic the Hedgehog, who was also involved in the making of Sonic Underground, revealed that only 40 were actually produced.

Voice cast

Additional voices

Comparisons with other Sonic animated series

Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Underground are the two Sonic cartoons that most closely resemble each other. Both share a large number of aspects in common that were never in any of the games, including Sonic's catchphrases (such as "let's do it to it" and "juice and jam time"), the character Uncle Chuck, the Roboticizer, Robotnik, Mobotropolis/Robotropolis, and King Acorn (or rather, a statue thereof). Though Sonic Underground had a lighter tone both were more mature in tone than Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The series takes place on Mobius, similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, but with notable differences. Sonic the Hedgehog included power rings, Knothole Village and the Freedom Fighters. Another difference is that Sonic is given a slightly different appearance from his Sonic the Hedgehog counterpart. When viewed from behind, Sonic's signature mohawk is now two rows, his teeth show more, he has five fingers per hand, and his eyelids are now visible.

Though the Freedom Fighters were included in Underground, many of the characters in the Freedom Fighter group that were in Sonic the Hedgehog are completely left out (including Tails). Unlike Sonic the Hedgehog and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Underground also includes Knuckles and his home, the Floating Island. Another difference with the Freedom Fighter group is that Freedom Fighters do not remain in one Knothole-like refuge but instead travel around Mobius to battle Robotnik's forces on a global scale; and that Robotnik has left most of the Mobian people unroboticised, leaving multiple cities, a poor underclass, and an aristocracy for the heroes to interact with. Also, many of the minor characters were not easily recognizable as being based on Earth animals, instead appearing far more alien.

Jaleel White, who had previously voiced Sonic in both earlier cartoons, provided the voices for Sonic, Manic and even Sonia. The main theme was composed by Robbie London and Mike Piccirillo. The musical underscore was composed by Jean-Michel Guirao and Mike Piccirillo. The series featured 40 songs spread over the series as featured music videos. Each of these songs were composed by Mike Piccirillo.

Like Sonic X, the show has many episodes which teach kids social skills, despite Manic's stealing and Sonia's desires for luxury. They both are seen experiencing consequences for such things (Sonic often intervenes when Manic steals).

Sonic Underground is also noted as the only Sonic series where the character Tails is nowhere to be seen, yet introduces Knuckles.

Program history

During the run up to the launch of the Dreamcast, Sega began to heavily advertise all its big products. For Sonic, it contacted DiC Entertainment (which at the time was owned by The Walt Disney Company), who previously made both TV shows Sonic the Hedgehog and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, to make a new Sonic cartoon. Sonic Underground ran for one season in 1999 on UPN.

While it was believed for a while that 65 episodes were made of which only 40 aired, Ben Hurst, a main writer from the animated series 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 [1] that only 40 were produced.[2]

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, setting up a language barrier for English-speaking fans of the series. In the United Kingdom, it airs on Pop, which has also aired Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

DVD releases

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. Sonic Underground, by Anchor Bay. The entire series was re-released by Delta (The same company who released the box sets of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog) onto a 4 disc DVD set with a 5th DVD containing bonus features, like the other Sonic DVD box sets released by Delta it is Region 0.

Shout! Factory has released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 in two volume sets. Volume 1, which was entitled simply Sonic Underground, was released on December 18, 2007. 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. It is an NTSC release. Sonic Underground, by Shout! Factory Sonic Underground: Volume 2 was released on June 17, 2008 featuring the remaining 20 episodes.

Six volumes of this series have been released in Australia, containing 4 episodes each.

Animation Station released a Sonic Underground DVD called Dr. Robotnik's Revenge, containing 3 episodes; it has since been reissued by NCircle Entertainment in a value line for $6.99. On December 18, 2007, NCircle Entertainment released more DVDs of this show called Queen Aleena Chronicles, Sonic to the Rescue, and Secrets of the Chaos Emerald. There were also episodes from the show in the Sonic Christmas Blast DVD.

Sonic Underground: The video game

Unlike the other Sonic animated TV shows, Sonic underground is the only one who has a video game based after the show which was licensed by Sega. An LCD game, which can be found at stores like Target or K-Mart, the game features a standard directional pad and 2 buttons "Spin Dash" and "jump". There is also a large switch on the center which will cause a ball to spin around the edge of the game case and cause the character to speed up. The game is criticized for its loud sound effects and using a background from the Sonic Satam show. However it is considered to be a quality game compared to other LCD titles.

A fan-drawn picture of Sonia unintentionally appeared in the Nintendo Wii and Steam versions of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing during one of the tracks.[3]

References

  1. ^ SAGE - Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2008
  2. ^ According to Hong Ying Animation works of 1998, the animation studio who animated Sonic Underground list 40 episodes which is the complete series.
  3. ^ http://www.sonicstadium.org/news/sonic-undergrounds-sonia-in-asr-wii-pc

External links


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