Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sonic 'Toons And Me Part Four: Sonic Underground

If there was a best way to combine the previous two Sonic cartoons, Sonic Underground would probably be it.

Some years ago, one of the first Looking Back articles I posted to Channel Awesome was about this show. At the time, my assessment of the show was that it was pretty much the best one could really hope for if one were to try blending its two predecessors. The general story of this series was very much like it was in SatAM in that Robotnik was a dictator who had overthrown a legitimate monarchy so he could take over the world by turning the general populace into robots with his roboticizer. The differences started coming in with Sonic and his supporting characters. Instead of a relatively large group of Freedom Fighters, Sonic was usually accompanied by his siblings Sonia and Manic. Gone too was Robotnik's assistant and perhaps nephew Snively, who had been replaced by a pair of bumbling mercinaries/bounty hunters called Sleet and Dingo. This duo also did much of the dirty work that Robotnik had either taken on himself or sent his SWATbot minions to handle in the Saturday morning series.

The nature of the royalty in this one was also somewhat different, as well. I hesitate to guess as to the exact reasoning to this, but in this case, Sonic and his siblings were the royal children looking to rescue their mother the queen so the four could restore their line to power.

There is, of course, a good reason why there are so many similarites to the SatAM series here. Ben Hurst and Pat Allee were given head writing duties here, much as they had for quite a lot of this series' weekend predecessor. This was certainly not a bad thing, of course, as SatAM had a good storyline to it, and I'm glad I did wind up getting it on DVD, though I haven't watched it in years now. While Underground's storyline was good in its own ways, it was hindered as much by the fact that I remember it feeling syndicated the way the Adventures series had been as by the things I talked about in the Looking Back article I linked to at the top of this article.

One thing I must say here is that I've not seen this particular Sonic series all the way through. I've heard it said that this one, much like the previous Sonic series the writers worked on, ended without a proper conclusion. I can't really confirm or deny that myself as I ran out of time to watch when this show was on the air, and making time to do so since then just hasn't been a thing I've felt the need to do. What I'm a little more sure of is that there may be certain plot points or elements from this one that found their way into the Archie Sonic comic based on the Saturday morning version of the show, which continues to this day, I believe.

In the years since I wrote the Channel Awesome piece, my view of the show has mellowed, at least a little, and I think it has at least a little bit to do with nostalgia. Another reason why the tone of these two articles is different is because back in 2009, I was trying to be kind of a written version of Doug Walker's Nostalgia Critic character, which is something I've long since given up in favor of trying to be more myself when I do these things.

Since I can think of nothing more to say that would be worthwhile about Sonic Underground, I think I'll wrap this piece up and continue my remembrances in the next part, which will really be a paradigm shift, at least for Western audience members like myself. Until then, stay Sonic, everyone!

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