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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Videogame > Comedy > TV > Sonic Underground – The Series, Volume One

Sonic Underground – The Series, Volume One


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: C



Shout Factory! has just recently added another ‘classic’ videogame series turned television series to their wide range of animated classics.  Sonic Underground: Volume One offers fans a chance to own the first half of the 1999 series (20 Episodes) on DVD.  The series is tangential from any story arches presented in previous Sonic the Hedgehog Series or Sonic Video Games.  The series was very odd and though it had the famous blue hedgehog and his foes, little else resembles the fun and fast nature of the original video game that inspired the series.


The series story is simple and odd.  The plot follows the three children of former Queen of Mobius (Sonic, Sonia, and Manic) as they fight the evil Doctor Robotnik and his hoard of evil doers.  The children’s mother (Queen Aleena Hedgehog) was deposed by the evil Dr. Robotnik and is now in hiding (or something like that) and awaits the day her and her children can reunite and overthrow the tyranny of Doctor Robotnik.  Throughout the series the children’s mother comes to their aid; sometimes directly and other times more indirectly.  The children all possess a magical amulet that has the power to turn into either a helpful weapon to defeat Robotnik or turn into an awesome MUSICAL INSTRUMENT (I told you the series was odd).  By day they fight the evils of Mobius and by night they head an underground rock band named Sonic Underground.


The history of the series has the same tainted intentions as most video game inspired animated series.  Around 1998 when Sega Dreamcast was at the height of its short lived popularity, Sega went to the DIC Animation Studio and commissioned them to create a new Sonic the Hedgehog Series (this being the third of its kind).  The series intention was to get people talking about Sonic the Hedgehog again; but after only one season, it seemed their attempt to promote through animation failed.  The series has a bit of a cult following and was broadcast in many countries, but to this reviewer is the weakest of the three Sonic the Hedgehog Series (this is the last of the three released by SHOUT! Factory)


The series is fun, wacky, and colorful but truly failed in capturing this reviewer’s interest.  The series really deviates from what this reviewer would call ‘the true essence of Sonic the Hedgehog.’  Between the whole kings & queens aspect of the series and the odd rock band amulets, this reviewer just thinks the series is a bit much.


The technical features of the series set are adequate and in line with what Shout! Factory normally produces.  The picture quality presented in a 1.33 X 1 full frame is lacking color depth and does have a bit of a gritty quality that needs to be improved.  The sound quality is adequate in its Dolby Digital Stereo but at times does sound distant.  The extras are nice on this set, but nothing spectacular.  Extras include a whole CD of Sonic Underground (a soundtrack of 8 songs), a featurette entitled Developing Sonic Underground with producer Robby London, a look at the music of the series, a Music Video Juke Box, Storyboards, and Original Concept art.  Though this reviewer did not particularly care for the series, I must give praise to the extra features.   The special features give fans a lot to look at for such a short lived series and the CD is a nice touch because TV soundtracks are big business and often times hard to find.  Shout! Factory may finally be starting to go in the right direction as special features.


Though not this reviewers cup of tea; I am more than certain this is a sure buy for many other fans to Rock out to!



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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