Sonia, Sonic, and Manic - The Sonic Underground!
Sonic Underground


Sonic Underground - Theme Song
WAV File: Click Animated Gif, Then Download

Aired From: 1999-Present
Total Episode #: 40 Episodes
Premiered: Syndication
30 Minutes - 1 Season

Producers: DiC Animation - France Division
Currently Playing: WB or UPN (Depends Upon City: Check Local Listings)


I Long For My Children But I Have To Wait, To Act Too Soon Could Seal Thier Fate...

So says The Oracle Of Delphius - "One future day, the planet Mobius will be ruled in peace by the Council of Four - Queen Aleena and her three children, Sonic The Hedgehog, Manic The Hedgehog, and Sonia The Hedgehog. Doctor Robotnik will be defeated, and freedom will be won for all citizens." When Robotnik learned that the Queen had given birth to triplets, he ordered his SWATbots to capture them, so the prophecy could never be fulfilled. But the Queen sent her children into hidipng in different arts of the planet, while she herself left her home and from then on wandered around Mobius. Years later, when Sonic had already become a Freedom Fighter forming The Resistance, he learned about his siblings, and from then on didn't rest until he had found them...

For over 4 years people had waitied and wrote and begged and pleaded for a third season of Sonic SatAM. With each year going the fight seemed more and more hopeless UNTIL mid '98 when rumors of a new Sonic cartoon began to surface. So most naturally people were happy, right? Not exactly...Hence came "Sonic Underground", the current Sonic cartoon - and 7th Major Continuity to feature Sonic The Hedgehog. And naturally when some people heard of the ORIGINAL premise of a "Sherrif Robotnik" instead of the usual "Doctor Robotnik" title (to which it was changed to) Sonic fans knew all hopes for a Sonic SatAM season 3 were pretty much crumbled. However that doesnt mean that SU cant stand up in its own right...


Sonia The Hedgehog Manic The Hedgehog

Sonic Underground introduces us to Sonic, his younger brother Manic, and his younger sister Sonia (All three voiced by Jaleel White - yes "Mr. Steve Urkel" himself does the "female" voice for Sonia...). Considered to be the next best of the American Sonic cartoons Sonic Underground has developed quite a fan following, especially among French (considering it was animated in France) and some Americans. The show is considered to be to be a mix between the syndicated and the SatAM cartoon - the humor of AoSTH (on a MUCH lighter scale - a plus), and the story structure of Sonic SatAM. To prove this - even Benjamin Hurst and Pat Alee served as writers and story editors for quite a few episodes. Unfortunately, this meant a completely new setup, with NO references to any of the cartoons at all...This meant no Sally, no Bunnie, no Rotor, no Antoine, no Dulcy, no Scratch, no Grounder, and most importantly - not even Tails! The good side to this new setup however, is that it is the only Sonic cartoon to prominetly feature Knuckles The Echidna as a recurring character.

When questioned about his dealings with the cartoon on alt.fan.sonic-hedgehog on the Sonic Newsgroup, Benjamin Hurst - premier and respected writer of SatAM had this to say about his involvement with the series on some issues:

To tell you the truth, I'm not positive who did the development on SU - I was sort of swept into it on the fly. I'm not familiar with the "Sheriff" moniker, but with my memory, that's not surprising. :) In SatAm, I didn't think of Robotnik as anything but just that, Robotnik - and tried my best not to add to the title. Single names have such a great wicked feeling and I think "Doctor" dilutes that. Just my opinion.

Pat and I didn't start as story editors. We wrote the leadout episode and someone upstairs decided we had a good handle on the characters and decided to oust the story editor and replace him with us. Then, instead of having the time to plot the arc of the series, we had to hit the ground running. On top of that, a fair number of the episodes were given over to another story editing team. These guys were good, but the continuity of the series suffered, since they had a different "take" on the overall series. As you know from SatAm, I tend to take these stories seriously. I try to build an emotional arc, creating great tension and action - and bring out the humor in both the situations and the characters. I succeeded in doing this in a more than a few of the SU episodes, but the pace (two scripts a week) forced many compromises and that's why I said that we fell short of the mark. Fortunately, many of the episodes were still pretty good, but for the reasons mentioned above, the consistency and the overall "feel" of the series is not as developed as SatAm.

Go Go Gadget Plot Device!

Apart from Sonic, Robotnik, and Knuckles (in 2, 3 part episodes) no other of the established SEGA characters are located. Together Sonic and his siblings form a music band they call "Sonic Underground" - each member of the band posseses a magical mediallion reflecting what instrument they play. Sonic on guitar, Manic on drums, and Sonia on keyboard. Each medallion giving them special powers along with those they already have. Sonic's power is a natural born Super Speed, Sonia possesses a Whirlwind Spin and a ray gun, and Manic posses the ability to produce earthquakes. And while they travel from town to town in disguise, give concerts to raise the spirits of the oppressed Mobians and help people in need, they are also searching for their mother who dissapeared ages before Robotnik took over, Queen Aleena Hedgehog, who is the rightful ruler of Mobius. But Aleena is constantly pursued by SWATbots and in hiding from the children she loves, helping behind the scenes, because Doc Robotnik wants to force her to marry him so he will become Rightful King...

The pros to this series mark a better constructed story (which was sadly marred and aired out of order due to syndication - the somewhat correct order can be found on our downloads page and episode guide). The animation and story quality is much better here than in Sonic SatAM and leaps and bounds above AoSTH - many say it was the first cartoon to get the quills of Sonic somewhat right. Computer animation is also prevalent here, but arguably its not the best and while in regular scenes it enhances, in musical scenes it sort of takes away. It was also the first cartoon to recognize and use characters from the Archie Comics continuity - most notably Knuckles' Grandfather Athair who made several appearances, if an albeit much different outlook from the original. And Manic The Hedgehog, Sonics brother, has developed as a fan favorite among fans of all Sonic genres.

Unfortunately, con wise, there were a lot of things thrown out in this cartoon that make Sonic unrecogniseable from older toons. The environmentalist angle of the previous Sonic series' was thrown out in one episode where he was shown cutting down trees with his speed just because Sonia couldn't have a place to walk. Knuckles owns a "comic relief" pet dinosaur named Chomps, And Robotnik is often one upped by his sidekicks Sleet and Dingo. And the music videos in many fans opinion, greatly takes away from the enjoyment of the cartoon. Sonia's "female voice" by Jaleel White is also a topic thats usually made fun of. :P

While the series does have a lot of bad points it can have a number of actually decent episodes if you ignore the videos and is obviously 20 times better than AoSTH in both animation and plot. Even if its overshowed by the use of power medallions, Sonic's speed IS KEPT in tact during the course of the series. The cartoon isn't all bad if you ignore its very obvious flaws, but many say its painful to watch if youre a longtime oldhead Sonic fan and don't like the new "status quo". If you can look at SU as a stand alone toon for what it is instead of trying to compare it to SatAM you can appreciate it somewhat sometimes for what it is. And thats what matters.

Robotnik, Sleet, and Dingo await!
 
Episode Guide - Season One

The only thing we currently have in this seetion (seeing as how the cartoon is relatively new) is the Episode Guide up to current settings. This area will be updated regularly adding episodes when after they air depending on what episodes are released. So check it out! >;)

 

Back to Sonic HQ Cartoons Page