The absolute worst Sonic moments

Sonic's unequaled popularity in the '90s led to a smothering pile of merchandise. When something's whored out to that extent, you accept there's going to be some cash-in flotsam that shouldn't even exist. But, at least the product doesn't tarnish the brand's image, so even though there's no reason for Sonic to endorse shampoo, hey whatever, kids want Sonic shampoo. Fine.

Then there are the two cartoons. Yes two, launched in the same season at the same time. One was Monday through Friday, the other only on Saturday morning. Neither followed the game much, though you can't exactly fault them for that - the games' plots were all "Robotnik did something, let's go undo it and find some Chaos Emeralds." Still, they managed to suck a lot in their own special way, enough so no one really liked them despite Sonic's immense appeal; they were gone within a year.

First was Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which made Ren & Stimpy look like a rigid, strictly story driven opus of animation:

Robotnik's used as a vehicle for every fat joke in the Fat Lexicon circa 1993. Sonic is a chili-dog obsessed idiot. The supporting cast is wholly uninteresting, unfunny and just all around annoying. We like Sonic, not random assemblages of robot parts and chicken heads passed off as genuine characters. It's a damn mess. But, as hard as we are on this version, the Saturday cartoon was even worse:

Whoo yeaaaah! Are you ready for some SPEED? How about some CHILI DOGS or MORE UNWANTED CHARACTERS YEEEEEAAAAH???

This has the balls to take itself seriously, to craft a nonsensical 33rd-century plot about a hedgehog wearing nothing but red shoes. Then look at his Freedom Fighter pals - a female lead that also wears nothing but shoes, a walking European stereotype passed off as a fox, a dopey walrus mechanic and, best of all, a half rabbit half robot chick named Bunnie Rabbot. They never really say how she lost her arms and legs, just that Robotnik turned her into one at some point, but general game history says she had to have those limbs removed and then surgically added. A bit much for a Sonic cartoon, no?

Both shows came and went right in the middle of Sonic's zenith. That must be some kind of record, to create two cartoons that fail even though the property is red hot.

Next we got Sonic Underground. The arena-rock pseudo Stan Bush intro is hilarious. How do you even end up with lyrics like this and then tie it to the game? "Underground... what rhymes with ground? Pound, found - yeah found! They have to find their mom! THEY MADE A VOW THEIR MOTHER WILL BE FOUND!"

More characters, more overly complex plot. This led to Sonic X years later. Of all the cartoons, X comes the closest to following Sonic's core concept. Too bad it incorporates all the piss-poor Adventure characters into a story that also involves humans. Yes, that's what the Sonic cartoons desperately needed - kids.

At least the song fits. Can't imagine Sonic listening to Underground's wailing Meat Loaf light rock, but he'd definitely jam to Sonic X. Still can't get over the mingling of animal-people with real people. It just looks wrong.

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  • Miko - July 16, 2010 1:01 a.m.

    I can understand discomfort over anti European stereotypes and Sally being nude when no other females in the show with similar proportions are. I think though, the intention was to make Sally stand out a feminist icon since, many of the male characters were at least partially nude. What I don't agree with is for example your assessment of Bunnie. Bunnie never loses her limbs. They're her limbs but roboticized. Roboticization is an idea introduced in the very first episode of the show. I also understood it's relationship to Bunnie's condition when I was around 4 or 5 so I'm pretty confident kids can grasp it. Is the idea too much for a Sonic cartoon? Well, I don't really think so. The original games had no problem putting animals into machines and making them matrix-like batteries, robbing them of their free will. The show simply took the word-for-word concept in the manuals (turning animals into robots) and expanded on it to make it last 2 seasons. If Sonic could bounce on an enemy and free everyone in game, everything would be over in 1 or 2 episodes. What's also disheartening is that you don't actually follow the plot of the show as much in this review or evaluate it like you do shows like Sonic X. It's basic premise follows the general idea behind Sonic 2. Robotnik is taking over refineries, factories and cities all over and Sonic has to stop him and save everyone. Sounds-- much like Sonic X sticking with a lot of the core game ideas available at the time. I will agree though that Sonic Underground was very difficult to swallow and the theme was incredibly lame, even when I was a kid back then. I also didn't like the idea of littering the series with humans either in Sonic X. Like or hate the adventure characters if you will, but in many instances the humans just sat around taking up roles that were initially the Sonic Adventure crew's prior to the show. Chris was especially a Gary-Stu, deliberately placed in there to act as a self insert for kids.
  • zackpack - July 13, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    Are you Stupid Satam is the best thing that ever Happen to Sonic and if you ever watch Satam you would of seen how Bunnie got Her arms off Sonic and Sally went back in time to try and stop Dr.Robotnik from ever takeing over the world and they ran into there kid selfs and There kid Self's Tryed to stop Dr.Robotnik they made it to Robotnik Base and Bunnie ARM AND LAG FELL INTO THE ROBOSIZER AND GOT ROBOSIZE'S. Durrr!!!!
  • michaelmcc827 - March 23, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    Hahaha, loved the progression in the Sonic pics. recaptcha: large whooping
  • joemegson94 - March 4, 2010 9:10 p.m.

    Those cartoons look absolutely awful. Why does Sonic even like chilli dogs anyway?
  • YourOldPalD - December 30, 2009 5:15 a.m.

    Actually I liked the cartoon (except the Shiny Super Serious one, it was shittier then a turd sandwich and don't get me started on Sonic Underground and X, i'd rather end my own life then waste the energy it takes to form the sentences of despisition I have to those 2 abominations) But sadly it's just an example of a company that strikes it gold then rubs that gold in everyones face until everyone starts swinging for the fences. They had it. It was good, they tried to ride it for what it's worth and unfortunately they rode it so hard that the engine exploded killing 5 people. Goddamn it Sega, when will you learn
  • Silver2 - September 4, 2009 11:39 p.m.

    wtf hedgehog+human=Amy pissed
  • lucklesswonder - December 14, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    Come on! The Saturday morning Sonic cartoon was great. I still watch the damn thing.
  • waffledragon33 - December 13, 2008 3:17 a.m.

    this was a bad idea. sonic + humans= bad