Sonic Underground (Sonic le Rebelle in French) is an animated series that follows the adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and his siblings, Sonia and Manic. The cartoon follows a main plot similar to, but heavily reconcepted from, main plot of Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series. The plots are executed using a much less serious format, and the show is aimed at a younger audience than the entire family. The sub-plots of Sonic Underground revolve around the positive-development of younger viewers. The series ran for one forty episode season, and was canceled before any major plots could be resolved.
The show takes place on a planet called Mobius. (unrelated to the Mobius in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series) Queen Aleena, the kind and fair ruler of Mobius, was overthrown by Dr. Robotnik and his robotic armies. Robotnik seized control of the planet and forced her into hiding. To preserve the dynasty, Queen Aleena separated and hid her three children: Sonic, Manic and Sonia after the Oracle of Delphius told her of a prophecy: 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. (Sonia is the only girl among the children) Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik did his best to set up an autocratic government, and legally "roboticized" anyone who stood against him, and forced the nobles into paying large amounts of money to him as tribute.
When Sonic, Manic and Sonia grew up, the Oracle of Delphius revealed the prophecy to them: So Sonic, Manic and Sonia decided to go on a quest, searching throughout Mobius for Queen Aleena. Dr. Robotnik, with the assistance of the bounty hunters Sleet and Dingo, tries constantly to capture the royal family and prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled.
The three siblings have powerful medallions that can change into musical instruments, that are also weapons when the triplets are in perfect harmony with each other. Sonic's medallion is an electric guitar. Sonia's medallion is a keyboard that functions as a smoke machine, Manic's medallion is a drumset that can be used as an "earth controller" with cymbals that can deflect laserfire. All of the medallions can be used as laser guns. The three use the amulets not only to fight Robotnik's forces but to also as instruments for their underground (illegal) rock band, Sonic Underground.
- Sonic The Hedgehog: The world's fastest hedgehog and leader of the Sonic Underground. He is the lead singer of Sonic Underground. His medallion's string is red. As fast as the speed of sound, Sonic can easily outrun danger. He is a big fan of chili dogs. He also has Aquaphobia, being terrified of water as he cannot swim. Sonic wears anti-gravity sneakers that allow him to hover over the ground while running. His voice was provided by Jaleel White, and his singing voice was provided by Sam Vincent.
- Sonia the Hedgehog: The only 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, is skilled at gymnastics and karate, and possesses superhuman strength, a photographic memory, and the ability to spin in a cyclonic manner similar to the Tasmanian Devil and Espio the Chameleon. Her medallion's string is yellow. Sonia has a pink motorcycle which can travel as fast as Sonic (it was destroyed in the 36th episode). Sonia develops an attraction towards Knuckles during the Flying Fortress saga of the series. She was also played by Jaleel White. Her singing voice was provided by Louise Vallance.
- Manic the Hedgehog: Manic is a cool and calculating hedgehog and was raised by thieves, and is a master of their trade. When Manic met his siblings, they disapproved of his thieving tendencies, but his skills as a lock-pick were greatly appreciated. Manic possesses neither Sonic's speed nor Sonia's spin-attack, thus making him the only member of the Sonic Underground who relies on entirely on his medallion for superpowers of 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's string is blue. Like Sonic and Sonia, he was voiced by Jaleel White. His singing voice was done by Tyley Ross.
- 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 the episode "Tangled Webs").
- Knuckles the Echidna: The guardian of the Master Emerald and the Floating 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. He was voiced by Ian James Corlett, who had previously done the voice of Coconuts in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Oracle of Delphius: An odd, wart-covered, reptilian anteater in a cloak. The Oracle prophesied 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. He dislikes her brothers and works as an agent for Robotnik. He speaks with an upper-class English accent. The combination of his accent, pompous behavior, and vast wealth makes it possible that he is a stereotype of upper-class 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 quit upon discovering that the Freedom Fighters' Sanctuary was a hideout for their children. Cyrus's father was roboticized. His voice was also provided by Ian James Corlett who also voiced Coconuts in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Dr. Julian Ivo Robotnik: Robotnik is the ruler of Mobius, currently known as Robotropolis, having conquered it with his army of SWATbots. Robotnik lives in Robotropolis. He captures Freedom Fighters and roboticizes them, transforming them into robotic servants, but are rarely seen in episodes, other than when they are being roboticized and in the first episode. Robotnik's primary minions are Sleet and Dingo, two bounty hunters that will do anything to capture Sonic and his siblings. Robotnik is morbidly obese, and has great trouble standing on unstable ground. (Example: when Manic's drums are causing their signature earthquakes. Robotnik will bounce around like a ball in that circumstance) His voice was provided by Gary Chalk who voiced 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, (including Queen Aleena, who at times, helps her children foil Sleet's plans, making her an easier target). Sleet has a morphing device that can transform Dingo into anything Sleet wishes. Sleet may seem to be a serious villain at first, but he is always failing his missions and only rarely succeeds. He appears to get away from being roboticized no matter how angry he makes Robotnik. He does not tell Dingo that they are getting paid, until he stated, "We might even get a raise," in one of the later episodes. Sleet is constantly being crushed by Dingo and is usually the one who suffers the most from their combined failures. Sleet was voiced by Maurice LaMarche and spoke in a Peter Lorre-like voice.
- Dingo: One of Robotnik's canine bounty hunters. Dingo is a huge, ludicrously muscle-bound blonde canid with an Australian accent, and is also very ignorant. Dingo is constantly crushing Sleet just as he is about to catch the hedgehogs. 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 remains fiercely loyal to his partner, Sleet. Dingo was voiced by Peter Wilds.
Main article: List of Sonic Underground episodesThe Sonic Underground series was thought be composed of 65 episodes, until 2008, when Ben Hurst, the secondary writer of Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series, who was also involved in the making of Sonic Underground, revealed that only 40 were actually produced.
- Jaleel White (Sonic, Sonia, Manic)
- Maurice LaMarche (Sleet, Athair)
- Gary Chalk (Doctor Robotnik)
- Gail Webster (Queen Aleena Hedgehog)
- Peter Wilds (Dingo)
- Ian James Corlett (Knuckles the Echidna, Cyrus)
- Samuel Vincent (Sonic's singing voice)
- Louise Vallance (Sonia's singing voice)
- Tyley Ross (Manic's singing voice)
- Kathleen Barr
- Brian Drummond
- Merrilyn Gann
- Tabitha St. Germain
- Phil Hayes
- Ronnie Corbett (Uncreadited) Some Robotisized People
- Matt Hill
- Adrian Hughes
- Terry Klassen
- Blu Mankuma Robotisized People
- Lee Tockar
Comparisons and Contrasts with other Sonic animated seriesEdit
While there are several similarities between Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series and Sonic Underground, the execution of the two series cannot be more different. Neither program religiously follows the plot and/or settings of the Sonic games. Sonic Underground is focused on musical expression, and like Sonic X, the show has many episodes which attempt to teach children social skills.
Though a group called the Freedom Fighters was included in Underground, they were not the same Freedom Fighters seen in Sonic the Hedgehog. Other differences include: Robotnik has left most of the Mobian people unroboticised, leaving multiple cities, a poor underclass, and an aristocracy. Also, many of the minor characters were not easily recognizable as being based on Earth animals, instead appearing far more alien. Queen Alenna and King Maximillian Acorn from Sonic the Hedgehog have very similar backstories.
Jaleel White, who had previously voiced Sonic in both earlier cartoons, provided the voices for Sonic, Manic and Sonia.
During the run up to the launch of the Dreamcast, Sega began to heavily advertise all its greater products. For Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega contacted DiC Entertainment (which at the time was owned by The Walt Disney Company), who previously made the TV shows Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series, to make the 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 Sonic the Hedgehog: The Animated Series (dubbed SatAM by fans), who was also involved in Sonic Underground's production, stated in a chat at the Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2008  that only 40 were produced.
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. In the United Kingdom, it airs on Pop, which has also aired Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Between 2005 and 2006, it was aired also aired on ITV2 on the Action Stations! block
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. (Visit Sonic Underground.) 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.
David Cornelius of DVD Talk said "While many Sonic fans did not take too well to all the changes, preferring the original "Sonic" cartoon to this stranger, sometimes darker, sometimes sillier incarnation, the series did win a small but loyal cult following. I fall more on the side of disappointment - for all the cleverness that went into crafting an all-new backstory, the episodes themselves are uninspired - but acknowledge the simple fact that it scores well with its target audience."
- ^ SAGE - Sonic Amateur Games Expo 2008
- ^ According to Hong Ying Animation works of 1998, the animation studio who animated Sonic Underground list 40 episodes which is the complete series.
- ^ http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/31936/sonic-underground-the-series/?___rd=1
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