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Sonic Goes Underground

Sonic UndergroundSonic the Hedgehog has enjoyed quite the run in animation over the years, spanning Saturday mornings to weekday syndication to streaming exclusives and beyond.  It can be difficult to keep all of the shows straight.  Which show was slapstick comedy and which was darker and serialized?  Which one had Sonic's human friends?  Wasn't there one where Sonic was a prince and in a band with his brother and sister?  Say what?  Yes, that last one happened for forty episodes in 1999 in which Sonic, Manic, and Sonia the Hedgehogs used the power of residual payment-generating rock music to fight back against Dr. Robotnik's forces while they searched for their mother, Queen Aleena.  It's Sonic Underground and Dan Larson at Toy Galaxy explains just how this show happened and how it was tossed aside once it had made enough money on a thin budget.

 

I wasn't into the Sonic cartoons when I was a teen, but I remember knowing they were out there and being confused by Sonic Underground's promos.  The premise is so far removed from the plot of the games that I figured it had to be a totally different concept that had the Sonic licensed grafted onto it in order to get it made.  We're talking about a Sonic show where Sonic has siblings that are not part of the games, but can't find space to include Tails.  Building a series around original music that the animation studio could use to generate additional revenue ahead of the needs of the story feels slimy as well.  While Sonic was meant to be be in a band in the original pitch for the Sega Genesis title that made him a star, the concept was dropped early in development.  This could've been a fun throwback to a discarded idea, but certainly doesn't feel that way.  I'm glad to know the history of Sonic Underground, but I don't feel that I missed out on much.

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