Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episodes #1-5

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was one of two cartoon series based on the Sonic series of videogames that first aired in 1993. Of the two series it is generally considered to be the poorer, usually overshadowed by the series simply called Sonic the Hedgehog (known as Sonic satAM by fans). Despite this the series was actually far longer than the more popular satAM, it ran for 66 episodes as opposed to satAMs 26.
It’s easy to see why the series is the least liked of the two, the animation quality is nowhere near the high standards of satAM and the quality of writing and general tone of the show are far lighter that the surprisingly dark world presented in the other series. Personally I’ve never cared too much about these differences, AoStH isn’t trying to be satAM, it’s a deliberately light take on the Sonic franchise, more a Looney Tunes type show than a serious adventure show.
The show was pretty formulaic. Each week Sonic and Tails would escape a different trap set by the Evil Dr Robotnik by dawning various Bugs Bunny-esque disguises. Each episode also featured a segment at the end called “Sonic Says”. This segment was designed to give an educational element to the show, each one features Sonic giving a quick moral lesson, (calling 911, looking both ways when crossing the road). These were mostly edited out of the UK broadcasts of the show but some were left in.

In the UK AoStH was much more readily available than satAM so it was the Sonic series I grew up with. I love the series which is why I’m taking on the mammoth task of reviewing every episode of theseries, all 65 main series entries and the Christmas Special.

Ep 01 - Sonic Search & Smash Squad
A pretty decent opening to the series that sees Sonic explain how he first met Scratch and Grounder. Basically it’s an introduction to the world and characters, quite important really seeing as everything in the series is so radically different from in the games. So we’re presented with Robotnik as bumbling dictator, coconuts as the jealous lackey looking to win Robotnik’s favour and Scratch and Grounder, the constantly failing duo in charge of catching that pesky hedgehog (essentially the Wile E. Coyote to Sonic’s Roadrunner).
Plenty of odd over the top traps, Sonic battling a tank with a Chilli dog for a head, classic roadrunner pranks (paining a landscape on a brick wall and trying to get Sonic to run into it) and Scratch blowing on his thumb and turning his hand into a full size sexy lady…..yeah, expect little in the way of sense in this show….

Best Moment: Sonic escaping a robot by pointing in the opposite direction and saying “I’m over there”. The look on the robot’s face suggests even he knows that it doesn’t make sense.

Ep 02 - Subterranean Sonic
Sonic and Tails are kidnapped by a miserly Mole who believes they are planning on stealing his vast reserve of gold.
This is one of the episodes I remember most from my childhood, I had this and a couple other episodes on video and used to watch it constantly. It’s a pretty good episode, a little more action orientated that many others. There’s not actually much in the way of jokes which is quite odd for the series.

Best Moment: Sonic unravelling the moles sweater and using it to escape a trap. The sweater it turns out is woven from diamonds, how the mole is able to move around in said sweater is never explained.

Ep 03 - Lovesick Sonic
Easily my favourite episode of the whole series, this episode sees Sonic fall for Breezy, a hedgehog who starts making outrageous demands of him. Sonic ends up running around the globe, picking flowers halfway around the world and getting Chilli Dogs from the South Pole. It is eventually revealed this is a plan from Robotnik to tire Sonic out and that Breezy is a robot.
This is probably the funniest episode in the series, the jokes constantly hit the mark and the writing is great.
The ending is actually pretty sad, even though Breezy is a robot Sonic still loves her and sonic is devastated to see her go.
This episode also features the infamous Sonic Says  segment where Sonic tells children that if someone touches them then it’s “No goooooood”. If you haven’t seen it well…. It has to be seen to be believed……

Best Moment: The cannibals. “You look deliciousoo, perfect for the barbecyoooooooo”. I still find myself quoting this line when I’m cooking

Ep 04 - Slowwww Going
As you can probably guess in this episode Soooooooonnnnnniiiiiiccccccc gooooooeeeeesssss sssssssllllloooooowwwww. Robotnik develops a ray gun designed to slow Sonic, meanwhile by miraculous coincidence Sonic is helping out a  family of sloths (see what they did there). They make friends with Rocket, the fastest sloth on Mobius, he’s also possibly the most annoying side character in the series (no mean feat) due to his tendency toooo taaaaalllkkk soooo sssslllooooowwwllllyyyy……
It’s a pretty poor episode, I’m not a fan of the idea of slowing Sonic down, it’s too obvious and never really works well as a story point. It also has a really weird Sonic Says in which we are told “Even you can learn something from a sloth”….what?

Best Moment: Sonic handing Rocket a gong, saying “Hit this if you see anything” before zooming off screen, thinking for a second and returning saying “…I mean ring it if you see trouble”
An awesome moment because it shows that even Sonic understands how obvious the jokes are in this show.

Ep 05 - High-Stakes Sonic
Robotnik is rigging casino games and making his debtors pay their dues by building a giant Sphinx with his face on it (as you do), Sonic shuts down the casino and enters into a race for the workers freedom.
This is another awesome episode, partly because it borrows its setting from the games (Sonic 2’s casino night zone) but mostly because of the side characters. The greasy casino boss Smiley resplendent in a 1940’s pinstripe suit and who is literally a loan Shark. The compulsive gamblers who keep getting suckered into betting on the rigged games are all shown to be sheep which is also pretty funny.
The main focus of the episode is the race of course and goes with the story trope of forcing the hero to choose between his duty and his friendship. If he wins the race the workers go free but Robotnik will kill Tails, if he loses Tails is saved but the workers are forced to work on the Sphinx. It’s a story cliché but one that works more often than not and it definitely works here.

Best Moment: There are lots of great moments in this  episode but Robotnik’s goal in this episode is just awesome. He’s not trying to concur Mobius here, he just wants to build a Sphinx with his face….there’s no reason for it, he just wants one. Because he’s a badass.

"If you enjoyed this review, why not check out the others in the series?"
(01-05) (06-10) (11-15) (16-20) (21-25) (26-30) (31-35) (36-40) (41-45) (46-50) (55-60) (61-65) (Xmas Blast)

"Or  check out these reviews of the other Sonic series'"
Sonic The Hedgehog
(01-05) (06-10) (11-15) (16-20) (21-26)
Sonic Underground
(01-05) (06-10) (11-15) (16-20) (21-25) (26-30) (31-35) (36-40)

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