Sonic The Hedgehog (ABC, 1993-1994)
Well just when I thought that I had reviewed all of the cartoons that I remember watching in the 90s for now, I suddenly remember that there’s at least one more, so let’s look back at that one. Just like Super Mario Brothers and Earthworm Jim (that I reviewed recently), another computer game that was enough of a success to be turned into a TV cartoon was Sonic The Hedgehog.
A show about the adventures of a talking blue hedgehog? Well of course. There were several Sonic games around this time that were released on various Sega consoles, and I still remember the first time that I played one myself and could finally try and capture those rings, it was a rather exciting moment. The show launched in America in 1993 in a Saturday Morning slot, presumably between lots of adverts for sugar-filled breakfast cereals.
Sonic The Hedgehog was set on the planet of Mobius, which has been taken over by the rather nasty Dr Robotnik who was the main antagonist, and it is now a rather grim place to be. But was Sonic going to stand by and let all of this happen? Of course not. He formed The Freedom Fighters, along with his friends who live in the woods including Tails the fox and Princess Sally Acorn the chipmunk.
Sonic always has a plan on the go and uses his abilities including being able to run very quickly and magical gold rings to come to the rescue. Sonic’s uncle Chuck also appears, and he really is rather proud of him. There were 26 action-packed episodes of Sonic The Hedgehog in two series, and these were followed by two more cartoons, The Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic Unleashed. There were also lots of episodes released on DVD.
This is yet another show that I remember watching as part of Channel 4’s weekend mornings strand in the mid-90s, they really did show as many great cartoons as CBBC or CITV around this time. And it was a lot more exciting than what gets shown in that timeslot now. Again lots of great voice talent took part. The number of shows that Charlie Adler has contributed his voice to really is remarkable, was he in every 90s cartoon?
Along with all these games and cartoons, there was also Sonic The Comic, which launched in 1993 and was published fortnightly, and I remember that it was rather frequently advertised in Buster. This contained even more Sonic stories, along with lots of news and reviews of various other Sega games. It ran for 223 issues before closing in 2002. Three decades on from his launch, Sonic remains a popular figure in gaming, and as recently as this year there was a film version featuring a mix of computer animation and live action.