Some of the older heads I like to talk to say, “I was there, man,” referring to Woodstock. They’ll have that distant look in their eyes like they can see a band right in front of them on stage, and I can do the same. But, instead of Woodstock, it’s Sonic the Hedgehog, since “I was there, man,” when the blue blur debuted in 1991 on the Sega Genesis. (With his explosive treatment!) Sonic has come a long way, and he even has a new Netflix show called Prime Sonicwho will soon rush into our homes.
In fact, being there from the beginning, I saw rough years for Sonic, both in video games and TV shows, because Sonic has been a TV star for almost as long as he has been a video game star. And just recently he even became a movie star (I actually consider the first Sonic movie the best video game movie of all time), making Sonic more popular than ever these days.
So, I’d like to take a trip down the Green Hill Zone lane and look back at all the Sonic shows that have aired and rank them. But, I won’t take too much of your time, because, you know. Gotta go fast.
5. Sonic Metro (1999)
If any Sonic cartoon sounds like fanfiction, this is it. Sonic Underground the story is like a fever dream. In this one, Sonic is a prince from a royal line. He also has a brother and a sister, respectively named Manic and Sonia. And, get this, all are voiced by Steve Urkel himself, Jaleel White. They were all separated at birth due to a prophecy involving Dr. Robotnik, and they came together to stop him. Much of the plot is about medallions transforming into instrumental weapons, and it’s as bonkers as it sounds.
Sadly, it’s not crazy in a fun way. Do you want to hear Sonic sing? Nope? Then this isn’t the show for you. Sonic Underground somehow feels and looks the cheapest of all Sonic cartoons, even though it was released in 1999. I’ve never met a single person who liked this show, and it sits below all the others Sonic cartoons. Sonic UndergroundIn effect.
4. The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993)
the OG sonic the hedgehog cartoon, this show left a lot to be desired, even at the time. Jaleel White voiced the titular Hedgehog (it was his first gig as Sonic), while Christopher Welch voiced his pal, Tails. The show basically had a number of adventures, hence the title, where Robotnik would come up with a giddy plot, and Sonic would beat him in every episode. Wash, rinse and repeat. At the end, Sonic would have a segment titled Sonic Sez (I’m sorry, “Says”) where he would offer some sort of PSA. This was often the best part of the whole episode!
That’s kind of the reason why this show is so low on the list. The First Sonic Show was the only Sega-related cartoon in town at the time, putting it in direct competition with some of the Nintendo cartoons of the time. But, there was nothing really impressive or interesting about The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog other than the fact that it contained Sonic and Tails. The stories were bland, the voice acting was pretty cringe, and the plots were predictable and a bit lame. So it was a little better than Sonic Undergroundbut not by much.
3.Sonic X (2003-2005)
The fourth Sonic cartoon, sonic x was actually an import from Japan, as it was an anime. The story concerns Sonic’s teleportation to Earth after a fight with Dr. Eggman, and he meets a boy named Chris Thorndyke who helps him along the way. Most of the stories involve the Chaos Emeralds, and just about every major Sonic character, including Tails, Amy, and Knuckles, make appearances, but some are pretty obscure as well, like Cream the Rabbit, Rouge the Bat, and Espio. . chameleon. It’s good.
For some people, sonic x is their favorite Sonic cartoon, and I get it. It’s definitely heavy on fan-service, and it’s action-packed. It’s also probably the best looking Sonic cartoon with its anime style. But, I really think it all depends on when you grew up with Sonic.
If you grew up with it in the early 90s, this version might be a bit too frenetic for you, and the fan-service doesn’t hit quite as hard. It also contains a bit too many human characters. But, if you grew up with Sonic Adventure like your first Sonic game, so I get why you’d love this one so much. I mean, the first hit is from Big the Cat. So he already has that going for him, right?
2. Sonic Boom (2014-2017)
Ok, so your mileage may vary with Supersonic Detonation if you don’t like your funny Sonic. But I do, which is why this lands so high on the list. Remember how I mentioned that Sonic had fallen on hard times when it came to his games? Well, the real Supersonic Detonation video game is a testament to this statement. But the Supersonic Detonation related cartoon was the best thing to come out of this miserable situation.
Each episode is its own separate storyline, without a few, and it all plays out more like a sitcom than anything. The characters are great, including Tails, played by the amazing Colleen O’Shaughnessy, but particularly Dr. Eggman, voiced by Mike Pollock. He’s the funniest character in the series! Again, if you want something with more action then sonic x is your show. But, I compare Supersonic Detonation as of 2012 Ninja Turtles series, which I think is one of the best Ninja Turtles animated TV shows of all time. It’s the characters, silly! They are all so good Supersonic Detonation!
1. Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-1994)
It’s weird to think that sonic the hedgehog was released the same year as the very inferior The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, but it’s done, and it’s wonderful. Instead of being happy like TAOSTH, this version features a hellscape where Doctor Robotnik is probably the most sinister he’s ever been (Jim Carrey being a complete weirdo, he isn’t). Sonic, again voiced by Jaleel White, is joined with other freedom fighters who must free the other animals, whom Robotnik wishes to enslave and rule with an iron fist.
sonic the hedgehog is the best Sonic cartoon because the series told gripping stories and each episode felt like an event. The freedom fighters, including Tails, Princess Sally, Rotor the walrus, Antoine Depardieu, Bunnie Rabbot (who’s a real cyborg!) and Dulcy the dragon are all fantasy characters with distinct personalities. And again, Doctor Robotnik is actually menacing in this series, giving off some serious Dr. Claw vibes from Inspector Gadget Fame. No question, sonic the hedgehog is the best Sonic cartoon, and it’s not even close.
We’ll see soon enough if Prime Sonic comes close to the 1993-1994 series, but these are very big red and white shoes to fill. For more Sonic the Hedgehog news, be sure to spin here often!