SONIC THE HEDGEHOG’S LONG HISTORY IN FILM, TV
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a sequel to 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog film, has been officially confirmed for April 2022, and while fans only got a logo and a song, the Blue Blur has had plenty of other ventures outside of video games to tide audiences over while they wait.
It’s been a long road for Sonic and his pals on TV and at the movies, so let’s run through the history of speedy hedgehog in the non-gaming world.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993)
The first Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon was Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which aired 65 episodes between September and December 1993 — talk about a speed run. Sonic himself was voiced by Steve Urkel star Jaleel White and Dr. Robotnik was played by Canadian blues singer Long John Baldry. This is the series that introduced Scratch and Grounder to Sonic lore, as well as the Internet famous “Sonic Says” PSAs at the end of each episode. Despite only running one season in 1993, the show was resurrected in 1996 for a Christmas special designed to market the impending release of Sonic 3D Blast on the Sega Genesis.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-1994)
If you read the previous entry and wondered what the Knothole Freedom Fighters were never mentioned, that’s because there was a second series called simply Sonic the Hedgehog that ran concurrently with Adventures on a different network. This one featured a darker, heavier storyline and the Freedom Fighters like Princess Sally Acorn (voiced by Kath Soucie) and Bunnie Rabbot (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh). This darker take on Sonic ran for 26 episodes from September 1993 to December 1994, but did leave a lasting impression on the franchise as the inspiration for the Genesis spinoff (pun intended) Sonic Spinball.
Sonic Underground (1999)
Sonic Underground is, well, a rather strange entry in the Sonic franchise. This one tells a completely separate story from any other Sonic media, giving the Blue Blur two siblings in Manic and Sonia, and armed all three of them with special medallions that turned into musical instruments whenever necessary. Not only did these instruments fight Robotnik and his cronies, but they doubled as actual instruments for the trio’s band called, of course, Sonic Underground. 40 episodes were aired between January and May 1999, but the band’s gig quickly got cancelled.
Sonic X (2003-2006)
There is no easy way to describe Sonic X for the uninitiated is Sonic Adventure: The TV Show. Running three seasons from 2003 to 2005, Sonic X followed the adventures of Sonic, Amy Rose, Cream the Rabbit and more against the evil forces of now Dr. Robotnik (now called Eggman), Shadow the Hedgehog, and other assorted baddies. All 78 episodes aired on the Fox network in America, debuting on April 6, 2003 and ending almost exactly two years later on April 18, 2005. This was Sonic’s most successful TV venture, as it regularly rated No. 1 in its time slot for its entire run.
Sonic Boom (2014-2017)
The most prolific of Sonic’s television career, Sonic Boom aired 104 episodes between November 2014 and November 2017. Based on a spinoff Sonic franchise of games, this was the franchise’s first television foray into 3D animation, the new style also bringing with it a fresh look for the main characters which turned some fans off. However, the show was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in its final season while also winning an independent film festival award for best animation, while critics praised the show for its progressive messaging.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
The first full-length Sonic the Hedgehog feature hit movie theaters in early 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up. A tumultuous production cycle, which included a complete re-animation of Sonic’s character after the first trailer, turned into a very successful box office run. The film now owns the record for the highest opening weekend for a video game film, while also becoming the sixth highest grossing film in the U.S. in 2020 at $319 million.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022)
Now here we are, the sequel to the successful Sonic the Hedgehog has been confirmed for an April 2022 release. Tails figures to feature prominently in this new film, if the tails on the “2” in the title and the remixed Emerald Hill Zone are any indication, but there’s no official word on what the movie will bring. However, let’s not forget about Sonic’s other 2022 project…
Sonic Prime (2022)
The Netflix series Sonic Prime also releases in 2022, bringing another episodic animated series to the franchise. All that’s been seen on this is a logo, but with Sonic 2 now ramping up production, it stands to reason we’ll get more Prime as well in the coming months.
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures