Take a trip back to 1993; where cartoons were a lot less restricted and had a lot more entertaining stories as opposed to today's audience that thinks it's clever by shoe-honing in as many Internet puns as it can muster. (little known fact; once a web-meme has made it to TV- it's officially dead. Just look at Family Guy) It's not cute nor amusing when that happens and it's actually pandering and insult the audience.
What I enjoyed about this incarnation of Sonic, of which ran at the same time as Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog on weekdays, although this show was at the weekend which led to the fans dubbing it Sat-Am.
In this synopsis we have a world where Robotnik has already taken over and is ruling Mobius with an iron fist, literally. Polluting the planet and turning it's citizens into robots courtesy of the Roboticiser.
Sonic has been known as the Hedgehog with Attitude. He not only covers this criteria but at times his personality is almost borderline insufferable. I can appreciate I could be cocky and rude occasionally as an adolescent, but the writers went to an extra length to really exaggerate this aspect.
But that said this can allow a protagonist to grow when he realises there are consequences to his actions. This happens more often than you think. Either when Sonic pushes Sally too soon to have his Uncle Chuck DE-roboticised only to find that the physical effect is temporary or that his nightmare is teaching him to engage his thinking tactics rather than leaping before looking.
For me; Jaleel White made this role his own in spades for years to come. Before Adventures of & Sat-Am aired in 1993, there was no voice for Sonic in animated series. And when these shows came to be and you heard the first words come of Sonic's mouth I knew that the Producers hit a home run because the voice was perfect. Squeaky, self-confident, a little arrogance and tons of charisma.
Nearly 20 years later in Eddie LeBron's Sonic movie he reprised this role and the man had not missed a beat.
Robotnik in this series, voiced by the ever talented Jim Cummings, is just down right bad to the bone. And that's expected of a villain if you want you them to be as good as your hero, but the writers really made Robotnik so bad that he was cold. Cold to such an extreme that Robotnik has no ounce of humanity nor compassion in him.
But as mentioned; if you want you hero to be great, your foe has to be just as if not more so.
One of the more favoured characters is Princess Sally Acorn. Kathie Soucie gave this role such a presence that she's just likable on the spot. Now I will concede that's a slight bias from this fan's perspective, and that's fine. But when you see her story and what she has to endure on a daily basis from organising missions, being a parental figure to Tails, whom looks up to her as his Aunty, wanting to know the location of her missing Father; King Maximilan Acorn and to keeping Sonic in check.....it's not easy being a Princess.
But again; like with the hero Vs Heel dynamic; if you want the audience to care about your characters you need to give the depth and give them a reason to care about them and Sally had many reasons for the viewer to care about her story.
It's interesting that she seemingly has more fans from this show than most of the characters to such a point that it rivals what Sonic has. Don't believe me? Just search for fan-pages and prepare to be amazed.
The environmental messages that are used in this show are very subtle to whereby it shows the results of what happens to an environment when man's intervention and irresponsibility might cause irreversible damage. Mind you, this does a better job when compared to Captain Planet where that message is rammed so far down your throat it's nauseating. I still enjoy that show, but less is more.
Antoine is used for comic relief and it's mainly slapstick humour that you'd expect of a fall-guy which he endures at his own expense. of which to note are the mini-episode form RoBecca to the Odd-couple.
My suspicion for those was filler and a means of character-building. As when you have most episodes focused on bringing Robotnik's regime down it leaves little time for anything else.
The character is not what I would cowardly, but he displays traits that you expect of the stereotypical scardy-cat cliche like he would be afraid of his own shadow.
I was not a fan of Tails being demoted for the better part of the show. I will accept that it he had been in the status-quo of him and Sonic running the show then it would just be a rinse and repeat of what we saw in Adventures of with no diversity. So I concede that if he had not been demoted role-wise then we might not have had Sally at the level we had come to be accustomed to.
He did seem to rise in the later part of Season 2 in the run up to Doomsday where you see just what he's capable of and it would have been great if we saw more of that in Season 3 of which the late Ben Hurst had ideas to work with if the show had not been cancelled.......
Even to this day I still think that decision was asinine. But what would I know? I just do logic.
The Music really helped to make the story feel larger in a similar vein to how the score made the Back to the Future Movies feel grander. Weird little thing; at times when you hear the music during the episodes, it sounds very similar to the theme of Back to the Future. Whether that was intentional or not; your mileage may vary. For me I take it as a coincidental complement to the movies.
So, some 22 years later does this show still hold up? Amazingly well.
It has a timeless quality and a shelf-life that Networks can come back to when they need to fill a void and you feel you had to watch every episode as it was building up to something big.
In ended on a cliffhanger which I was annoyed with at the time because you wanted to know where it would progress to, but now I know that there's a real beauty that fans be real creative in coming up with their own scenarios as to what would have happened next.
It's just a shame that more animated show don't have this lasting quality from writing to the art-style and it's something I see more of each year when a show of yesteryear is superior to that of now.
But again; your mileage may vary.