Warning: This list contains spoilers for Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Latest Sonic The Hedgehog the film has shown that there is still much to explore in this SEGA video game-inspired world. With Knuckles, Tails, and the titular heroes on the scene and Shadow about to debut, there’s no limit to the storytelling potential of this franchise. But TV shows have stepped on this ground before.
There are many series aimed at children that have captured the essence of the video game experience fans are familiar with. With beautiful animation and a delightful narrative flow to its characters, this TV show is one of Sonic’s best shows on the small screen and clearly pays homage to the source material from which it debuted. Please note that although digital projects have been released for these characters, only projects consisting of more than one part are considered here.
8 Sonic Underground (1999-2000)
Sonic Underground still a cult hit but probably not received as well as the show since. With a selection of oddly animated visuals that can feel overly stylized and rounded at times, this series doesn’t look like the iconic Sonic that audiences will know.
The premise of the series is interesting, with Sonic accompanied by his two loyal siblings as they try to free their mother from Dr. Evil Robotnik, but many of the usual narrative beats are replaced with something very different. It’s totally original, but doesn’t play any common tropes or even memories from SEGA games.
7 Sonic X (2003-2006)
Another example of the classic Sonic series being made into something new, famous characters get anime treats with sonic x and it’s definitely a change of pace. It’s visually stunning, relying on a few aesthetic elements that fans of the genre are all too familiar with.
It even enjoyed three seasons running, obviously with a strong performance from a younger audience. However, teleportation from their usual world, so that they could be paired with a human child meant that the early days meant some of the fantastical elements of the story were lacking. The mission to help Sonic and his friends return home is a classic story.
6 The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog (1993-1996)
It’s important that the TV series feel like some of the best Sonic games and that’s what the team is trying to do The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog. It clearly aimed to be the definitive portrayal of the character, but the animation techniques and technology of the time held back the visuals.
Instead of bragging about the overall arc, which has been the formula for much of this Sonic series, Adventure opted for this week’s adventure format, which mostly saw the team face off against the same antagonist. It became repetitive quickly but was the epitome of most children’s cartoons of the era.
5 Sonic The Hedgehog (1993-1994)
Where Adventure fail, Sonic The Hedgehog seems to work, even if the run is much more limited. The animations are slightly improved, despite the stylized characterization Sonic Underground made their debut here. Regardless, many will look back on the series with great fondness.
For its era, this is probably the most memorable Sonic series thanks to the combination of human characters and the mythological world and Kingdoms of Sonic itself. He manages to find the perfect balance, pitting Sonic against a number of new characters while acting as freedom fighters to protect their home. Several exciting games in the years that followed seemed to take inspiration from the conflict.
4 Sonic Color: Rise of the Blob (2021)
Modern Sonic has been portrayed in many different forms, but the digital series surrounding the character has allowed creators more freedom in storytelling, especially when projects need to be embedded into games. YouTube Miniseries Sonic Color: Rise of the Blob is a great example.
Of course, based on the game of the same name, this two-part special sees Sonic and Tails teaming up to save Wisps who has been framed by Robotnik. It’s perfectly paced thanks to its limited run and follows a simple but promising premise. Perhaps no other animated show of characters can compare in terms of the passion and beauty of the art.
3 Sonic Boom (2014-2017)
A show that actually has a play based on it in the highest rarity instance, Sonic boom is one of the defining parts of modern-day Sonic media. It uses a CGI animation style that manages to update the characters and take from all kinds of Sonic lore.
This feels like a love letter to the previous series, but the two-dimensional storytelling has been replaced like art itself. The voice acting is top notch, which is an element that is often overlooked, and arguably considered a real part of the character. Veteran Sonic must find his place again in the world with new and familiar allies.
2 Team Sonic Racing Overdrive (2019)
Racing Sonic Team is another video game that inspired a digital animated series; in this case, the other two parts featuring characters like Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. The idea behind the narrative is to put as much focus as possible on the game itself, relying on some of the same beats.
That means that the two episodes center around the various races that Sonic is involved in, with the fast-paced action being a compelling display of the kind of suspense and conflict the franchise can produce. The animation isn’t as great as the other examples, but it’s vibrant, fun, and pure for the source material. The writers clearly have a rich understanding of the characters themselves.
1 Sonic Mania Adventure (2018)
Another digital series based on the video game of the same name, multiple episodes Sonic Mania Adventure has been released, with a visual style that feels like a fusion of various animation options from throughout Sonic’s history.
If there’s ever been a legacy show that pays homage to Sonic’s timeline on TV, it’s probably this one, with a great storyline and an engaging range of antagonists including Metal Sonic. It’s interesting that each episode is so short, but these boundaries are definitely perfect for the kind of adventure the team wants to go on as the group seeks more Chaos Emerald.
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