Time Dilation Accelerator: Sonic SatAm Intro - The Intrepid

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Time Dilation Accelerator: Sonic SatAm Intro

Occasionally, the Time Dilation Accelerator defies the laws of space and time by going back to review the best (or the weirdest) aspects of the early 90s.

Alright, we’ll level with you, this series is just a vaguely disguised excuse to review cartoons from the early 90s—we might move on to something else in the future, but don’t count on it.

This week, we’re taking a look at the intro from the cartoon show Sonic the Hedgehog (or Sonic SatAm, as it’s commonly referred to, because it aired on Saturday mornings...duh!) The show, which was created by DiC Entertainment, ran from 1993 to 1995, and was loosely based on the video game. Now, we’ll be honest here: we were never big Sonic fans. Some of the games were okay, but far too many of them equated speed with fun. Sega’s advertising even bluntly argued that Sonic was better than Mario because he was faster—an argument which no one bought.

Sonic and Sally Sonic SatAm
Sonic was voiced by Jaleel White (Steve Urkell from Family Matters).

Considering what DiC had to work with, Sonic SatAm isn’t that bad. For a cartoon show, it’s fairly complex and even a little gritty at times. If you’re not familiar with the plot, here’s a quick back story. The show takes place on the planet Mobius sometime in thirty-third century, ten years after the evil Doctor Julian Ivo Robotnik conquered the peaceful city of Mobotropolis and turned all of its residents into robots. The show focuses on the few citizens who managed to escape to the Great Forest—including Sonic—and their war against Robotnik's rampant industrialization. (Yes, another over-the-top eco-message...sigh.) Imagine if rebels in Star Wars were all Ewoks; that’s kind of what Sonic SatAm is like.

Dr Robotnik Sonic SatAm
Throughout the show, Dr Robotnik was superbly voiced by Jim Cummings.

Arguably, the best (and most annoying) part of the show is the catchy opening theme: "The Fastest Thing Alive," which was written and recorded by Noisy Neighbors Productions. Even after fourteen years, we sometimes still catch ourselves humming the tune. The objective of an opening theme is to catch the viewer's attention, and maybe, if possible, explain the show. "The Fastest Thing Alive" accomplishes both. The opening is exciting, well-animated, and memorable and it also summarizes the plot: Robotnik took over, so now Sonic and his friends are fighting an underground war against him. A great theme can make or break a show; Sonic may not be the greatest early 90s cartoon show, or even one of the best, but it's clever and catchy opening will help it live on indefinitely.

Screen captures are from Freedom Fighters Forever.


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