Sonic Underground

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Sonic Underground TV Poster Image
Surprisingly complex cartoon touches on tyranny vs. freedom.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show mostly aims to entertain, but astute viewers may notice that the show underscores the value of fighting for a worthy cause and standing up against what you know to be wrong. The idea of government oppression and, alternately, the collective power of the masses to fight that oppression are common themes.  

Positive Messages

Kids see a group of siblings set aside what makes them different and learn to work as a cohesive group toward a common goal. The process isn't always without calamity, but there's always a lesson to be taken from the experience. Their ultimate mission is to overthrow a tyrannical government system and free their neighbors from the leader's control. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sonic, Manic, and Sonia are devoted to their cause of freedom and strive to help people every chance they get. Others around them also sacrifice to resist the evil ruler's oppression. Dr. Robotnik, on the other hand, relies on intimidation and mind control to exert control over the population he's enslaved. 

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon-style violence yields explosions, fires, and some impact, but there's little consequence from it. Slightly more concerning is the evil tyrant's unchecked power over the city's people, which means that people can be arrested and taken from their families for no obvious wrongdoing. Some of the characters have monster features such as claws and sharp teeth. 

Sexy Stuff
Language

Rarely name-calling such as "stupid." 

Consumerism

The show is written around Sonic the Hedgehog, a video game character who also stars in two other animated series.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sonic Underground's story line is separate from those of the other series starring the titular character, including The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. In this case, Sonic works as part of a family team to overthrow the oppressive regime of the city's leader. Because he's not a solo act, he must learn along with his brother and sister how to combine their talents and work as a unit, which has positive messages about teamwork. Younger kids may not understand (and thus might be frightened by) the actions of the villain and his underlings, who flaunt their power over the general population by arresting dissenters and turning them into programmed robots. For those who can follow the complex story, though, the heroes' selfless devotion to the cause of freedom for their people has some positive qualities. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySierraJames54 September 25, 2018

Perfect use of censorship.

I'm so glad that the company that worked on that rather mature Sonic SatAM gave this show stricter guidelines, like given female characters some clothes, t... Continue reading
Parent of an infant year old Written byHolly R. July 14, 2018

Good show but bad music...

The show is pretty darn good. This is the 2nd best Sonic cartoon behind the much darker Sonic the Hedgehog SatAM. The only thing that I can't stand is the... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byWRESTLING246 October 8, 2014

I love this show

Sonic Underground is amazing, cool and awesome it has cool music and It features Knuckles The Echidna, Sonic's Sister and Brother A.K.A Sonia and Manic
Teen, 13 years old Written byBlueblur91 November 15, 2015

Why do you like this

This show is awful. Bad characters, and unnecessary songs. Plus a plot that makes no sense and no continuity. In short, this show is one of the worst for you... Continue reading

What's the story?

Years ago, the cruel Dr. Robotnik (voiced by Garry Chalk) seized control of Mobotropolis from its beloved ruler, Queen Aleena (Gail Webster). He promptly transformed the place into a wasteland and enslaved its people with threats of turning dissenters into robots under his control. Queen Aleena was forced to flee her home, separating her three youngsters -- Sonic (Sam Vincent), Manic (Tyley Ross), and Sonia (Stevie Vallance) -- and handing them over to strangers to raise out of sight of Dr. Robotnik and his armies. But a prophecy foretold that when the time was right, Aleena would reunite with her children, forming the Council of Four and working alongside the Freedom Fighters to take back control of the city. Thus begins the quest for Sonic, Manic, and Sonia to discover their collective powers and to search for their long-lost mother, who will lead them in their charge against the tyrannical Dr. Robotnik. At the same time, they combine their talents in their hot new rock band.

Is it any good?

For a kids' cartoon, SONIC UNDERGROUND has some surprisingly dark themes more commonly associated with dystopian fiction for the older set. Though the content never feels truly threatening and Dr. Robotnik's evildoing is offset by the quirky trio of heroes and their often-comical escapades, this is still a story about an enslaved people rising up against an oppressive tyrant and his powerful armies to safeguard their personal freedom. Kids who watch may have questions about the characters' actions and their motivations, but if yours are ready for it, this can start some thoughtful conversations about these issues.

Content-wise, there isn't a lot here that will surprise kids familiar with similar cartoons. Violence is more about flash than it is about packing an actual punch, and characters are rarely hurt in the action. Sonic and his siblings learn about teamwork the hard way, but the end result is a good one. And central to the story is the age-old struggle between good and evil that's not easily resolved. The bottom line? Sonic Underground has some good things to offer kids, but only if they're ready for the complexities of its story. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the type of society portrayed in this show. Do individual freedoms exist? What are the penalties for exercising freedom? Does anyone benefit from such a setup?

  • Do you believe in destiny? In what ways do we decide our own fate? How might this ability be different in a dystopian society like the one in this show? 

  • Sonic, Manic, and Sonia show that sibling relationships aren't always easy. How do you resolve differences that arise in your family? Conversely, in what ways does your family serve as a source of strength for you? 

TV details

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