Video game adaptations seem to be the next frontier for studios looking to find properties with built-in fan bases. Sonic The Hedgehog from Sega has become the latest success when it comes to bringing a video game to the big screen. Both movies did amazingly well at the box office, with the sequel even doing better than the first one, which is exactly what you want when doing sequels. Netflix has been on the pulse of the Sonic franchise for a while, and this weekend it brings another Sonic series to the streaming platform.
Sonic Prime is a 3D-animated series developed by Netflix in collaboration with Sega of America, Netflix Animation, WildBrain Studios, and Man of Action Entertainment. The series stars a series of veteran voice actors, including; Deven Mack, Brian Drummond, Ashleigh Ball, Adam Nurada, Shannon Chant-Kent, Kazumi Evans, and Ian Hanlin. The series tells the story of Sonic, who one day while fighting the nefarious plans of Dr. Eggman like usual, ends up being transported to another dimension where the evil doctor managed to conquer the world.
The multiverse seems to be the favorite tool for writers and producers to make a show feel fun and relevant right now. We have achieved a level of technical prowess that allows this, and it feels very much like something that can have endless possibilities. However, not all stories have managed to use the multiverse in the best way possible. Marvel, for example, has been having a problem with actually making the multiverse relevant, and the movie that had the word in its title ended up being quite a disappointment.
This is why it comes as a surprise that Sonic Prime might be one of the most successful multiverse stories in recent memory. The writers and animators have managed to create the best Sonic animated series, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Past attempts at creating a Sonic series felt a bit raw, lacking in ideas, but here, Sonic embarks on an adventure that really makes the Sonic universe feel like a place where countless stories can be told. As Sonic jumps between each universe, you can see the possibilities for yourself.
There is also a thing about tone. Past Sonic shows feel very much aimed at kids, and you can feel it in the way the stories were told, in the behavior of the characters, and even in the art style of the show. Now, in Sonic Prime, the show is still aimed at kids, but it feels like the creators also did the work so that the adults could also enjoy the tale. The show feels edgier and more serious than past shows. We still have all the young, funny jokes and puns, but there is a darkness to the entire story that feels more mature, for sure.
The series is also beautifully animated. Past shows have tried to hit the mark when it comes to the visual style of the show but failed in one way or another. Sonic Boom, for example, used some of the most despised character designs from the franchise. However, Sonic Prime uses classic looks, and the CGI animation just nails the characters’ designs from the first moment. Of course, the quality of the animation doesn’t reach the high-budget levels of the live-action movie, but it is definitely the best level we have ever seen on a TV show.
The series also uses basically the entire roster of Sonic characters. This makes the show feel alive and big, like the events depicted in the story are actually so important that everyone in the Sonic universe had to become involved. On top of this, each universe displayed in the show has different versions of the characters, and it is quite fun to see how the Tails from one universe differ from the Tails of another. There was really a lot of effort put into creating a diverse number of variants.
Each episode has an average runtime of just over 20 minutes, and with just 8 episodes in this batch, you can definitely binge-watch the series in one go. The season ends on one big cliffhanger, so don’t expect much closure on a story level. We need to wait for the next batch of episodes to know how the story will end up developing. This is a very well-written show in contrast with past Sonic series, and the stakes are higher than ever. You can really feel like this is something worth watching.
In the end, Sonic Prime continues to be a kids’ show, but one that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. If you are a Sonic fan, then this show will be a delight, and it will make you wonder when Sega is going to take this concept and make a Sonic video game out of it. The animation looks quite solid, and the voice actors are really giving their all to bring these characters to life. Don’t miss it if you are a fan or want to become one.