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Jaleel White

Fan Works

“Sonic” Fan Film: The Retro Review

sonicposterAt the end of 2010, the Sonic fandom was caught up in the hype of the Sonic fan film. Not just Eddie Lebron’s recent release, but the concept in general. In very quick succession, three different Sonic films with very different goals in mind were announced, and those who had always wished for a version of the blue blur to hit the big screen became very excited. Sure, it might not have been Hollywood releasing it, but these films were being made by fans. They had no restrictions, no fear to please stockholders. They could avoid making the next Street Fighter: The Movie.

On New Years Day 2011, the first of those three hyped films came out, Jim Sass’ fully live-action Return To Little Planet 2. The next month, Richard Kuta’s animated fan film put out what content had been completed, not that long after announcing the cancellation of the project. For those who might not remember, I did write reviews for both those films, not to mention a dissection of Kuta’s script on Retro’s message board. While those two crashed and burned in spectacular fashion, there was a lot of hope for Eddie Lebron’s take on the franchise. After the release of his first fan film Mega Man, people knew that he was, at the very least, a capable filmmaker. While that movie was certainly not perfect, it raised awareness to the existence of Mr. Lebron, so that when his half live-action, half CG production Sonic was first teased, a group of people flocked to help him out. A fully realized cast and crew, working for little or no pay, motivated by their love of Sonic the Hedgehog. It wasn’t meant to be a fly-by-night project, an ambitious task set out even if it was announced to be only a short feature and not the 90 minutes Mega Man was.

After a false start, the completed short was released to the masses on January 10th, 2013, nearly two years after Return To Little Planet 2 graced our computer screens. Now that the fan film trilogy of 2010 has been completed, how does Eddie Lebron’s film stand up?

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The Top Ten Worst (and Therefore Best) Sonic Underground Songs

How can anyone forget the magic that was 1999? After five long years, the western audience of Sonic the Hedgehog was finally going to get what they asked for. Through the turbulent Saturn years, there was only one thing anyone asked for – a new, proper Sonic game. And on 9/9/99 (9/14/99 for all you Europeans) the western world was able to get their hands on a game that had already received rave reviews when it was released in Japan…nine months previous. The wait was unbearable, but we had the Internet. We had the magazines. We had the previews. We had the faith that the glitches and bugs would be cleaned up for us.

And we had Sonic Underground.

Well, we didn’t exactly ask for Sonic Underground. Sure, the idea of a new Sonic cartoon was alluring, but hearing that it had nothing to do with the old shows? That Tails was missing? Sonic was a prince and had two siblings, and they were in a band with magical instruments? Dr. Robotnik was going to be a sheriff? That Jaleel White was going to voice all three, including the sister?! It had to be some cruel, sick joke DiC was playing on the fans.

One that ended up on UPN, that is.

Granted, they dropped the “Sheriff” title before they animated the series, but the rest of it was still a gigantic mess. Never knowing what it wanted to be, Sonic Underground was torn between the early 90’s ideal of Sonic and the modern sensibilities the Adventure games were about to introduce, dooming the show before the first episode aired. Having 40 episodes produced in all, it let the series squeak by into syndication. Just enough to give the world one “rockin'” soundtrack.

Which is why Sonic Retro is proud to present “The Top Ten Worst (and Therefore Best) Sonic Underground Songs!” Crank up those speakers, and prepare to “Peanut Butter and Jam” with the best of ’em!

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