Sonic The Hedgehog SatAM (5th Anniversary Review Part 1)

No other Sonic Cartoon will live up to its legacy.

January 15, 2013 – I wrote my first review, on the live-action Sonic fan film. Five years later I’m still talking about everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog, but this time I’ll be tackling the show that aired concurrently with Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog… Sonic The Hedgehog, more commonly referred to as Sonic SatAM, as it aired on Saturday mornings, rather than weekday afternoons (or mornings, depending on where you live).

PLOT

Just like in Adventures, the show takes place on the planet Mobius, where Sonic has to fight Dr. Robotnik, but there’s one major difference, Dr. Robotnik rules over the planet with an iron fist, alongside his nephew, Snivley, and Sonic has a team of Freedom Fighters, led by Princess Sally Acorn, and their friends Bunnie Rabbot, Rotor Walrus, Tails, and Antoine D’Coolette to help save the planet. Another major difference between SatAM and Adventures is the tone, while Adventures was light and silly, SatAm was far more serious, and at times pretty dark, with Robotnik turning the citizens of Mobius into robots through Roboticization, grief, etc. But once Season 2 came around, ABC ased the shows head writer, the late Ben Hurst to add more humor to the show, that season also saw some changes like Sally wearing a vest, and Rotor’s design.

Unfortunately, like most TV shows with a developed plan, it gets canceled before any of its plot points were solved, sort of. Without giving too much away, Sonic and the Freedom Fighters do defeat Robotnik, but a much bigger threat arises. Had there been a third season, we would’ve seen them fight the new big bad.

SatAM has a massive amount of talent attached here, you have Jaleel White playing Sonic, and Jim Cummings playing Dr. Robotnik, a role he would’ve played in Adventures, as mentioned last year. You also have voice acting vets like Charlie Adler, Kath Soucie, Rob Paulson, Cree Summer, even Tim Curry made an appearace.

While the show never had a proper ending, the fans of the show created a web comic, introducing new concepts and ideas that the show never had a chance to tackle, like the cancelled arc mentioned above, the Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles, more details Robotnik came to take over Mobius, etc. There are also plans to make a fan made animated season, with casting, and test footage. While there’s no news on fan series, the comic is still going, I recommend recommend checking it out.

REVIEW

Sonic SatAM was an great show and I hate that I never saw it when it first aired. The plot was amazing, Jaleel White is still amazing as Sonic, Jim Cummings made for an excellent villain, speaking of, Robotnik was a great villain, and actually has character, aside from being a bumbling villain. I also liked the show had a subtle environmental message, which I’m not sure if it was Ben Hurst’s intention, but he pulled it off masterfully. Overall, I enjoyed the show, and I’m sure you will too, fan or otherwise.

RANK: 4 out of 5

The fifth anniversary celebration isn’t over just yet, come back for a look at Sonic’s second greatest outing, you know what I’m talking about.

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A New Begining

I know I once again missed another date, but this time this was something I did on purpose. If you just entered the site, you may have noticed, I changed the layout of the blog. I’m not sure how long you’ve been here, but I have had this blog going on for five amazing years. While there have been some problems here and there, both online, and outside the blog I like to think I’ve had some pretty good moments. From reviewing the Sonic Fan Film to the epic review of the lost Robotech Movie. And as Seinfeld once said, once you count them all up, that’s when you know.

On a personal note, I’m feeling a lot better than I did, when last you heard from me, while I’m employment still elude me, I’m not feel as depressed as I was before. What I’m trying to get at is, I’m working to get better, and trying not to let down the people I care about, friends, family, and most of all you.

Now back to the blog, of course I’ve got big plans for my 5th anniversary, first of all, the annual Sonic Review, and I’m sure you figured out we’re tackling Sonic SatAM. Next, I’m figuring out how I’m going to celebrate Power Rangers’ 25th anniversary, I’m not going to do a Year of Power Rangers, like I did with Star Trek, as while I enjoyed doing it, I was feeling burnt out very easily. While it’s still a long way down the road, this year’s Marvel Month is going to be very epic, and that’s all I’ll say about it. I also want to talk about the Arrowverse, Gravity Falls, and Gundam at some point, and a special surprise early this year, I’m not going to say all I’ll say is it’s going to be something of a retrospective series, so stay tuned for that, and finally since it was the whole reason I even started this blog to begin with, I’m finally going to talk about the Cutting Room Floor web series, that sadly never got off the ground.

So, to conclude, once again, I must thank each of you for following me, kind words, and sticking with me for both the good and the bad. This isn’t just my anniversary, it’s yours. In fact, in addition to all that I mentioned above, why not join me in the celebration, if you have something, you’d like for me to talk about, leave a comment, and I’ll try and find the time to review it.

Happy 5th Anniversary everyone!

 

Tomb of Marvel Month: Blade: The Series

Not even Blade is safe from being Darren’d

PLOT

In the pilot, Krista Starr returns from military service in Iraq to learn that her twin brother, Zack, has died under mysterious circumstances. Her investigation reveals Zack had been a “familiar” – a kind of indentured servant of vampires, who agrees to do their bidding in the hopes his “master” will eventually reward him with eternal life. Krista’s search for her brother’s killer leads her to face Blade, as well as Marcus Van Sciver; Zack’s killer. Marcus is a powerful vampire and high-ranking member of the House of Chthon. Smitten with Krista, Marcus decides to turn her into a vampire by injecting her with his blood. Krista is then approached by Blade, who injects her with the same serum he uses to control his own vampire instincts, and offers her a chance to help him avenge her brother’s death and bring down Marcus and the House of Chthon, and revealed that Zack was trying to do a sting operation with Blade. The two form a reluctant partnership.

The remainder of the season follows Krista’s attempts to maintain her cover in the House of Chthon, all the while struggling with her growing predatory nature, and Marcus’s (supposed) efforts to develop a “vaccine” that will render vampires immune to all their traditional weaknesses; sunlight, silver, garlic, etc. It is later revealed that Marcus’s true purpose is to create a virus called the Aurora Project that will specifically target “purebloods”, the ruling vampire class, and leave the turnbloods (normal vampires like Chase and Marcus, who were once human) unscathed. He eventually unleashes his weapon in the series finale, surprisingly enough with Blade’s help.

REVIEW

When the show first came out I avoided it like the plague, due to my experiences with Blade Trinity, and I regret making that decision, as this was a pretty good show. While I prefer Wesley Snipes (he was even offered to reprise the role, but declined), Kirk Jones a pretty good replacement for Snipes in the role. So was Jill Wagner, as Krista. I would’ve loved to have seen what would’ve happened if the show kept going, there was a shout-out to Moon Knight, so we could’ve seen him at some point, I’d even like to see them tackle the Deathstalkers, but gradually build up to them, not throw them at us all at once like in Blade Trinity.

Overall, I wished I could’ve seen this when this was on TV, this is a good show, and I’d love to have seen this go somewhere if it wasn’t canceled.

The series was released on DVD, and it’s available for streaming. However, since the show is owned by both Disney and Warner Bros. (via New Line) it can be viewed on both Marvel’s website and the CW Seed.

RANK: 4 out of 5

And that was this year’s longer-than-usual Marvel Month, come back soon for an explanation, and a surprise later.

Dead Television: V.R. Troopers

We are VR!
We are VR!

After Power Rangers became a breakaway success, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy decided to make another Ameri-toku series, this time, adapting three shows from the Metal Heroes series, Superhuman Machine Metalder, Dimensional Warrior Spielban, and Space Sheriff Shaider (in season two). Together these three shows would make up the basis for VR Troopers.

ORIGIN

VR Troopers began life as a starring vehicle for Jason David Frank called Cybertron. It pretty much follows the same plot as VR Troopers, but it just focuses on the Metalder footage, JDF would’ve played Adam Steele, the Troopers martial arts instructer Tao Chong would’ve helped train Adam to become Cybertron, he also had a daughter all of Grimlords minions were called War Drones, Karl Ziktor was called Cyrus Riktor, he also had a son Percy, and for some reason Jaime Kennedy was part of a Bulk and Skull-like duo. The pilot was reworked and renamed Psycon, most likely to avoid a lawsuit from a certain toy company, who just happens to own the term Cybertron.

The world got its first official look at VR Trooper in the form of a trailer that played before or after various Mighty Morphin Power Rangers VHS’, and while some things carried over from Cybertron, like Tao and Grimlord, once again there were some differences between it and the final product. For instance, Adam is now called Ryan, Kaitlin’s last name was Hall in the trailer, but was changed to Star in the series. The most notable difference, is the Troopers’ mentor Professor Horatio Hart, in the show he was an black, but here he’s caucasian, and rocking the Einstein look, and Jeb, Ryan talking dog, doesn’t sound like he’s impersonating Jack Nicholson as he does in the show.

Once the final changes were made, the show officially aired in syndication from September 3, 1994 to February 21, 1996

PLOT

The show focused on three young adults in their late teens, Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Star, and J.B. Reese, living in the fictional West Coast town of Cross World City, California. They regularly attended and were teachers at “Tao’s Dojo”, a karate studio. Ryan was the most focused martial artist; J.B. was the computer wizard; while Kaitlin was a photographer & budding reporter for the local newspaper, the Underground Voice Daily. One day, Ryan’s search for his long-missing father led him and his two friends to a strange laboratory. Inside, a digitized head of Professor Horatio Hart, a friend of Ryan’s father, Tyler, explained the truth about his life’s work of having developed extremely advanced virtual reality technology in secret. “VR” is a dimension existing alongside our own; within it lie mutants bent on conquering both worlds. The main ruler of these is a creature known as Grimlord, who, unbeknownst to anyone on Earth, has a human identity as billionaire industrialist Karl Ziktor. As Karl Ziktor tries to overcome the barriers of the true reality to allow his armies easy passage from virtual world, the responsibility falls to Ryan, Kaitlin, and J.B. of defending the planet on both sides of the dimensional barrier. They have assistance in the form of armored bodies having incredible firepower. This included eventual additions to their arsenal, such as a Turbo Cycle, Techno Bazooka, VR Troopertron, VR Shoulder Cannon, VR Battlecruiser/Interceptop and a flying, laser-blasting Skybase.

Other regular characters on the show included Zeb as Jeb, Ryan’s hound dog, who, after an accident in Prof. Hart’s lab, was now capable of human speech; Woody Stocker, Kaitlin’s wacky hat-loving boss at the Underground Voice Daily; Percy Rooney, the local mayor’s nephew and Kaitlin’s bumbling rival reporter; and Tao, the wise martial arts sensei who owns the dojo and a family friend of the Steele Family. Recurring villains include General Ivar, Colonel Icebot, Decimator, the Skugs, and more throughout.

During the second season, the show changed format very slightly. Ryan’s father was finally found and restored to normal. Then, he quickly left to help the government research further Virtual Reality based technology. With him came Ryan’s new V.R. armor and an upgrade to his powers. Grimlord’s base of operations switched from the virtual dungeon to a massive spacecraft, and added new Generals such as Oraclon, Despera, Doom Master and his Vixens. The Skugs now had the ability to become more powerful in the form of Ultra Skugs.

Like Masked Rider, V.R. Troopers never had an official ending due to the stock footage from all Metal Heroes shows running out. There were plans to use the footage from the series Heavy Shell Beetle Fighters, and use that as the third season, but the plans were scrapped, and retooled to become another show that I’ll look at in the future, Beetleborgs.

REVIEW

The show is pretty decent. Like Power Rangers, it pretty much made me an instant fan of the Metal Heroes franchise, while it’s pretty corny and cringe-worthy at times (which is pretty much par for the course in most Saban productions.), it’s still fun to watch from time to time. With the advent of new V.R. technology in the real world, I could see this series making a comeback, as either a new series, or even a movie akin to the Power Rangers movie (though that seems a little unlikely since the movie kinda bombed). Overall, while corny, and may or may not have single-handedly killed the Missing Father cliche, I still think it’s worth checking out.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, something.

Oh! And check out this hilarious fan dub of the show, performed by the cast themselves.

Girl Meets World Season 3 and Series Review

Until we meet again... ?
“No matter how old you get you never stop meeting the world.” – Ben Savage

Before we begin, I wish to apologize for lack of recaps for Season, between school, the year-long Star Trek event, along with some personal issues, I just didn’t have the time to tackle recapping the season. So with that said…

SEASON 3

So, this season sees the kids and Cory heading to high school, continuing to learn, grow, and expand on the kids friendships. But as the season progresses the kids’ lives change in some significant way. Riley for instance learns that sometimes her welcoming, happy-go-lucky behavior won’t work on everyone, that despite being a good person, you won’t always get your way with certain things. Maya finally has a family now that Shawn finally married Katy, and that her brief period impersonating Riley had more of an effect on her than she and Riley realized, and goes on a trip to rediscover herself, which also lead to Shawn rediscover himself  and realize that he’s in love with Katy. Farkle also get’s some development, during an episode about discovering their heritage and learning that he had a relative who survived the Holocaust, and was more than likely the only one of his family to survive. The only form of development for Lucas was the (godforsaken) love triangle which finally came to an end when Lucas chose Riley, and Maya and Josh decided to “play the Long Game” meaning their gonna wait for each other, and where did all of this happen, at the Ski Lodge, the very same Ski Lodge that nearly destroyed Cory and Topanga (“America’s Sweethearts!”), and who works at the Ski Lodge? a young man named Evan, who just happens to be Lauren’s son. Who’s his father? Unknown. Something surprising for me this season was that Ava got to have a storyline, and it was a great subplot, involving the split of her parents, and Auggie and Topanga (and at one point Maya and Cory) helping her cope with everything. While I enjoyed this, I kinda wished Ava and Maya would’ve interacted a little more, since Maya knows what she’s going through. Aside from helping Ava, Topanga didn’t have much of a subplot until the final episodes where she’s offered a high paying job in London.

The series didn’t see as many returning characters here, the biggest being just Shawn and a one episode appearance by Mr. Feeny, though it’s made up for it in the finale/penultimate episode (more on that shortly) where everyone form Boy Meets World, even the original actor for Josh came back. Though we don’t see all of them interact with one another (there was going to be a scene with Harley and Stuart that got cut). And I’d be completely remissed if I didn’t mention the new opening titles, which was a shot for shot recreation of the BMW (seasons 5-7) opening. As, per usual, the episodes are aired out of order again, this made evident, in the behind the scenes episode, which if you follow the production codes, is the actual series finale. Speaking of the finale, I thought it was very enjoyable, but it felt a little to similar to BMW’s finale, at least till the ending. Though I will admit, I did laugh my ass off at the Morgan scene.

THE SERIES ITSELF

This series was great, I remember when I first heard rumors circulating about a sequel series, I was excited, even if it wasn’t true, the idea of a continuation to Boy Meets World, and the idea of Cory and Topanga passing on what they learned to the next generation, however I was kinda iffy about Disney Channel airing it, as they’re not the best network to handle the things that Boy Meets World was able to tackle in its seven year run, not to mention back when they aired the series they skipped two episodes (an episode about underage drinking and sex and being friends with benefits. Yet they aired the parental abuse episode with no problem, go figure).To put it simply, they love to play it safe. But, I don’t know how they did it, but they manage to tackle parental abandonment, religion, autism, and politics in a way that didn’t involve talking down to audiences. I really hoped that GMW was going to be the show on the Disney Channel to go the distance, to break the “four season limit”, and go on for at least five or six years. But, the higher ups didn’t see it that way. There are varying reasons for why the series was cancelled ranging from lack of merchandising to the show outgrowing and alienating it’s target audience, personally, I think that’s crap. Was I upset when I found out, yes. Was I happy with the ending we got, yeah, but I still think Disney Channel should’ve stopped the whole random episode airing nonsense, and aired World Meets Girl as the actual final episode.

Oh, and if I didn’t mention it someone else will, there are campaigns to keep the series going on Freeform, or streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu of the like. While they showed interests, and the millions of subscribers kept requesting it, the Netflix campaign failed, why? because Disney doesn’t want to give up the rights. Michael Jacobs said he has said he’s working on saving the series, but only time will tell if that’ll work out or not. Personally, I hope it does work out, because the writers aren’t done telling stories about these kids, they haven’t moved on to the next stages of their lives, and we really want to see where they go. So let’s hope we’ll see them again.

REVIEW

Overall, this was an excellent season, and I’ve said before, I’m gonna keep saying it again, this was an outstanding series. Disney were complete fools for letting this show go. I mean, so what if it didn’t have much in merchandising, or that it was starting to outgrow it’s target demographic, THAT WAS THE POINT OF THE SHOWS! Girl Meets World and Boy Meets World, told the story of the trials and tribulations growing up and the things you learn as you grow. It’s like the header said, no matter how old you are, you’ll never stop meeting the world.

Lastly, to Michael Jacobs, April Kelly, Rowan Blanchard, Sabrina Carpenter, Peyton Meyer, Corey Fogelmanis, August Maturo, Ava Kolker, Ceci Balagot, Amir Mitchell-Townes, Cheryl Texiera, Uriah Shelton, Danielle Fishel, Ben Savage, Rider Strong, Danny McNaulty, Lee Norris, Will Friedle, Anthony Tyler Quinn, Betsy Randle, William Russ, Lilly Nicksay, Lindsay Ridgeway, Trina McGee, Matthew Lawrence, and of course, Mr. William Daniels.

Oh, can’t forget about Darby Walker and Sarah Carpenter.

Thank you all for three great years, let’s hope you’ll all come back again someday. And let’s hope it doesn’t take another 20 years to make it happen. Until that day…

Thunder. Lightning.

Done.

RANK: 5 out of 5

I am going to start recapping a new series soon, and I think you might be surprised what it is. In the meantime, come back when we pay tribute to one of the best shows on Cartoon Network.

Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog (4th Anniversary Review)

"That's no good!"
“That’s no good!”

Happy (late) Anniversary, and once again we’re looking at something from the world of everybody’s favorite blue hedgehog, Sonic! Unfortunately, we’re looking at one of his downside of our spiky blue hero, at least until 2006, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog. The show ran for a season (that lasted four years) in Syndication from Sept. 6th 1993 to Nov. 24 1996

PLOT (or lack thereof)

The series follows the adventures of the titular character Sonic the Hedgehog and his sidekick Tails as they attempt to stop Dr. Robotnik and his array of robots from taking over the planet Mobius.

The plots often used elements loosely borrowed from the storyline of the Sonic video games series. Three of Robotnik’s henchbots, Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts, are directly based on badniks that appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The series also incorporated several recurring original characters not seen in the games, such as Robotnik’s mother, Stinky the Badger, and Wes Weasley, a salesman and con-man, not dissimilar to Phil Silvers. The show’s other characters largely consist of non-human creatures, such as anthropomorphic animals and robots.

Episodes of the show normally revolved around Sonic and Tails foiling Robotnik’s latest villainous scheme to dominate the zany, colorful world of Planet Mobius. At the end of each episode, Dr. Robotnik’s plan would ultimately fail due to Sonic’s efforts, his own incompetence and the stupidity of his henchbots, after which he says, “I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!”.

The end of the show is bookended by an additional segment called “Sonic Says” (or “Sonic Sez”, as Tails misspelled it on screen). This segment teaches viewers life lessons about subjects such as alcohol abuse and general safety. If you lived in the UK, you had the luxury of not seeing this as they were edited out of the UK airings.

There was also a Christmas special called “Sonic’s Christmas Blast” which was made to coincide with the release of Sonic 3D Blast. Depite having the same tone and art design as “Adventures”, the special seems to borrow a couple of elements from “Sonic SatAM”, like SWATbots, Robotropolis, and an appearance by Sally Acorn. Also, to go with the promotion of 3D Blast, a Flicky (birds that Sonic has to save in the game) shows up for a moment. For the longest time I didn’t even know this existed until 2004, when my local CW (then The WB) randomly aired it alongside another Christmas special I wasn’t aware of until that day, “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”.

Despite the silliness, the show touted a pretty good cast, most of whom you’ve heard of, like Gary Chalk, Ian James Corlett, Venus Terazo, Scott McNeil and of course the first person to give Sonic a voice, Jaleel White. The unaired pilot also had some good voice artists, like narration legend Gary Owens, and Jim Cummings, who played Robotnik in the pilot, would go on to play a more menacing Robotnik in SatAM.

REVIEW

Yeah, the show hasn’t really aged well. The characters (with the exception of Sonic and Tails) look awful, the background looks amateurish at best. It just looked and felt ridiculous. But, at the same time, there’s an appeal and fascination to it that makes you want to keep watching. And other people seemed to think so, since this show was seen the most times out of the five shows, this was the one that’s was shown the most in reruns. Overall, it’s a ridiculous series, but ridiculous in an insane way, and it’s really difficult to ignore. So, as the DIC entertainment commercials would tell you, “check to see when it’s on at your house!” And by that I mean, check it out on Netflix or something, but only if your curious.

RANK: 3 out of 5

Next, Girl Meets World returns, though not as you’re hoping it would come back.

Last Post of 2016

2016 is over, and good freaking riddance! The world’s dumbest rich guy became our president. We’ve lost so many people, and apparently, even during the holidays, we still have to keep loosing people. But, there were some positives to this year, I did a year-long celebration of Star Trek, and despite a minor hiccup in September and October, I still consider that a success, I held a marathon of Robotech, tried Ecto Cooler and Crystal Pepsi for the first time ever, and only one of those drinks made me throw up, and I created an Instagram account to show off my artwork.

As mentioned, in the Big Hero 6 review, Marvel Month is tackling the first franchise in outside of animation. The 200th post is coming up soon, and I haven’t made an official decision on what I’m going to cover yet. I was planning on holding a poll on Twitter to see what people want me to cover.

I have plans on doing retrospective series on Digimon, but that’s currently being put on hold until, the final three Adventure Tri movies are released, and the new series, Appli Monsters has ended. As for movie reviews, I plan on reviewing Rogue One following this post in honor of Carrie Fisher’s passing. Next up, is Ranger Spotlight, I’ve been meaning to give my thoughts of the trailer for the new movie. And of course go over some of my favorite team-ups from the both Power Rangers and Super Sentai. Since my first interview was a success, I’m working on scoring another one soon.

So, with that said, Happy New Year folks, let’s hope and pray that 2017 will be better than 2016.

Keep a look out for the Rogue One review.

Later.

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