Speeding Along

Sonic Boom’s stories last 11-minutes each. It’s perfect for Sonic, a character designed around his speed, migrating from one generation of ’90s kids to the now, acquiescing to dwindling attention spans as he went.

At one point, there were two concurrently running Sonic the Hedgehog shows on TV; that’s how prominent he was, catching fire on the identically-named videogame. Then he died off as the games tanked, but now worked his way back through alternative media – a successful live action movie and this endearingly fast series.

Wacky as Sonic Boom enjoys being, there is a thoughtfulness behind the mayhem

While unarguably aimed at kids, Sonic Boom completes the rare feat of entertaining the adults stuck watching this too. If not unpredictable or fresh, the gags range in style, keeping the episodes vibrantly varied. It’s helps as the characters diverge wildly from one another too, the personality clashes inevitable, and episodes focused away from Sonic are able to sustain the same enthusiasm.

The scene stealer is Dr. Eggman though, the villain who lives nearby, attempting to obliterate Sonic and company with robots. Often scheming, the heart of Sonic Boom is how Sonic’s crew so willingly believes Eggman might – this time anyway – change his ways. That theme of forgiveness stands out, both for creating comedic possibilities, and teaching kids to give everyone a chance to redeem themselves (albeit not if they continue to concoct murderous schemes). Wacky as Sonic Boom enjoys being, there is a thoughtfulness behind the mayhem. Imagine Batman and Joker living together, or Ninja Turtles and Shredder; that’s most outings on Sonic Boom, and the world is better for it.

Multiple videogames based on Sonic Boom resulted from this series. None were great, and the show’s quality easily eclipsed the interactive takes. Ironically, it’s the speed – the videogames could only sprint to the end so fast lest someone feel ripped off. The show has the luxury of trying anything, and if there’s a failure, it’s only 11-minutes lost.

Video

While cramming everything on three discs, that’s not such an issue for this Mill Creek Blu-ray release. Source animation simplifies to aid the weekly workload, limiting detail, if allowing for lesser encoding. Artifacts rarely show, even against Eggman’s bright red coat.

Average resolution suggests a final render at 720p, notable for the aliasing that’s often showing through. Trees, Eggman’s mustache, costumes, etc. No episode goes by without something showing jagged edges, although the severity varies. Same with banding, so strict in appearance there’s little doubt that’s the source material at fault.

Rich primaries identify the key characters. Sonic’s blue, Tails’ yellow, Amy’s pink – all of those hues look wonderful. And island setting invites ocean waters, sand, and palm trees galore, all glistening to keep kids occupied. It’s sharp stuff.

Audio

While not the most active and restricted by the TV format, that’s not saying there isn’t energy in Sonic Boom’s audio design. Especially through the front soundstage, motion is active, plentiful too. Being such a frantic show, action frequently utilizes channel separation to create space. Obvious? No. Effective? Sure.

Light low-end does its thing, creating a tiny rumble alongside explosions or other needed events. It’s adequate, if thin. Again, TV mixing, and for kids; the priority isn’t home theater buffs.

Extras

Nothing.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Sonic Boom
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Season

Wild and eccentric, Sonic Boom is the best of the Sonic the Hedgehog animated series’ in terms of bridging both kids and adult tastes.

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