Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie

By Chris Beveridge     September 07, 1999

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie
© ADV Films

What They Say
The brave blue hero is back! And this time, it's more than just fun and games. That's right, Sonic the Hedgehog is starring in his own motion picture, filled with all the fast-paced energy and action-packed excitement that Sonic's famous for! Dig this: Sonic's arch nemesis Dr. Robotnik has been banished from the Land of Darkness by an evil Metal Robotnik. And if that wasn't bad enough, the envious doctor tells Sonic that the Robot Generator has been sabotaged and will blow Planet Freedom to kingdom come. But what could possibly make Sonic trust his worst enemy? What could make him risk life and paw? Surely not the words of Dr. Robotnik. Not even the pleas of the President. It's not until the President's beautiful daughter Sara turns on the charm that Sonic springs into action. But does Sara really have eyes for Sonic, or is she sweet on the new kid on the block, the never-before-seen Hyper Metal Sonic? If you've been waiting with anticipation for Sonic, you can stop holding your breath. But go ahead and turn blue with Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie!

The Review!
Where to begin, where to begin. The Sonic movie, which is really two OVA's spliced together, sounds pretty decent overall. There's nothing spectacular in this 2.0 stereo mix, but dialogue is clear and undistorted. There's minimal use of the front soundstage with most of it coming from the center channel.

The video is very clean and well done. The most I could really find wrong with it was about 3 seconds of moire effect during a building passover. The end credits themselves shimmer, but that's just an inherent NTSC issue. This is a very colorful and well represented video version and gives me great hope for future releases from ADV.

Packaging was pretty decent overall, with the obvious characters being on the front and plenty of information being provided on the back. The only reason for the lower marking is the absolute lack of a region code listing. Is it region free? Is it locked to region 1? Reading the fine print you'll see it's authorized in many places including the U.K. and South Africa, but again, is the coding there to let those regions view it? This is crucial information for any release and not providing it is definitely the wrong way to go.

The menu is definitely something where I can see ADV taking a substantial lead over most other anime companies. Similar to Tekken, Sonic has a great interactive menu that's very smooth to use and intuitive for each of the features. Audio and video are overlaid on the main menu and there's audio in every submenu. Very nice.

As for the show itself? From my flicking back and forth, it's not dubtitled. The most noticeable difference of course is the naming of the evil boss, Dr. Robotnik, or the original name of Dr. Eggman. Personally, both names are way too goofy, but you have to keep in mind the audience for this show.

This incarnation of Sonic is leagues over the U.S. syndicated version from a number of years ago. If you're remembering it now, you must be shuddering like I am. The animation is generally very well done, though there are some flat scenes. The voice actors do a great job, with my personal favorite being Knuckles with Sarah coming in a close second.

My only other real major complaint about this disc is the price. For 55 minutes of actual show, 29.99 is way too high. Bring it down to 24.95 and you've got a better deal, but this price point is not right for something like this.

Die-hard Sonic fans should enjoy this as well as most kids. If you're big on Pokemon, it can't hurt to try. My wife basically looks at it and has a somewhat hard time really considering it anime based on what it is, but then again, it's just a video game conversion to anime. It's not the end all be all of conversions, but it's not the worst by far.

English Language,English Subtitles,Spanish Subtitles,Japanese Language,Character Bios,Slideshow

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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