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Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie
An Anime DVD reviewed on 2/24/2002 by Wesley Pollow
"ADV Films brings an original Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog OVA to American shores, but does it stack up to past and present cartoon incarnations of everyone's favorite blue hedgehog?"

Well, let's be honest. When most people go into watching a video game based anime, they don't expect much. I had hope for our favorite blue hedgehog though. I had viewed some scenes from it in clips from the game Sonic Jam for the Sega Saturn. That was a LONG time before this movie (2 OVA episodes actually) got released in America. It didn't look like this was going to be released, but ADV Films picked it up when Sonic Adventure's popularity was at its peak. Thanks ADV!

The story is pretty good, but not as good as I had hoped. It's very loosely based on Sonic CD for the Sega CD video game system, but it also adds some other characters to the mix. Since this is technically 2 OVA episodes smashed into one movie, it has 2 major parts to the story. In the first half, Doctor Robotnik gets banished from his own home, Robotropolis in the Land of Darkness by "Metal Robotnik." To top it off, Robotnik informs Sonic of this, as well as the fact a robot generator has been sabotaged, and will proceed to blow up Planet Freedom if nothing is done about it. The second half of the story is about a new enemy, but I'll keep quiet so I don't spoil the movie. The overall story isn't the strongest, but it is definitely better than most video game anime.

The animation quality is definitely top notch in this movie. The animation is sharp and detailed leaving nothing to be desired. ADV has also added some computer generated animation to certain parts in the movie, adding a very nice touch to already great quality. Something must also be said for the excellent menu on this DVD. It's simple, easy to use, and good looking. A lot of DVD designers haven't gotten that formula down yet.

The audio is pretty good as well. The soundtracks are very well composed, and have a sleek, cool feel to them. In terms of audio quality, the 2.0 stereo is nothing to write home about, but certainly isn't bad. The voices in the dub aren't the best, but they fill the roles pretty well. This title would have been quite a bit better with some better voice actors.

One thing that must be mentioned is that America has had 3 different Sonic the Hedgehog animated series'… and all of them were hideous. The animation, story, and almost everything in this anime movie is light years beyond all 3 American-made series'. The two good things I can say about those America series' is that they had generally decent voice actors, and the one that was run on Saturday mornings on ABC wasn't nearly as bad as the other two… but I'm not reviewing THOSE series' , now am I?

Overall this anime flick is worth checking out if you like Sonic, or enjoy a humorous, self-contained, relatively simple story. If you are looking for something deeper, or longer than 1 hour, you may want to look elsewhere.

Conclusion:

Graphics: 7 out of 10
The story to Sonic: the Movie is simple, and straightforward … no one said that's a bad thing.
Visual Quality: 7.5 out of 10
Very well animated, and has no problems with the conversion to DVD.
Audio: 6 out of 10
The audio is generally great. Blame the lack of good voice actors for the low score here.
Presentation: 8 out of 10
The packaging and menus are both sleek, and stylish. Not exactly bloated with features, but the presentation is good enough to keep everyone happy.
Final Rating: 7 out of 10
Definitely worth picking up for any Sonic fans, or anyone who likes simple anime.
Information

Title Screen

Released by: ADV Films
Category: Anime DVD
Price: $12.98 USD
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Language: English/Japanese

 
 
 
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