What's so great about SatAM?
SatAM was pretty remarkable for what it was. Let's face it: a TV show based off of a video game has no business being any good... and yet Sonic the Hedgehog was. Top-notch voice acting from world renkown talents (Jaleel White, Kath Soucie, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Christine Cavanaugh, William Windom), gifted musicians and composers (Michael Tavera), a good team of writers headed up by a veteran in the animation business (Len Janson), and an overall sense of quality that could only come from a team truly excited about their work.
SatAM taught life lessons. The character development was far beyond the Saturday morning norm, and the show's concept was more compelling than one would expect from a TV show based on a gaming icon. The creators and writers were provided an unusual amount of freedom for working with a licensed character, and they had a clear slate to start from with very little already established about Sonic's world.
SatAM drew you into the lives of the Freedom Fighters—a world that was believable, yet unlike our own. The characters’ interactions were realistic and tangible, and the show did not shy away from reality or emotion—both humor and heartbreak. Characters laughed, cried, reminisced of the past, and dreamed of better days to come. There were losses and gains; friendships and betrayals. Unlike most cartoons of the time that featured heroes defending a planet at peace, the enemy had already won in SatAM, and it was up to an unlikely group of young rebels to survive and overcome while faced with seemingly impossible odds.
SatAM is a show with a very loyal “cult” following. However, it is also a show that millions of American (and worldwide) youth were exposed to, and it is a series that is still fondly remembered by many of them, even if only in the back of their minds. It was distinct and original—not to mention it was Sonic!—and everyone loved Sonic back then. Everyone.
Was SatAM perfect? Absolutely not. But SatAM was a rare breed. As such, it really isn't surprising that those 26 episodes are still remembered and discussed well over a decade later.
Check out our feature article for more on why fans like SatAM.