Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 21-H: From Games to Toons Pt.8

Mina: In this final part of this lesson we will be covering Donkey Kong Country and Sonic Underground,the Last Game Based Cartoon.

Donkey Kong Country is a French-Canadian CGI series based on the Nintendo franchise Donkey Kong country. It was created by France 2 and Nelvana. The show is called La Plan├Ęte de Donkey Kong (The Planet of Donkey Kong) in France and French-Canada,but called Donkey Kong Country everywhere else.

Mina: This Cartoon is the first and Only Video Game Based cartoon that Wasn't American.

Donkey Kong Country first aired in France on September 4, 1996. It premiered late in the United States on the Family Channel in August 15, 1998.

The show begins by portraying Donkey Kong,a regular ape in the jungle,who happens to stumble upon a magic coconut called the Crystal Coconut. The Coconut,at Donkey Kong's command, summons a pile of magic bananas.

Mina: After Donkey and his friends eat the bananas,they are granted with increased intelligence and strength,enabling them to defeat enemies such as K. Rool and Kaptain Skurvy,who wish to possess the Crystal Coconut for themselves.

The main protagonist of the show are Donkey Kong,Diddy Kong,Cranky Kong,Candy Kong,Bluster Kong,Funky Kong,and Dixie Kong. While the Bad Guys are: King K. Rool,General Klump,Krush,and The Kritters. Other enemies include Polly Roger,Captain Skurvy,and the Klaptraps.

Mina: Other characters include: Eddie the Mean Old Yeti,Inka Dinka Doo the multi-faced god of Kongo Bongo Island (the setting of the series),and Kong Fu.

Mina: All and all,This show wasn't all that great. Like the Darkstalkers Cartoon,DKC never followed the games,the new characters weren't very likable,and the writing was very mediocre.

Tell me about it. And now for the Final Video Game Cartoon ever created...Sonic Underground. Mina,I'm gonna let you handle most of this.

Mina: Cool thanks. Sonic Underground (Sonic le Rebelle in French) is a series that follows the adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and his siblings,Sonia and Manic. The series ran for forty episodes,and was canceled before the main story could be resolved.

Mina: Sonic,Sonia,and Manic are the children of Queen Aleena Hedgehog. Queen Aleena was once the kind and fair ruler of Mobius,but Robotnik and his robotic forces seized control of the planet and forced her into hiding.

Mina: She separated and hid Sonic,Manic,and Sonia after the Oracle of Delphius told her of a prophecy. Robotnik began ruling Mobius using unjust laws,roboticizing anyone who stood against him,as well as forcing the nobles into paying large amounts of money as tribute.

Mina: When Sonic,Manic,and Sonia grew up,the Oracle of Delphius revealed the prophecy to them: one day they would reunite with their mother to form the Council of Four,overthrow Robotnik,and become the rightful rulers of Mobius.

Mina: So Sonic,Manic,and Sonia go on a quest,searching throughout Mobius for Queen Aleena. Robotnik is determined to capture the royal family and prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled.

Mina: The three siblings have powerful medallions that not only change into musical instruments,but also into weapons when the triplets are in perfect harmony with each other.

Mina: Sonic's medallion is an electric guitar that can function as a gun. Sonia's medallion is a keyboard that also functions as a gun as well as a smoke machine. Manic's medallion is a drumset that can be used as a gun and an earth controller with cymbals that can deflect laserfire.

Mina: The three non only use their amulets to fight Robotnik,but also to have instruments for their underground rock band, The Sonic Underground.

Mina: Sonic SatAM and Sonic Underground are the two Sonic cartoons that most closely resemble each other. Both share a large number of stuff in common that were never in any of the games or in the 'Adventures Of' series.

Mina: These things include: Sonic's catchphrases,Uncle Chuck,the Roboticizer,Badass Robotnik,Mobotropolis/Robotropolis,Freedom Fighters,and King Acorn (or rather, a statue thereof).

The series takes place on Mobius,similar to the other Sonic Cartoons,but with notable differences. Sonic SatAM included power rings,Knothole Village and the Freedom Fighters.

Another difference is that Sonic is given a slightly different appearance from his SatAM counterpart. When viewed from behind, Sonic's signature mohawk is now two rows,his teeth show more,he has five fingers on each hand,and his eyelids are now visible.

Though the Freedom Fighters were included in Underground,many of the characters in the Freedom Fighter group that were in SatAM are completely left out,including Tails.

Unlike the previous 2 shows,Underground also includes Knuckles and his home,the Floating Island. Another difference with the Freedom Fighter group is that Freedom Fighters do not remain in one refuge but instead travel around Mobius to battle Robotnik's forces on a global scale.

Also,that Robotnik has left most of the Mobian people unroboticised,leaving multiple cities,a poor underclass,and a rich upperclass for the heroes to interact with. Plus,many of the minor characters were not easily recognizable as being based on Earth animals,instead appearing far more alien.

Jaleel "Steve Urkle" White,who voiced Sonic in both earlier cartoons,provided the voices for Sonic and his siblings....even Sonia.

Mina: Of course,this wasn't the first time,the Urkman played a female role.

The main theme was composed by Robbie London and Mike Piccirillo. The musical underscore was composed by Jean-Michel Guirao and Mike Piccirillo. The series featured a song per episode. Each of these songs were composed by Mike Piccirillo.

Like Sonic X,this show has many episodes which teach kids social skills,despite Manic's stealing and Sonia's desires for luxury. They both are seen experiencing consequences for such things. Sonic Underground is also noted as the only Sonic animated series where Tails is absent. Instead,Sonic Underground has Knuckles. The gold rings are also absent.

Mina: And Now for the interesting part.

Before the official the launch of the Dreamcast,Sega began to heavily advertise all of the system's big products. For Sonic,it contacted DiC Entertainment,who made the first 2 Sonic cartoons,to make a new Sonic cartoon.

Mina: So in a way,this show was an advertisement for Sonic Adventure. Even though it lacked Amy Rose and Tails.

Sonic Underground ran for one season in 1999 on UPN's Sunday Morning block.

Mina:While it was believed for a while that 65 episodes were made and only 40 aired,Ben Hurst,a DiC regular who worked on Sonic Underground,stated in a chat at the Sonic Amateur Games Expo in 2008,that only 40 episodes were produced with no plans for a 2nd season.

Mina: Recently rumors have begun to surface that Sega and Disney were gonna complete the series with 25 episodes that would lead to a logical ending of the series. Unfortunatly,this rumor is False.

Well that was an Awesome ride wasn't it?

Mina: It sure was. Awesome And Long.

Yup,8-parts. The Longest Cartoon Historian Lesson ever. Well,thats gonna do it for this lesson. See ya next time on The Cartoon Historian.

Mina: Laters!

[fade to black. credits roll as the cartoon historian closing theme plays]

1 comment:

KingsSideCastle said...

Wow 8 segments. Massive post SFD. Really awesome...I was one of the people who voted for videogames in the last poll. :-)