TSS Review: Sonic Boom Season 2 – Robots From The Sky Parts 1-4

I’m sure many of my fellow thirty-somethings have breathed the same sigh of relief in that as we grow ever older, cartoons have not lost their appeal; I’d even go as far to say that we are in the midst of something of a cartoon renaissance – with multiple franchises successfully walking the line between children’s entertainment and veiled adult humour garnering cult followings.

The success of these series is largely down to the creators knowing their audience, and for the writers of Sonic Boom, they have certainly done their homework. I have lost count of the number of references to the Sonic universe the show has now made, and it is wonderful that 75+ episodes in, the jokes and in-jokes show no sign of relenting. The series on the whole to date has been wonderfully self-aware, subtle enough that younger audiences can enjoy the action and slapstick, while purposefully cliché and self-referential to deliver a wink and a nudge to older audiences, or a comical reprieve for parents who probably have already had to endure unending hours of Peppa Pig.

As the second season passes its mid-way mark, this week’s episode will introduce the first in a four-part story, Robots From The Sky (sung to the tune of a popular 80’s cartoon featuring metamorphosing machines, of course). The episode introduces the characters Mighton and Bolt who feature throughout the arc, two sentient robots from a floating city who find themselves stranded on the ground after their ship crashes. In a case of mistaken motives, the two misconstrue Sonic and friends as antagonists following a bout with Eggman’s machines. The episodes each end on a cliffhanger, as the team investigate why robots all over the world have begun to turn evil, with events from the past resurfacing in a series of plot twists.

Before I go on, SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!

The quadrilogy is the first in the series with writing credit going to Sonic Boom producer Bill Freiberger (the voice of Comedy Chimp), alongside regulars Alan Denton and Greg Hahn, who once again find their stride in penning a compelling children’s story interspersed with moments of eye-rolling humour most will find themselves chuckling at (unlike Knuckles). Speaking of which, Travis Willingham continues to deliver on his portrayal of his wonderfully simple Knuckles (although I’m sure this is obfuscating stupidity) with fans cheering that seventy-plus episodes in, we get a “legs day” joke. Mike Pollock and Roger Craig Smith have created a wonderful on screen (or off-screen?) chemistry between Eggman and Sonic, to the point at which battles have become juxtaposed with casual conversation, both characters aware they are simply going through the motions.

In a change of style, the story takes on a slightly more serious tone (but only slightly) as it begins to become clear that one of the heroes has inadvertently caused the current predicament. The first episode’s cliffhanger recovers with a deus ex machina deployed as another great comic device, once again nodding to the more senior audiences. This tone makes for a refreshing change of pace in comparison to the self-contained episodes, however fans of previous Sonic shows seeking more involved story arcs will likely find no satisfaction here. Some might have grown tired of the fight scenes by this stage; for this they might be forgiven, but again in context are necessary considering the show’s primary audience and the need to keep pace. Once again, the punctuation of satire should be what mature viewers focus their attention on. The final robot showdown sees an army of mechanical counterparts created with some albeit spurious science, but provides delightfully bizarre conclusion.

The Sonic Boom TV show has successfully created own its personality and carved its own niche in the Sonic universe; it is pleasing to see the progression in its evolution that prevents the concept from going stale. For many, including myself, the show continues to be the highlight of the Sonic Boom franchise – and I hope it continues to provide entertainment, for young and old, for many more episodes to come.

Robots From The Sky Part 1 is billed to air at 6pm ET on Saturday, 6th of May 2017 on Boomerang in the United States.

Published by

T-Bird

With a decade under his belt, T-Bird is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. T-Bird is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.

5 Comments

  1. I’m not sure if I’d call this the renaissance per-say, it feels more like the 90’s era of movies where there was so many meager to bad shows on with a few small islands of great shows coming around, unless you count the good shows that came around about 5-3 years ago and have stuck around or are just ending now. It’s like it both IS and ISN’T a renaissance because these good shows in particular are really good, like really REALLY good, like almost too good for their channels good. And yet there’s still shows like Teen Titans GO (that CN seems to care much more about), the PowerPuff Girls and Ben 10 reboots, Breadwinners, etc. I know every era has both its goods and its bads, but it almost feels like it’s disproportionate at this time. But maybe I’m just being a bit pessimistic, there’s still a good amount of really great quality shows out there, such as this one.

    Maybe I’m just more disappointed by the mismanagement of Cartoon Network lately than anything else, half the proposed good ideas they are given they reject for no other reason than foolishly thinking no one else would be interested, and the other half they almost consistently flop on (I don’t think anyone was asking for PPG and Ben 10 to have voiced 4th Wall-breaking blocks of text to add emphasis to whatever gag they’re talking about, just cause you do it in Teen Titans GO doesn’t mean you should do it in ALL of your poorly executed reboots.)

  2. cartoon renaissance already happened in the 80’s/90’s.

    Dexters Lab, Original Powerpuff girls, Johnny Bravo, Ed, Edd,Eddy, samurai Jack, courage the cowardly dog, Marvel shows, Batman the animated series, Animaniacs, Tiny Toon adventures, Freakazoid, The Simpsons, Gargoyles, Ducktales, Hey Arnold, Pinky and the Brain and among more.

    Cartoons today don’t really have the quality that the old shows had, Animaniacs, Batman the animated series, First 9 seasons of The Simpsons and Pinky & The Brain are examples of well written shows. plus most of the old shows used to have a real orchestra for the music due to the high budget they used to have.

    Theres a few good ones today but even they aren’t as good as the past ones, in fact the past shows are so good most are being brought back today aka Ducktales and Powerpuff girls.

    I feel alot of shows today rely too much on the jokes and being silly then actually having good stories. Just watch The Old Simpsons or Batman the animated series to see what I mean.

  3. Clicked the images provided, and they all read this:

    “Oops! That page can’t be found.”

    Does this happen with anyone else, or am I the only one experiencing this?

  4. Wait, when did Sonic Boom start airing again on Boomerang in the UK? I didn’t see that announced anywhere and Boomerang UK has no Sonic on it’s air schedule as far as I can see. I really hope it’s on, I just can’t see it anywhere.

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