“Team Sonic Racing: Overdrive” (2019) CARTOON REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
Posted 22nd May, 2019
“Team Sonic Racing: Overdrive” is a two part cartoon web series designed to promote the new video game Team Sonic Racing. It has a simple plot that follows a race between Team Sonic, Team Rose, and Team Dark.
Now, I’ve not played “Team Sonic Racing”. I’ve only a played a few Sonic games in my lifetime to be honest. Despite my lack of attachment to the Sonic franchise, I totally followed these cartoons pretty fine, getting the gist of each characters’ personality or a racing gadget’s purpose very easily. I wouldn’t say that you need to be a Sonic fan to have fun watching it; but I’m certain it’ll help you get more into it.
There’s no dialogue at all, so the animators have to rely entirely on visuals for the storytelling, with characters giving clear gestures or expressions to communicate team play or taunt a racetrack rival. It’s impressive how vivid it all is, especially when the budget is clearly quite low for a video game promo. By the looks of it, flash animation was the tool used, but it’s stylistically shaded flash; the kind of hip aesthetic needed for a Sonic cartoon.
The race itself is at a constant momentum, but don’t expect it to be a straight forward race, because the main selling point is teamwork, so camaraderie drives this race’s dynamic. It’s the power of friendship that’ll help teams win. It’s a refreshing change of pace for a racing cartoon, when we’re used to characters only being out for themselves, and the sentiment adds some heart to the race.
While Sonic may be the star, fans might want to cheer on the other teams. Which isn’t a bad thing, heck I know that players will have their own team of choice when they get the actual game, and that can make each fan’s experience watching this short different! Who will they want to win? Personally, I was supporting Team Sonic, because they demonstrated teamwork the best, and it’s great seeing stone faced Knuckles being a helpful dude.
The cartoons also have a brilliant sense of humour, with wacky ways for racers to get distracted or knocked out of the race. I counted myself laughing more times than once. From Big the Cat being drawn away from the race by cute merchandise, to Rouge the bat trying to get help after her car is busted. There’s a gag a minute to spice up the race with comedy.
Robotnik does take part in the race as a comic foil, not because he has world domination motivations in mind, but he seems to be just having fun causing trouble, and it is revealed that he has a secret plan to steal the trophy. It’s kind of funny seeing Robotnik, a character who usually has wide scale tyrannical intentions, just being a bit of a dick haha!
“Team Sonic Racing: Overdrive” is targeted towards selling a game to Sonic fans, Team Sonic don’t shy away from that fact, but it’s still a very entertaining sports comedy cartoon that anyone can enjoy. It’s only two 4 – 5 minute shorts, yet the animators put in their A game, giving viewers a fun little ride to serve as a bonus feature for this new hyped up game.