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Knuckles

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Lauren Cook

TV Series Review

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Turns out that might apply to echidnas as well.

Since coming to Earth (as chronicled in Sonic the Hedgehog 2), Knuckles the Echidna has been pretty busy. He accidentally helped an evil supervillain escape imprisonment, fought Sonic over the powerful Master Emerald, became friends with Sonic, helped defeat the evil supervillain, and swore to defend Earth from evil.

That last part might be easier said than done.

Knuckles is still determined to follow the echidna way and become a legendary warrior, even if that doesn’t necessarily jive with the lifestyle of his new human friends. For instance, to fulfill his mission of bringing honor to his ancestors, Knuckles decides to take on an epic quest: helping Wade Whipple, a down-on-his-luck deputy sheriff, win a bowling competition and reunite with his estranged father.

Maybe not exactly what the elders had in mind, but it’ll do.

KNUCKLE SANDWICH, ANYONE?

As one of the most popular characters from the decades-spanning Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, it’s only natural that the super-strong echidna should get his moment in the spotlight. Knuckles fits Sonic’s 2020 movie and its sequel like a giant white glove, bringing Sonic’s rival-turned-friend to life in this lighthearted, action-packed show. The series blends explosive adventure and road-trip-buddy-comedy into a fun romp for both kids and diehard fans.

If you’re familiar with the Sonic movies, you’ve got a good grasp on what to expect in terms of content here. Action scenes are filled with explosive and colorful combat that never ends in death or gruesome injury—although Knuckles may bit a bit too intent in seeking that combat out. His obsession with vengeance and glory doesn’t come from a place of evil, and it isn’t encouraged by his friends, but it’s still essential to his motivations. His desire to prove himself as a warrior gets him into some fairly sticky situations (attacking innocent construction workers, forcing a terrified mailman to fight the family dog in ritual combat … you know, the usual).

Foul language isn’t necessarily an issue, but there’s definitely some questionable dialogue being thrown around, specifically between children and adults. Wade gets a bit too competitive with his 8-year-old bowling rival, and she has no trouble throwing his insults right back at him. Knuckles also leans towards disrespect in many of his interactions with Maddie, his human mother figure, though he does eventually accept her discipline (with a fair share of grumbling). And there’s a small whiff of spirituality when Knuckles occasionally meditates to commune with his ancestors.

Despite some of the eyebrow-raising antics of its central echidna, Knuckles still boasts heartwarming themes of family, friendship, and finding a home in the most unlikely of places. Add in some explosive action and charming banter, and it’s a score both for older kids and for adults with a Sega Genesis gathering dust in the closet.

Episode Reviews

Apr. 26, 2024 – S1, E1: “The Warrior”

Knuckles struggles to adjust to his new life on Earth, and he decides to take on a new protege in the way of the echidna.

A recap showing scenes from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 contains punching and other melee combat. Knuckles ambushes a construction crew, mistakenly thinking that it’s attacking his human family’s house; he drags one man screaming into the bushes, ties another up with cables, and pins another to the wall by throwing a shovel under his arm.

Later, he turns the living room into a gladiatorial arena, and he tries to force a terrified mailman to fight the family’s dog with a baseball bat sporting several nails spiked through it. Maddie, his human surrogate mother, intervenes before the fight breaks out. She also calls Knuckles’ makeshift throne “the Iron Throne,” a reference to Game of Thrones. Knuckles and his new protege Wade are attacked by soldiers in a bowling alley; the soldiers shoot laser beams around the building, causing explosions and fire.

Wade’s bowling rival is an 8-year-old girl named Suzie, though he treats her like any other opponent. Wade’s teammate tells him to “crush that tiny girl’s skull” and to “squash her like a bug.” Suzie openly ridicules Wade, calling him a “freaking loser.”

Knuckles meditates and asks for guidance from his ancestors. He’s visited by the ghost of an echidna chief, who encourages him to pursue his quest.

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Lauren Cook Bio Pic
Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is serving as a 2021 summer intern for the Parenting and Youth department at Focus on the Family. She is studying film and screenwriting at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. You can get her talking for hours about anything from Star Wars to her family to how Inception was the best movie of the 2010s. But more than anything, she’s passionate about showing how every form of art in some way reflects the Gospel. Coffee is a close second.

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