Sonic the Hedgehog film image

Review: ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ makes headway after internet’s whiplash

Gotta Go Fast! Sonic gets the redemption the fans are excited for, after an internet backlash in April. From the video games and the TV shows of Sonic, Paramount Pictures and SEGA presents Sonic the Hedgehog

Director Jeff Fowler worked with Paramount Pictures and SEGA to help create a life-like Sonic to its original 2D character from the video games. 

DISCLOSURE: I don’t know too much about the game, but I researched before watching this movie. From my research, I’ll compare the movie to the SEGA games and TV show.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead. 

Summary

Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz), a blue extraterrestrial hedgehog, comes to earth after someone discovers his powers. For 10 years, Sonic sneaks around Green Hills, Montana, watching everyone live their lives. Sonic specifically follows around a small-town sheriff, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). When Sonic accidentally blows out the town lights, he seeks sanctuary in Wachowski’s shed.

Wachowski heard noises and finds Sonic hiding in his shed. Wachowski tranquilized Sonic as he was trying to escape with his rings. A ring opened a portal to San Francisco and the remaining rings fell in SF and closed the portal. Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) shows up at his house, looking for the cause of the electric outage. Wachowski decides to take the risk and saves Sonic from Dr. Robotnik. As they drive to SF in search of Sonic’s missing rings, Dr. Robotnik hunts them down along their journey.

CGI Remake

The CGI look of Sonic before and after the backlash last year / Credit: Original Film, Marza Animation Planet, Blur Studio

The movie is a remake from April’s 2019 trailer and was supposed to be released last year on Nov. 8. The trailer released in April received a big lash back from the fans, it showed a human-like Sonic figure that had human teeth and human hands. The fans of Sonic were quick on pointing out these flaws.

Once the directors, SEGA, and Paramount got a whiff of it, they postponed the movie to Feb. 14, so they can fix Sonic to meet fans’ approval. Fixing the animation of Sonic estimated costs an additional $5 million to the original cost.

The April trailer was not the first whiplash the producers received from. On Dec. 10, 2018, Sonic released posters for the film and fans were not intrigued. The fans also pointed out how human he looked just by looking at the shape of Sonic.    

Last November, Paramount released a new trailer for the film. The fans appreciated Sonic’s bigger eyes and his less human-like teeth from the old trailer. 

SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog game

Credit: Sega

Sonic the Hedgehog video games, go back to ’91 and have over 50 video games made since then.

The game itself is essentially like Mario. A protagonist character consistently runs a line through a game, jumping through hoops, collecting items, to get to the boss. It has a generic plot, which leaves room for imagination for making the movie. 

At the beginning of the film, we see Sonic speeding through his home that looks very similar to the game itself. Sonic speeds through a loop around his home. Since there is no origin of how Sonic came to be, the movie added a caretaker for Sonic who inevitably threw him to earth to protect him.

The rings in the game are what Sonic collects to keep his lives. If he gets up to 100 rings he would get a bonus life. In the movie, while taking down Dr. Robotnik, Sonic jokes about having a bonus life, possibly hinting at the game itself. 

Dr. Robotnik or Dr. Eggman 

Credit: Sega (left); Original Film, Marza Animation Planet, Blur Studio (right)

In the movie, Dr. Robotnik is the main name for the character, but Dr. Eggman is what Sonic ends up calling him. Sonic uses Dr. Eggman because of his robots that look like eggs. Technically speaking, Dr. Robotnik is the real character’s name but Dr. Eggman is what Sonic uses and what the fans remember him as. In the game, Dr. Eggman is already portrayed as a bad guy; whereas, in the movie, the U.S. Department of Defense team hires Dr. Robotnik to investigate. Dr. Robotnik works for the government, although they think he’s crazy, they ask Dr. Robotnik to find out where the source of power is coming from. 

Dr. Eggman, in the video game, is a fat, bald guy, with a weird mustache, and wearing a red suit. Obviously, they did not put Carrey in a fat suit or a bald cap, but the outfits are pretty similar. In the TV show, the villain is also called Dr. Eggman. 

Sonic X vs Sonic the Hedgehog

Credit: Sega

In the TV show, Sonic comes to earth and runs into a boy named Chris Thorndyke. Thorndyke helps Sonic find his friends while battling Doctor Eggman with his robots. While in the other world, Doctor Eggman has already collected the seven Chaos Emeralds when they fell to earth. The Chaos Emeralds have mystical powers that warp time and space. Although there are no Chaos Emeralds in the movie there are some similarities to it

In the movie, Sonic comes to earth and runs into Tom Wachowski and Dr. Robotnix is after Sonic. The rings that Sonic uses in the movie are used as portals to transport from one location to another. Sonic X uses the rings to give Sonic extra power to use his “Super Spin Mode”. In a sense, both the show and the film use the rings as a source of power. 

Conclusion

Sonic had to go back to the drawing board a couple of times to get the right reaction from the audience. The movie was going to die before it was released to theaters, however, the producers made good on that. There are some new elements to the film that aren’t from the video games or TV shows but it worked for the film. As a non-video gamer, I think this film would excite any Sonic fan from the video games to the TV shows.

Do you think the movie made a good Sonic compared to video games and TV shows? Let us know on Twitter @geekgalsco or in the comments below.

Read more of Grace’s articles.

Featured image credit: Original Film, Marza Animation Planet, Blur Studio

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