Last year a trailer was released for a live-action Sonic The Hedgehog movie, and fans didn’t like it. The main source of complaints was Sonic’s design, an attempt to make him look more like a real hedgehog that smacked face first into the uncanny valley and then kept headbutting the darn thing. In short it was ugly, and the internet made no bones about it. Fans made both mocking images and videos as well as trying to offer better designs. There were also some issues with Jim Carrey’s version of Dr. Robotnik, and we now have confirmation that they’re going with the old US name instead of the original Japanese name Sega Of America and various comics and cartoons since have switched over to. I still don’t know why they have to go the Smurfs route and set it in our world in a live-action movie.
Well, a new trailer has finally come out, showcasing Sonic’s redesign. Yes, the creators actually heard the fans and what has to be a first in years for Hollywood or comics actually decided to take their complaints serious and fix things. This new trailer shows the redesigned Sonic and explains more of the movie’s general plot. Apparently they actually were paying attention.
Yes, the design is way better. The eyes are less creepy, and they embraced the cartoony design of the character while still making him look like he fits in this reality. It’s a good medium between “real world” and the classic design rather than the “burn it with fire” abomination they brought out before. Here’s a comparison someone posted. You don’t even have to watch the video. The thumbnail alone makes the case.
I also recognized Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic. He’s also the voice of Dewey on the excellent Ducktales remake (a remake done right, unlike so many others I could mention). He is a good choice and the spirit of Sonic’s attitude is there for what little we see of it, but he is more like a hyperactive child than the usual hedgehog with “attitude”. It’s not bad though.
However, everything else I had a problem with is still there. If Sonic is from another planet (I don’t know if they still call it Mobius but given they’re using Eggman’s old US name it might be) then their Robotnik is an annoying jerk from our world rather than the villain trying to conquer Sonic’s. It’s still a live-action movie instead of an animated one. None of Sonic’s friends seem to be involved, not even Tails, which is a huge loss. So I’m still not really interested in seeing this one personally, at least until I hear some reviews. It’s not really clicking for me, but I’m a casual fan at best anyway.
It could be a good movie, but the big news here is that someone listened to the fanbase and fixed the biggest complaint. Sure the movie still has to play to the average movie goer who may not be into the games, comics, or cartoons, but you can do that without alienating the fans. The fans complained about the design and they actually fixed it. If only more creators in modern storytelling media would do that.