Ever since the first teaser poster for the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog movie was released, the response has been rather negative, to say the least. Although the image was darkened out and the titular character’s features were obscured in shadow, the heavy redesign of Sega’s mascot was still apparent. No more did Sonic feature a smooth, otter-like texture, but realistic quills, and the greatest insult to the internet of all—those muscular, very human-esque legs.
I admit, I found those legs to be a bit off-putting as well. They were less cute woodland creature and more Olympian runner. I mean, I guess that makes sense when you take into account Sonic’s gimmick, but Sonic isn’t human and making him more human-like was a tad disturbing— It looked off and I could totally understand people’s dismay with the new direction of Sonic’s iconic design. But now (supposedly, if these images are in fact 100% authentic) we have our first clear look at the blue blur and I have to say, from what the initial tease showed us, it could have turned out much, much worse.
Although there are still people on the Twitters proclaiming NIGHTMARE FUEL once more, I honestly don’t see what the problem is with the design. To be frank, what did everyone expect a live action, Hollwood-fied Sonic to look like? As far as anthropomorphized animals go, this rendition of the blue hedgehog is far from the worst. I see it as no more nightmare inducing than the live action Pokemon from the Detective Pikachu trailers, and those designs seem to be generally favored amongst the public. Sonic the Hedgehog has always been a bit of an odd design anyways. Not only is his color pallete less than representative of his real-world counterparts, but his overall look has always been more of a suggestion of a hedgehog, rather than a faithful representation of one. And even then, I use the word ‘suggestion’ very loosely.
When came the task of having to redesign Sonic for a live action film, I can imagine it was a difficult obstacle to overcome. There is going to have to be some sense of realism brought into the design if the character is going to fit in with a real world, but at the same time the stylized nature is going to have to be left intact if it is to be recognizable. And on that front, I think this design succeeds. The addition of the quills and the separation of the eyes works, along with the fur covered body. It’s still the Sonic we all know, but a fresh take on the character— Besides, I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t argue this new Sonic is any more appalling that those horrid Sonic Boom redesigns.
These days, I can’t say I’m the biggest Sonic fan, and that is for much of same reason most other people aren’t anymore—the games suck—but back when Sonic Adventure released on the Dreamcast, HOO BOY! Did I ever love me some Sonic. I wanted to go fast, baby! And when judging this new design, I think what would a 5 foot tall, ’98 Godzilla onesie wearing version of myself think of it, and to be honest, I think they would be satisfied. Sure, everyone’s going to have different tastes and I can understand seeing something that we’ve all known as one way for decades getting a complete overall being a bit jarring. But when I take a step back for a second and put down the Hatorade (yes, I just wrote Hatorade in 2019), I can’t help but appreciate what they’ve done with Sonic for his cinematic debut.
Now, as for the movie itself, it will likely be a pile of hedgehog crap (I hope I’m wrong), but that’s not the point. Sonic himself isn’t the nightmare fuel many claim he is, and I implore you to take a long hard look (don’t stare too long, that’s creepy) and maybe you will realize that the design isn’t half bad too—And if not… I’ll shut up and go back to my corner now.