Earlier in the week, the world was treated (or punished depending on your opinion) to the very first trailer for the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film from SEGA and Paramount Pictures.
You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that the internet had a less than kind reaction to the blue blur’s big screen debut. At the time of writing, Paramount’s upload of the trailer to YouTube has had nearly 22 million views, but only 285k likes to 481k dislikes.
While most fans seemed to agree that Jim Carrey’s Dr Robotnik could be a genuinely funny addition to the movie, and some could even forgive the trailer’s use of Gangta’s Paradise, everybody was on the same page when it came to Sonic’s terrifying ultra realistic design. Just take a look at a couple of the reactions to him on Twitter to get a feel for how reviled the it was.
[Sonic the Hedgehog movie pitch meeting]
Jim Carrey: [chanting] teeth, teeth –
Director: teeth, TEETH
Paramount execs [pounding the table]: TEETH, TEETH, TEETH! https://t.co/eDzzAmSjDC
— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) April 30, 2019
Sonic the Hedgehog was already my sleep paralysis demon so I'm in for a rough fucking night later
— Shammy (@ShammyTV) April 30, 2019
Fortunately, it seems the deluge of memes and criticism leveled at poor old Sonic has had a profound effect on the team behind the movie. Sonic The Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler recently took to Twitter to confirm that they’d heard the feedback loud and clear.
In an unprecedented move, the studio will be changing Sonic’s design before the movie releases on November 8. While this won’t improve the overall quality of the film, it’ll at least help stop kids having nightmares when they go to see it in the cinema.
The message is loud and clear. You aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be.
While we don’t know exactly what this redesign will entail, it’s safe to assume that Paramount will be looking at some of the fan-made versions of movie Sonic that blew up on Twitter in the wake of the trailer.
These redesigns are much closer to the cartoony version of Sonic we all know and love, with bigger eyes, and a shorter build, generally helping Sonic to look more like a cartoon hedgehog and less like a bodybulding toddler in a blue onesie.
Take a look at this brilliant example below from [email protected] on Twitter. As you can see, it still looks “live action” but manages to stay true to the spirit of the video game incarnation.
— Li @ Hyrule 🌿 (@LiKovacs) April 30, 2019
As Li notes, a few simple little changes do actually make a big difference, so hopefully the poor team tasked with overhauling Sonic’s design before November won’t have too much work to do. Watch this space.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.