After the release date being delayed due to negative reactions to the character style, “Sonic the Hedgehog” was released in theatres on Valentine’s Day with a new design that was better received. The movie had an updated animation style and compelling character development that ultimately helped with a straightforward storyline.
When the first trailer for “Sonic the Hedgehog” came out, fans were not fond of the design animators chose to use, causing Paramount and Sega to make redesigns to the beloved character. The first trailer showcased a different design than fans were used to and Sonic (Ben Schwartz) looked much different from the character that is well known today. The original design of Sonic could have given little kids nightmares as Sonic’s eyes looked too small for his face and the human teeth added to the look made his features too prominent and scary. As well as having human teeth, Sonic’s face was very human-like with a lot of hair everywhere which further pushed nostalgic fans away. The more animated redesign brought the happy feeling of the original Sonic people know today and strayed away from Sonic being human-like.
The lack of consistency between the trailer and the movie was misleading, despite the movie’s storyline being straightforward. In the trailer, Sonic is an adult and is on his planet Mobius when he says that he is coming to Earth to help save it, implying that Earth is in trouble. However, in the movie, Sonic is on his planet as a child and has to leave his planet because people on the planet are trying to take his powers. Sonic ventures to Earth after it seems like everyone on his planet is after his powers and is soon detected. After Sonic is detected, the U.S. government sends evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to capture him. Sonic makes a new friend, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), and the duo takes an adventure to help save Sonic from those who seek to do him harm.
Tom and Sonic first meet in Tom’s garage when Tom thinks there are raccoons in his garage. Before Tom finds Sonic, he is contemplating using his gold rings to leave Earth, but Tom ends up finding Sonic and shoots him with a tranquilizer gun because he does not know what else to do. While Sonic is loopy from getting shot, he reads San Francisco from Tom’s shirt and the ring opens a portal there and Sonic drops his bag of gold rings through the portal before it closes. Sonic soon wakes in a cage Tom put him in, but he is able to get out of the cage without Tom noticing and is now trying to explain to him that he needs help escaping Earth but can’t since his rings are now lost in San Francisco. This leads to the two going on the adventure to recover Sonic’s rings.
Dr. Robotnik also appears in the movie but is only called Eggman by Sonic, and the movie neglects to explain the alias. By not giving the viewers much background information on the alternative name, younger viewers who may have not played Sonic video games are left thrown off because Eggman is not correctly named or referenced.
The action and adventure in the movie kept audiences on their toes. The scenes with Sonic getting away from Dr. Robotnik had the suspense of whether or not Sonic was going to make it. The adventure of Tom and Sonic going to places to help get away from the troubles they were getting into made the movie more fun like and broke the tension that could at times be felt.
The dialogue Sonic gives during the movie gives it its comedic feel. Tom and Sonic’s relationship gives the movie its comedic feel from how they have bantered with each other. One scene where it gives an idea of how Sonic and Tom’s relationship is in the movie is called ‘The Fluffy Sonic’ scene. Tom realizes that if he is with Sonic it could cause him to be in a lot of trouble with the government so he tells Sonic to leave and how to get to San Francisco. Sonic argues with him and leaves, but he comes back right away and argues with Tom why he should not be here in the first place because Tom shot him with the tranquilizer gun which caused him to be stuck on Earth. Sonic piles the guilt on Tom and Tom, reluctantly, agrees to help Sonic. This shapes Sonic and Tom’s relationship because it is where Tom becomes actual friends with Sonic.
Overall, the movie is a great movie for families, moviegoers and of course fans of Sonic the Hedgehog. The redesign allowed fans to feel nostalgic, the plot was easy to follow and the action and adventure of trying to get away from Dr. Robotnik to keep audience members on their toes. “Sonic the Hedgehog” receives 8 out of 10 stars and is available now in theatres.