Director of New ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Movie to Make Last-Minute Design Changes After Intense Public Outcry
The Sonic the Hedgehog game series is nearly 30 years old, so in that amount of time, it has amassed a huge fan following reaching across generations and game consoles. Sonic is a recognizable character.
But according to online backlash, he isn’t anymore. A newly released movie trailer by Paramount for Sonic the Hedgehog’s live-action adaption did not go over well. Instead of getting longtime fans excited about one of their childhood favorites, the trailer angered or mortified them.
Some perspective first. The blue hedgehog is the central hero in the video game franchise which boasts well over 50 games. Sonic’s sidekicks include Tails the Fox, Amy Rose, and Knuckles who do battle with the evil Dr. Robotnik, a.k.a Dr. Eggman.
To fans who have been playing various versions of the game almost forever, the image of Sonic is etched in their minds. Yeah, he’s mostly blue. But his long, lanky legs meet his short torso high up in the body. His arms are flesh colored.
Because he is a hedgehog – albeit an alien one – his face is structured a certain way. The eyes, brows, and teeth are hedgehog-like without being weird and look just right in the games’ animation. How do you translate that to live action? Apparently not the way the design team did it for this CGI-filled movie.
Specifically, fans are scared or creeped out by Sonic’s humanistic rendering. Most complaints have to do with the human/baby-like teeth and his body proportions. Check him out in this trailer:
Inquiring minds wanted to know why the hedgehog looks like an adult male in a furry body suit. Folks on social media let their opinions ring loud and clear to the movie’s creators and director, Jeff Fowler.
It seems no one was happy with Sonic’s look, and after suffering through the backlash, Fowler responded to fans saying the character will be redesigned before the movie’s release in November 2018. Those teeth gotta go fast!
Thank you for the support. And the criticism. 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… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast 🔧✌️
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
Although many were happy and surprised to hear the news, that didn’t stop some from cracking jokes and sharing their own redesigns of the classic character:
This is better pic.twitter.com/H84y0w39Dt
— Vsan – Cyber Sleuth (@Sanikyuu) May 2, 2019
— Ilan Mao is in the Future!!! – #SAVEUNIKITTY (@_Ilan01_) May 3, 2019
The movie is drawing comparisons to another beloved game character – Pikachu – who has also recently undergone the live-action treatment. However, his reception was much warmer, and the Detective Pikachu movie is actually scoring well in ratings.
What moviegoers are wondering now is whether or not the new Sonic will be ready by November. It can take more than a year to design these characters before shooting a film, so people are wondering if the release date will be pushed back.
So far, no word from Paramount on that, so fans will just have to see if Sonic will look more like himself when fall rolls around. At least we know the teeth are a no-go.
Are you a Sonic fan who was not pleased with the movie trailer version? Were you aware the character is getting updated for the movie? Are you shocked that Hollywood listened to fans on this one?