I think the reaction from a Japanese Sonic fan sums up my feelings on today’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie reveal: “Mr. SEGA, are you serious?”
Revealed as a motion poster by IGN, the video features a blue blur not unlike what we saw in the old Sonic 4 teasers. The blur eats through a path of rings which don’t quite make the correct sound we’ve known for the past 25+ years. Finally, the movie Sonic stops, hidden and shadow, and he looks… oh god. So, instead of opting for the tried and true design that has suited the character since 1998 (if we’re going by the modern design), Paramount opted for a bizarre hyper realistic design. Sonic is very hairy, has human proportions, weird little eyes and shoes that are in no way his signature sneakers. This looks bad. Very bad.
IGN’s has a lengthy interview with the filmmakers, and this bit jumped out at me:
The most challenging part of Sonic’s updated design isn’t revealed in this teaser: his eyes. The filmmakers struggled with how best to depict Sonic’s eyes because often he’s only seen with one, and that wouldn’t translate well to the live-action movie.
“I don’t think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision, but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it,” said Miller. “He’s not going to feel like a Pixar character would because I don’t think that’s the right aesthetic to make it feel like part of our world.”
Really? Sonic’s eyes would not translate to live action? Have the seen the countless CG cutscenes? The many times a 3D Sonic has appeared in real world settings (Sonic Boom adverts, Progressive Auto Insurance adverts)? How does a real world setting change how you’d depict a 3D model of an iconic character like Sonic? He could easily appear in his traditional design and nobody would complain. I also like how they ignore SEGA’s feelings towards their design. Smart move, right? Ignore notes from SEGA on Sonic’s design.
Dear god, this movie…