The upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie from Paramount Pictures has not been receiving positive buzz. The officially released motion poster was criticized by fans as looking like a very odd take on the iconic character. Meanwhile, an unconfirmed leak features a poster for the movie that has been ridiculed on social media. Now, people who have been associated with Sonic have given their thoughts on the film's design for the character. Twitter user SonicJPNews translated these statements.
First, we have Yuji Naka, the original head of Sonic Team and lead programmer of the first Sonic the Hedgehog on Genesis.
"From the comments here, it looks like it's very badly received. I wonder if the movie is actually good when you watch it. I see many movies based on Anime or games are unpopular. I wonder why that happens..."
The next comment comes from Shiro Maekawa, who worked on many of the home console Sonic games starting with Sonic Adventure.
"Wooow, they made a totally unexpected arrangement there *rofl* "
Next, we have Gurihiru, a character designer on Sonic Unleashed.
"I've heard that Sonic movie was going to be a mixture of live action and animation, but I haven't expected this..."
Finally, this comment comes from Naoto Ohshima, the original designer of Sonic.
"Sonic is a fairy of hedgehog, so he doesn't need to be designed closer to a real hedgehog even in a live action. Mickey doesn't become a mouse in live action, does he? Because they are fairies who can live on when people believe in them."
It is interesting to read comments from people who were involved with the character. It is especially telling that Naoto Ohshima sounds dissatisfied with the Paramount design. Ohshima's Sonic is an icon, a hedgehog in design, but not limited to a realistic hedgehog look. It seems like Paramount is attempting to bring a sense of realism to the design, but in the process is drawing attention to how strange it looks in comparison to the classic design.
Of course, it is unfair to call the design outright bad. After all, we do not have a fully revealed look yet. We cannot see Sonic's face. One can deduce from the poster that Paramount is foregoing the beige Sonic arms. While appearing as perhaps off from the poster, this look is not unheard of. SEGA's redesign of the character in the Sonic Boom franchise also forgoes the beige in favor of blue. While many would argue that the Boom design is inferior to the classic, it does work. So, it's possible that Paramount's redesign will work within the context of the movie.
Sonic the Hedgehog is being directed by Jeff Fowler. Ben Schwartz is voicing the character, and Jim Carrey is starring as Dr. Eggman. James Marsden and Tika Sumpter are also starring. A trailer has not been released, but with the motion poster appearing now, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a teaser soon.
Sonic the Hedgehog will be released on November 8th, 2019.