Sonic The Hedgehog Will Be Redesigned Following Intense Backlash

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Sonic The Hedgehog is a beloved property with a tremendous amount of nostalgia appeal.

But when a film based upon that video game series released its trailer this week, it was roasted in every direction.

Now, the director is promising to fix it all before the November release date. Will it be enough?

Sonic the hedgehog looks shocked

The Sonic The Hedgehog movie trailer dropped on Tuesday, April 30.

And it was ... absolutely bonkers. Jim Carrey plays Dr. Robotnik.

James Marsden, who deserves so much better than this, plays a police officer who apparently starts talking with Sonic.

At one point, Sonic refers to "your planet," implying that he is from outer space, which is a hell of a deviation from his '90s origin story.

"Gangsta's Paradise," a song by Coolio that was popular among my much cooler classmates when I was a young child, plays for unfathomable reasons.

Sonic the Hedgehog in the April 30 trailer

But more than any of that, people are fixated on Sonic's physical appearance in the film.

He is CGI, which means that the world dodged the nightmare bullet of someone trying to play a live-action Sonic, at least.

But beyond that, fans were loudly and vocally unhappy.

Some were fixated on his human teeth (though, to be clear, hedgehog teeth would be much more upsetting).

Others didn't like his leg length, and believed that his humanoid proportions make them feel like he should be wearing pants of some kind.

Personally, I thought that his eyes were a little weird, and I created and tweeted this image on Tuesday to offer a joking "correction."

sonic improved - my image

Now, studios are accustomed to a degree of divisiveness when images of familiar media are unveiled.

Some people were weirded out by seeing Henry Cavill in a platinum wig for Netflix's The Witcher series, but that show looks like it'll be great.

Others were disturbed by seeing such a realistic looking pikachu in the Detective Pikachu trailer, but ... literally what did they expect?

(I, at least, am a very literal person and I prefer to see things depicted as realistically as possible so long as it still looks good)

But the pushback on Sonic's appearance in this trailer elicited a powerful response from the studio.

sonic teeth tweet

The film's director, Jeff Fowler, saw the backlash and promised that they would take some sort of corrective action.

"Thank you for the support," he tweeted. "And the criticism."

"The message is loud and clear..." Fowler wrote. "You aren't happy with the design & you want changes."

"It's going to happen," he vowed.

"Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be," he concludes.

sonic apology tweet


An issue with the film that animators have likely been bringing up for months, only to be ignored, has finally reached execs.

Now, those same animators are probably having to call off family vacations and hundreds of hours ofsleep over the next few months.

They'll be scrambling -- as various industries call it, "crunch" -- to work long hours to correct a mistake that should have been fixed earlier on.

And odds are pretty good that the results won't please everyone, either.

Sonic the hedgehog taunts

Sonic got his start as just a handful of pixels, so cover art and imagination had to do most of the work.

Some people skipped imagination and just pictured him with the literal proportions seen on posters.

No design is going to meet everyone's expectations, but the hope is that they can tweak his design to be a little less ... upsetting.

In general, the people who complain the loudest are just a vocal minority, but when it comes to this trailer, they may have a point.

However ... there's more wrong here than Sonic's design.

Sonic the hedgehog missiles

Some actual feedback on this movie that has nothing to do with nitpicking Sonic's design?

It's already kind of doomed.

The reason that Detective Pikachu is expected to work is a combination of many factors, but part of that is that the human element makes sense.

Humans are an intrinsic part of the world of Pokemon.

In the games, you play as a human. On the show, most of the main characters are humans.

Sonic the hedgehog and poor james marsden

Sonic media is very different. (And if you want an exhaustive look at Sonic's lore, look no further than Polygon's Unraveled series)

Sonic is a blue speedster hedgehog. His friends include Knuckles (the echidna) and Tails (the fox).

(Also, one Sonic game many years ago gave Sonic an eerily humanoid girlfriend and they kisses, but let's not talk about that)

Most of the games are basically just Mario-style platforming adventures.

There have been successfully told Sonic narratives outside of video games, but none of them have featured him alongside humans.

Dr. Robotnik why on earth

So there was no need for any live action elements of this story, but there's another, very specific, glaring flaw.

The actual worst part of the trailer has nothing to do with Sonic's teeth or eyes or how humanoid he is.

The real worst part of the trailer was Jim Carrey.

I'm not hating on Jim Carrey, but ... the most painful part of the trailer is an extended scene of Dr. Robotnik bullying someone in the military.

It's weird and it feels like a terrible 1995 comedy movie that no one ever asked for.

Also? Sonic just doesn't look right in every scene. Did they not have an adequate stand-in? Because it doesn't look like they did.

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