Choosing to Redesign Sonic the Hedgehog for the Upcoming Movie was a Needless Mistake
After the director of Sonic the Hedgehog announced that Sonic will get a redesign, this feels like another example of gamer entitlement.
Last week, the director of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie Jeff Fowler announced that the film will be delayed to February 14, 2020, pushing the release back from its original date this coming November. This news naturally has excited people because of the backlash of Sonic’s design that led to him being redesigned for the movie, but thankfully, they pushed it back so the animators for the film do not have to crunch tirelessly to get the work done. But before that decision to change Sonic’s design, why go this far with it?
When I originally saw the design for Sonic when it first leaked, I hated it; then when I saw the character design in the trailer, it didn’t look as bad, albeit still not ideal. But never would I ask or demand them to redesign the character. I get it, Sonic is a meme: he is more of an internet gag nowadays than an actual video game character, which is disappointing yet understanding being a Sonic fan. But come on: leave the film be.
Let’s take Detective Pikachu for example. When first announced, a lot of people were not hopeful with Pokémon being made into a live-action film. Then when we saw the first trailer people, loved how the design of the character (and film overall) was done. But what if the design up ended being bad? Most people would have just packed their bags and gone until the movie would come out, and then still give it a fair shake because it’s Pokémon. It is loved by so many people that in the end, it doesn’t really matter what their design looks like because audiences (especially gamers) are seeing something so positively iconic in the world finally on the big screen.
Sonic, on the other hand, is a different story. He gets hate, he is just a straight up joke to people; so why is the internet so spiteful to see a change? Probably just so they can see if they can make it happen. They likely do not care about the movie or whether it succeeds or not. They just want to stir the pot.
At the end of the day, is the movie going to be bad or great solely off the design of Sonic? Extremely unlikely. I’m also sure that most of the people who complained about the design weren’t going to see the movie in the first place. And for those that were not planning to go see the movie, is his design going to change your mind? Probably not. His design was fine from the beginning; yes, he has teeth like it has been shown in both the Sonic games and TV shows of the past.
To me, Fowler deciding to extend the development of a film that has already gotten negative attention regardless of Sonic’s design is ridiculous. It also makes me feel that he has no vision of what he wants this film to be. On top of how pointless this will be in the end, this decision is making a particular audience — gamers on Twitter — feel entitled to things. We as gamers are not entitled to anything. We are lucky that we have games at all. For those that are Sonic fans, we should be lucky that a film is being made no matter the outcome. So when gamers decide to complain about Sonic’s design, while important, it isn’t going to have a large impact when it comes to the overall quality of the film, which is stupid to me. His design is fine for what it is, as well with the context that we were given that he will be an alien: it makes sense.
So now we have a team of animators restarting their hard work for gamers who will likely in the end not see the film or go in expecting the film to be bad just because it’s Sonic. Granted, this is all assumption, but I can’t be the only one thinking this. It all seems pointless. In the end, I hope I am wrong and this film succeeds. I am still excited about it, but to me, this seems like the wrong move.