I'm Sonic, a little ball of super energy, in an extremely handsome package!
— Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is the titular protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog film. He is an anthropomorphic hedgehog from another planet.
Concept and design
The production crew used Ted, the living teddy bear from the Ted films, as an influence on making a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog, and studied different variations of the character to develop the character's final design.
When re-designing Sonic, the team started with Sonic's face. They compared the design shown in the initial trailer with the "Modern Sonic" design and tried to find a compromise between the two. A new rig also had to be created based on the new design and then everything would have to be reanimated using that rig. Although some old animations were able to be salvaged and reused, many had to be animated from scratch.
Sonic is an anthropomorphic hedgehog with predominantly blue fur. He has seven quills that extend from the back of his head, with three on his back and a tail. He has green eyes, a black nose, his muzzle fur and his belly are peach, and his muzzle fur extends to the center of his nose ridge.
For attire, he wears a pair of white gloves, a pair of white socks and red Puma Dare sneakers with white straps, white soles and yellow Puma tags. For prior footwear, he wore a pair of worn out greenish-gray sneakers, and when he was a baby, he wore a pair of basic, small, brown boots.
Sonic was born on an island which carried all the details of the famed Green Hill Zone from his namesake video games, and was raised by the wise Longclaw, who had warned Sonic not to show off his powers as there were those who coveted it and wanted it for themselves. One day, when Sonic returned home to Longclaw with a flower, he and Longclaw were attacked by a group of Echidna warriors who had seen Sonic and followed him back to Longclaw's hut. When Longclaw is wounded by one of their arrows as she and Sonic flee, she realizes Sonic won't be safe with her anymore with the Echidnas pursuing them for Sonic's powers until they get them, and using a ring, summons a portal for Sonic to escape through, giving him the bag of rings to use should he ever need to flee to protect himself from threats, before sending him through and making a heroic last stand to hold the Echidna warriors off until the portal dissolves and Sonic is left stranded on the world Longclaw sent him to.
Fast forward ten years since Longclaw sent Sonic away to another world for his own safety, and Sonic has edged out a new life for himself on Earth in the woods on the outskirts of Green Hills, Montana, in the United States of America, having filled a cave where he spends most of his time with things he enjoys, such as reading DC comics of The Flash, using a washing machine as a home gym, practicing his martial arts with nunchucks as his security system, and generally traveling into town, but staying hidden, to spend time watching Green Hills Sheriff Tom Wachowski and his wife Maddie, whom he nicknames "Donut Lord" and "Pretzel Lady" due to the yoga Maddie does and Tom talking to donuts, always thinking of the friends he could have, but remembering Longclaw's warning, has to keep his distance from them to avoid drawing attention to himself. He also holds onto the rings so if he is discovered, he can flee for the next planet on his map, one made completely of mushrooms, much to his chagrin. One of his favorite movies he enjoys watching from outside the Wachowskis' home is the 1994 blockbuster Speed starring Keanu Reeves, as Sonic always enjoyed the famous quote from the bad guy, Howard Payne, to the protagonist Jack, that being "Pop quiz, hotshot". However, he has drawn the attention of the town's local loony hermit, Crazy Carl, who dubs him "The Blue Devil", and Sonic enjoys having fun with him when he tries to catch Sonic with his various traps and fails, and when Crazy Carl calls out to him that he knows he exists, Sonic denies it.
One night, after watching a junior league baseball game earlier that evening, Sonic tries to play by himself, but when he looks at the empty bleachers, coming to the hard truth that he really is all alone, he becomes so upset that he begins running around the bases, faster and faster, his sadness changing to anger and frustration, until he builds up so much energy that it is eventually unleashed as a powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that blacks out the Pacific Northwest in the process, much to his fear and concern that might have drawn unwanted attention to himself.
This, unfortunately, does attract the attention of the United States Department of Defense when word reaches their headquarters at the Pentagon in Arlington, and Commander Walters, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggests calling on Doctor Robotnik to aid in finding the source of the EMP, despite concerns from the other Joint Chiefs about Robotnik's M.O. from previous encounters with him.
When Sonic hears Robotnik's robots and the United States Army soldiers searching the woods for him, terrified of them finding him, and unable to escape from his cave to the mushroom world he intended to head for if Earth was no longer safe for him when he hears the search dogs above, he flees to the Wachowskis' house to hide in their shed, but the commotion he makes inside alerts Tom, who comes in looking for raccoons, and finds Sonic, just as he was preparing to leave for the mushroom world, and in fear, shoots Sonic with a tranquilizer. As Sonic begins to pass out from the sedative, he momentarily thinks of San Francisco from Tom's T-shirt, and opens a portal to the Transamerica Pyramid instead, dropping his ring bag through it before passing out completely. When he comes to, it is not long before he and Tom get into an argument, but when Robotnik arrives at the house, Tom hides Sonic in the attic while he deals with Robotnik. However, Sonic ends up downstairs to evade Robotnik's drones searching for him, and when Robotnik finds one of Sonic's quills and threatens to kill Tom if he doesn't tell him the truth in five seconds, in desperation, Sonic reveals himself, freaking out Robotnik long enough for Tom to cold-cock him before they fight off Robotnik's now hostile drone and flee in Tom's Toyota pickup.
At one point, Tom stops to let Sonic off to head for San Francisco on his own, but Tom's general suggestion of heading west leads to Sonic ending up in the Pacific Ocean before coming back and asking for Tom's help to get to San Francisco. With little other choice, Tom agrees to help Sonic, and they make their way to the City by the Bay, unaware of Robotnik now hunting for them, declaring Sonic an alien and Tom a domestic terrorist for protecting Sonic from Robotnik and the U.S. military.
Stopping at a biker bar, Sonic soon learns about creating a bucket list of things to do before you die, or in Sonic's case, leave Earth for another world, and after causing a bar brawl that Sonic easily handles in supersonic speed mode, he and Tom flee to stop at a motel for the night, where Tom begins to show some affection and friendship with Sonic when he tucks him in for the night.
The next day, they soon find that Robotnik has caught up to them when he sends a large tank drone after them on the highway, and despite Sonic and Tom's best efforts, the drone proves persistent in stopping them, culminating in a small, helicopter drone that emerges from the wreckage of the larger ones slicing off the roof of the cab of Tom's pickup before Sonic breaks it in half, only for its core to become a powerful sticky bomb that leaves Sonic severely wounded and unconscious when it detonates. Terrified for Sonic's well-being, Tom takes him to Maddie, who was visiting her sister and niece at that time in San Francisco, who manages to revive him. While there, Sonic is granted a gift from Tom and Maddie's niece Jojo in the form of new shoes to replace his worn-out ones. With the new shoes, and Maddie joining Tom in helping Sonic out, they travel to the Transamerica Pyramid, where Tom is able to gain access to the roof due to his position as a law enforcement officer, and Sonic recovers his ring bag.
However, before he can leave for the next world and leave Tom, Maddie, and Earth behind, he is confronted once more by Robotnik, now flying the Prototype with an army of his drones with him. Sonic, in order to save Tom and Maddie's lives, pushes them off the building before using his supersonic speed to take out Robotnik's drones and also save them, but using the quill he captured earlier back at Tom's house, Robotnik is able to utilize supersonic speed himself and nearly ruins Sonic's rescue attempt. Sonic manages to get Tom and Maddie, transported by ring portal, safely back to Green Hills, before dealing with Robotnik and the Prototype, having their chase pass through Paris, the Great Wall of China, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt, before Sonic attempts to escape back to Green Hills, but Robotnik manages to land a powerful hit just as Sonic is about to enter the portal, causing Sonic to be mortally wounded and left at Robotnik's mercy as they return to Green Hills.
Robotnik prepares to take Sonic back to be dissected to learn the secrets of his powers. Tom then tries to protect Sonic by attacking Robotnik himself, but is quickly overpowered. However, the people of Green Hills rally to Tom's aid, angry at Robotnik for attacking their Sheriff and Sonic, and when Tom declares Sonic his friend, Sonic gains a miraculous second wind, and soon begins to glow with that same power that gave away his location previously, but now in full control of it, intending not to run, but to protect his friends, and unleashes his fury on the Prototype, severely damaging it before Tom and Sonic open a portal to the mushroom world Sonic intended to travel to previously, but deciding Earth is his home now, with a final, powerful spin attack, Sonic destroys the Prototype and sends it and Robotnik through the portal, never to threaten anyone again.
Some time later, Tom and Maddie reveal to Sonic that they transferred all his stuff from his cave to their attic, making it up so Sonic can use it as his room and live with them from now on, much to his joy. Commander Walters soon stops by himself to reveal to Tom and Maddie that any and all information about recent events regarding Sonic and Robotnik have been erased by authority of the U.S. government, and to keep Tom and Maddie quiet about it, offers them an Olive Garden gift card as thanks. Sonic soon settles into his new life living in Green Hills with Tom and Maddie, now among friends at last, proving that his earlier fears and warning from Longclaw were no longer needed.
In other media
In promotion of the film, Sonic makes an appearance as a playable character in Sonic Dash in two incarnations; "Teen Sonic" and "Baby Sonic". In this game, both of these characters can be unlocked after participating in their respective events.
Sonic Forces: Speed Battle
In promotion of the film, Sonic makes an appearance as a playable character in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle under the name "Teen Sonic". He was added to the game's roster in the version 2.16.0 update. He has the following stats in gameplay:
On 7 February 2020, Sonic was re-released as "Baby Sonic", a variant character of Sonic as the younger incarnation of himself as seen in the film, as a part of the 2.16.0 update. This character has the following stats in gameplay:
Sonic is adventurous, cheeky, lively, fun-loving, and confident. He is a thrill-seeker who enjoys being able to go fast and live freely, which much of his early childhood was spent doing. He is mostly fearless and cool under pressure, mocking and bantering with Dr. Robotnik during their encounters. Sonic is also very compassionate; after saving a turtle on the road, Sonic takes it for a ride so it can be fast for a change (although he accidentally traumatizes it in the process).
After being forced to flee his world and live on Earth for ten years, Sonic became extremely lonely, as he was never able to interact with people lest they attempt to take his powers. His loneliness caused him to sometimes talk to himself when he was alone. It also caused him to long for a real friend to connect with (as highlighted in the bucket list he creates), which he eventually found in the form of Tom Wachowski. The two quickly bond during their journey to recover Sonic's lost rings, during which Sonic gains a better understanding of life on Earth and is thrilled to finally have a friend.
Sonic is very hyperactive and energetic. He constantly moves around at high speeds and does not sit still for long. For example, he could not resist the temptation to party in the Piston Pit. He is also very interested in Earth's culture, and has picked up many interests and hobbies, such as baseball, playing guitar, watching action movies, and reading comic books. Sonic is very enthusiastic about trying new things and enjoys seeing new places. He is very confident, and he sometimes brags about his speed and skills, giving himself the nickname, the "Blue Blur". His confidence also extends to pride in his appearance, describing himself as "incredibly handsome". Sonic also shows a clever, resourceful side. For example, when he was falling off the Transamerica Pyramid and could not reach one of his Rings, he plucked off one of his quills and stuck it through the Ring to get it and save Tom and Maddie.
Sonic is impulsive and tends to act without thinking, leading him to sometimes disobey others and cause trouble, such as when he used his super speed outside despite Longclaw's orders not to do so, or when he went into the Piston Pit instead of staying in Tom's truck as he was told to. Sonic enjoys giving people nicknames, such as calling Tom "Donut Lord" and Maddie "Pretzel Lady". He also has a sense of humor, as he enjoys making jokes and pretending to be other people. Sonic's hobby of watching action movies and reading comics, combined with his lack of experience dealing with humans, gives him a slightly unrealistic view of the world and causes him to occasionally act irrationally, such as mimicking the characters in Speed by starting a fight with people in the Piston Pit instead of leaving the area and avoiding a fight.
Sonic is highly protective of his powers, being willing to spend years running away and living in hiding so that no one would discover or try to steal them. At the climax of his battle against Robotnik, however, he resolves to use them to protect his friends. Sonic is also known to be friendly towards any animal he comes in contact with. For example, he rescued a turtle from being run over and showed it the joys of his speed. Another example is when he met Tom's dog Ozzy. Initially, he attempted to put up a jealous front due to Ozzy's status as Tom's best animal friend. However, when Ozzy expresses his like of Sonic by licking him, Sonic found it both gross and touching.
Powers and abilities
Sonic can casually run at high speeds that exceed 760 miles per hour. Additionally, as noted by Maddie, his super speed causes him to have a constantly high pulse rate (even when unconscious). He can move so fast that other moving objects such as bullets and missiles can appear still from his perspective, and he can move quickly enough to appear in several places at once from the human eye. Sonic can also curl up into a ball to spin attack foes with his speed or create soft landings for himself (he also used this ability to conceal himself in the Wachowski attic from Robotnik's drones).
Sonic also has electromagnetic powers linked to his emotional state. If he feels extreme emotions such as angst, determination, or anger, he starts to emit bright blue bio-electrical energy. If he releases this energy, Sonic can unleash an electromagnetic pulse that can strengthen his spin dash, or cut off power to areas as large as the Pacific Northwestern US. If Sonic's quills are separated from him, they can retain some of his power; the energy output from one of these is astronomical, as Robotnik discovered after accidentally blowing out the power in his lab when testing a quill. After restarting the system, his equipment scanned that single quill to reveal that the energy it held was virtually limitless. Sonic can also apparently drain this power from the separated quills, demonstrating this ability against Robotnik in disabling his Prototype.
Sonic boasts high durability as an extraterrestrial, having survived a near point-blank explosion caused by one of Robotnik's drones without injuries. He is also capable of utilizing nunchuks, though his skills with them are very basic (due to hitting himself in the face with one) and is presumably self-taught.
While Sonic's super speed is his greatest asset, it can also be his greatest weakness in certain situations; this is best seen when Sonic saves Tom and Maddie from plummeting to their deaths from atop the Transamerica pyramid: after saving them, Sonic finds out too late that he is running too fast to properly slow down, and impacts the pavement as a result.
He is also very cocky and arrogant at times, and often creates worse situations (as seen when he started a bar fight when attempting to knock out a biker with a beer bottle) because of it.
On December 10 2018, a teaser poster featuring a silhouette Sonic was released. The design was likened to those from the 2019 video game film adaptation, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. The reveal of Sonic's redesign received mostly negative responses from critics and fans alike. Naoto Ohshima, the original designer of Sonic, likewise expressed surprise at the design.
On 5 March 2019, a first view in Sonic's full design was revealed, which the fans gave mixed reactions. Yuji Naka, former head of Sonic Team, explained on Twitter what he thought about it: "I feel like, with this Sonic here, visually, the important thing to look at is the head and body ratio and the roundness of the abdomen. I wonder if they couldn't have balanced them a little bit better...These images of Sonic aren't coming officially from the movie-making source; I think it's possible they're being strategically leaked, though getting people talking about it 'because it's bad' can't be good for Sonic's existing IP." He continued, "Well, there's also the possibility that this is fan-made, though even so, I'd still prefer it if they'd put some gloves on him. Seeing him bare-handed is quite a shock."
On 30 April 2019, the first official trailer for the film was released, as well as its official poster. The trailer received mixed-to-negative reactions from the fans and media, mostly because of Sonic's humanoid looking design, which has also been described as adjacent to the uncanny valley. On 2 May 2019, it was announced by Jeff Fowler that Sonic would receive a redesign after receiving criticism on the first trailer release.
A second trailer revealing the redesigned Sonic was released on 12 November 2019. The trailer received far more positive responses, with many praising Sonic's new design. The tone and the humor also received positive reviews. Naka said he felt the new design was "much more Sonic-like". Animator Max Schneider stated that the redesign took around five months and was achieved without stressful overtime.
Sonic's first parental figure was Longclaw, as she took care of him in his early youth. Sonic, however, did not conceal his powers despite her warnings. This culminated in an echidna tribe attacking them after Sonic used his powers to give Longclaw a special flower. When Longclaw told him he had to leave their world, Sonic was distraught and didn't want to leave her. He ran to help Longclaw fight back the tribe, but the ring closed before he could get through. Sonic would listen to Longclaw's advice and remain hidden for 10 years and attempt to leave earth after he was discovered. He often takes her words to heart and used to think he would be alone forever.
Sonic had a friendly relationship with Tom even before they formally meet. Sonic would refer to him as "Donut Lord", since Tom talked to doughnuts and ate them "if they didn't listen". He saw Tom as one of the best people in Green Hills. Their first encounter, though, was not friendly as Tom shot Sonic with a bear tranquilizer. This caused him to miss-throw his ring and drop his bag of rings in San Francisco. Sonic blamed him for losing his rings and pleaded for his help to get them back.
Despite this, Sonic was still friendly to Tom and acted cool despite their predicament. Sonic was very happy for Tom helping him get things off his bucket list in the roadhouse. He began to see each other as friends the day after, even though Tom said he liked his dog more than him. Sonic was personally offended by Tom leaving Green Hills for San Francisco, but eventually understood his decision. Sonic also began to see Tom as a protector, after he helped Sonic recover from an explosion.
Sonic returned the favor by protecting Tom from Robotnik and together they sent the doctor away. By this point, Sonic saw Tom as the friend he had been missing his entire life. When Tom moved Sonic's belongings from his cave to the Wachowski house's attic, Sonic was overjoyed and felt like a member of the Wachowski family.
Sonic also got to know Maddie before they meet. He referred to her as "Pretzel Lady", as Maddie was excellent at yoga. Sonic saw Maddie as a lover of all things nature. He would meet Maddie after she woke him up from an injury. Sonic protected her from Robotnik and was happy to be a part of their family.
Sonic sees Robotnik as someone who only wants to use his power. He would do everything he could to get Robotnik off his trail and away from his friends. This culminated with Sonic unleashing his full power to fight off Robotnik and sending him to another world.
Sonic would tease the doctor by calling him "Eggman" and making fun of his looks. However, there were a few times Sonic was scared of him, such as when Robotnik threatened Tom or when his Prototype managed to keep up with him.
- Dr. Robotnik (arch-enemy)
- "So, I know what you're thinking. "Why is that incredibly handsome hedgehog being chased by a madman with a mustache from the Civil War?" Well to be honest, it feels like I've been running my whole life."
- —Sonic's opening narration
- "No one saw me, I'm too fast! And... [pulls out a flower] I wanted to bring you this."
- —Young Sonic giving a flower to Longclaw
- "Uh… meow?"
- —Sonic being discovered by Tom
- "Pop quiz, hotshot. You just picked a fight with a poorly disguised hedgehog who's seen way too many action movies. What do you do? What do you do?"
- —Sonic confronting a bar customer while reciting his favorite movie line
- "This is my power. And I'm not using it to run away anymore. I'm using it to protect my friends!"
- —Sonic before confronting Robotnik.
- At one point in the movie, Sonic refers to himself as a "southpaw", indicating he is left-handed.
- Sonic enjoys action films, as he quotes lines from and the . He also regards as a national treasure.
- Sonic appears to be a fan of Star Wars, as he likened Longclaw to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- A couple of the things Sonic put on his bucket list are references to some of his past games, such as "find a genie lamp" (Sonic and the Secret Rings) and "learn parkour" (Sonic Lost World).
- Sonic's line, "I'm wet, I'm cold, there's a fish on my head!" was written by actor Ben Schwartz to pay tribute to Dumb and Dumber, a cult classic film featuring Jim Carrey.
- Additionally, the line, "Perfect park!" was written as a reference to Ace Ventura, another character played by Jim Carrey, who was known for saying, "like a glove!" after completing a ridiculous (yet perfect) parking stunt.
- Sonic also appears to think highly of , as one of his questions to Tom and Maddie (upon recovering from unconsciousness) was whether or not he was President.
- ↑ Tyson Hesse on Twitter. Twitter (12 November 2019). Retrieved on 12 November 2019.
- ↑ Jeff Fowler about a Sonic sequel. YouTube. Will King (17 February 2020). Retrieved on 25 February 2020.
- ↑ EXCLUSIVE Interview With SONIC By CKN Toys. YouTube. CKN Toys (3 February 2020). Retrieved on 25 February 2020.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Could use this move in Sonic Dash.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Could use this move in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.
- ↑ https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/12/10/sonic-the-hedgehog-movie-first-look-check-out-the-exclusive-official-poster
- ↑ https://sciencefiction.com/2019/11/29/sonic-the-hedgehog-animator-gives-details-about-the-redesign-process/
- ↑ Jack in the Box on Instagram. Retrieved on February 7 2020.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Schwartz, Terri (10 December 2018). Sonic The Hedgehog Movie First Look: Check Out the Exclusive Official Poster. IGN. Retrieved on 10 December 2018.
- ↑ Webb, Kevin (10 December 2018). A 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie is on the way, but fans think his new design looks awful. Business Insider. Retrieved on 13 December 2018.
- ↑ Chalk, Andy (10 December 2018). The first Sonic the Hedgehog live action movie poster is creepy as hell. PC Gamer. PC Gamer. Retrieved on 12 December 2018.
- ↑ Barder, Ollie. The Original Creators Behind 'Sonic The Hedgehog' React To The New Live-Action Movie Reveal. Forbes. Retrieved on 13 December 2018.
- ↑ The Internet, And Sonic's Creator, React To Sonic's Movie Design. Kotaku (05 March 2019). Retrieved on 02 May 2019.
- ↑ The New ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ Trailer Doesn’t Get The Reaction Paramount Hoped For. CartoonBrew (30 April 2019). Retrieved on 3 May 2019.
- ↑ Steven Asarch (30 April 2019). ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ Movie Trailer Is No Gangster’s Paradise. Retrieved on 9 May 2019.
- ↑ Jeff Fowler on Twitter. Twitter (2 May 2019). Retrieved on 2 May 2019.
- ↑ https://collider.com/new-sonic-the-hedgehog-trailer-new-design/
- ↑ https://kotaku.com/new-sonic-the-hedgehog-movie-trailer-shows-his-redesign-1839796777
- ↑ https://www.dualshockers.com/yuji-naka-comments-new-sonic-movie-redesign/
- ↑ https://www.videogamer.com/news/sonic-the-hedgehogs-new-look-took-almost-five-months-of-work
- ↑ https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/42-sonic-the-hedgehog-movie-easter-eggs-and-refere/2900-3383/16/