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 worn out greenish-gray sneakers, and when he was a baby, he wore small, brown boots.
Sonic was born on an island which carried all the details of the famed Green Hill Zone from the 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, she realizes Sonic won't be safe with her anymore, 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 then, 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 made a cave where he spends most of his time reading DC comics of The Flash, using a washing machine as a treadmill, practicing his martial arts with nun-chunks, 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. 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.
One night, after watching a baseball game earlier that evening, Sonic tries to play by himself, but when he looks at the empty bleachers, 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 soon is unleashed in a powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that blacks out the Pacific Northwest in the process.
This, unfortunately, attracts 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 next 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 next 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 enter supersonic speed himself and nearly ruin 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 world Sonic intended to travel to previously, but deciding Earth is his home now, with a final, powerful strike, Sonic destroys the Prototype and sends both its remains 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 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. However, this carefree nature can land him in trouble, as shown when he used his powers in the open despite being told to keep them hidden, allowing an echidna tribe to ambush him and Longclaw. He is mostly fearless and cool under pressure, mocking and bantering with Dr. Robotnik during their encounters.
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. This 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, who Sonic had up to then dubbed the "Donut Lord". The two quickly bond during their journey to recover Sonic's lost rings, where Sonic gains a better understanding of life on Earth and is thrilled to finally have a friend.
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.
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 multiple places from the human eye. Sonic can also curl up into a ball to protect his body while attacking 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 and 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 large, as Robotnik discovered after accidentally blowing out the power in his lab when testing a quill. Sonic can apparently draw out 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.
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 them 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.
- "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?""
- —Sonic’s opening narration
- "No one saw me, I'm too fast! And... [pulls out a flower] I wanted to bring you this."
- —Sonic giving a flower to Longclaw
- "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
- "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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 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/