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Sonic News Network
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For other uses of the term "Sonic the Hedgehog" see Sonic the Hedgehog (disambiguation).

Sonic the Hedgehog

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— Tagline

Sonic the Hedgehog[3] is a 2020 action-adventure comedy film adaptation based on Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. The film is directed by Jeff Fowler in his directorial debut and written by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller.[4][5] The film features Ben Schwartz as the voice of the film's titular hero, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, alongside James Marsden and Tika Sumpter. The film features a small-town sheriff assisting Sonic as he attempts to escape the government.

The film, which is a CGI/live action hybrid film, is an American–Japanese joint venture between several parties. It is co-produced and financed by Paramount Pictures, with Neal Moritz serving as producer as well through his Original Film banner. Tim Miller also serves as executive producer under his animation company Blur Studio, and Sega's Marza Animation Planet unit assists with the animation. It is the first entry in a planned film series.[6] The film premiered at the Paramount Theatre on 25 January 2020, and was theatrically released in the United States on 14 February 2020 by Paramount Pictures.[1]

Initially, Sony Pictures acquired the film rights to Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega in 2013, and officially gave the green-light at a private joint Sega/Sony Pictures press conference announcing the film on 10 June 2014.[5] Fowler was hired to direct in 2016. In October 2017, due to financing issues, Sony sold the film rights to Paramount, who retained the film's production staff.[7] Most of the cast had signed on for the project by August in 2018. Filming took place between July and October in 2018 in Vancouver, Ladysmith and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Sonic the Hedgehog was initially set to be released in November 2019; however, due to the negative reception of the movie's first trailer in April 2019, it was delayed to 14 February 2020 so that Paramount could redesign Sonic.[8][1]Sonic the Hedgehog premiered at the Paramount Theatre on 25 January 2020, and was theatrically released in the United States on 14 February 2020. Critics praised the performances (particularly that of Schwartz and Carrey), Sonic's design, and its faithfulness to the source material, but criticized its plot for its perceived lack of originality.[9][10] The film set the record for the biggest opening weekend for a video game film in the United States and Canada. It grossed $306 million worldwide, becoming the second highest-grossing film of 2020, and the highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in North America. The film returned to theaters on 21 August 2020 for a limited time.[11] A sequel titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is scheduled for 8 April 2022.


In San Francisco, California, a seemingly normal day is interrupted by a shocking spectacle: an anthropomorphic hedgehog with blue fur, white gloves and red shoes is running through the city at breathtaking speed while a flying machine piloted by a mustached scientist dressed in red gives chase and fires explosive energy blasts. In the middle of the chase, there is a pause as the hedgehog, named Sonic, begins to narrate what is currently happening and rewinds to the very beginning, recalling his childhood days living on a beautiful island in another world with palm trees, waterfalls, and even loop-de-loops made of earth. He remembers running joyously across the island every day, relishing in life and making full, open use of his natural-born powers despite being told to keep them secret by his doting surrogate mother, Longclaw.

The toddler Sonic rushes home to the treehouse where Longclaw is resting and playfully bumps into her to wake her up. Longclaw warns Sonic that he might have been noticed because of his coveted powers, but Sonic is not concerned, saying he was too fast. But as he affectionately presents a sunflower to her as a gift (a gesture that touches the owl), they are ambushed by a tribe of echidna archers. Her fears realized, Longclaw desperately flies away with Sonic, only for one of the echidnas to fire his arrow and successfully strike her, causing her to plummet to the ground with Sonic still clinging to her. Though injured, Longclaw reminds Sonic of the importance of keeping himself and his powers hidden, and uses a golden ring to open a portal to a world on the far side of the universe, called Earth. She gives the rest of the rings to Sonic in a small bag and tells him to flee to Earth, where he will be safe. The reluctant Sonic runs through the portal while Longclaw stays behind to hold off the approaching echidnas. Seeing her in danger, Sonic desperately runs back to try to save her, but the portal dissipates just before he can reach her, leaving him heartbroken and alone.

Ten years later, Sonic, now a teenager, has adjusted to life on Earth. Tom Wachowski, the local sheriff of Green Hills, Montana, is sitting bored in an empty speed trap, waiting for cars, and Sonic playfully messes with him by zipping past his radar gun at ridiculous speeds. Tom discovers one of Sonic's blue quills lying in the long grass and brings it with him as he is called away by his deputy, Wade, to address a minor issue back in town. Nearby, Sonic saves a turtle from being run over by an approaching car and takes the excited reptile for a wild ride before leaving it and zipping back to a hidden cave, which he has turned into a makeshift home. Sonic seems to love his life, since he has great fun with the discarded items from the outside world he uses to occupy himself and feels safe since he knows to escape to one of the worlds depicted on a map included in the bag of rings, should he ever be discovered-- specifically, an uninhabited world full of giant mushrooms. He hates the idea, but he is not worried, since Green Hills feels like a home to him. He frequents the town every day and secretly observes the people, his favorite of whom is Tom (or "Donut Lord," as he calls him). He also likes Tom's veterinarian wife Maddie, whom he nicknames "Pretzel Lady" for her yoga flexibility. He also likes to mess with old, eccentric Crazy Carl, the only person in town who actually knows about him and is constantly trying in vain to catch him so he can prove his existence to the townspeople, since they laugh off his claims of a "Blue Devil". Having formed a strong bond with Tom and Maddie from afar, Sonic often hangs out around their house, especially on movie nights. But even with this fun place and all of these so-called "friends" of his, Sonic still feels very lonely in his self-imposed isolation and fears that he will spend the rest of his life alone.

After coming home one night to find raccoons in his trash can, Tom receives from Maddie his long-awaited letter of acceptance into the San Francisco Police Department, and the two discuss the difficult decision to move away from Green Hills, yet Tom is certain that the move is his chance to do more than simple odd jobs as Sheriff of Green Hills and actually save lives. The next day, as Tom recites his departure speech to a donut, Sonic observes the local youth baseball playoffs and sees a young baseball batter high-five his teammates. That night, Sonic goes into the vacant baseball field and plays by himself, using his speed to assume the roles of all the players. He manages to make a perfect play and rejoices, holding his hand up for a high-five, but when he looks around and sees that no one is there to cheer him on, he realizes he is truly alone forever. In his despair, he tries to work off the pain by running desperately around the field, but his sadness only turns to anger and frustration at his situation, his emotions building and causing electricity to emit from his body. Eventually, it becomes too much and he lets loose an anguished scream, got freaked out that the energy within him exploding outward into a massive electromagnetic pulse that knocks out power across the entire Pacific Northwest. Sonic becomes worried that he may have just revealed himself with his outburst and dashes off, hoping no one noticed. Meanwhile, much to the contrary, Wade is left to deal with several phone calls to Green Hills' police station, as the town is completely in the dark. Concerned, he contacts Tom, who starts to give him instructions but ends the call prematurely when he sees the quill he discovered earlier glowing with an electric blue light.

News of the event soon reaches the Pentagon in Arlington, and the baffled Department of Defense enlists the help of brilliant roboticist and scientific genius, Dr. Robotnik, to discover the cause; in spite of everyone disliking his egotistical nature and odd behavior, he is the best man for the job. After Robotnik and his partner, Agent Stone, take charge of the military detachment stationed at the baseball field, Robotnik's flying, high-tech, egg-shaped drones head into the forest, where one of them finds a footprint from Sonic and scans it; Robotnik discovers that his computer cannot find a single match in Earth's animal kingdom to identify the creature responsible for the print. As the military troops and the drones search the forest for him, Sonic rushes back to his cave to collect his valuables and prepares to leave Earth forever. But just before he can use the rings to save himself, the troops and drones draw close to his cave and Sonic flees to avoid them, sentimentally bidding goodbye to his cave.

Meanwhile, Tom is on the phone with Maddie, who has flown out to San Francisco to check out their future house, as well as to visit her sister Rachel (who dislikes Tom) and niece Jojo. As Tom tells Maddie about the blackout, he hears a disturbance and sees his trash can toppled over. Thinking the raccoons are back, Tom takes Maddie's tranquilizer gun, ends the call abruptly (which gives Rachel enough reason to suggest to Maddie that she divorce him), and goes out to investigate the shed. The noise turns out to be Sonic, who broke into the shed so he would have a safe place to use one of his rings. As he prepares to do so, Tom bursts into the shed and sees him. Both of them scream in terror at the sight of each other, and Tom fires a dart into Sonic's leg. The weakening Sonic sees a picture of San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid on Tom's T-shirt, and as he drops his ring, it opens a portal above the actual building itself. Collapsing to the floor, Sonic accidentally drops the bag of rings into the portal, and it lands on the building's roof. The portal thusly closes as Sonic passes out, leaving Tom severely confused at everything that just transpired.

Shortly after, Tom brings Sonic inside, placing him in a dog cage; he compares him to the quill he found and realizes that Crazy Carl's "Blue Devil" may be real after all. Sonic awakens and climbs out of the cage, and the two finally meet for real and have their first proper conversation. Just then, Robotnik's truck arrives. Explaining that he is unable to simply run away because his legs are weak from the lingering tranquilizer (which is meant for bears), Sonic begs for Tom to protect him from the people coming after him, describing the situation as "life or death". This wording is what convinces Tom to help, as he was initially unwilling to get involved with the matter. He hides Sonic in the attic as he goes out to meet Robotnik, who dispatches his drones to search the house while the two talk outside. Sonic hides from the drones and curls up into a ball to hide among the various sports balls stored in the attic, but when the drones get too close, Sonic flees the attic and causes a noise. Robotnik barges into the house to find only a raccoon eating a cake that Maddie had baked for Tom to celebrate his acceptance letter. As he turns to leave, however, he discovers the quill. As Robotnik threatens Tom to reveal where Sonic is, Sonic shows himself and begs Robotnik to spare Tom, eliciting a terrified scream from Robotnik. Seizing the opportunity, Tom punches Robotnik and knocks him out cold, and after a short battle in the house with one of Robotnik's drones, Tom and Sonic escape the house in Tom's car. Agent Stone arrives to check on Robotnik, who berates him for not trying to stop the fugitives, states their objective of capturing Sonic for examination, and tells him to bring the quill.

With Tom and Sonic now on the run, Tom asks Sonic to explain himself; Sonic informs him of the purpose of his lost rings-- "advanced cultures" use rings to travel to different worlds-- and adds that therefore, he needs to get to San Francisco so he can get them back and escape to the mushroom planet. The story proves too bizarre for Tom to believe, so he pulls over and tells Sonic to go there by himself, explaining that this is a bad time for him to end up in trouble and citing that he has accomplished what Sonic asked him to do: save his life. However, Sonic does not know where San Francisco is, and following Tom's directions to simply head west only causes him to crash straight into the Pacific Ocean and run back to Tom wet, cold, covered in seaweed, and wearing a fish on his head. Sonic blames Tom for his fate because of the sheriff's role in making him lose his rings and insists he cannot accomplish his goal alone. Reluctantly, Tom agrees to take Sonic with him to San Francisco.

As the two begin their travels, Sonic treats the journey as a fun road trip; he admires the attractions along the way, such as the world's largest rubber band ball, barely paying any mind to Tom admonishing him for not taking the trouble they are both in seriously. That night, they stop in a certain section of town, and Tom tells Sonic to stay in the car as he uses a nearby payphone to call Wade, who reveals that Robotnik and his agents are searching for Tom and are with him in the station. Robotnik takes the phone and warns Tom that he is coming for him, stating how furious he is with the sheriff for punching him in the face due to it reminding him of a similar situation regarding a bully in his childhood that he had solved through technology. Afterwards, he leaves with the agents, with Wade warning him that he will inform people about this incident. Meanwhile, Sonic tries desperately to control his excitement over an extremely entertaining-looking biker bar, but eventually caves in.

Tom comes back to his car with a purchased meal, only to find Sonic missing. He finds Sonic in the bar and orders him out, but Sonic, who has disguised himself to blend in, persuades him to stay and have fun with him. Sonic compiles a "bucket list" of the things he would like to do on Earth, but becomes sad when he realizes he might not be able to do them since he has to leave Earth soon. But Tom encourages Sonic to try to do as much as he can right where they are, and the two take a while to enjoy themselves with all the bar's activities, with Sonic steadily crossing off items on the list as they go. Unfortunately, a group of rough-looking punks come looking for trouble and Sonic aggravates their leader, starting a bar fight. The leader of the punks attacks Sonic, but Sonic speeds up his awareness and runs around the bar, saving Tom from attackers and setting up sassy pranks and traps to end the fight, all in the span of the single moment before the punk leader can reach him. The fight is ended abruptly by Sonic's devices and the punk leader crashes through the window wearing a wall-mounted bear head. Tom and Sonic flee the bar, outrunning the angry patrons.

The two then spend the night in a local motel, and after Sonic runs around the room enjoying himself with various activities, Tom asks him about this other planet to which he must go when he leaves Earth. Sonic reveals that it is a very unenviable place and wonders aloud about whether Longclaw might have been wrong, pondering the possibility of having a life on Earth; he falls asleep not long after. As Tom tucks him in, he sees that one of the remaining items on Sonic's bucket list is to "make a real friend". At that moment, the news report features a warning about Tom, who has been declared a domestic terrorist because of his actions in protecting Sonic from Robotnik and the military.

The next morning, Robotnik and Stone interrogate the bar patrons, including the punk leader, learning that Tom and Sonic are heading to San Francisco. Robotnik triangulates their location and gives chase. On the road, Sonic asks Tom about what he would have on his own bucket list. Tom reveals his intentions to leave Green Hills to become a San Francisco street cop and prove himself as a hero, but Sonic is baffled and angered by the fact that Tom would want to leave behind such a perfect town and all the people he cares about; he argues that unlike himself, Tom has no villains chasing him, as well as pointing out that the citizens of Green Hills depend on him to help them with their problems when Tom responds by saying they could call anyone else for help. Simultaneously, Robotnik finds them and sends out a large six-wheeled Badnik to attack them.

A battle on the road ensues, and Tom and Sonic work together to destroy the machine, despite Sonic's disdain for Tom's ambitions occasionally showing-- in particular, one moment at the beginning of the fight where Sonic's electrical powers kick in again as he continues to emotionally call Tom out for choosing to leave his "perfect" hometown in spite of the danger they are in, comparing it to his own experience of being forced off his homeworld; said powers are used to their advantage against the machine via a subsequent (and involuntary) supercharged spin attack from Sonic-- but a pattern emerges where every time the two think they have defeated the machine, Robotnik activates another, smaller phase to continue the chase.

The second-to-last phase of the machine involves it becoming a small drone and shearing the hood off of Tom's car with a laser beam. After they deal with this phase, the machine is reduced to a sticky bomb that attaches itself to Sonic's hand, and they pull off the road to get rid of it. But just when Sonic manages to transfer it to a rock and starts to walk away to high-five Tom, it explodes with the hedgehog still close by. As the smoke clears, Tom finds Sonic lying unconscious on the ground and runs over to him, attempting to get him to wake up. Robotnik is enraged that they survived and berates Stone for noting their persistence. At that moment, however, Robotnik finds that the quill in Stone's pocket is glowing with blue, electric light and is intrigued.

Finally reaching San Francisco, Tom rushes to the house where Maddie is staying with Rachel and Jojo as he carries the still-unconscious Sonic, who he had wrapped in a towel to conceal him. He is greeted by an irate Rachel, who has seen the news reports on him and refuses to let him in until Maddie intervenes. Jojo and Tom's dog, Ozzy, come to greet him, and as Rachel and Maddie argue about Tom, Ozzy pulls away the towel, revealing Sonic. Rachel faints at the sight, and Maddie and Jojo just stare.

Robotnik, meanwhile, analyzes the quill and the energy it contains. As he waits, he amuses himself by dancing to a tune until he is startled half to death by the sudden appearance of Agent Stone, who has come to offer a latte. At that moment, the machine finishes analyzing the quill, revealing it to contain unlimited energy-- energy that Robotnik believes can enable his prototype flying craft, the Eggpod, to reach its full potential.

Tom and Maddie tend to the injured Sonic, while an annoyed Rachel sits bound in a chair to prevent her from interfering. Tom's reason for bringing Sonic here was to have Maddie check on him and figure out what is wrong with him using her experience as a veterinarian, but Maddie insists she only knows how to work with Earth animals; Sonic's alien biology is beyond her understanding. Instead, she uses smelling salts from a human first aid kit to awaken Sonic, who zips around the room at breathtaking speed before frantically coming to grips with his surroundings and enthusiastically greeting Pretzel Lady. Pulling Tom into another room, a terrified Maddie asks him who and what Sonic is, and Tom reveals the truth of their adventures together and Sonic's intent to reach the Transamerica Pyramid. Maddie ultimately accepts her husband's situation without much issue, recalling his desire to help people in danger and reasoning that "blue alien hedgehogs technically count as people." Simultaneously, Jojo returns from a short trip upstairs to bring Sonic a new pair of bright red shoes so that his feet will no longer hurt, having noticed while he was unconscious that his old shoes were well-worn and had holes down to the socks from all of his running; he takes an instant liking to the new shoes, especially since no one had ever given him a gift before, and immediately puts them on. Sonic also meets Ozzy, of whom he is jealous (Tom had referred to the dog as his "best animal friend" in the conversation that took place just before their fight on the road with Robotnik's machine, much to Sonic's chagrin), but from whom he enjoys an affectionate face-licking.

Deciding that they can no longer use Tom's damaged car as it would draw attention to them, Tom and Maddie borrow the indignant Rachel's car and head with Sonic (who drives Rachel's car with disastrous results) to the Transamerica Pyramid, where Tom uses the false pretense of saving a jumper to gain the needed clearance to travel to the roof. Tom and Maddie carry Sonic inside a bag, eliciting grave concern from onlookers who believe that the pair are carrying an abducted child. The three finally reach the roof, where Sonic at last finds and retrieves his bag of rings. The hedgehog briefly explains how the rings work: the user has to think of the desired destination as they throw one. He takes the opportunity to apologize to Tom for harshly and hastily judging the sheriff's decision to leave Green Hills, having realized that it was a difficult choice, and states that while he does not want to leave Earth, he will only put others in danger by staying. Sonic and Tom each admit they will miss each other, and Sonic expresses his gratitude for the good times they had over the past two days; he also thanks Tom for saving his life. Sonic attempts to throw a ring to open the portal to the mushroom planet, but it ends up uselessly bouncing off of one of Robotnik's drones. Many more drones surround the three as Robotnik himself appears in his Eggpod, now containing Sonic's quill, to meet them. After a brief exchange between Robotnik and Tom, Sonic taunts Robotnik by calling him "Eggman" after his egg-shaped drones. Robotnik readies his drones to blow the three away, but in an impromptu plan to protect Tom and Maddie since they do not possess super-speed and are thus vulnerable to Robotnik's coming onslaught, Sonic pushes them off the top of the building.

Briefly showing shock at the unexpected action (but refusing to fully acknowledge said shock), Robotnik fires his missiles at Sonic, who speeds up his awareness just before the missiles make contact and casually pushes the ones in front of him aside, then repeatedly grabs more missiles out of the air and either redirects them back into several of the drones or plays around with them, all in the span of milliseconds. But in the middle of this, Robotnik still has enough time to press a button that charges the Eggpod with energy from the quill, allowing it (and by extension, himself) to move and react just as fast. He fires a blast at Sonic that the unexpecting hedgehog only narrowly avoids, the shockwave knocking him out of bullet time and into momentary delirium; quickly recovering from this to find Tom and Maddie still falling, he grabs one of the rings falling with him by using one of his quills as a reach extender and throws it, opening a portal beneath them that transports the two back to Green Hills. Tom and Maddie end up landing safely in a pile of hay within a farmer's barn, while back in San Francisco, Sonic lands in a tree before crashing to the ground, along with the rest of the rings and Robotnik's destroyed drones. Meanwhile, the owner of the barn greets Tom and Maddie, asking for their help in aiding a cow's effort to give birth.

Robotnik confronts Sonic and taunts him, but Sonic gathers up his spilled rings and runs through the city as Robotnik gives chase in the Eggpod, as seen at the beginning of the film. Narrating again, Sonic notes how this has brought the story full circle and earnestly continues from where he left off, wanting to know what happens next just as much as the audience. As Robotnik continues his pursuit, Sonic is shocked by his ability to keep up with him, as no one has ever done that before. Sonic opens a portal to France, with him and Robotnik disrupting a mime act being performed for a young girl as they rush past. Sonic's next ring portal brings him and Robotnik to China, where Robotnik chases Sonic along the Great Wall. Next, Sonic opens a portal to Egypt, where Robotnik destroys many centuries-old monuments in his zeal to catch Sonic. Sonic uses his speed to create a sand whirlwind that temporarily disrupts Robotnik's visual contact, but Robotnik sees Sonic running up the side of one of the Great Pyramids and follows him to the top, firing a blast just as Sonic manages to open another portal ring.

The portal brings Sonic back to Green Hills, now at night, but the blast sends him hurtling through the ring and into the street, leaving him barely able to move from a combination of the chase and his injuries. Robotnik's Eggpod slowly emerges through the portal, and the terrified onlookers flee as Tom and Maddie arrive on the scene. As Sonic collapses to the ground entirely, Robotnik prepares to kill him, but Tom uses one of Sonic's rings to get behind him and engage him in physical combat inside the open cockpit of his vehicle, landing multiple punches on him in order to throw off his focus and protect Sonic. Unfortunately, Tom is ultimately hurled out of the cockpit, leaving Robotnik to question why the sheriff would be willing to throw his life away for a "silly little alien." His attention now focused on Tom, he once again prepares to strike, but is thrown off a second time by a near-miss gunshot from Wade, joined by a chainsaw-wielding Crazy Carl (who is all too willing to point out to everyone that this is concrete proof of the "Blue Devil" being a real creature and not a figment of his imagination) and some of the local townspeople in defending Tom and Sonic. However, Maddie draws Tom's attention back to Sonic; he remains motionless and silent, appearing to everyone as if he had lost his life. Robotnik insensitively suggests putting the hedgehog's body on ice to keep it fresh and remarks that he was just an alien who did not belong here. With restrained anger, Tom responds by telling Robotnik that Sonic knew more about being human than he ever will, proclaiming him to have been his friend.

Shortly after the statement, Sonic, who had only been dazed by Robotnik's attack, opens his eyes and gets to his feet, his body supercharged with electric energy-- some of which he siphons from the quill of his Robotnik is using, returning his craft to its normal speed. Tom, Maddie, and the townspeople step back, allowing Sonic to handle things; fueled by passion, the hedgehog boldly proclaims to Robotnik that he will no longer use the power which is rightfully his to run away, but will use it to protect his friends. Robotnik pulls down his goggles and the two opponents become locked in a standoff, preparing to meet in full-on battle. Robotnik makes the first move by firing his missiles, but Sonic avoids them and bounces off the buildings to strike Robotnik's Eggpod with an increasingly rapid barrage of body-slams. With the vehicle severely damaged, but still afloat, Sonic declares that he is not the one leaving Earth and calls for Tom, who throws a ring behind Robotnik that creates a portal to the mushroom planet. Then, at last, Sonic dashes straight at Robotnik's vehicle and strikes it with a final spin attack that exerts enough force to send it flying backwards through the portal just as it closes, sealing the screaming doctor away in another world.

With the fight over, the electricity arcing from Sonic's body fades, and he returns to his normal state as the townspeople cheer for him. Tom and Sonic reunite and congratulate each other on getting rid of Robotnik together, and Tom returns Sonic's rings (though not before telling him not to push people off buildings anymore, which Sonic cannot promise), as well as giving Sonic the high-five he had wanted since the baseball game, much to the latter's sheer delight. Maddie, however, is horrified to realize they left Rachel tied to the chair in San Francisco and states they can never go back. Tom is fine with that, telling Maddie that he has decided not to leave Green Hills anyway, since he has already saved a life. As Wade disperses the crowd of townspeople, Sonic follows Tom and Maddie.

The next day, as Tom and Maddie are repairing and repainting their house, one of the officials from the Pentagon comes to thank Tom for not speaking about the events of the past few days, and to inform him that his guilt has been erased; he also denies that Robotnik ever existed when Tom brings him up, which the sheriff wishes aloud was true. As a bonus, the official presents Tom with an Olive Garden gift card, then asks if Sonic might be willing to talk to the President, but Tom falsely claims that Sonic has left so as to spare him that. After the official leaves, Sonic comes out of hiding and asks if they would like to watch a movie, but Maddie tells him that it is time to go back to his cave. Disappointed and annoyed, Sonic heads for the front door, assuming they meant his old cave, but they imply to him that they meant something else. Tom and Maddie open the attic door so that Sonic can look inside; he is astonished to find that the attic has been turned into a room for him that contains all of his belongings from the old cave. Overcome with joy, Sonic runs around and relishes in having his things back. Tom and Maddie sit with Sonic on his racecar bed and welcome him home, and Sonic gives them his heartfelt thanks. As the view zooms out and away from the house, Ozzy comes to lick Sonic again, with Sonic still jealous but enjoying the licking.

Meanwhile, on the mushroom planet, Robotnik has completely lost his sanity, despite his belief that he never did. As he finishes shaving himself totally bald, he gazes at his reflection in a pool of water, now with an extremely long, grown-out moustache that looks completely zany. Talking to a rock that he has carved to resemble Agent Stone, he throws it and tells it to perform "rock-connaissance" for him. He reflects on his situation and remarks that a lesser man would die in such a place. But then, he holds up a small container with Sonic's quill inside it, and says that he will be home by Christmas. Pulling down his goggles, he walks like a robot until he finds the stone, which he throws again as he yells out "rock-connaissance" once more and laughs maniacally.

A mid-credits scene shows forested hills, and on one hill, the leaves stir as a ring portal opens. From it emerges a two-tailed fox, who uses a small handheld device to determine from the present levels of energy whether Sonic might be near. Finding the readings to be sufficient, the fox hopes aloud that he is not too late in finding him and uses his twin tails like helicopter blades to take off flying into the vast forest towards Green Hills.


Live-action cast

Voice cast



Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the rights to distribute a film based on Sonic the Hedgehog in 2013.[31] On 3 December 2013, Sony Pictures Digital Domain Names, Inc., a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, filed a notice of registration for three inactive websites addressed as "", "" and "". The registrations were reported by The Sonic Stadium on 7 December, but neither Sony Pictures nor Sega confirmed the existence of a proposed film project at the time.[32]

On 20 March 2014, a film adaptation was first hinted when The Tracking Board released a rumor about the film, stating that it would receive a "Dark Knight treatment" and posted a writer shortlist of proposed writers involved.[33] On 10 June 2014, the official Sonic website was updated, with a locked section listing "TV and Movies."[34] Later that same day, at a private Sega/Sony Pictures press conference, The Hollywood Reporter reported the confirmation of a live-action animated film based on Sonic the Hedgehog, which would be a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Marza Animation Planet, and that Sony had green-lit the project.[5][35] It would be produced by Neal H. Moritz by his Original Film banner alongside Takeshi Ito, Mie Onishi and Toru Nakahara, and written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux.[35]

It was revealed on 21 June 2014 that Sonic the Hedgehog and its eventual successor films will be a separate continuity from the Sonic Boom continuity.[36] On 19 November 2014, Van Robichaux stated that the film production team is "aiming for [a] PG-13 [rating]".[37]

In February of 2016, Hajime Satomi, the CEO of Sega, went on record and stated that Sonic the Hedgehog was scheduled for a 2018 release.[38] On 31 October 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Blur Studio's Tim Miller, who had left directing Deadpool 2 due to creative differences, and Jeff Fowler had been hired in 2016 to develop the film; Fowler would make his directorial debut, and both Miller and Fowler would executive produce. Patrick Casey, Josh Miller and Oren Uziel were writing the screenplay.[39][40]

It was announced on 2 October 2017 that Paramount Pictures had acquired the film rights to Sonic the Hedgehog from Sony, replacing the latter as distributor. Sony had temporally shut down production before the switch after placing it into turnaround.[7] The announcement came after Neal Moritz's Original Film banner signed a first-look production deal with Paramount the prior month, ending their previous deal with Sony, and several months after Sony's film financing partner LStar Capital ended its deal with Sony due to a string of box office failures from the studio.[41][42] Despite the change of studios, the production staff working on the film remained employed and moved to Paramount as well.[7]

On 22 February 2018, an official press release was put out confirming the film's move to Paramount and a release date of November 2019, a date that was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter two days prior.[43][44][45] Sega will have creative input into the project and will co-finance it with Paramount, who will release the film worldwide.[43]

Independent outlet Omega Underground reported on 4 March 2018 that the film's producers were circling Junkie XL to compose the film's musical score, reuniting him with Miller once again after doing the score for Deadpool. The site also reported that Paramount was aiming to begin filming at some point in July, backing up story co-writer Van Robichaux's speculation he tweeted a month prior.[46][47] On 29 May 2018, it was revealed that the film would have a budget of $90 million.[48]

On 12 June 2018, it was later stated that shots of the film would be filmed at Vancouver's Highway 19 during mid-September 2018, and that the movie's current title is "SONIC".[49] At Too Many Games in 2018, Johnny Gioeli stated that “Sega Has Nothing To Do With The Sonic Movie”.[50] Takashi Iizuka soon after corrected though, that he would be supervising the film.[51] Sonic the Hedgehog was originally slated for a 15 November 2018 release, but after Sony Pictures' turnaround, it was changed for a release on 8 November 2019 by Paramount Pictures.[52] In an exclusive IGN interview the first official poster for the film was released on 10 December 2018, revealing its official title as Sonic the Hedgehog.[3] Soon, the movie release date was changed again, this time to 14 February 2020, in order to accommodate for Sonic's redesign.[1]


On 29 May 2018, it was reported that Paul Rudd was in talks for a lead role as Tom, "a cop who befriends Sonic and will likely team up to defeat Dr. Eggman". Paramount later clarified that this was not the case, but that Rudd had been considered for the role at one point.[48] The following day, it was announced that James Marsden had been cast in an undisclosed role,[53] later revealed to be Tom Wachowski.[14] On 7 June 2018, it was announced that Tika Sumpter was cast to star opposite James Marsden in an undisclosed role,[54] later revealed to be Tom Wachowski's wife,[21] Dr. Maddie Wachowski.[22] Jim Carrey was cast to play the villain, Dr. Robotnik.[12] Ben Schwartz later joined the film's cast in August 2018 as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.[30] A few days later, Adam Pally and Neal McDonough were cast.[55] Debs Howard and Elfina Luk already joined the cast.[56]


On 1 April 2018, it was announced that filming was going to start on 30 July in Vancouver, instead of Atlanta as previously reported.[57]

Principal photography commenced on 24 July 2018 and ended in Vancouver, Ladysmith, and Vancouver Island on 16 October 2018. During filming, the picture was shot under the working title "Casino Night", a reference to the level in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[16][58] A casting call was ordered to run on 18 Aug 2018, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm PT and 19 Aug 2018, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm PT for residents of Ladysmith, BC. The roles were for the "townsfolk" from the fictional town, Green Hills.[59] Filming ended on 16 October 2018.[60] Despite this, more filming took place in downtown San Fransisco in late October.[61] Post-production of Sonic the Hedgehog and additional photography began and ended in New York in October, where Jim Carrey shot his scenes.[62][16]

Visual effects and design

Following the criticism of Sonic's initial design, director Jeff Fowler stated that Sonic would be redesigned, resulting in the film's release being postponed three months.[63]

The visual effects for Sonic the Hedgehog are provided by Industrial Light & Magic, Blur Studio, Digital Domain and the Moving Picture Company.[64]


Screenwriter Patrick Casey revealed that for the film, Sonic would have a design that was still him and yet a "little more realistic".[65] As promised, the production team created a new, more realistic version of Sonic, adding fur, new sneakers, two separate eyes,[3][66] and a more human-like physique.[67] They used Ted, the living teddy bear from the Ted films, as a reference to insert a CG character into a real-world setting.[3] In an interview with IGN, Tim Miller explained Sonic's redesign:

That was always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like, it would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing. It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature. <...> I don’t think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision, but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it."[3]

Sonic's humanoid appearance has been described as evoking an uncanny valley-type of revulsive response by viewers.[68] Former co-creator of Sonic, Yuji Naka, has also expressed distaste for the initial design.[69] However, on 2 May 2019, it was announced by Jeff Fowler on Twitter that Sonic would receive a redesign following the criticism of the first trailer for the film that was released.[70][63] While the film's release date in November 2019 initially stayed unchanged, it caused concerns that a design overhaul of Sonic would cause the visual effects teams to be overworked.[71][72] However, Fowler would announce on Twitter on 24 May 2019 that the film had been moved to 14 February 2020.[1] It is estimated that the delay of the film and the redesign of Sonic put the film $5,000,000 or less over its original budget of $90,000,000, for a total of $95,000,000.[73]


The film's soundtrack artwork.

On 13 February 2019, Junkie XL confirmed that he would compose the score for Sonic the Hedgehog.[74] Riff Raff, who reportedly had a role in the film, was to make an appearance on the soundtrack as well, but didn't.[75] On 23 January 2020, it was announced that a single titled "Speed Me Up" performed by Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty and Sueco the Child would be featured in the film.[76] A day later, Junkie XL announced that the album of the score would release the same day as the film.[77] A limited vinyl edition of the film's soundtrack will be released by Enjoy the Ride Records.[78]

Several songs were featured in promotion of the film including "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio, "Supersonic" by J.J. Fad and "Blitzkrieg Bop" by Ramones. In the film itself, featured songs included "Friends" by Hyper Potions, "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, "Flight of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner (performed by Jim Carrey), "All Fired Up" by The Lazys, "White Lightning" by Tennessee River Crooks, "Bad News" by Ghost Hounds, "I'm Turnin' 'Em Up" by Wyley Randall, "BOOM" by X Ambassadors, "Love in the City" by John Christopher Stokes, "Where Evil Grows" by The Poppy Family, "Catch Me I’m Falling" by Kelly Finnigan, and the theme of Green Hill Zone by Masato Nakamura (re-arranged by Jon Batiste).

Holkenborg attempted to capture the feel of Masato Nakamura's soundtracks for Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, using Yamaha FM synthesizers similar to the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console's YM2612 sound chip.[79]


The movie's design of Sonic was made into a playable character in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle and Sonic Dash.

At the Comic Con Experience in Brazil on 6 December 2018, test footage was screened for the public to see.[80] Later, on 10 December 2018, a teaser poster featuring the redesigned Sonic was released.[3] The design was unfavorably likened to those from the 2019 video game film adaptation, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, which added fur and skin textures to the Pokémon characters.[67] The reveal of Sonic's redesign received mostly negative responses from critics and fans alike.[81][67] Former members of Sonic Team, who created the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, likewise expressed surprise at the design.[82]

Shortly after the first poster for the film was revealed, a second one was leaked online, prompting fans to criticize Sonic's design for its positioning of Sonic's legs and its lack of resemblance to the Sonic games. This would lead to the creation of an internet meme where users recreated the position.[83][84] The official Twitter account for the film soon after posted an image of Sonic behind a sign reading: "Can't a guy work out?"[85] More criticism from fans later emerged when images of Sonic's design leaked in March 2019. "Shocked" by the design, former Sonic Team president and Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka felt the ratio of Sonic's head and abdomen was imbalanced.[69]

The first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog was shown on 4 April 2019 at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.[86] It was subsequently released online on 30 April. What it got was near-unanimous criticism,[87][88][89] with Gita Jackson of Kotaku describing it as "horrific" and "a blight upon this weary earth".[87] Sonic's design was likewise criticized, his humanoid appearance in particular,[87][89] and some writers found the use of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" inappropriate.[90][91] Conversely, CNET's Sean Keane praised the humor and references to past Sonic games.[92] Two days after its release, the trailer had been viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube.[93] Paramount deleted the original trailer from its YouTube channel around the same time when the new trailer was released.

A second trailer revealing the redesigned Sonic was released on 12 November 2019.[94] The trailer received far more positive responses, with many praising Sonic's new design. The tone and the humor also received positive reviews.[95] Naka said he felt the new design was "much more Sonic-like".[96] Animator Max Schneider stated that the redesign took around five months and was achieved without stressful overtime.[97] The second trailer received the highest like-to-dislike ratio of any trailer on Google in the last three years.[98]

On 11 December 2019, Sega of America announced the line of merchandise that would be releasing for the film.[99] Toys were to be made by Jakks Pacific and Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Toy Factory and Sega Amusements would make novelty items for amusement parks and attractions. Children's books were to be published by Penguin Books. Apparel and home decor would be made by Bioworld, Bentex, TVM Fashion Lab, Cooneen and Franco Manufacturing. A statue would be made by Diamond Select Toys, and Sega Shop would release various items. In-theater promotions like drink toppers and popcorn buckets would be offered by Snapco and Ping Solutions.

More promotions included a tie-in with fast food restaurant Jack in the Box for Tiny Tacos, and an event in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle and Sonic Dash which added a new track based on a location from the film and unlockable playable teen and baby versions of Sonic.[100][101][102] Other partners were added to the film's website, which included Puma, Valpak, Books-A-Million and Bimbo.


The accompanying artwork for the 2020 reschedule.

Originally, Sonic the Hedgehog was scheduled for a 2018 release by Columbia Pictures.[38] However, after the turnaround, Paramount Pictures rescheduled it to 15 November, 2019.[44] Eventually though, it was changed again for release in the United States on 8 November, 2019.[52] Later, in May 2019, director Jeff Fowler announced that the film would be delayed (again) to 14 February 2020, in order to "make Sonic just right" following the claims to make changes to Sonic's design in the film.[1][103]

The movie's world premiere took place at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles on 25 January 2020.

Home media

On 20 March 2020, Paramount Pictures announced that Sonic the Hedgehog would be released to digital on demand, on 31 March 2020. The decision to release much earlier than most films would after being released in cinema was due to film studios alongside Paramount - including Disney, Lionsgate, Sony, Universal, STX Films and Warner Bros. - choosing to release films to home media much earlier in the wake of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.[104] A physical release of the film on 4K UHD Disc, Blu-ray and DVD was released on May 19, 2020. [105]

The bonus features for the film include:[106]

  • Commentary by Jeff Fowler and Ben Schwartz.
  • Around the World in 80 Seconds
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bloopers
  • “Speed Me Up” Music Video
  • For the Love of Sonic
  • Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey
  • The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic
  • Sonic On Set


Critical reception

Upon release, the film received mixed-to-positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 64% based on 215 reviews, with an average rating of 5.78/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Fittingly fleet and frequently fun, Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game-inspired adventure the whole family can enjoy — and a fine excuse for Jim Carrey to tap into the manic energy that launched his career."[107] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[108] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak reported it received an average 4 out of 5 stars, with 70% of people saying they would definitely recommend it.[109]

IGN gave the film a 7/10, praising the performances and the nostalgia, stating, "While this family-friendly action-comedy suffers from a simplistic story and leans too heavily on tired visual cliches, Sonic the Hedgehog is nevertheless boosted by solid performances from Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. Their ongoing cat-and-mouse game is entertaining, and passionate fans of the Sega franchise should appreciate all the nods to Sonic's history."[110] Dami Lee of The Verge gave the film a positive review, praising the nostalgic elements seen in the film, stating, "The movie shines when it remembers it's based on a video game, and there's some genuinely fun stuff — like when Sonic uses his time-stopping powers or Robotnik's elaborate 'evil-plotting' montage that makes you wonder why more movies don's feature bad guys with choreographed dance sequences. Carrey plays up Robotnik as the cartoon villain he is, and it’s a true delight to watch him in his element."[111] Gene Park of The Washington Post, gave the film a positive review, saying: "The “Sonic the Hedgehog” film is the furthest thing from "Cats", despite the early comparisons. Wary fans expecting the usual easy target to mock will instead find something to fervently celebrate for years."[112] Inverse called it a "road trip superhero movie" and "the best superhero movie of 2020" so far.[113] Ben Kenigsberg of The The New York Times, gave the film a negative review and wrote: "Sonic now resembles a cartoon hedgehog instead of a spray-painted marmot. But if anything was done to de-genericize the script, it hasn’t helped. Not that the Sega games — in which the fleet-footed hero zips around doing flips and collecting gold coins (which here encircle the Paramount mountain) — gave the director, Jeff Fowler, much to work with."[114] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter, gave the film a positive review, saying: "Flesh-and-blood actors help keep this game-derived kids' flick afloat."[115]

In a more negative review, Variety's Owen Gleiberman criticized the commercialization of the film, stating, "A review like one should probably come with a disclaimer: For all the borderline tedium I felt at Sonic the Hedgehog, I do realize that this is a picture made for 8-year-olds. And they'll probably like it just fine. Yet I would also call the overly kiddified tone of the movie a mistake."[116] Writing for The Guardian, Steve Rose gave the film a 2 out of 5, criticizing the lackluster visual effects, stating: "There are action scenes and effects flourishes, but even these feel borrowed from other movies. Sonic's ability to freeze time then dart about rearranging things before starting it again, for example, is clearly indebted to QuickSilver's antics in the X-Men movies. And what messages this exercise can be bothered to deliver are trite and familiar: the true meaning of friendship, be happy with what you’ve got, machines bad, people (and space hedgehogs) good."[117] Simon Abrams of, gave the film a 1 out of 4 stars and said: "Sonic the Hedgehog” is only as successful as the amount of time you want to spend watching its animated protagonist go on instantly forgettable adventures, and boy, is that unfortunate."[118] Amon Warrman of Empire Magazine, gave the film a 2 out of 5 stars, saying "An on-form Jim Carrey can’t stop Sonic’s live-action debut from feeling like a missed opportunity. If the teased sequels do materialize, here’s hoping the storytelling levels up."[119] [120]

Box office

As of March 3, 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog has grossed $131.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $141.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $273 million.[121]

In the United States and Canada, the film was initially projected to gross $40–50 million from 4,130 theaters in its four-day President's Day opening weekend.[122][123] After making $21 million on its first day (including $3 million from Thursday night previews), estimates were raised to $64 million.[124] It went on to top the box office with a $58 million debut over the three-day weekend and $70 million over the four days, breaking Detective Pikachu's record for biggest opening weekend by a video game-based film.[125] It has since become the second highest-grossing film of 2020,[126] and the highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in the United States and Canada.

Scott Mendelson of surmised that the film's success can in part be attributed to the viewer reaction to the teaser trailer, and the followup redesign creating significant publicity. Furthermore, the subsequent release reschedule resulting from this delay worked in the film's favor by having it released in a much less competitive film market during a dump month where it became the first major family film of 2020.[127]

In other markets, the film released in 40 countries during its three-day opening weekend, topping the international box office with $43 million. Its strongest international regions were Latin America and Europe, with its largest openings being $6.7 million in Mexico, $6.2 million in the United Kingdom, $4.3 million in France, $3.3 million in Germany, and $3 million in Brazil. Worldwide, it made $101 million over the three-day weekend and $113 million over the four days.[128][129] In its second weekend the film again topped the international box office with $38.3 million from 56 countries for a ten-day overseas gross of $96.5 million, and topped the global box office again with $64.6 million for a ten-day worldwide gross of $203.1 million. Its largest international markets in its first ten days were the UK ($19.1 million), Mexico ($12.3 million), and France ($9.1 million), retaining the top spot in these markets. The film opened in 16 new markets, led by a number-one debut in Russia ($6.3 million).[130] The film was set to release in Japan on 27 March 2020 but was delayed until 26 June 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.[131][132]. China had also delayed the release to 31 July 2020 for the same reason.[133][134] In its opening weekend, Sonic the Hedgehog made $460 thousand in Japan and $1.27 million in China.[135][136]


On 10 January 2021, Jim Carrey won an award at the Critics' Choice Super Awards in the category "Best Villain in a Movie" for his portrayal of Dr. Robotnik.[137] Ben Schwartz received the award for "Best Animated or VFX Performance" at the Hollywood Critics Association Awards on 5 March 2021 for his performance as Sonic the Hedgehog.[138]


Before the film's release, Jim Carrey said in an interview, "I wouldn't mind going to do another Sonic the Hedgehog movie because it was so much fun, first of all, and a real challenge to try to convince people that I have a triple-digit IQ... There is so much room, you know, Robotnik has not reached his apotheosis."[139]

In February 2020, director Jeff Fowler said that he plans for a potential sequel to feature more elements from the video games.[140] In March 2020, Marsden confirmed that he had signed on for multiple sequels, stating "I believe, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say, as many as they want to make. Yeah, that’s my somewhat vague answer."[141]

In April 2020, Marsden expressed interest on a sequel featuring Tails and additional characters from the games,[142] while Fowler expressed interest in featuring Sonic and Tails' friendship from the games and further developing Dr. Robotnik in a potential sequel.[143] Ben Schwartz told Coming Soon later that month that a sequel had not been greenlit yet, but that it made sense because of the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.[144] On 23 April 2020, co-writer Pat Casey said that there had been talks about a potential sequel, although it has not been green-lit yet, and that Carrey is interested in portraying a more game-accurate version of Robotnik in the sequel. He also hinted that a potential sequel could feature Super Sonic from the games, and that it could further explore the echidna tribe featured in the film's opening scene. Casey also expressed interest in a potential shared universe featuring both Sega and Nintendo characters.[145]

As of May 2020, a sequel titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is now in development with Jeff Fowler and his team from the first film. Patrick Casey and Josh Miller will write the screenplay while Neal H. Moritz, Toby Ascher, and Toru Nakahara produce the film. Tim Miller will return to executive produce the film alongside Hajime Satomi and Haruki Satomi.[146]

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has been scheduled for a release on 8 April 2022. It was also revealed that Schwartz, Carrey, Marsden, Sumpter, and Majdoub are expected to reprise their roles from the first film.[147][148]

In an invite to Kellen's Petty Talk Show released on 5 April 2021, Pat Casey and Josh Miller expressed interest in making a third movie already, going as far as to mention that there was an Eggman scene cut from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the sake of flow that they would want to re-add to the third movie.[149]


  • Yuji Naka was originally supposed to appear in the film as an extra but was forgotten during production.[150]
  • Van Robichaux originally wrote a scene for the film where Dr. Robotnik had a coffee maker named Mean Bean Machine after the game Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine but it was cut from the final film.[151]
  • Chizzy Stephens originally wrote a song called "Gotta Go Fast" being a remix of Green Hill Zone and named after the theme song of the same name from Sonic X. The song was finished but never got used in the movie.[152][153]
    • In the actual film, there is a scene where Sonic wakes up in Rachel's house and exclaims "Gotta go fast!"
  • Fowler explained that Super Sonic and the Chaos Emeralds were going to be in the movie, before the decision was made to focus on Sonic and Robotnik's rivalry.[154]
  • According to Ben Schwartz, he recorded a harmonized version of the famous SEGA chant that did not make it into the film.[155]
  • Junkie XL wanted to use the theme of Green Hill Zone as a recurring leitmotif throughout the film; however, due to legal issues from the rights to the original game's soundtrack being owned by its composer, Masato Nakamura, this was cut from the film. The theme can still be heard during the Paramount Pictures logo at the start of the film, in the second trailer and a piano version by Jon Batiste is featured in the film's final scene.[156]
  • In the end credit music listings for Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," Freddie Mercury's first name is misspelled as "Freddy."
  • In the first official trailer for the film, the line "Every Hero has a Genesis" is a nod to the Sega Genesis, the debut console for the original Sonic the Hedgehog video game.
  • The version of "Blitzkrieg Bop" that appeared in the new official trailer was a cover by Steve Solomon.
  • During the freeze frame shot in the opening of the movie, its possible notice a road sign reading "Mega Dr." This is a reference to Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis console.
  • Near the beginning of the film, Sonic presents a sunflower to Longclaw that resembles the sunflowers in Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Additionally, in a scene where Tom is talking on the phone with Wade, there is a window decal that looks similar to the sunflower Sonic gave to Longclaw.
  • An engraving on a stone in Sonic's world looks similar to the ones found in Labyrinth Zone in the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • At one point during the film, a man named "Crazy Carl" shows Tom a drawing which resembles the infamous "Sanic" internet meme.
  • Sonic can be seen playing Table Tennis with himself on a road sign that reads "Hill Top Rd". This was named after Hill Top Zone, a Zone that debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
  • In the first half of the prologue scene, the model used for baby Sonic is actually a modified version of the model used for his original design. It switches to the model for his updated design after Longclaw gets shot, and his quills on the new model are missing.
  • Sonic can be seen wearing a headband with a title icon design that is identical to the original one that debuted on the splash screen for the original Sonic the Hedgehog.

Sonic's map.

  • Sonic's map of "safe worlds" contains several references:
  • In the scene where Tom and Maddie look at her laptop with an apartment ad, it is possible to see that the name of the owner of that apartment is "Amy Rose", being a possible reference to the character of the same name.[157]
  • Speed, the movie that Sonic sees Tom and Maddie watching at the start of the film was also referenced through a poster to promote Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut.
  • In the baseball playoff scene the visiting team's name is "Spring Valley". This was named after the stage Spring Valley from NiGHTS into Dreams.
  • The truck that was used for Galvatron in Transformers: Age of Extinction was reused in this movie for Robotnik.
  • Dr. Robotnik's theme in the film bears a resemblance to the theme of Doctor Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and the theme of Dr. Eggman in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
    • Additionally, at the end of the movie, Robotnik's design looks similar to Eggman's design in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • During the hotel scene, Sonic can be seen balancing on a light in a similar sense to his balancing animation from the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. This was a reference added to the film by the request of Tyson Hesse.[159]
  • Neal H. Moritz produced this film, who is known for producing the Fast & Furious film franchise. In the film, Sonic references the franchise by saying to Tom "I feel just like Vin Diesel! It's all about family, Tom." when he is tasked with driving Tom's car.
  • When Robotnik is selecting music in his truck, Crush 40 is among the playlists in his collection.
    • Other playlists include "Robotnik Rhythms", "Obscure Canadian 1970's Jams", "Soulful Chamber Music of Oppression", "Nuclear Tempos of Rhapsody", "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Tunes of Anarchy", "Dinner for One", "Heavy Metal Bombing Over Babylon", "World Domination Harmonies" and several others.
  • Sonic's pose during the scene where dozens of missiles are shooting at him is a reference to one of his idle animations from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    • Furthermore, when Sonic is dodging Robotnik's laser fire during the chase scene throughout San Francisco, he strikes the pose of his official artwork in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Sonic is shown owning a race car bed, just like his counterpart from the Archie Comics.
  • The wheels on Sonic's race car bed are based on the Modern Spring design from the main video game series.
  • When Robotnik starts to trek the Mushroom Planet, his gait resembles that of the Death Egg Robot from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
  • This film marks the first time since Sonic Adventure in which Sonic is not voiced by Jun'ichi Kanemaru in Japanese (excluding Sonic the Werehog).
  • Sprite art resembling zones from the games are used to represent scenes/locations from the film during the end credits animation. [160]
    • The town of Green Hills, Montana is represented by the sprite art of Green Hill Zone from the original game. The trees are represented by the trees from Hill Top Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    • The Special Stages from Sonic 2 are shown in the credits but the half-pipe is redesigned to look like the highway that Sonic and Tom drive along in the film.
      • Additionally, the Rings are replaced with donuts.
    • San Francisco is represented with some of the sprites of Collision Chaos (specifically the Bad Future variant) albeit altered to feature the city in the background.
    • There is an animation of the Blue Sphere special stage which briefly changes to the giant rubber-band ball that Sonic visits in the movie.
    • The Great Wall of China sequence has a similar color palette to Marble Zone.
    • Paris, France is depicted using sprites from Spring Yard Zone which is altered to include the Eiffel Tower.
  • Although Robotnik does not call his robots "Badniks" out loud in the film, they are labelled as such on the junction box in his truck.
  • Pachacamac, the leader of the Echidna tribe that attacks Sonic and Longclaw in the beginning of the film wears a mask designed after his game counterpart, the leader of the Knuckles Clan from within the games as seen in Sonic Adventure.
  • According to Patrick Casey, Robotnik shaving his head at the end of the movie is a reference to Marlon Brando's character in the film Apocalypse Now.[161]
  • When Robotnik is dancing in his laboratory, there is a sequence where he pretends to be headless. That was written in by actor Jim Carrey as a tribute to comedian Dick Van Dyke.
  • In a deleted scene, Excalibur and Sonic's training sword from Sonic and the Black Knight make a brief cameo appearance in the alternate opening scene. When Sonic and Longclaw are getting attacked by the echidnas, they can briefly be seen on the wall.
  • In a deleted scene, after Sonic and Longclaw land on Earth, Sonic runs off from Longclaw and during this scene, he loops a log that he runs on in a similar fashion to him running on a corkscrew loop, which appears in games such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2.




Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) - New Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

TV spots




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External links

Sonic the Hedgehog in other media