I've loved Sonic The Hedgehog ever since he launched onto the Sega Mega Genesis Drive in 1991, and despite a somewhat turbulent relationship over the years, sometimes bordering on downright Stockholme Syndrome, it's hard for me to stay angry at Sega or Sonic for too long.
When the trailer dropped for the Sonic The Hedgehog movie earlier this year though, well, I just about gave up. I was done. I was officially handing in my Sonic fan club membership card. I'm sure you've all seen the horrific half-human half-rat character design that was revealed in that trailer, and I even went so far as to actively refuse to write about it here on the site because it frankly downright disturbing.
It wasn't long before vague promises about 'fixing' the character design were bouncing around on social media, and eventually it was confirmed that the film was delayed (it was due to be released round about now) so that the issue could be addressed.
Still, I had mixed hope about this. How much change can you make at such short notice when the film was basically in the can? I thought back to Sonic 4: Episode 1, fan feedback to trailers and a leaked beta forced delays and changes, but ultimately, it was too little, too late.
I'm pleased to see I was wrong. A new trailer has dropped this past week and, my word, thankfully somebody has decided to do the right thing. Check this out;
The first thing to note about the new character design is that it's been headed up by Sonic Mania VFX artist Tyson Hesse. Yes, even now Sonic Mania is single-handedly saving the Sonic franchise. Infact, one has to wonder if SEGA themselves stepped in here and insisted the movie's production team brought him in to salvage the situation.
The end result is, well, MUCH better. I still have a few niggles, I'm not too keen on the eyes not being once piece, as strange as that sounds, and Sonic has always looked better when his mouth is on the side of his face closest to camera as it is in the games rather than in the centre, but this is hugely better.
There's also still a bit too much, well, fur going on for my tastes, but heck, I don't want to complaint too much about this. The improvement is staggering. I actually feel like I want to watch this film now.
Infact, I'd go so far as to say I'm excited to see it. Jim Carry as Dr. Robotnik was a contentious one among fans at first, but frankly, he's nailed the performance in this trailer for me. The latte scene is just, well, yeah, exactly what I'd expect from an eccentric mad scientist with a robot fixation.
Speaking of, he does actually call himself Robotnik.... something I've not seen many people pick up on, but given Sega all but retired the name way back in 1998 with Sonic Adventure, it's nice to see it return honestly.
Also, bonus points for getting the license from Dreams Come True to use a mix of Green Hill Zone in there. This really does seem like it's aimed at both younger audiences and fans alike now. Infact I do wonder, was the whole thing a ruse? I'd hate to think the original trailer was just a ploy to get people talking but, well, you never know.... let us know your thoughts in the comments.