Sonic the Hedgehog movie director Jeff Fowler has thanked fans for their positive response to Sonic's redesign in the live-action/CGI adaptation. Sonic fans across the world seem to (overwhelmingly) agree that the character's new look is a significant improvement on his appearance in the original Sonic the Hedgehog trailer that dropped online in late April. In fact, the response to that footage was so vocally negative, Fowler took to Twitter just a few days after its release to announce Sonic was getting a major redesign.
Adapted from the video game franchise launched in 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog brings the super-fast blue hedgehog to life on the big screen, with Ben Schwartz (who also voices the blue-adorned Dewey in the Ducktales reboot and Leonardo in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) lending his vocals to the character. The reactions to the film's original trailer weren't all bad, admittedly, with Jim Carrey earning praise for his 1990s-style mugging as the video games' equally over the top and ridiculous antagonist, Dr. Robotnik. However, as well as the mad scientist seems to work while being played by a real-life human, the same can't be said for the film's initial attempt at creating an equally "realistic" CGI Sonic.
Taking to Twitter, Fowler thanked fans for their support of Sonic the Hedgehog's redesign in the new trailer unveiled this week. You can check out his post, below.
It's generally agreed the main reason Sonic looked so unnerving in his original live-action form is, well, there's nothing remotely "real" about the character in his classic video game form. From his cartoonish white gloved hands to his unnaturally large eyes and running shoes (not to mention, his anti-authoritative attitude), the animated and pixelated Sonic the Hedgehog simply doesn't lend himself to a photorealistic interpretation. Thankfully, Sonic's new design in the movie restores the character's exaggerated appearance by making everything from his irises to his teeth and facial mannerisms less human-like and more expressive. As a result, the character no longer has the uncanny valley quality that made his original live-action design so disturbing and unnerving to look at, and his facial movements are better harmonized with Schwartz's energetic vocal delivery.
On top of all that, the new Sonic the Hedgehog trailer was simply an improvement overall. Its musical cues synced better with the footage's goofy family-friendly tone, and there were a lot more clips of classic Sonic video game locations (namely, Green Hill Zone) and humor in general. Fowler and his visual effects artists have clearly poured a whole lot of effort into fixing Sonic's appearance over the last six months, so the positive response to the trailer was very much deserved. Who knows, if people like the actual film as much, then Sonic the Hedgehog may go on to become the next (mostly) successful video game movie after this year's Detective Pkachu adaptation.
Source: Jeff Fowler/Twitter