June 15, 2024

Wanting on the authentic trailer for the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film is like trying right into a portal to a unique timeline, one the place the movie itself doubtless doesn’t herald the arrival of a massively profitable movie franchise that ultimately spawns a dangerous Paramount+ spin-off. At finest, it leads to a Morbius-level hate-watch marketing campaign and goes down in historical past as an incredible affront to the titular blue blur. Nevertheless it’s been 5 years since that first trailer, exhibiting a hedgehog who seemed extra like a human little one in cosplay than the beloved online game hero, broke the web, and it’s fascinating to look again and keep in mind simply how disastrous that authentic look actually was.

Funnily sufficient, it’s a must to go searching via unofficial channels to search out the trailer that includes “Ugly Sonic,” as Paramount has eliminated it from its official YouTube channel. However the web is ceaselessly, so shoutout to KinoCheck for preserving this second in Sonic historical past for us. Let’s revisit it, we could?

Paramount / KinoCheck

Oh, god. I actually bought shivers his terrifying human-like silhouette. Outdoors of Sonic himself, a variety of the trailer nonetheless represents the film we bought in 2020. Jim Carrey continues to be eccentric as villain Physician Robotnik, using Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” is emblematic of the live-action sequence’ reliance on licensed needle drops over the Sonic sequence’ wonderful OST, and Sonic nonetheless goes actually quick and messes up the ol’ egghead’s robots. As my mind goes into survival mode and blots out Sonic from my imaginative and prescient, I’m reminded by this trailer that the primary film continues to be fairly enjoyable. It doesn’t really feel like a Sonic film in the identical method Sonic the Hedgehog 2 did in 2022, however it had some good gags in between the neverending popular culture references and Olive Backyard product placement.

However for fuck’s sake, take a look at how they massacred my boy. The tooth, the human fingers coloured white to look considerably like his white gloves, the terrible, beady little eyes. Every thing about Sonic’s authentic film design screams a misguided need to make one thing that seemed “real looking” versus the ultimate, rather more cartoony and game-accurate design. The adverse response was so swift and so loud that film director Jeff Fowler introduced, on Could 2, 2019, that the filmmakers can be going again to the drafting board to repair the blue blur’s live-action design. Whereas this got here as a reduction to each Sonic followers and the harmless bystanders who can be subjected to this monstrosity on advertising and marketing signage each time they went to a theater, it spurred different conversations round creatives being “pressured” to make adjustments primarily based on fan outcry (Carrey even appeared conflicted on the flip of occasions), in addition to conspiracy theories that your entire factor was a advertising and marketing ploy designed to generate buzz across the movie.

The choice to revamp Sonic resulted in a three-month delay for the movie, pushing it from November 2019 to February 2020. However when the new-and-improved Sonic was unveiled in a trailer across the time of that authentic November launch date, followers had been thrilled to see one thing that managed to stability the live-action world of the movie and the character they know and love. Paramount additionally made positive to incorporate among the similar pictures that had been so heinous and off-putting within the first trailer, so the comparisons had been extremely flattering. Take, for example, the scene the place Sonic meets his cop good friend Tom Wachowski and so they each scream at one another. This was one of many worst pictures of the outdated design, showcasing the terrible human mouth they’d placed on him. Now, Sonic appears like a personality you’ll be able to really stand to take a look at for a 99-minute lengthy film. As an amusing apart, the Ugly Sonic design might not have gotten to star within the film, however it did make an look within the Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie in 2022.


Sonic the Hedgehog premiered in February 2020 to respectable critiques and remodeled $319 million on the field workplace. Its success meant it bought a sequel, which went on to be an excellent higher success in theaters bringing in over $400 million. Most lately, Paramount put out a spin-off sequence on Paramount+ for Idris Elba’s Knuckles. It hasn’t been going over very effectively, however it’s merely an appetizer for the subsequent meal: Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The third film is introducing Sonic’s rival, Shadow the Hedgehog, who will probably be voiced by Matrix and Cyberpunk 2077 star Keanu Reeves.

It’s wild to look again on that authentic trailer and suppose that, had Paramount not delayed the film and pivoted, none of this might need occurred. We’ve averted the worst timeline, and the Sonic sequence has been present process a little bit of a renaissance because of this. It looks like a distant reminiscence now that we’re 5 years eliminated, however I can’t think about anybody, from followers, to the creatives behind the films, to even Paramount’s fits, isn’t glad that fan backlash modified the course of Sonic historical past.