When the original Sonic The Hedgehog movie teaser trailer came out, reception was less than friendly. Mainly, fans were upset that the design of the titular character looked a little… uncanny. But now, a new Sonic The Hedgehog trailer has been dropped with a revamped character design — and the reception is fantastic so far.
In April, upon the release of the original video, there was social media backlash against the aesthetic. Between a sub-par trailer and Sonic’s looks, both dedicated and casual fans cried out. Days later, Jeff Fowler, the director of the film, promised changes to the design. The new look was unveiled in today’s new trailer, just over three months before the movie is slated for release.
The main complaint from many seemed to be the hyper-but-not-really-realistic face and all its little details. The eyes, especially, were a massive target of complaints. They didn’t express emotion well, and they didn’t look quite affable enough for a kids’ movie. The body also appears to be “shorter” and maintains more cartoonish ratios.
In short, they pulled Sonic out of the uncanny valley.
One more change happened to something that originally caught viewers off-guard: his teeth.
Yeah. Way better. Like, they’re still fairly realistic teeth! At least, as far as live-action cartoon adaptations are. But the lips aren’t so pulled-in that… yeah, actually, you know what? We aren’t going to get too deep into this one. But he definitely has a cute little canine now.
Aside from the visual changes, there’s far more to pick at in this trailer. We obviously have to point out the music choices, first of all, which are far better. In the prior trailer, they opted for a “trailierfied”… “Gangster’s Paradise?” Which, for a multitude of reasons, just straight-up did not work.
But now, the studio has opted for two tunes that are not only far more fitting, but catchier. First is the iconic late-80’s bop “Supersonic” by girl-rapper group J.J. Fad, which we can’t believe they didn’t find for the last trailer. They cap off the trailer with punk hit “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones, which is a far more fitting tune with its “ay yo/let’s go” and driving, vaguely-angry guitars.
The plot in this trailer is far more clear, too. Sonic The Hedgehog, already breaking the fourth wall, has arrived in our world to get a break from his own. He draws the attention of some sort of military (or paramilitary?) unit, led by the iconic Doctor Eggman. Meanwhile, a cop, responding to a call, finds Sonic — and the two end up in a buddy cop movie.
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Finally, we get a far better look at how the dialogue and casting will probably shake out in the movie. I mean, this is a trailer instead of a teaser, whereas we assume the old promotional video was the latter. And teasers don’t really show the nuts and bolts of movies! They just give an overview of what the vibe “should” be. But this one’s a little more intenseive. Jim Carrey, like before, puts on an outstanding show, and the dialogue and scenes feel less stiff. Not not stiff — it’s a kid’s movie! — but it’s more entertaining and engaging.
Frankly, it looks like… any other half-decent kids-targeted movie. Especially in the age of Marvel, maybe it’s another dime a dozen. But pop culture Discourse(c) definitely shifted into “mindless movies are fine, actually” over the last several years. So if that’s your take on things, Sonic The Hedgehog might show up on your “to-watch” list when it pops up this coming Valentine’s Day.
Also worth noting that it’s definitely worth noting that a wave of fan outcry catapulted this change forward. But things were also very, very bad here. Hopefully fans don’t expect this again, because some poor animators probably had to work overtime to get this re-done — or preferably, something doesn’t look that bad again (thanks, producers?). And hopefully it wasn’t part of a social media marketing campaign.
You can watch the new trailer here: