Today is the day of the physical release of everyone’s favourite, cheeky blue character SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: The action-packed adventure that’s fun for the whole family! Read on for a full review and an activity booklet for the kids!
Initial Thoughts on Sonic the Hedgehog Movie
Movies based on video games are hard to do well, and conversely video game adaptations of movies similarly have proven that getting the formula just right can be a challenge. However they always peak my interest; perhaps it’s the desire for a nostalgia hit, or maybe it’s a want for some form of narration around a retro title from my youth.
I first heard about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie when the internet was reeling from the release of the first trailer and how they had made him look in the film. “Creepy”, “grotesque”, and “weird” were just some of the reactions. Looking at the screenshots, I had to be honest, this was not how I remembered Sonic. He had much smaller eyes and teeth, his face just looked too human – Sonic co-creator, Yuji Naka, was critical about the proportion of Sonic’s body, and him having bare hands rather than gloves. Director Jeff Fowler vowed to fix Sonic and was thankful for the feedback, the movie was pushed back from a November 2019 release date to February 2020. When the trailer relaunched with the “fixed” Sonic the difference was remarkable, this was Sonic! This dedication to get it right, meant the fans couldn’t wait for Sonic’s cinematic debut.
Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Plot
From the off, the film payed tribute to the game showing an infant Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) zooming around an island that looks like the first zone (Green Hill Zone) of the 90’s era game. Looked after by Longclaw, but when Sonic doesn’t listen to her advice it isn’t long before The Blue Blur has attracted the attention of what appears to be a tribe of echidnas – who fans were left wondering if one of the assailants was Knuckles from Sonic 3. Longclaw tells Sonic that he must escape, leaving his home world for safety, using magical rings that can teleport him between worlds – and to make sure he keeps on running.
10 Years Later
Next time we see Sonic he is a little bit older and living in the sleepy town of Green Hills in Montana, he’s trying to measure his speed against Sheriff Tom Wachowski’s (James Marsden) speed gun, who we soon find out is Sonic’s best friend – just Tom doesn’t know he exists yet. Sonic hasn’t grown up much though – saving a tortoise and then zooming him around for a bit of adrenaline, not realising he has given him the fright of his life! And later he falls asleep straight away when saying he is going to stay up all night – and just generally gets into trouble.
Sonic spends a lot of time imaging that he is part of Sheriff Tom (who he refers to as the Donut man) Wachowski’s family, whilst also enjoying observing the goings on in the town. Sonic is seen to watch a baseball game and after everyone has gone home plays a round against himself, acting out all the positions in a game, but upon getting a home run reality hits home that he doesn’t have anyone to celebrate with. Feeling alone, Sonic runs so fast that a shockwave knocks the power out across a wide area; suspecting an attack the military send Sonic’s Nemesis Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) in to investigate.
Super Sonic Vs Super-Villain – Dr. Robotnik
When you first see Dr. Robotnik (who Sonic refers to as Egg Man) the first impression thing you’ll notice is that he doesn’t look like the Dr. Robotnik of computer game fame, at least not for now. That aside, he soon takes control of the situation and begins the hunt for Sonic – who takes refuge in Sheriff Tom’s garage. Robotnik is a comedy villain with Carrey seeming to trying to recreate his Ace Ventura days but with not as much success. There’s some funny gags though and a great relationship between Carrey and Marsden: such as when Tom tells Robotnik that he is called Tom, except by his dentist who calls him Tim; and Robotnik introduces himself, but says his dentist calls him Rob! There’s also a nod to breast-feeding when Tom reveals he was and Robotnik implies it’s not fair as he was an orphan.
Suspecting raccoons, Tom accidentally shoots Sonic with a tranquilizer gun just as Sonic is about to use a ring to escape – as Sonic passes out he reads “San Francisco” on Tom’s T-shirt causing a portal to appear above the Transamerica building in San Francisco, through which the pouch with the remainder of Sonic’s rings falls through. Thus begins a crazy road trip to retrieve the rings and to save Sonic.
Thoughts on Sonic the Hedgehog Movie
Overall I really enjoyed the film, there was humor throughout, including nods to the present day (such as Amazon planning to use drones for delivery) and I appreciated all the little touches that payed homage to the games, such as Sonic tapping his foot impatiently, and him getting his trademark red sneakers from Tom’s niece, Super Sonic mode (with some great slow-mo action) and even details from the cartoon/comics, chilli dog anyone? Even the end credits showed parts of the film as if there were part of the nineties videogame, after which we get a glimpse of Miles Prower (Tails from Sonic 2) setting up a potential sequel.
BONUS FEATURES ON 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY & DVD
- Around The World In 80 Seconds
- Deleted Scenes
- Introduction By Director Jeff Fowler
- Original Opening
- Super Observant Carl
- Baby Sonic
- Tom And Sonic Have A Chat
- Rachel And Wade Plan A Date
- “Speed Me Up” Music Video
- For The Love Of Sonic
- Building Robotnik With Jim Carrey
- The Blue Blur: Origins Of Sonic
- Sonic on Set
ONLY AVAILABLE ON 4K ULTRA HD DISC & BLU-RAY
- Commentary By Director Jeff Fowler And The Voice Of Sonic Ben Schwartz
Sonic The Hedgehog is available to Download and Keep Now, and on Blu-Ray and DVD 8th June from Paramount Home Entertainment
Disclaimer: I watched Sonic The Hedgehog for free in return for a review