Sonic's original design compared with his new one (E.C. Repp)
Sonic's original design compared with his new one

E.C. Repp

Sonic the Hedgehog: How to Take Criticism

November 18, 2019

Disgusting. Abhorrent. Horrific. These are all words that can very effectively describe the original design of Sonic the Hedgehog for his upcoming feature film. After watching the original trailer, it’s not hard to see why. The filmmakers took a character that’s always been known for a cartoonish aesthetic and attempted to make it more realistic. The result? Disgusting. Abhorrent. Horrific. As many fans online pointed out, it doesn’t really look like Sonic at all. Many defining aspects of the hedgehog’s design from the original video game were tossed aside in favor of human teeth, an inconsistent facial structure, and realistic hands. Disgusting. Abhorrent. Horrific.

Despite the overwhelmingly negative reception of the first trailer, it didn’t take long for the online landscape surrounding the movie to completely change. On May 2nd, 2019, director Jeff Fowler took to Twitter, in which he understandingly stated that “you aren’t happy with the design and you want changes. It’s going to happen.” Not long after, the movie’s release date was changed to February 14th, 2020. Since then, there has been no shortage of anxiousness around this redesign. Pure shock that a studio was finally listening to complaints and taking action. Confusion as to why any studio would give up a November release date. This continued until November 12th, when it finally happened. The highly anticipated new trailer was revealed, along with the redesign.

Beautiful. Stunning. Marvelous. These are all words that can very effectively describe Sonic’s redesign. After watching the new trailer, it’s not hard to see why. The filmmakers took a design that completely betrayed its roots and attempted to make it closer to the design in the games. The result? Beautiful. Stunning. Marvelous. Multiple fans have called this redesign the “real Sonic.” Many defining aspects of the hedgehog’s original design are back, with big eyes and funky shoes replacing the ugly face from before. Beautiful. Stunning. Marvelous.

The most remarkable thing about this situation isn’t even the redesign itself; it’s the fact that it happened in the first place. It’s so normal for a big studio to push through backlash and release a bad movie. That’s what many expected here. But in a move that shocked the internet, director Jeff Fowler cared enough about his work and about Sonic’s fans to change a very major part of the film, even going as far as to give up an extremely popular release date. No doubt, this was a costly move. However, it seems that almost everyone is applauding it. From here, we as audience members can only hope that other big corporations begin to take notice.

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