Of hedgehogs and trailers
It’s quite drastic how ones opinion can change about a production based on the aesthetics of a single asset, the asset in this case being a character redesign for Sonic the Hedgehog for a live action film named after the stated character “ Sonic the Hedgehog” release date set for February 14.
The controversy around this movie began with the release of a few obscure posters which depicted only a silhouette of the titled character, and immediately concerns arose on the oddly humanistic proportions of the said obscure silhouette then it all hit a boiling point with the release of the first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer on April of this year 2019 and confirmed what fans had been dreading. Though 3d animation and has been around in the mainstream media for around 30 years and though tremendous advances have been made at breakneck speed, the technology, what we can do with it and how far it can be pushed is still being figured out; so the interpretation of cartoon characters 2D and 3D as translated into realistic settings is still in course of experimentation failure is bound to happen every now and then, even with prominent film production companies, such as was the case here.
The initial trailer portrayed an attempt at making a Sonic the Hedgehog who, for reference of those that somehow still don’t know and for driving the point home, is a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog….. That runs at sonic speed… collecting golden rings… and yet they decided to attempt to make him, a blue anthropomorphic, supersonic, ring collecting hedgehog,… realistic.
Needless to say fans, were less than impressed, in fact most were outright horrified. The oddly human teeth and lips were especially disturbing to most; the trailer was panned and forced Director Ben Schwartz to announce a redesign of the character (or perhaps he was looking for an excuse to do so).
It bears to note that the infamous trailer came out at around the same date in which Detective Pikachu movie was released, showcasing character designs that were loyal to the source material and yet fit well enough within a realistic context, or rather despite looking like cartoons audiences were still able to engage in suspension of disbelief, whereas a realistic sonic the hedgehog could not.
With a new trailer released today, Sonic has been redesigned to a more cartoonish aesthetic, the contrast is as poignant as the reception, while the movie appears to remain very much the same the singular difference of the redesign of this one single character has changed the entire perception of the film and those of us who initially thought it would bomb at the box office, now believe it will garner enough success to prompt a sequel a trilogy or more.