Previously, we reported that Sonic the Hedgehog movie director Jeff Fowler had promised changes to Sonic’s highly criticized CGI design. While some folks like photography director John Mathieson have thrown mud at the movie’s look, Detective Pikachu director Rob Letterman is a little more sympathetic.
In a recent interview with the Verge, Letterman commented on the troubled reception surrounding Sonic The Hedgehog’s recent movie trailer. Namely, he outlines that the process of designing such CGI characters is monumental – and thinks that the Sonic movie team has a lot of work to cover if they want to adjust Sonic’s CGI look.
“There’s no right or wrong to how you make one of these movies. It would be very difficult for us to redesign anything. We spent a year designing all the characters ahead of shooting so that we could get it all right. If we were off by an inch on Pikachu, [actor] Justice Smith’s performance would go right out the window. For us, it would have been impossible — but that doesn’t mean they can’t do it. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes — they’re in a difficult spot.
We studied a lot of animals and how they behave and how they interact to ensure we got it right. Bulldogs, in particular, for Bulbasaur and how they act in packs or how they get you to pay attention. There’s an extraordinary amount of craft that went into making the movie on the animation side as we tried to bring everything to life.”
It’s certainly not a great outlook for the sonic movie’s animators and designers. Like Letterman, let’s hope SEGA and Paramount can pull everything together by the film’s November release schedule.
In the meantime, Nintendo and gaming fans can look forward to the premiere of Detective Pikachu later this week.