Despite now being considered one of the most successful video-game movie adaptations of all time, most will remember that the Sonic The Hedgehog movie was actually quite poorly received during its initial reveal, mostly because of Sonic’s horrifying original movie design.
Speaking on Cinemablend‘s Reelblend podcast, Sonic’s movie voice actor Ben Schwartz shared his thoughts on the initial backlash. According to Schwartz, the initial trailer was also his first real exposure to Sonic’s original design for the movie, and the team was quite surprised at how vocal people were about that look.
The way that I saw it first I think was on the trailer. I had to do ADR for the actual trailer because up until then it was all very temp. But I believe the trailer had to be done very quickly or something like that. So the first time I saw it was then. And then when it came out and the reaction it got when it came out.
First of all we didn’t know if anyone would care. We care because we like video games and movies it seems. But the biggest thing we learned from that was that when it came out so many people were so vocal and it became a huge thing. It got passed around so much. It may have not been the most positive reason why it was getting passed around, but it got passed around so much and so people had such heartfelt passionate ideas for it. That the biggest thing we learned was ‘Oh, people care a lot. Let’s look at this and figure it out.
Adding on to this, Schwartz also believes that the original design was intended to be a more “realistic” take on the character, although he thinks the new version is actually a lot closer to what he had always imagined a “realistic” Sonic looked like.
The big thing they were trying to do was how do you bring Sonic into the real world? Because he’s a computer character, you can’t just bring him in. How will he look in a real life situation? So I think that’s what they were tackling. But I will say the new version… when I was doing my voice the whole time I was doing it the way the new version looks. In my head, that’s the way it looked. So when I saw the first one I was like ok, but when I saw the second one I was like ‘This is in my head what the little guy looks like.’”
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