Such is the world that we live in these days that one of the biggest controversies to come out of Hollywood in 2019 was the appearance of a CGI blue hedgehog. To be fair, the initial design of Sonic the Hedgehog‘s title character was utterly terrifying, with the video game hero’s unnervingly human teeth and generally unsettling rendering causing huge backlash from fans.
In a Sonic movie, people would generally expect the character to look at least somewhat similar to how he’s depicted on consoles, and it must have been a huge blow to the studio to have to go back to the drawing board and delay the project for months as they spent millions on reworking the design to please a fanbase that had definitively rejected their first glimpse of footage.
The movie itself doesn’t look particularly exciting or original in the first place, but at least now Sonic the Hedgehog won’t be under as much scrutiny as before since the redesign is much more faithful to the source material. In a recently-translated interview with an Argentinian fan site, animator Max Schneider went into more detail about the five-month process of removing the previously-animated version of Sonic and replacing it with an entirely new model, saying;
“To modify everything took many months, since a big part of the movie was already finished. And the process was basically to redesign the model, make a new rig and going back to animate everything with the character. Some things were rescued from the old animations, but others had to practically be animated again.”
There have been few, if any, cases of studios bowing so heavily to fan pressure that they’ve had to go back to an already-finished movie and essentially replace the lead character with a less-offensive design, and if Sonic ultimately ends up bombing at the box office, then the entire ordeal will have been for nothing. Video game movies have always been a notoriously tough sell to both critics and audiences, and with such public criticism already dominating the project, Sonic the Hedgehog‘s performance will certainly be under intense scrutiny from the off.