Paramount has finally unveiled the new design for Sonic the Hedgehog and to everyone’s relief, he looks a lot less scary. The first preview was released in spring of this year, with the horrifying design of the much-loved video game character immediately going viral. As far as I could tell, nobody at all liked it. To their credit, Paramount took the criticism on the chin and went back to the drawing board, delaying the film’s release to fix the Blue Blur.
Now we’ve got a comprehensive look at this re-design in the new trailer and it’s far more similar to what we’ve seen in the games while retaining some key differences. Most notable are that Sonic’s eyes have been completely redone. The original had extremely off-putting small eyes, with this new one looking far more cartoony (though the new version still separates them). Also, he seems to have far more cartoony teeth rather than the human-like ones that screamed uncanny valley.
The new trailer also shows some of the same scenes as the first one, allowing audiences to make a direct comparison between the two. The best example is when James Marsden’s character bursts into a shed wielding a gun and Sonic screams in shock. This moment was one of the most criticized of the first trailer, but now works much better. This is so much of an improvement that you wonder why they went for such a radical redesign in the first place. Sonic has been one of the most iconic video game mascots for nearly three decades, so why mess with the classics?
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Of course, while this trailer is better than the first, we still cannot guarantee that the film itself is going to be any good. Video game adaptations are notoriously difficult to get right and though they’ve fixed Sonic, they haven’t necessarily made improvements to the script.
We’ll find out for sure when Sonic the Hedgehog releases on February 14th, 2020. At least this is a red and white sneakered step in the right direction, though.