Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends have been in a slump. Their games haven’t been performing well. People criticized the new look Sega went with for the Sonic Boom line. And, speaking of Sonic Boom , it’s divided the fandom. The games aren’t good, the TV series doesn’t appeal to everyone, and how could the company make poor Knuckles the echidna such an idiot? Fortunately, everyone’s going to get a second chance with Sonic the Hedgehog ‘s 25th anniversary. Sega’s putting extra care back into the franchise, and that includes a Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie will come from Sega and Sony Pictures in 2018. Like the recent Pixels and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? , it will be a mixture of animation and live action footage. To be more specific, that’s CG animation. More importantly, it’s a chance at a fresh start.
Sonic has done really well when it comes to his TV shows. Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog , Sonic the Hedgehog , and Sonic X all have legions of fans who grew up faithfully loving and watching the shows. Even Sonic Underground has a cult following. The character did well in his Wreck-It Ralph cameo and, while Sonic Boom isn’t universally loved, there are some solid episodes of the show. The problems people have been having with the series had nothing to do with its characters or premise, but rather the stories and gameplay situations Sega was dropping them into.
And the idea of combining animation and live action would be an absolute win for Sonic the Hedgehog . This has always been a series where detailed backgrounds were a selling point. Imagine the movie using New Zealand as a backdrop, to call to mind the Green Zone scenery? Sega has a chance to go back to Sonic’s roots. Tell an origin story. Pare back to the essentials, with Sonic, Doctor Eggman, Tails, and perhaps Knuckles and Amy, as the main cast. Undo some questionable character design decisions (psst, Knuckles). Give us lots of cute animals, a little Looney Tunes slapstick, and we’ll be set.
And then, we’ll have a chance for good tie-in games! Remember Sonic Generations ? It’s one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games in recent memory and was good because it went back to Sonic’s roots. There were no fancy gimmicks, because it focused on solid level design and speed. Going old school with the game could allow Sega to tap into the past for a solid title too.
This Sonic the Hedgehog movie could be a very good thing. It isn’t often a company and character is afforded a new start. With the 25th anniversary, people are feeling nostalgic and forgiving. Sega is hopefully smart enough to take advantage of that, and we should be cautiously optimistic about the future.