Simply hearing “Sonic the Hedgehog”, a whole slew of thoughts should be running through anyone’s mind, and for a pretty good reason, too. The popular video game franchise has stayed in the hearts many who were still young when the first games were released, and now a movie has been made. Created by Sega in 1991 to rival Nintendo’s Mario, Sonic is an iconic character, dubbed “The Blue Blur” for his unrivalled speed and shiny blue fur. He has also had a number of games, comic books, and even cartoons after his name since his debut.
Directed by Jeff Fowler, the film is a family-friendly action-adventure comedy, starring Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik and James Marden as Tom Wachowski. The story begins by showing Sonic as a child in his world, fondly similar to a level in the games. He is being chased by a tribe of echidnas, so his guardian, Longclaw, gives him a bag of rings that can create portals to other worlds, she sends him to Earth for his safety. Here, the movie does a wonderful job of creating a backstory that explains Sonic’s origins, and his reason for being on Earth.
The movie from here splendidly develops Sonic’s character based on his experiences, he is lonely, and you could even go as far as saying depressed. He admires Tom Wachowski and his wife, Maddie, even going as far as naming him, “The Donut Lord”, unaware that they are to relocate for Tom’s new job. Later, upset at his loneliness, Sonic finds himself running at supersonic speeds in a baseball field and accidentally sends out a shockwave of electromagnetic energy, causing a nationwide blackout. Again, the significance of this is to flesh out his character, as he runs, you can see the pure frustration in his eyes, he longs for a friend.
Sonic runs to the Wachowskis’ to hide; Tom sees him and knocks him out with a tranquilizer gun, he losses consciousness, the rings fall into a portal to San Francisco. From here, the story picks up as the two are chased by the evil genius, Dr. Robotnik, on their way to San Francisco to find Sonic’s rings. We see more sides of Sonic during this time, he feels betrayed by Tom when he learns of his relocation, and we learn that he feels he has not even made a real friend.
As they arrive at Tom’s new home in San Francisco, Sonic is injured by one of Robotnik’s machines; Tom carries him to Maddie who resuscitates him. Shortly after, the group heads to the Trans-America Pyramid, where Sonic’s rings fell to. Sure enough, they recover the rings, but Robotnik appears before them. The doctor hunts down Sonic and using the power of the rings, Sonic sends the group, and himself back to Green Hills, Robotnik follows. He overpowers the blue hedgehog, but with help from Tom, they defeat Robotnik by sending him to another world. We see a change in Sonic when Tom helps him, he feels he has found a real friend and taps into that power to defeat the evil doctor.
This film is the story of a hedgehog that was forced to leave his home, and his journey of finding a real friend and a new home. The movie does an excellent job of conveying this, not just telling, but showing us Sonic’s monologues and asides, allowing us to hear his thoughts and feel his frustrations. Tom is a well-developed character as well, going from thinking only about the luxuries of life, to a caring friend to Sonic who remembers the importance of his roots. There are many reasons to see this movie, from the family-friendly humour, to Sonic’s deep emotional struggle. The animation of Sonic is also a pretty big deal, as in 2019, a trailer was released, revealing a more grotesque version of the hedgehog. His new style and breath-taking CGI applied to Sonic’s lightning, makes this go even higher in the ranks.
Sonic the Hedgehog is a remarkable franchise, one with so many extensions and lovers all around the world. The movie did an outstanding job of ensuring it followed through with the franchise’s legacy, creating a wonderful story for both a younger and older audience. If you have any time to spare, ensure to watch this movie, you simply cannot regret it.
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