As we've known for a while now, a movie based on the Sonic the Hedgehog gaming franchise is coming out later this year. We also know that Jim Carrey will play the villainous Doctor Robotnik in it. What we didn't know, until last December, was what the blue blur himself, SEGA's famous mascot, would look like in a live-action motion picture - but then came a strange video poster, which turned the internet's stomach.
Yesterday (4 March), the internet took another blow to its nostalgia pipes as leaked artwork from the forthcoming film spilled onto Twitter, and... Well, just look for yourself.
Want a closer look? Drink it in, friends. All the way down, spines and shoes and all...
Sonic the Hedgehog - movie leak
Sonic the Hedgehog - movie leak
Now, at your leisure - if you've quite recovered from that shock to your optic sensors - compare how Paramount and partners' movie vision for Sonic compares to the original design, as debuted in 1991's Mega Drive platformer, Sonic the Hedgehog...
Sonic the Hedgehog - 1991 Japanese Artwork
Words... Words fail us all, sometimes. As a SEGA fan growing up, I definitely have feelings about this artwork leak - but I'm wholly unable to process them into a legible series of sentences. If you really want to know my thoughts, swing by the office and I'll make a succession of jerky movements and guttural sounds in your general direction. And then I might cry a bit.
But fan criticism is to be expected - happens all the time, whenever anything that used to be one thing becomes another thing, for a new audience. And, to be honest, Sonic could look a lot worse here - I mean, does anyone remember how the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie depicted Yoshi, and Bowser? Sorry, King Koopa. He still haunts my nightmares.
What's rarer is public dissatisfaction from a character's own creator. Yuji Naka, one of three men credited with bringing Sonic to life at SEGA in the early 1990s, alongside Naoto Ohshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara, took to Twitter to make his feelings clear.
To translate that (if Twitter isn't already doing the job for you): "Is this a Sonic movie? I feel it's important to look at the whole body of Sonic, his head, body and stomach. Can you not get a little more balance?"
The marketing company behind promotional products that will accompany the Sonic movie, Hamagami/Carroll Inc (who've previously worked with EA and Disney), posted a little about how four different hedgehog designs will feature in its work, on its website (now removed). It read:
"Our approach was to create a system that was versatile and modular, so that various Sonic IPs including Classic, Modern, Film, [and] Animation and other events could be integrated seamlessly with the baseline packaging look."
Which is to say: Movie Sonic isn't the same Sonic, quite, as the Classic Sonic of the 16-bit years, or those seen in cartoons and modern-gen games like Sonic Forces. And that, come the end of the year and the Sonic movie, we're likely to get a cornucopia of Sonic merchandise, covering all forms from the fast-moving mammal's history.
Neither SEGA nor Paramount, nor any other company involved with the production of the Sonic film, is yet to confirm that this is definitely the Sonic we'll see in the movie. But it does match what we've previously seen, pretty well. Seems a safe bet.
Featured Image Credit: SEGA/Paramount Pictures/Original Film