Sonic the Hedgehog Doesn't Look Like Freakish Nightmare Fuel in New Design

Sonic the Hedgehog, movie
Paramount Pictures/Sega

With the potential exception of Cats (2019), arguably no other trailer has sent Twitter into more of a tizzy this year than the first trailer for Paramount Pictures and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. The upcoming film, which stars Parks and Recreation's Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, is for the most part live action with an animated Sonic.

The first pass at the character was more a reminder that Sonic is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog than an exercise in fidelity to the original design, and… Sonic had a lot of teeth. So many teeth, plus some human hands, and a pair of eyes that made him look like a terrified mouse. 

The reaction to the initial design was so swift and vitriolic that Paramount Pictures and Sega made the call to completely overhaul Sonic's design and push the film back from its original November 9 release date to a February 14 premiere. Now, just several days after we were supposed to have seen Sonic hit theaters, we've gotten our first concrete look at Sonic's redesign. And folks, he looks genuinely amazing! 

With a redesign effort led by Sonic comics artist Tyson Hesse, Sonic looks like… well, he looks like old Sonic, complete with fluffy looking quills, big eyes, and cartoonish hands. Frankly, he's adorable, and with Sonic's redesign comes a total shift in tone and humor in the trailer itself. Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise," which infamously (and bizarrely) played throughout the majority of the first trailer, is now The Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop;" the now-iconic "Uh… meow?" is now just adorable, panicked screaming. 

Twitter swiftly latched onto the new design, praising it not only for being truer to Sonic's original look but also for being cute as hell as opposed to actual nightmare fuel. 

That said, there was still some lingering, snarky sympathy for toothy Sonic. Maybe he wasn't as bad as we thought he was?

Some took it as far as to demand that Paramount release the Sonic cut out of a perverse desire to see ugly Sonic run through an entire feature film with his human teeth and human hands and human sneakers. It also feels like a loose parody of the "Release the Snyder Cut" campaign, which maintains that Zach Snyder's original, unreleased cut of Justice League is vastly superior to the cut that was commercially released. All of that aside, give us the ugly cut of Sonic the Hedgehog!!!

Overall, this pass at Sonic seems to have managed to get him right. At the very least, there's one thing we should be able to agree on: He is objectively cuter than the original version. 

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Palmer Haasch is an entertainment and culture writer. Follow her @haasch_palmer.