The Sonic the Hedgehog movie is unapologetically “so ’90s”

The Sonic the Hedgehog movie is unapologetically "so '90s"

After much anticipation and worry, the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer is here. And while many fans are still concerned over the Blue Blur’s design, we can take solace in that the ’90s love is there.

The first sign of this is immediate with the classic Sonic sound effects, particularly the gold rings and spin dash. Part of me hoped for the classic “SEEEGAAAA” to play when that logo appeared, but you can have it all.

Then there’s the admittedly odd song choice with Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio. It certainly scratches that nostalgic itch but doesn’t feel like the right fit asides from appeasing ’90s kids. I mean, I get it, Sonic the Hedgehog is a brand born and bred from that era. So why not use something more appropriate like Sabotage by Beastie Boys? Or maybe Jump Around by House of Pain? I would even accept Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

However, what makes this truly feel like a ’90s flick is how closely it resembles video game movies from back then. Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter immediately come to mind with how “off” they felt compared to their source material. At least 1995’s Mortal Kombat was close. Sonic the Hedgehog, on the other hand,¬†seems to take some liberties, namely that off-putting design of our anthropomorphic hero.

The Sonic the Hedgehog movie is unapologetically "so '90s"

The human-like elements are particularly jarring for a character whose iconic design revolves around cartoonish proportions. Why mess with what makes Sonic… well, Sonic? Changing his gloves into inexplicable white hands is one. Making his feet normal-sized is another. But it’s the all too realistic teeth that have many fans banging their heads. It’s a stylistic choice with the character that doesn’t make him too appealing up close.

At the very least, we have Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik who seems to be channeling the ’90s himself. There’s definitely a hint of Ace Ventura in this manic performance. So far, it feels like the entire movie is hinging on Carrey being his classic comedic self. We’ll see if that rings true. At least we know that he will transform into the Eggman we know and hate from the games.

So while Sonic the Hedgehog may be invoking the ’90s in this trailer, it remains to be seen if it will avoid the pitfalls of those video game movies before it. Perhaps it will be surprisingly enjoyable, or maybe even a cult favorite much like Mortal Kombat. We’ll find out when it releases on November 8th.

David Giltinan
David has been involved in games media since 2012 running his own blog, YouTube channel, being a founding member of RETRO Magazine, and now as host/producer of ARGcast - Another Retro Gaming Podcast. He also dabbles in voiceover and is occasionally a stunt double for Jude Law.