Well, the film Sonic the Hedgehog has been released. And it's not bad. I even call it good! The film is carefree and fast-paced and has a few decent laughs. But to be honest, the homages to Sega's and Sonic's past were my favorite parts.
What is kind of embarrassing, isn't it? How, yay, references! Nowadays, it is common to roll overzealous fans and obvious appeals with the eyes to arouse them. That's because we live in an extreme online world where passion quickly turns into uglier things like anger and harassment.
But damn it, I just love Sonic. When I was a child, this character meant a lot to me. I grew up with his games, saw his cartoons, ate SpaghettiOs with Sonic the Hedgehog motifs, and slept with my Sonic doll every night.
I don't want to spoil the Easter eggs and references, but the film has a lot to offer you. Many of them are surprising. They all made me smile. The best let me show and squeak with my friends in astonishment.
It's nice to see that the film recognizes the character's gaming past, especially when the first trailer made it appear that the film was doing everything possible to keep itself from 16 -Bit distant days of fame. Yes, the character redesign did a lot to save this film. This version of Sonic is personable and emotional. The film has a simple story, so it won't work unless we care about Sonic. Investing in the character would have been difficult if he still looked like a crazy monster.
But aside from its looks, the film is wise to make Sonic a cute and personable little guy. When we think of Sonic, we think of "posture". Much of it was an expansion of Sega of America's overall marketing strategy in the 1990s. You know, the same attitude that led us to campaigns like "Sega does what Nintendon doesn't". In the original games, Sonic's "stance" never went beyond him when he tapped his foot impatiently during an idle animation.
Somehow this turned into future interpretations of the character that Sonic portrays as impatient, obnoxious, and selfish. But that's not how Sonic is in the film. He is just a lonely boy who wants people to like him. I like this character attitude much better. And it's not that he always runs around with doggy eyes. He still names the names of the bad guys and is a bit stupid. It's just not "too cool for school".
Could I recommend Sonic the Hedgehog ? I can be for fans of the character, especially if you grew up loving him during his Genesis days. It's also a great movie for kids and families, as the movie has few scares or threats that could scare the little ones.
But if you don't bring a child and have no connection to the figure, I'm not sure. When I say that it is a children's film, there are some disadvantages, including a lot of blatant product placements and an unwanted fart joke.
Here is the other question. Is this finally the video game based film that will change the industry? I am not sure here either. Sonic the Hedgehog is the best video game film I've seen in a long time. But is it something special? Yes, I like it, but I don't think it's good enough to be an industry-shattering event. We'll have a better idea of the impact this will have on both the gaming and film industries when we see how much it earns at the box office. My gut tells me there will be a decent run, but nothing so remarkable that we should expect an Ecoo the Dolphin film to glow green.
In the meantime, I'll just sit here in shock, which I don't hate this film. I'm still a little embarrassed that the simple fan service has such a big impact on me. Maybe I shouldn't be. I love Sonic and there is nothing wrong with having fun watching a movie that does justice to that love.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column dealing with the past of games, immersing in classics, new retro titles or age favorites – and their design techniques – inspire today's market and experiences. If you have any retro style projects or balls you would like to send me, please contact me.