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Fan-Fixed Sonic the Hedgehog Trailer Is What It Should Have Looked Like All Along

By now, pretty much everyone on the internet has seen, and endlessly dunked on, the design of the titular character in the upcoming live-action/CGI hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog movie and wondered the same thing: Why did the production, when building the character from scratch with computer graphics, decide to go with a design that looks no more believably real than what we’re used to, but also noticeably worse? Here to drive that point home is a fan-animated trailer that subs in a more traditional Sonic design.

Really, there’s no reason the movie shouldn’t have looked like this all along (rough edges left by a quick, unofficial edit notwithstanding). What’s weirder still is that there’s still a wide, happy medium between the two looks that the movie could have gone with, which we may still see in action when the official do-over is complete. It’s not that I’m completely against taking design liberties with the character to make it feel less Who Framed Roger Rabbit and more like Sonic is a CGI “real” creature within the world of the movie, but the original movie’s design never pulled that off, either.

The Sonic that we got in the original images and trailer, who we will thankfully never have inflicted on us on the big screen, certainly looks like the intent was to go for more “realism,” but it doesn’t go nearly far enough with that to be worth the weirdness brought along with it. As it stands, a “cartoon Sonic” with minor adjustments—maybe to make the legs and arms look less like noodles, and to figure out a way not to go with the gloved Mickey Mouse look without ruining things—could easily feel just as “realistic” without also viscerally unnerving everyone who looks at it.

Seeing this unofficial version come to fruition so quickly reminds me of the situation with the digital erasure of Henry Cavill’s mustache in reshot material for Justice League, when “deepfakes” technology you could put to work yourself, at home, did about as good a job of removing the mustache (though, still, neither looked great) as the official production. This time, however, there’s still time for the movie to do a better job, especially now that the release date has been pushed back to give the movie’s artists the time they need to retool things.

Let’s just hope that’s how it works out in the end, and we don’t find ourselves still preferring this fan-made version, rough edges and all.

(image: screengrab)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.