Skip to main content

Brace Yourself for the ‘Ugly Sonic’ Cameo in ‘Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’

'Ugly Sonic' close up in Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Image: Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures.

Director and one-third of Lonely Island Akiva Schaffer carefully spoke to Polygon about the inclusion of non-Disney animated icons, both loved and hated alike, for his new Disney+ film Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers. One such icon is the infamous 2019 preview of the live-action movie version of Sonic the Hedgehog that resulted in a five-month release delay to fix the character’s look following widespread online backlash—you know, the one with the smaller eyes and human-like proportions, down to the teeth. Now dubbed ‘Ugly Sonic’ so as to not confuse him with the less unsettling version that everyone welcomed in 2020, the anthropomorphic mammal returns in a widely shared scene from Chip ‘n Dale.

If we were ever to see this version of Sonic again, we should’ve known it’d be in a joking manner, but boy, no one thought it would be of a washed-up actor on a convention circuit. Voiced by comedic actor Tim Robinson, this Sonic actually calls himself ‘Ugly Sonic.’ He’s so nihilistic (understandably, since he was the villain of the internet for some time) that he just leans into it. This has aged him up with a rough voice that signals he probably took up smoking, too.

My first thought when learning that this was Robinson was the “yayaahyahyahyaaahyahyahyaaah” from the traditional scene of his hilarious sketch show (co-created with Zach Kanin) on Netflix, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. (A show produced by Schaffer.) Then, every time, I go straight to the best moment of season two, where Robinson plays a prank show host, Carmine Laguzio, who gives up almost immediately after he’s in full hair, make-up, and prosthetics. Things quickly fall apart for him, too—just like ‘Ugly Sonic.’

Still from Prank Show sketch from I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. Text reads "I don't even want to be around anymore." Image: Netflix.

Honoring the inspiration

Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers
(Disney Plus)

Including ‘Ugly Sonic’ or just Sonic, in general, is such a thoughtful detail in this film. Schaffer explained to Polygon that it was a challenging process, as far as copyright is concerned, to include so many non-Disney characters, but that it was worth it because it made the film so much better. This extra mile by Schaffer and the army of Disney lawyers really feels like a true homage to the classic 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, beyond a detective plot and animation style.

Schaffer also told Polygon, “It was super-important to me to get a bunch of third-party cartoons because if this is going to be some sort of a celebration of animation, it can’t just be a celebration of Disney animation. You don’t want it to feel like an ad for Disney Plus.”

This being a showcase of everything owned by Disney was one of my reservations about watching the movie. The growing interconnectedness of creative properties and anything-verse mania (with few exceptions) is becoming less and less special. For example, Space Jam (under Warner Bros.) did this, and it was cute but definitely felt like an advertisement even though they loosely worked it into the plot. Disney and others are just as (if not more) guilty of this. Again, I just want this to be saved for big moments, standalone movies like Free Guy, or nods to film history like this, so it can feel more memorable.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers released today on Disney+.

(via Polygon, featured image: Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. Starting as an Online Editor for her college paper in October 2017, Alyssa began writing for the first time within two months of working in the newsroom. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3. Still trying to beat Saxon Farm on RCT 3 (so I can 100% the game.)