Hollywood Can't Sonic

Sonic Movie

A professional animator explains why the Hollywood version of beloved video game icon Sonic the Hedgehog looks like blue cancer.

Hollywood Sonic

Hollywood's meddling with this wildly successful Japanese character is doubly stupid because, if you read Console Wars, you know that Sonic the Hedgehog has at least as much American as Japanese DNA, perhaps more.

Sonic originated from an art contest held by Sega of Japan to design their planned game's protagonist. The winning entry was an anthropomorphic hedgehog called Mister Needlemouse.

Mister Needlemouse

Who is Felix the Cat's head on Mickey Mouse's blue, pantsless body.

Felix the Cat Mickey Mouse

Sega of America took the rather more crudely drawn and aggressively named Needlemouse and applied the finishing touches that completed his metamorphosis into Sonic.

The Hollywood idiots trying to "Westernize" Sonic the Hedgehog couldn't do Western art if their salaries depended on it I wish that was just a joke. Sonic already is a product of the West. The movie studio is just making him ugly, which is all Western animators are capable of doing these days.

Art-Eater's killshot:

Pokemon numbers

Pokémon, another Japanese IP captained by a Disney-inspired cartoon mouse, is running rings around its Western forebears. Hello Kitty is right behind.

[Insert pun about cat and mouse games.]

This episode does give us a handy visual representation of Western artistic degeneration, though.

Visual Degeneration


  1. Pokemon made money? You don't say, good sir.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I must away to Pokémon Go. There's new legendary raids today.. .

  2. Hey it reminded me to watch both the Sonic OVA and SatAM, so this abomination did something good. Both hold up very well by the way, classic 90's cheese.

  3. The death of hand drawn art, rubberhouse animation, and cartoony artsyles have done a lot of damage to the industry. Look at the early Felix the Cat cartoons (or even the 90s show) and compare it to anything being released now. It's not even a contest.

    Post-Shrek cynicism and soulless 3D CG has done nothing but kill the Western industry.

    1. I always wondered why Shrek was such a perfect fit for he fedora meme.

    2. He can burp "M'Lady" at multiple pitches.

      Also, the trend is because the commies don't like us plebs having anything beautiful.

    3. The enemy know that the true, the good, and the beautiful are of a piece.

      If only bow tie Capitalists had the same understanding.

    4. Bow tie capitalists are just as soulless. They think all that matters is money, and that other people feel the same.

      It’s Satan worshippers on one side and mammon worshippers on the other.

    5. Ben Shapiro: The Bible tells us to be rootless wanderers upon the earth.

      Tucker Carlson; So what you're saying is, you want me to abandon the graves of my grandfathers?

    6. That's certainly what I got out of Shapiro's interview with Carlson.

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    8. I don't care much what style is chosen as long as it looks good. I think the problem is a lack of creativity and soulless cynicism and satire that's the real issue.

      For instance, a descendent of "rubber hose animation" exists in some modern shows and looks hideous, for instance in Adventure Time.

  4. Yeah, that silhouette of Sonic looks a mess. I think there's a Twitter account of one of the artists who worked on this somewhere, and reading between the lines I think even they're self aware enough to see how this is going to pan out.

    At least one of the animation studios involved had axed their entire art department some years ago, right around the time that they landed a pretty big movie deal. I think even Gawker or a site like that did a write up on it, the only mention of it in the media. From someone on the inside, they said one of the owners claimed that it would free up the studio and open up a whole market of artists they could choose from for each project. Which is code for outsourcing the art duties to international freelance on the cheap. The guys they'd let go had been with the studio for years, some for over a decade.

    And at least to an outsider, it seems to have paid off in the short term. Head owner became the director, his studio was at the head of managing several other smaller outfits to do the shots they couldn't hit, they worked with big Hollywood names. And the film was a big hit, media loved it and did nonstop writeups about the power of a "new vision" to an old genre.

    And then they lost the sequel for various reasons. And now it seems that they're in the same spot they'd been in previously, more at the mercy of outside producers than their own internal vision, and ironically ending up like a beginning artist, working projects to build up an impressive portfolio but landing themselves in the red each time. So while they may have built up their own internal line of hotshot managerial types to land them their Hollywood deals at the expense of a dirty club house art department, most people don't pay to go see movies for the sweet line production skills at power lunches or properly margined schedule spread sheets. Previous creative capital can only take you so far before you get what you don't pay for.

    1. "Which is code for outsourcing the art duties to international freelance on the cheap. The guys they'd let go had been with the studio for years, some for over a decade."

      The highly conditional benefits of free trade mostly accrue to the top 1%, and the social cost eats those profits.

      "Previous creative capital can only take you so far before you get what you don't pay for."

      Hollywood has been burning through its creative capital for decades. The 80s were a remake of the 50s by guys like Spielberg and Lucas. Now they're reduced to remaking the remakes. It doesn't even work when you bring back the original talent, as Spielberg's already forgotten Ready Player One demonstrated.

  5. Speaking of games...went and read the old post about the consoles wars. I need to read that book, but I'm curious, are there any similarities in the market from 1983 to today? And the elites who run these companies nowadays not only don't play games but are money grumbing-scum. Battlefield V, Fallout 76, Diablo Immortal, Red Dead Redemption II Online, and last years' Battlefront 2 and Mass Effect Andromeda...this can't go on too much longer, can it?

    As to the Sonic movie...what's everyone's guess here? Will Sonic be worse, better, or equal to 93's Super Mario Bros movie?

    I hope this bombs, if only to stop these idiots from raping other series like Shenmue, Valkyria Chronicles and Phantasy Star.

    1. "...are there any similarities in the market from 1983 to today?"

      History may not repeat, but certain events can if similar conditions obtain. In 83 you had Atari, a near-monopoly churning out third party shovelware that retailers finally had to offload at fire sale prices. The first big crash happened because the publishers lost the retailers. Nintendo brought the market back from the dead by convincing retailers to take a chance on vidya again. Did the Big N effectively use monopolistic practices itself? Perhaps, but they sure as hell kept the industry from repeating Atari's mistakes.

      Today, certain hardware makers like SONY, and pretty much every AAA studio, have forgotten the lessons of 83. The difference now is that Nintendo is still around--mostly because they have not.

      "Will Sonic be worse, better, or equal to 93's Super Mario Bros movie?"

      Console Wars covers that clown funeral of a production in some detail. After a disastrous early screening, NOA's president faced the choice of releasing the bomb or locking it in the vault forever. He chose to release it, reasoning that they'd at least get *some* ROI, and any brand damage would be negligible. The man had brass balls.

      But to answer your question: Sonic will be worse, if only because it's on the wrong side of the 1997 divide.

    2. Razorfist has argued (correctly, in my opinion), that we are already in the middle of another video game crash.

      Nintendo aside (because they appear to be the only publisher left with a brain) software sales are the lowest they've ever been. Hardware sales were high at the beginning of this generation, but have slowed tremendously. AAA has been hemorrhaging money due to taking for too long to make expensive games that the audience does not want. For all intents and purposes, developers are making the same games they made on the XBox 360 a decade ago except with prettier graphics and less content. On top of it is Sony going censorship happy due to their SJW leaders in California, and Microsoft inching back to PC with the XBox One still having no exclusives that can't be purchased there. This is, objectively, the worst console generation since the '83 crash.

      At the same time, pundits and console makers are hinting at a 2020 launch for new consoles.

      And if they think, after this generation, that anyone is going to buy they're in for a rude awakening.

      Eventually all that will be left will be Nintendo, indies, and the PC middle-market at this rate.

    3. The signs of SONY's undoing as a game company were there from the start. Ken Kutaragi had to lie, cheat, and steal to get corporate to green light the PS1. Even then they made him work out of the music division like a deranged uncle squirreled away in the basement. He had to build the initial prototype out of duct tape and chicken wire. When the PS1 hit it big, SONY fired the whole US marketing team who'd made it a success, including Steve Race, the man responsible for the "Price Heard 'Round the World".

      SONY has only ever tolerated--never embraced--their gaming division. They think vidya is beneath them, and that attitude is still in evidence today.

      Contrast that attitude with Nintendo, who've always made games since the 19th century. The Big N ain't goin' nowhere.

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  7. Pick a name if you want to post, Anonymous.

    1. Picked my name/profile from Disqus.

      Glad there's an option for that because Google stinks.

  8. Does this work?

    As I was saying, any comments now that they've redesigned Sonic to his earlier form based on the deserved backlash to the first movie concept?