In 2019, the new Sonic movie trailer became available, and many people online had an opinion about Sonic’s design, but it was not positive.
Many fans of Sonic took to Twitter and presented their criticism of Sonic’s design the most notable criticism was related to Sonic’s human features, such as his teeth. Many people believed that the teeth in his design were a little too human and gave a creepy look to his design. There was a lot of noise made by fans, most notably on Twitter, and it seems the studio, Paramount, and the movie’s director, Jeff Fowler, took notice of the criticisms of Sonic’s design. Normally when criticism of any upcoming movie comes to light, not much can be done to change it even if there is a lot of criticism concerning one aspect of the movie. This time, however was different.
Director, Jeff Fowler, listened and decided to do the unthinkable and change the movie! Most of the criticisms came from Twitter, and thus Jeff took to Twitter and wrote:
I believe many fans were shocked to hear this sudden news of their criticism of the character being taken seriously. This can be seen as a “victory” but it is believed that this change was caused due to social media having bullied the studio for this change. This can be the perspective of others, but the result of Sonic’s design change yielded better results for the studio. On the opening weekend, the Sonic Movie had the best showing ever of a movie based on a video game and grossed over $58 million. The movie received positive reviews and fans rejoiced with enjoying the movie and Sonic’s redesign. This was of great benefit for Paramount, as it seems the criticism for the redesign could have saved the movie from box office failure, such as with the close release of Cats. Cats received similar criticism of character design with anthropomorphic cat humans being odd and disturbing to many, resulted in this movie losing over $100 million theatrically.
While both movies were different in their story, they both had factors against them from the start, being adaptations from their original media (musical/video game) and both had received criticism online for the designs of the main characters but Paramount took the risk to listen to the fans and completely redesign Sonic for their movie. Despite the cause of delays and increased costs to the movie production.
Did it pay off? Did the internet bully the studio to make these changes? Who is to say the movie would have done worse with the original design?
Facebook: Social media for change…changing a movie? How online criticism cause for redesign of Sonic the Hedgehog. https://bit.ly/3mPnOYh
Twitter: Social media for change…changing a movie? Bullies for Sonic’s redesign? https://bit.ly/3mPnOYh #sonic #sonicmovie #uglysonic