It was quite a day on the Internet when the first teaser poster for Sonic the Hedgehog movie released. Now, the first look doesn’t reveal the whole character design. Instead, the marketing team chose to cover it with mystery, but the silhouette of what Sonic looks like is pretty revealing. It had a character’s head affixed to a hideously muscular human body, with generic running shoes instead of his iconic sneakers and no gloves — just really hairy hands. And just a silhouette that the Internet needed to have a field day with posters because, within hours, many fans expressed their horror at the new look while others were creating memes.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. After the overwhelmingly negative response to the design revealed in the initial teaser trailer for the film, director Jeff Fowler explained that the film’s release date was pushed back to give Sonic time to fix. And fix it they did. This new look is the perfect mix of classic character look combined with Tyson Hesse’s flair for eye-catching character designs and a beautiful Hollywood sparkle to bring it all together. It was a flawless new design, and two box office hits later, Paramount would likely say the same. However, there is a cyclical element in this story. That Sonic The Hedgehog The teaser poster isn’t the first time the design reveal for the blue blur has gone a bit wrong, and coincidentally, previous attempts have also used silhouettes.
Five years before audiences first saw Sonic’s film designs, SEGA announced a multimedia subseries meant to run alongside the game’s main series. Title Sonic boom, the series will consist of a pair of games developed by western developers Big Red Button Entertainment and Sanzaru Games and the first CGI animated TV show Sonic. SEGA confirmed that this new venture will feature a fresh design for the main cast, and they were teased through silhouettes.
While definitely not on the same scale as the film’s initial design looks, these early silhouettes caused quite a stir. After all, Knuckles was a giant, and he had fingers now. And where the film has people reacting to its designs with horror, fans generally see Explosion silhouette with confusion. It’s not clear why this character needed a redesign for the series — the original was pretty iconic.
Perhaps the biggest sign that this design isn’t as much of a problem as their silhouette originally suggested is that, after their full reveal, there’s been no real protest against fixing it. Sure, some fans opt for lots of sports bands and Sonic has blue sleeves now (a design element that has carried over to the movies.) Sonic boom stuck with this new look in its entirety, and in the end, the new design became one of the more popular elements of the subseries.
Games released below Sonic boom the brand received mixed to negative reviews and poor sales on the Wii U and 3DS, largely because they were in a rush to meet a 2014 Holiday deadline, resulting in a messy, buggy experience that many didn’t enjoy. However, the TV show was a modest success, finding success online after a brilliant second season. For better or for worse, Sonic boom does not burn the world, remains a unique footnote in the extensive history of the hedgehog. But maybe it’s the result of flying under the radar in the years that followed so history can repeat itself and produce an early teaser poster for Sonic the Hedgehog.
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