Once upon a time, the very idea of a Sonic the Hedgehog movie seemed frightening. After all, the track record of videogame adaptations had not been particularly stellar, what reason was there to assume that anyone would get Sonic right? Yet here we are, on the cusp of a Sonic cinematic universe. Before Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit theaters, Paramount announced a third movie plus a series starring Idris Elba as Knuckles the Echidna. Clearly their confidence wasn’t misplaced. As of this article, Sonic 2 has gone on to become the highest grossing film based on a videogame in the United States, and has made over $320 million worldwide. Quite a feat!
If you’ve lived in the UK, it has been a month since the movie premiered. So it’s long overdue that we give you another round of the Retro Roundtable: four mini-reviews about the latest film to star the blue blur.
After the unexpected success of the original Sonic the Hedgehog film from Paramount, it was a pretty safe assumption that we’d be getting a sequel. After being confirmed, and seeing all sorts of set photos leak onto the Internet, there was only one thing that could begin to satiate the appetite of a Sonic fan – a first look at the film, packaged in a convenient advertisement video clocking in at just over two minutes.
Earlier today at The Game Awards, that appetizer was finally delivered on a platter, and boy was it worth the wait. We’ve got Sonic! We’ve got Tails! We’ve got Robotnik lookin’ just as snazzy as ever. And of course, we’ve got the original muscle flexer, Knuckles the Echidna. Sure, you’ve watched it ten times already by rewinding the stream. But in case you somehow missed it, check it out below.
Back in 2014, Blake J. Harris released the novel Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation. As one can guess from the title, it told the story of the quest for market domination between the two parties in the early 90’s, which resulted in some of the best video games ever released. At the same time the book was published, there were already reports that it would be adapted into a live action film, with later reports also confirming a proper documentary being produced.
Originally meant to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March, those plans were delayed for…obvious reasons. But through the wonder of modern technology, the documentary is set to go live on September 23rd, 2020, exclusively on the CBS All Access streaming platform. The trailer features Tom Kalinski and Al Nielsen, two men who were instrumental in the success of Sonic the Hedgehog – and SEGA as a whole – in the United States.
With the full version of “Look-a-Like” being unearthed and shared to the world on Sunday, many fans wondered if the source that shared it with the community had a full version of the Sonic OVA soundtrack in their possession. illuminor, who had reached out to the anonymous contributor on the OVA, ran that question by their source to find an answer. They received a reply that provided a single .mp3 file containing production demo recordings of the soundtrack. The file isn’t from the master sound source, sporting occasional sound artifacts and issues with stereo, but considering that the OVA is nearly 25 years old now just being able to hear this at all is astounding.
The quote below from the YouTube description shines a little more light on the tracks themselves specifying that the tracks they don’t seem to have any official names, for instance. It is also worth noting that this .mp3 file also doesn’t contain every single piece of music created for the OVA, but it does include the South Island track, don’t worry.
This morning a member of the community under the handle @SAAC_RUS tweeted out a link to the above video. Rather surprisingly, the video contains the full and proper version of “Look-a-Like” from the Sonic OVA. The two episode shorts originally released in Japan in early 1996 and featured “Look-a-Like” as part of its backing music. However, the only official release of the song since was a truncated version available on the True Colors: The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Part 2 CD, but now the full version is available for our listening pleasure thanks to illuminor. The video and its description explains how they came into possession of the song, shared below:
The universe of Sonic the Hedgehog is full of its own secrets and mysteries. And so it happens that some interesting things might be hiding in the most unexpected places. And today we would like to share with you an amazing discovery our good friend and the community member illuminor has made. illuminor specializes in translations – Japanese translations in particular. Having looked the Japanese version of Sonic OVA he noticed that the credits song «Look-a-like» has certain words that have never been used anywhere else and that differ from what fans usually document. «Look-a-like» is the ending theme of Sonic OVA performed by Riyu Konaka. Its full version was never officially released, though most of the song can be heard in the original Japanese release of the movie. And its short edit was later released in the official «True Colors: The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Part 2» album. In all variations available on the Internet we can hear the line «A short while ago, I was born» which then repeats twice, but in the movie the first time sounds as «A long time ago…», though we cannot hear the rest due to the dialogue of the characters. illuminor decided to get to the bottom of it and reached out to one of the people who was involved in creating of Sonic OVA. We will not disclose the identity of this person not to cause them any troubles. The original plan of illuminor was to ask for the song’s lyrics, but his interlocutor exceeded all expectations and just sent the whole track instead of the plain text. And so, friends, for the first time in history we are happy to introduce you the full and original version of the song «Look-a-like». Have a nice listening! We are thanked to illuminor for the news and for such a great material!
How great is it to finally have it after all this time?
Back in May, Paramount and SEGA confirmed a sequel to the Sonic movie was in the works, with Pat Casey and Josh Miller returning to writing duties and Jeff Fowler to direct. Why change a winning formula, after all? The success of the movie all but ensured a sequel would happen and given the ending, many fans will be happy to see it. So, just how long will they have to wait?
Paramount have given us an answer to that question – April 8, 2022. Considering the current global situation, it’s not unexpected that it would be a while off, yet two years doesn’t seem like a long time at all. Details are scarce and as of right now, no casting choices have been confirmed but it’s expected that at the very least, Ben Schwarz, Jim Carrey and James Marsden will all return to their roles.
February 14th, 2020. Love was in the air. Flowers exchanged, candy eaten, movies watched. And what movie could one possibly go see? Why, Sonic the Hedgehog, of course! Starring Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden, and directed by Jeff Fowler. Even if you were flying solo that day, how could one resist getting a ticket, sitting back, and seeing the blue blur on the big screen? We here at Sonic Retro couldn’t. Which is why we’ve all come together to share our thoughts on the latest offering from Paramount Studios. Were we amazed? Did we feel like Sonic was actually sitting next to us in the theater? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out.
Be mindful, there are some minor spoilers ahead. So if you’re still waiting to see the movie and don’t want to know anything…well, I’m not sure how you’ve avoided Twitter so far. And if you don’t intend on seeing the movie anytime soon? You can still read this, we don’t mind.
What’s interesting is not only does Sonic look different, but the tone of the trailer seems decidedly different as well. There’s a major focus on Sonic, rather than Robotnik or the human characters, Sonic himself is way quippier and arrogant, and overall, the film just seems… better. Time will tell if it succeeds in bucking the poor movie adaption trend or if it winds up another title on the list. One thing is for sure, things are looking more promising than they were just six months ago.
For nearly as long as the franchise has existed, there have been numerous attempts to bring Sonic the Hedgehog to the silver screen. From Wonders of the World to Sonic Armageddon, a variety of produces, directors and writers have pitched their vision of the blue blur in the hopes to turn it into a full-length feature, but for whatever reason, none of them came to fruition.
In 2014, Sony Pictures announced they had secured the rights to produce a Sonic film, but after a long bout of radio silence, it seemed that this was yet another false start. But with the announcement that the project had been picked up by Paramount in 2017, everything quickly shifted into high gear. Production started, characters were cast, and filming commenced. For better or worse, the movie was finally being made.
Though lots of stories both official and not have been published in the last few months, no official imagery of the film had been released – until Monday.
Yep. That certainly does say Sonic. Continue Reading